Comparative life cycle assessment of different municipal solid waste management scenarios in Iran

Comparative life cycle assessment of different municipal solid waste management scenarios in Iran

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 51 (2015) 886–898 Contents lists available at ScienceDirect Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews journa...

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Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 51 (2015) 886–898

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/rser

Comparative life cycle assessment of different municipal solid waste management scenarios in Iran Mohammad Ali Rajaeifar a,b,n, Meisam Tabatabaei b,c,nn, Hossein Ghanavati b,d, Benyamin Khoshnevisan e, Shahin Rafiee e a

Department of Biosystems Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran Biofuel Research Team (BRTeam), Karaj, Iran c Microbial Biotechnology Department, Agricultural Biotechnology Research Institute of Iran (ABRII), Karaj, Iran d Tim-Kian Recycling Co. (Representative of SEKO Co. in Iran), Tehran, Iran e Department of Agricultural Machinery Engineering, Faculty of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran b

art ic l e i nf o

a b s t r a c t

Article history: Received 23 December 2014 Received in revised form 9 May 2015 Accepted 29 June 2015

The aim of this study was to review and assess the different municipal solid waste management (MSW) scenarios using a comparative life cycle assessment approach in Iran. For this purpose, the capital of Iran was selected and five different scenarios including: anaerobic digestion (AD, Sc-0), landfilling combined with composting (Sc-1), incineration (Sc-2), incineration combined with composting (Sc-3), and AD combined with incineration (Sc-4) were taken into consideration. The results obtained showed that the scenarios Sc-3 and Sc-1 led to the most adverse environmental impact in the Human Health and Ecosystem Quality damage categories. In the Climate Change damage category, the scenario Sc-1 resulted in the worst impact while the other scenarios showed improving impacts on this damage category. Also, the scenario Sc-1 had the least helpful effect on the Resources damage category. The overall analysis of different scenarios implied that the scenario Sc-1 was the worst scenario among the studied scenarios. The results also showed that the most eco-friendly scenario to be implemented in the future would be the combination of AD with incineration (Sc-4). & 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Anaerobic digestion (AD) Climate change Comparative life cycle assessment Human health Municipal solid waste (MSW) Resources

Contents 1. 2.

3.

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 887 Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 887 2.1. Case study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 887 2.2. The LCA methodology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 890 2.2.1. Goal and scope definition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 891 2.2.2. Scenarios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 891 2.2.3. Functional unit (FU). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 892 2.3. Life cycle inventory (LCI) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 892 2.4. Life cycle impact assessment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 893 Result and discussion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 893 3.1. Human Health . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 893 3.2. Ecosystem quality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 895 3.3. Climate change . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 895 3.4. Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 896 3.5. Lessons from past programs and implications for the future . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 897

n Correspondence to: Department of Agricultural Machinery Engineering, Faculty of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, College of Agriculture, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran. Tel.: þ 98 26 32703536; fax: þ 98 26 32701067. nn Correspondence to: Biofuel Research team (BRTeam), Agricultural Biotechnology Institute of Iran (ABRII), 31535-1897 Karaj, Iran. Tel.: þ 98 913 286 5342; fax: þ98 26 32701067. E-mail addresses: [email protected] (M.A. Rajaeifar), [email protected], [email protected] (M. Tabatabaei).

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2015.06.037 1364-0321/& 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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4. Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 897 Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 897 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 897

1. Introduction Nowadays, due to urbanization and vast population growth around the world the environmental issues associated with vast production of different types of biomass and their conversion to value-added products have become more critical than ever [1–3]. These environmental issues have different aspects which should be controlled by governments and local authorities. One of these aspects which has imposed a significant pressure on the environment and has turned into a controversial challenge worldwide is municipal solid waste (MSW) [4]. Although, the definition of MSW varies by country, it is generally defined as waste collected by municipalities or other local authorities and typically includes household waste, garden (yard)/park waste and commercial/institutional waste [5]. Accordingly, MSW is significantly under the influence of consumption habits and the patterns of the communities' developments and contains a wide variety of materials [6,7]. Moreover, since municipal activities yield the largest volume of wastes worldwide [4], therefore, there are many directives and legislation implemented to face this growing challenge. Examples of such legislations are directives of the European Parliament (2008/98/ EC) and of the council of 19 November 2008 on waste, the best available techniques (BAT) reference documents that have been adopted under both intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) directive (2008/1/EC) and Industrial emissions directive (IED), the resource conservation and recovery act (RCRA) for proper management of solid waste in U.S., waste disposal and cleaning law in Japan, national waste policy in Australia, etc. Although different by name but all these directives and legislations generally are identical for they include instructions and limitations for prevention (in waste generation), preparing for reuse, recycling, other types of recovery (including energy) and the disposal of waste [8]. In better words, they are aimed at protecting the environment and human health through prevention of harmful effects of waste generation and waste management. Beside the legislative improvements over the past decades, different waste management options/technologies have also emerged around the world. For example, new methods for biological treatment of MSW, physico-chemical treatment of wastewaters, treatment of combustion ashes and flue-gas cleaning residues, treatment of waste contaminated with Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCBs), treatment of waste oil/solvents, treatment of waste catalysts and some methods for incineration (grate incinerators, fluidized beds, rotary kilns, pyrolysis and gasification systems, etc.) [5,9]. Nevertheless, the lack of public acceptance for the location of new waste disposal and treatments facilities is still a problem due to concern about adverse effects on the environment and human health. This is ascribed to the fact that every step (from handling to final disposal or incineration) in waste treatment causes health issues through releasing pollutants into the air, soil and water [10]. On the other hand, decision making for waste management industry needs assessments in order to reduce the risk associated with human health and the environment. Therefore, within such contexts, sustainable MSW management needs environmental assessment methods that evaluate waste treatment methods' environmental acceptability. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a methodology capable of evaluating environmental pollution throughout the life cycle of a specific product and/or service on a cradle to grave basis [11]. LCA has been frequently used to evaluate and compare the environmental aspects of different

MSW management strategies. The LCA findings have paved the way to sustainable development in waste management and have considered as inputs to decision-making in terms of the choice of waste management strategies. Table 1 summarizes a variety of LCA studies conducted on MSW management systems. However, most of the LCA studies conducted on MSW management suffer from malpractices in several aspects of LCA such as significant deficiencies in terms of their goal and scope definition e.g. unclear delimitation of the system boundaries. Other deficiencies include truncated impact coverage, difficulties in capturing influential local specificities such as representative waste compositions into the inventory, and a frequent lack of essential sensitivity and uncertainty analyses [12]. Iran with a population of over 70 million is a large country comprising of 31 provinces. A staggering number of over 50,000 t of MSW is generated on a daily basis mostly in country's six metropolises (Table 2). It is unfortunate that out of this large amount of waste only 5% is currently being recycled and as shown in Table 2, only Tehran MSW treatment facility is equipped with one of the latest waste treatment technologies i.e. anaerobic digestion (AD). Tehran the capital of Iran and the largest metropolis in western Asia with around 10 million inhabitants, generated 2,718,000 t of MSW in 2013. The major waste management system in Tehran is landfilling. In fact, this is the only option available to 21 out the 22 urban regions of Tehran generating 82% of total MSW/year. Very recently, an alternative strategy i.e. anaerobic treatment of MSW was established in the region 4 of Tehran which contributes 12% of the city's MSW. To the best of our knowledge, to date there has been no comprehensive study on LCA of MSW management in Iran, therefore, the aim of this investigation was to comparatively evaluate different MSW management scenarios for an urban region using the region 4 of Tehran as a case study. On that basis, we strived to propose the best strategy for local authorities and governments of metropolitan areas such as Tehran through generalizing the findings of the present investigation to the other regions. Moreover, in order to avoid the deficiencies usually observed in LCA studies conducted on MSW management, key issues including defining the functional unit along with specifying the waste composition, examining the potential contribution of capital goods, collection and transportation of MSW before excluding them, documenting the inclusions and exclusions of processes in a transparent manner (as system boundaries), and covering all relevant impact categories in the assessment were taken into consideration.

2. Methods 2.1. Case study Region 4 (one of the 22 regions in Tehran municipality), located in the east of Tehran province, with the population of 864,946 and a surface area of 61.4 km2 (10% of Tehran province surface area) [44], was selected as a case study. Table 3 shows the composition and properties of the mixed household waste generated in Tehran [45]. The annual amount of 90,000 t accounting for 20% of the total generated MSW in this region is treated by the anaerobic digestion (AD) technique at a centralized plant operated by Tim-Kian Co. This center was the first in the Middle East which used AD technique in order to reduce the environmental impacts of MSW. This centralized plant consists of four dependent plants: sorting

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Table 1 A summary of the LCA studies conducted on various MSW management systems. Surveyed study

Key features Geographical scale Functional unit

Abeliotis et al. [13]

Andersen et al. [14]

Assefa et al. [15]

Banar et al. Beccali et al. [16] [17]

Bernstad and la Cour Jansen Blengini et al. Cabaraban et al. [18] [19] [20]

Greece

Denmark

Sweden

Turkey

Italy

Sweden

Italy

USA

32,000 t of MSW/year 4

1 t of MSW 5

293.85 kt of MSW/year 3

24.9 kg organic waste /person .year 4

1 t of MSW 4

1 kg of solid waste handled 3

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

No

PC No No CC Damgaard et al. [23]

PC PC CC No Emery et al. [24]

PC CC No CC Eriksson et al. [25]

CC No No No Fernández-Nava et al. [8]

Only GW No CC CC Finnveden et al. [26]

PC CC No CC Giugliano et al. [27]

Denmark

UK

Sweden

Spain

Sweden

Italy

101 kt of MSW

Diverse

480 kt of MSW/year

Diverse

750 kt/year ; 150 kt/year

4

8

6

7

4

No

Yes

No

No

Yes

251,859 t MSW/ 1 t of organic year household waste Scenarios studied 5 3 (No.) Sensitivity No Yes analysis Studied impacts Non-toxica PC PC Toxicb PC CC CC No Resourcesc Energy No No Surveyed study Cherubini et al. Consonni et al. [22] [21] Key features Geographical Italy Italy scale Functional unit 1460 kt of 1 t of material MSW/year recovery residue Scenarios studied (No.) Sensitivity analysis Studied impacts Non-toxic Toxic Resources Energy Surveyed study Key features Geographical scale Functional unit Scenarios studied (No.) Sensitivity analysis Studied impacts Non-toxic Toxic Resources Energy Surveyed study Key features Geographical scale Functional unit Scenarios studied (No.) Sensitivity analysis Studied impacts Non-toxic Toxic Resources Energy a b c

4

4

1 t of wet household waste 7

No

No

No

PC No No CC Gunamantha [28]

PC PC No CC Hanandeh and ElZein [29]

CC PC CC No No No No CC Hong et al. Iriarte et al. [30] [31]

PC No No No Kaplan et al. [32]

CC CC CC CC Koroneos and Nanaki [33]

CC PC CC PC CC No CC No Liamsanguan and Manfredi et al. Gheewala [34] [35]

Indonesia

Australia

China

Spain

USA

Greece

Thailand

1 t of MSW

1 t of MSW

600 kt of MSW/year

1 t of MSW

5

1.5 kt of MSW/month 3

1 Mg of MSW

5

1 t of MSW 4

Denmark, The Netherlands 1 t of MSW

7

3

2

4

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

PC No No No Mendes et al. [36]

PC No No No Menikpura et al. [37]

CC CC CC CC Morris [38]

CC CC CC CC Morselli et al. [39]

Only GW No No CC Pires et al. [40]

CC CC CC CC Rives et al. [41]

Only GW No No CC Song et al. [42]

CC CC No No Yi et al. [43]

Brazil

Thailand

USA

Italy

Portugal

Spain

China

South Korea

1 t of MSW

1 t of MSW

1 t of MSW

421,726 t/year

1.47 kg/inhabitant/day

321,752 t/year

1 t of MSW

5

5

1 t of MSW 2

2

19

6

4

No

No

No

No

No

14 different MSW collection systems Yes

Yes

No

PC No No No

CC CC CC No

PC CC No No

CC CC CC No

PC CC CC No

CC CC CC CC

PC PC CC No

CC CC CC No

Non-toxic impact categories include: global warming (GW), stratospheric ozone depletion, acidification, tropospheric ozone formation, eutrophication. Toxic impact categories include: ecotoxicity, human toxicity and particulate matters. Resources include mineral and fossils depletion; (CC: complete coverage; PC: partial coverage (some impact categories missing); No: no coverage).

plant (with the capacity of 300 t of MSW d  1), biogas production plant, electricity production plant and compost production plant. More specifically, in the sorting plant, MSW is segregated into 1) rejected wastes (i.e. textile, sanitary pads and baby diaper, useless

plastics and polymeric compounds, useless organic matters, rocks, and glass), 2) recovery materials (i.e. aluminum, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), glass, iron sheet, cardboard, plastic bags and other plastics) and, 3) organic matters. Subsequently, organic

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Table 2 Iran's metropolises municipal solid waste (MSW) treatment options. Metropolis

MSW treatment option ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓

Tehran Mashhada Isfahan Karaj Tabriz Shiraza a

Landfilling without biogas recovery plus composting organic materials Anaerobic digestion Landfilling with biogas recovery plus composting organic materials Landfilling without biogas recovery plus composting organic materials Landfilling without biogas recovery plus composting organic materials Landfilling without biogas recovery plus composting organic materials Landfilling with biogas recovery plus composting organic materials

The biogas delivered is not still in the commercial exploitation stage.

Table 3 Characteristics and composition of mixed municipal solid wastes (MSW) in Tehran [45]. Parameter Organic matter

Polymeric compounds

Fruit peel Vegetable residue Meat and fat Bread residue Nylon Pet Plastic

Metals Glass Carton and paper Textile Sanitary pads and baby diaper Disposable dishes Batteries and electronic parts Total Moisture content Calorific value (LHV) considering 60% moisture content (kJ/kg) Calorific value (LHV) considering 30% moisture content (kJ/kg)

wt% (wet matter basis)

Annual disposal (t)

17.5 38.5 0.6 0.4 5.0 0.9 1.6 0.6 3.2 7.8 16.2 6.7 0.9 0.1 100.0  60% 5382 10,247

475,650 1,046,430 16,308 10,872 135,900 24,462 43,488 16,308 86,976 212,004 440,316 182,106 24,462 2718 –

Fig. 1. System boundaries of municipal solid waste management.

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Fig. 2. Diagram of scnario Sc-0 (Currently in-use).

Fig. 3. Diagram of main steps encompasssed in scenario Sc-1 (Fading scenario).

Fig. 4. Diagram of main steps involved in scenario Sc-2 (Future scenario).

matters are either conventionally landfilled to produce compost or are transferred into the AD tanks to produce biogas and anaerobic compost. The biogas is combusted to generate electricity in the electricity plant.

2.2. The LCA methodology Based on the ISO 14040, LCA is regarded as the “compilation and evaluation of the inputs, outputs and potential environmental

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Fig. 5. Diagram of the main steps included in scenario Sc-3 (Future scenario).

Fig. 6. Diagram of main steps involved in scenario Sc-4 (Future scenario).

Table 4 Analysis of the rejected wastes as of this study [45]. Type

Textile Sanitary pads and baby diaper Useless plastics and polymeric compounds Useless organic matters, rock, glass Total

Percentage (%)

Dry matter content percentage (%)

30 20 30

80 40 100

20 100

40

impacts of a product system throughout its life cycle” [46]. Therefore, LCA is an environmental management tool to assess a product, activity or service at all stages in their life cycle from raw materials acquisition, through processing, manufacturing, distribution, use, possible reuse/recycling and on to final waste management [47–49]. The 14000 series of ISO standards comprising the standard 14001 on Environmental Management Systems, as well as a series of standards relating to LCA (the 14040 series) was used in the present study [50]. More specifically, the LCA study comprised of four phases: 1) goal and scope definition; 2) inventory analysis; 3) impact assessment and 4) interpretation.

2.2.1. Goal and scope definition The goal of the present study was to comparatively evaluate the fading, currently in-use and future scenarios for MSW treatment in the region 4 of Tehran province as a model for the metropolitan areas, in order to propose the best strategy for local authorities and governments and to possibly generalize the findings of the present investigation to the other regions. Transportation, sorting, AD, landfilling, incineration and composting were considered as the scope of the present study. Fig. 1 shows the system boundaries of the study. The collection of MSW within the region was excluded for all scenarios but transportation from MSW transfer stations to the MSW treatment center was included. Also, the emissions originated from capital goods were excluded as their effect were found negligible. Emissions associated with the bottom ash (in the incineration process) were also excluded from the study due to the fact that it is considered as a replacement component in aggregates used in the construction of road surfaces.

2.2.2. Scenarios As it is shown in Figs. 2–6, there are five different scenarios including fading, currently in-use and future ones for MSW management practices in Tehran province.

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Table 5 Damage categories and related mid-point impact categories in IMPACT 2002 method [61]. Damage category

Units

Impact category (mid-point)

Units

Human health

DALY

Carcinogens Non-carcinogens Respiratory inorganics Respiratory organics Ionizing radiation Ozone layer depletion

kg C2H3Cleq kg C2H3Cleq kg PM2.5eq kg C2H4eq Bq Carbon-14eq kg CFC-11eq

PDF*m2*yearb

Aquatic ecotoxicity Aquatic eutrophication Terrestrial ecotoxicity Aquatic acidification Terrestrial acid/nutrient Land occupation

kg TEG water kg PO4-P limited kg TEG soil kg SO2eq kg SO2eq m2 organic arable land

kg CO2eq MJ primary

Global warming Non-renewable energy Mineral extraction

kg CO2eq MJ primary MJ surplus

a

Ecosystem quality

Climate change Resources

a

DALY: disability adjusted life years. A damage of 1 is equal to: loss of 1 life year of 1 individual, or 1 person suffers 4 years from a disability with a weight of 0.25. PDF*m2*year: Potentially Disappeared Fraction. A damage of 1 is equal to disappearing of all species from 1 m2 during 1 year, or disappearing of 10% of all species from 10 m2 during 1 year, or disappearing of 10% of all species from 1 m2 during 10 years. b

Scenario Sc-0 (Currently in-use scenario). This scenario represents management of MSW through an AD process. At first, MSWs are transported to the center's sorting plant. In this process, aluminum, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), glass, iron sheet, cardboard, plastic bags and other plastics are separated for a recovery process (contribute 3.04% per ton of waste). Besides, organic matters are separated and are introduced to the AD plant (contribute 48% per ton of waste). Some other materials which cannot be separated (for recovery or AD processes) also known as ‘rejected wastes’ are sent to the landfill (contribute 48.6% per ton of waste). Table 4 shows the composition of the rejected wastes as of this study [45]. Before introducing organic fraction to the AD process, organic matters are sent to a pre-chamber unit and crushed by a refiner. Water is added to the organic matters in order to increase the moisture up to 10% total solid (TS) to make the materials suitable for the AD process. In the AD tanks biogas is produced and sent to the biogas treatment (including a scrubber unit for H2S removal). Finally, the refined biogas is sent to the generator for electricity and heat production. The scrubber sludge is sent to a leather-processing factory for further usage. Fig. 2 simply shows the plane of Tim-Kian MSW treatment plant. Scenario Sc-1 (Fading scenario). This scenario represents management of MSW through landfill without biogas delivery alongside the composting process. In this scenario (Fig. 3), MSWs are transported to the center, following a sorting process which is the same as the scenario Sc-0. Then, the organic fraction (which contributes 48% per ton of waste) is sent to the compost production plant for aerobic maturation and the rejected wastes (which contribute 48.96% per ton of waste) are sent to the landfill without biogas delivery and leachate treatment. The leachate and released biogas have been the main environmental challenges during the last years. Scenario Sc-2 (Future scenario). This scenario proposes an incineration technique (Fig. 4). Very recently, Tehran municipality regulated some rules and signed contracts to use incineration technology in different MSW management centers instead of landfilling. The MSW are sent to the center for a sorting process (exactly the same as the scenario Sc-0) in order to separate recyclable fraction, then the organic and rejected waste fractions of the MSWs (which contribute 96.96% per ton of waste) are incinerated. Scenario Sc-3 (Future scenario). This scenario proposes incineration with composting (Fig. 5). The only difference between this scenario and the scenario Sc-2 is that the organic fraction (which

contribute 48% per ton of waste) of MSW is subjected to an aerobic maturation in the composting process. Scenario Sc-4 (Future scenario). This scenario represents AD combined with incineration (Fig. 6). The scenario is similar to the scenario Sc-0, however, the rejected wastes (which contribute 48.96% per ton of waste) are finally incinerated rather than landfilling.

2.2.3. Functional unit (FU) The functional unit of the present LCA study represents the management of 1 t of MSW (specified in Table 3) in the region 4 of Tehran municipality. The function is the treatment of this amount of MSW, using different technologies in order to exploiting energy and/or to recycle wastes.

2.3. Life cycle inventory (LCI) Each scenario has its specific inventory which should be created through collecting inventory data of their different stages. Inventory data for transportation were calculated based on the total distance traveled by the collection trucks and the tons of MSW transported over a period of one year. The amount of electricity and fuel consumption in the sorting plant and the amount of separated materials in this stage were provided by Tim-Kian Co. The biogas production plant consumes electricity, diesel, water and some chemical materials and the respective data were provided by the company. The digester tanks are completely enclosed, thus there is no emission when digestible materials are in the tanks. The only emission taken into account for AD is attributed to the emissions caused by the cogeneration heat and power (CHP) engine during its operation. The amount of biogas production is at 210 m3 per ton of waste entering the digester (with 63% CH4). This amount of biogas results in the production of 20.16 MW h electricity and 440 MJ equivalent heat. The power generated is directly supplied to the national grid while the generated heat is used for heating the digesters and the site. Data for landfilling and leachate emissions were obtained from the Iranian waste management organization [51]. Due to the lack of data on incineration emissions (as it is a new management practice in Iran), the data for gas emissions and production of fly ash in incineration were obtained from Annex V of Directive 2000/

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0.1 Sc-0 Sc-1 0.075

Sc-2 Sc-3

0.05

Sc-4

0.025

0 Human health

Ecosystem quality

Climate change

Resources

-0.025

-0.05

Fig. 7. Normalized values of Damage categories in each scenario.

76/EC on the Incineration of Waste [52] and the BREF Document on Waste Incineration [9]. Elemental analysis of MSW of Tehran shows a chemical formula of CH1.626N0.03766S0.0025Cl0.10O0.645 þ2.702H2O. High level of moisture (about 60%) is one of the major negative properties of Tehran's MSW. On this basis, the combustion gas released per ton of waste combusted is considered at 3427.25 N m3 while 341.77 kW h per ton of waste would be generated (considering 60% moisture content in the waste and a PCI of 5382 kJ/kg waste sent to the incineration plant [as used in the scenario 2]). If the moisture content of the MSW could be reduced down to 30% through better MSW management practices, the amount of generated gas would increase to 6525.29 N m3 but the power generation would increase to 650.734 kW h per ton of waste (considering a PCI of 10,247 kJ/ kg waste sent to incineration plant [as used in scenarios 3 and 4]). Inventory data for aerobic composting and composting of digestate were provided by Tim-Kian Co. SimaPro software version 8.1 was used to perform the LCA study along with its associated database (professional). In order to find the environmental burden associated with the transport, energy and materials employed in the study, the Ecoinvent database v3.0 (2014) was used.

3. Result and discussion Comparative LCA of different municipal solid wastes management scenarios in Tehran province of Iran was conducted. According to the ISO 14042, normalization is defined as “calculation of the magnitude of indicator results relative to reference information”. In better words, normalizing the category indicator results would help to better understand the relative importance and magnitude of the results for each product system under study [46]. Based on the data obtained through the normalization of damage categories (Fig. 7), the environmental analysis showed that all the studied scenarios had the lowest contribution to the Ecosystem Quality damage category, while the most affected categories were Human Health, Climate Change and Resources. Also, scenarios Sc-3 was found to have the worst impacts on Human Health and Ecosystem Quality damage categories. Moreover, the scenario Sc-1 had the worst impact on Climate Change and Resources damage categories. Overall, scenario Sc-1 was determined as the worst scenario among the studied scenarios while the scenario Sc-4 was found as the best one. The four damage categories comprehensively analyzed are as follows. 3.1. Human Health

2.4. Life cycle impact assessment In the life cycle impact assessment phase (LCIA), the environmental impacts of the system were assessed using the set of results from the inventory analysis – mainly the inventory table – within the framework of the goal and scope of the study [46]. Based on the ISO 14042 instructions, LCIA could be performed using four steps: 1) selection of impact categories and classification; 2) characterization; 3) normalization; and 4) weighting. Since the first two steps are mandatory and the rest of the steps are optional, therefore, only the first three steps were conducted in the present study. There are a number of methodologies used in order develop these steps such as including Ecoindicator 99 [53], ReCiPe 2008 [54], and CML 2001[55] developed in The Netherlands, the EDIP'97 [55] and EDIP2003 [56] in Denmark, the EPS2000 [57,58] method developed in Sweden, EcoPoints [55] developed in Switzerland, etc. Among these, the Impact 2002þ method was used due to the fact that it is the mostly used models in LCA analysis of MSW [8,30]. This impact assessment method is a combination of four methods: Ecoindicator 99 [53], CML [46], IMPACT 2002 [59] and IPCC [60]. The Impact 2002þ method includes 15 mid-points impact categories which are structured into four damage categories of Human Health, Ecosystem Quality, Climate Change and Resource Depletion. Table 5 tabulates the damage categories and the related mid-point impact categories employed in the method [61].

It is evident from Fig. 8 that scenarios Sc-3 (incineration combined with composting) and Sc-1 (landfilling combined with composting) led to the highest adverse impact on the Human Health damage category with the amount of 7.0  10  4 and 6.32  10  4 disability-adjusted life years (DALY)/t waste, respectively. These findings are consistent with those of Hong et al. [30] who found the ‘incineration combined with composting’ followed by ‘landfilling combined with composting’ as the worst scenarios. What makes the scenario Sc-3 in the present study the worst is the composting process. In fact, analyzing the midpoint scores making up the Human Health damage category (Fig. 9) revealed that the impact was mainly due to the Respiratory Inorganics (RI) midpoint impact category. Fernández-Nava et al. [8] introduced the RI midpoint category as the main factor affecting the Human Health damage category. In their study, the landfilling scenario was found as the worst scenario in the Human Health damage category with the amount of 1.04  10  3 DALY/t waste. Although the applied (impact assessment) method was the same (Impact 2002þ method), possible explanations for the differences observed between the values reported herein and those of Fernández-Nava et al. [8] could be due to: 1) the fact that landfilling scenario in this study utilized the composting process while in their study landfilling was used in combination with energy recovery (biogas) and leachate treatment and 2) different waste compositions (57% organic matters in this study compared to 38% in that of

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Fig. 8. Contribution of each scenario on each damage category. 8.00E-04

Sc-0

7.00E-04

Sc-1 Sc-2

6.00E-04

Sc-3

5.00E-04

Sc-4

4.00E-04 3.00E-04 2.00E-04 1.00E-04 0.00E+00 Carcinogens

Non-carcinogens

-1.00E-04

Respiratory inorganics

Ionizing radiation

Ozone layer depletion

Respiratory organics

-2.00E-04

Fig. 9. Normalized mid-point scores included in the Human Health damage category. 100%

Composting Sorting Incineration

80%

AD Landfilling

60%

MSW transportation 40%

20%

0% Sc-0

Sc-1

Sc-2

Sc-3

Sc-4

-20%

-40%

Fig. 10. Contribution of each process from each scenario on the Respiratory Inorganics mid-point impact category.

Fernández-Nava et al. [8]). The latter resulted in less environmental burden caused by landfilling in this study due to this fact that the rejected MSW had negligible amounts of organic matters, moisture content, and metal composition. Moreover, the scenario Sc-3 was

found worse than scenario Sc-1 due to the fact that the incineration process used in the Sc-3 contributed more damage on the Human Health damage category. This in turn was ascribed to higher effect in RI midpoint category.

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100%

895

Composting Sorting

80%

Incineratiion 60%

AD Landfillinng

40%

MSW traansportation

20% 0% Scc-0

Sc-1

Sc-2

Sc-3

Sc-4

-20% -40% -60% -80% -100% Fig. 11. Contribution of each process from each scenario on the Ecosystem quality damage category.

Composting

100%

Sorting 80%

Incineration

60%

AD Landfilling

40%

MSW transportation

to the recovery of materials such as aluminum, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), glass, iron sheet, cardboard, plastic bags and other plastics. 3.2. Ecosystem quality

20% 0% Sc-0

Sc-1

S-c2

Sc-3

Sc-4

-20% -40% -60% -80% -100%

Fig. 12. Contribution of each process from each scenario on the Climate Change damage category.

Fig. 10 depicts the contribution of the processes involved in each studied scenario in the RI impact category. As presented, composting, incineration and AD had the most adverse effects on the RI impact category (and therefore on Human Health damage category), whereas through the sorting process this adverse impact was avoided. If there was no composting process included in the scenario Sc-1, it must have definitely had the most adverse impact on the RI in this scenario. Moreover, exclusion of this process (i.e. composting) from the scenario Sc-3 would also result in the removal of the most negative impacts from this scenario making it more eco-friendly. More specifically, the organic fraction in scenario Sc-3 should also be incinerated similar to the scenario Sc-2, rather than to be composted. The compositing process mainly contributed to this damage category by emissions of ammonia, sulfur oxides, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter of below 10 and 2.5 microns in size. Following the composting process, the emissions caused by the CHP engine during its operation in the AD process had a large contribution to the RI impact category. The adverse effect of the incineration process on the RI and consequently on the Human Health damage category was due to direct emissions resulting from the process. Also, indirect emissions, i.e. those associated with the manufacturing processes of the reagents consumed in the treatment of combustion gases were responsible for this effect. Similarly, Fernández-Nava et al. [8] also indicated that incineration had a negative effect on the RI. Morselli et al. [39] reported that the RI category is one of the most affected by the incineration process. The sorting process in the present study seemed to have helped reduce the RI impact in all the scenarios due

As already stated, based on the data presented in Fig. 7, all the mentioned scenarios had a negligible contribution to the Ecosystem Quality damage category. It is worth pointing out that the scenarios Sc-3 and Sc-1 contributed the most increasing impact to this damage category, respectively (Fig. 8), while scenario Sc-0 had a favorable impact on this damage category. Precisely similar to the Human Health damage category, the composting process was also found as the main cause of high adverse effect on the Ecosystem Quality damage category (Fig. 11). This was ascribed to the high values of Terrestrial acid/nutrient midpoint category. Again similar to the Human Health damage category, the composting process seemed not suitable to be combined with the incineration process for its major adverse effect on the Ecosystem Quality damage category. In view of the positive effects of each process i.e. sorting, landfilling, incineration, AD and composting on the Ecosystem Quality damage category, sorting process was found to be the only process which significantly reduced the impacts on this damage category due to avoided emissions originating from the recovery of the materials mentioned. 3.3. Climate change As shown in Fig. 8, the scenario Sc-1 had the worst impact on the Climate Change damage category with a value of 834.58 kg CO2eq/t waste, while all the other scenarios had a favorable impact on this damage category. Hong et al. [30] stated that ‘landfilling accompanied with only 12.2% methane gas recovery for electricity production’ scenario was the worst in the Climate Change damage category with a value of 1.52  103 kg CO2eq/t waste in China. In a different study in Alytus (Lithuania) using the same scenario but through higher methane recovery value of 50%, Miliūtė and Staniskis [62] managed to improve the impact of the process over the Climate Change damage category and obtained a value of 1.135  103 kg CO2eq/t waste. Similar findings were reported by Mendes et al. [36] who found that landfilling (with 50% methane recovery) in the city of Sao Paulo in Brazil had the highest impact on the Climate Change damage category ( 900 kg CO2eq/t waste). Further increase in methane recovery (i.e. 70%) led to significantly improved value of 188 kg CO2eq/t waste for landfilling scenario [28].

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40%

Composting Sorting

20%

Incineration AD

0% Sc-0

Sc-1

Sc-2

Sc-3

Sc-4

Landfilling MSW transportation

-20%

-40%

-60%

-80%

-100%

Fig. 13. Contribution of each process from each scenario on the Resources damage category.

Overall, it could be concluded that high methane recovery could strongly mitigate the climate change burden imposed by landfilling. Beside the significant impact of methane recovery on landfilling, other factors such as differences in MSW characteristics, pollution derived from the landfilling site's infrastructure and buildings, electricity/heat recovery (considering electricity production mix) and biogas production duration could also play a part in the impact of a process on the Climate Change damage category. Methane, electricity, and heat recovery (considering electricity production mix) were included in the analysis. Further analysis on the contribution of each process involved in each studied scenario to the Climate Change impact category showed that landfilling, composting and transportation had a deteriorating impact on this impact category, while incineration, AD and to a lesser extent sorting, had an improving impact on this category, respectively (Fig. 12). In fact, the landfilling process was found the main contributor to the Climate Change damage category due to emissions of CH4, CO2 and to a lesser extent N2O (859.06 kg CO2eq/t waste) which are the three main Greenhouse Gases (GHGs). It is well documented that the GHGs are the main causes of global warming by absorbing infrared radiations in the atmosphere, trapping heat and warming the surface of the Earth [63]. Given the proportion of CH4 and by comparing the environmental impact of the three GHGs released during landfilling, Hong et al. [30] labeled CH4 as the main contributor to the adverse eco-effects of ‘landfilling’ scenario. These gases are also released at drastically lower amounts during the composting process (16.80 kg CO2eq/t waste). Overall, composting process in the scenarios Sc-3 (and to a lesser extent in the Sc-1) had an adverse effect on the Climate Change damage category. This was not true for the scenarios Sc-0 and Sc-4 in which composting materials were obtained from the AD. In fact, the composting process through anaerobic digestion (AD-compost) had two major advantages over the aerobically-produced compost. The first and more important advantage was the lower environmental burden associated with the composting process through the AD. The second advantage was associated with compost final quality. In better words, the AD-compost (which can be obtained by the scenarios Sc-0 and Sc-4) contained higher amounts of humus which in turn resulted in better compost quality compared to the aerobicallyproduced compost (which can be obtained by the scenarios Sc-3 and Sc-1). In general, Iran's soil is poor in organic matters (humuso0.5%) and therefore, highly humus content composts such as the AD-compost would be preferred as fertilizer. As stated earlier, methane recovery would reduce the adverse impacts on this damage category. Similarly, electricity/heat recovery through processes involved e.g. incineration could also result in avoiding the adverse impact on this category. This was consistent

with the results reported by Gunamantha [28] and Hong et al. [30]. However, it should be noted that such improvement is directly dependent on the electricity production mix (its different sources) in each country and the amount of electricity production (which is directly proportional to the calorific value of the incinerated MSWs). For example, in a study conducted by Mendes et al. [36] in São Paulo city, electricity generation through incineration did not lead to a significant improvement in the Climate Change damage category, because the Brazilian electricity was mainly hydro-based. This was also confirmed by the findings of Belboom et al. [64] highlighting the importance of the energy production mix in their calculations. Given the Iranian energy mix condition, the amount of  108.70 and  98.47 kg CO2eq/t waste, achieved through incineration-based electricity generation for the scenarios Sc-4 (also Sc-3) and Sc-2, were realistic for most of the electricity generated in Iran originates from non-renewable sources (34.2% of electricity production comes from steam turbine power plants, 33.2% originated from combined cycle power plants and 25.2% from gas turbine power plants in 2014 [65]). 3.4. Resources As can be seen in Fig. 8, all the studied scenarios showed negative values for the Resources damage category indicating that all the scenarios helped the environment from the perspective of this damage category. Among the studied scenarios however, the scenario Sc-4 had the most eco-friendly index in this damage category with a value of  4695.10 MJ primary/t waste. In the second and third places came the scenarios Sc-3 and Sc-2 with values of  3222 and  3036 MJ primary/t waste, respectively. Among all, the scenario Sc-1 was least helpful to this damage category with a value of  1099.30 MJ primary/t waste. Based on analyzing the contribution of each process involved in each studied scenario in Resources damage category (Fig. 13), composting and to a lesser extent MSW transportation and landfilling were found to adversely affect this impact category, while incineration, AD and sorting processes were found to have favorable eco-friendly indexes in this damage category, respectively. Further analysis revealed that the inclusion of the composting process deteriorated the impact of scenario Sc-3 and Sc-1 on this damage category. This was in line with the findings of Hong et al. [30] who also claimed the composting process had a deteriorating impact (in view of resource damage category) on the overall incinerationbased scenario when combined with the incineration process. This could be explained by the electricity and diesel consumption in the composting process. Similarly, the adverse effect of MSW transportation process could also be attributed to the consumption of diesel. Incineration process helped the environment in this damage category with values of  2096.43 and  1905.03 MJ primary/t waste for the scenarios Sc-4 (and also Sc-3) and Sc-2, respectively. The difference between these values is ascribed to the different electricity, diesel and reagents consumption in these scenarios (these values were higher in the scenario Sc-2). Fernández-Nava et al. [8] also achieved similar findings based on which the incineration process was marked as the main contributor to this damage category with values ranging from  1880.30 to 2801.10 MJ/t waste for different scenarios. Based on the results obtained in this study, electricity production seemed to have a considerable resource-saving impact in this damage category due to the incineration process. However, this is directly dependent on a country's energy mixes and calorific values of MSWs. The AD process had an improving effect on the eco-friendly index in this damage category with a value of  1468 MJ primary/t waste in the both of the scenarios Sc-0 and Sc-4. This is mainly due to the electricity production from the biogas generated in the AD process. Moreover, incineration of the rejected MSWs (rather than landfilling them), made the scenario Sc-4 more favorable than the Sc-0 in this damage category. The positive effect of the sorting

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process on Resources damage category was due to the avoided production of recovery materials (which prevented the consumption of energy and materials used in the manufacturing process of the recovery materials).

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Acknowledgments The authors would like to thank Tim-Kian Co. and Biofuel Research Team (BRTeam) for their assistance during the course of this study.

3.5. Lessons from past programs and implications for the future As one of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) members and a signatory of the Kyoto protocol (signed and ratified on 22/08/05), Iran is also committed to reduce its GHG emissions [66]. Based on the Kyoto protocol, emission reduction activities should not endanger food security, social and economic development. Among various approaches, producing renewable energy carriers such as electricity from MSW would lead to this goal. On the other hand, the staggering number of over 50,000 t of MSW generated on a daily basis in Iran is an environmental hazard if current traditional waste treatment practices (landfilling systems) continue to be implemented. Moreover, due to the fast population growth and increasing amount of MSWs-oriented emissions into air, water and soil, especially in the six metropolises of Iran, implementation of more eco-friendly scenarios for MSW management seems inevitable. In view of that, establishing AD or incineration plants for treatment of MSW could not only protect the environment from waste-oriented pollution, but also would bring some benefits under the umbrella of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) for Iran. During the past decades and even currently, most of the MSW management processes in Iran are focused on landfilling and is generally thought that the combination of landfilling and composting would reduce the environmental impacts of the process. However, given the findings of the present investigation, the most important lesson to be taken from the past programs is that inclusion of composting in landfilling or incineration processes would still be accompanied with an adverse impact on the environment and that composting should be gradually removed from the MSW management systems in Iran and be substituted with AD processes. Overall, it is advisable that the future programs include a combination of AD technique and incineration (Sc-4) as the most eco-friendly scenario.

4. Conclusions This study was aimed at assessing different municipal solid waste management scenarios using a comparative LCA approach in the capital of Iran. Based on the results obtained, the scenario Sc-3 (incineration combined with composting) and Sc-1 (landfilling combined with composting) led to the most adverse environmental impact on the Human Health and Ecosystem Quality damage categories. In the Climate Change damage category, the scenario Sc-1 resulted in the worst impact while the other scenarios showed improving impacts on this damage category. Also, the scenario Sc-1 had the least helpful effect on the Resources damage category. Overall, normalized values of different scenarios showed that the scenario Sc-1 was the worst scenario among the studied scenarios. These findings stresses that ‘landfilling combined with composting’ scenario; a conventional but fading MSW management practice in Iran, had adverse impacts on the environment; therefore, more eco-friendly scenarios should be implemented. To achieve that, the combination of AD with incineration (Sc-4), is suggested as the most environmentallyfriendly procedure. Finally, although the ‘incineration combined with composting’ scenario (Sc-3) is being considered to be implemented in Iran in the future, but the findings of this study revealed that this scenario may not fulfill the environmental expectations for it seems to have adverse impacts on the environment.

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