Integrated solid waste management: A lifecycle inventory

Integrated solid waste management: A lifecycle inventory

370 Book Reviews there been long-term changes in vegetation, including epiphytic lichens and mosses in the deciduous forests of southern Sweden; and...

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Book Reviews

there been long-term changes in vegetation, including epiphytic lichens and mosses in the deciduous forests of southern Sweden; and what were the effects of soil acidification on snails; (ii) how is the current chemical state of forest soils or tree vitality reflected in the nutritional and chemical status of spruce foliage or roots; (iii) what is to be expected in vegetation and soils when the pollution load increases or decreases; are there biogeochemical models for predictions? To answer these questions, not only were comparisons of former and recent data sets made, but also methodological investigations, experiments in case studies and developments of integrated dynamic models were conducted. Since many of the projects were related to each other or were even within the same integrated study, a high degree of synergism could be achieved, e.g. the Skogaby field experiment and the G~trdsj6n (NITREX) site in southwest Sweden, the nutrient optimisation experiment in the north and the permanent sample plots of the National Forest Inventory project, often used the same hydrochemical models (PROFILE, SAFE) for the description of ecosystem impacts. Due to the complexity of ecosystems, not all of the answers given in this book are clear cut, but on the whole the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency is given the advice that in order to protect 95% of the forest resources, sulphur and nitrogen deposition must be reduced by 40% in relation to 1980-1985 levels, which is more than is currently planned for 2010. The long-term studies over the last decades showed a pH decline in all podsol horizons which was accompanied by a decrease in exchangeable base cations and an increase in exchangeable aluminium pools. These changes correspond well to some of the observed changes in fauna and vegetation, although in the latter, changes in light and microclimate or forest management have to be considered. Signs of impaired growth or vitality of trees due to the recent acid and nitrogen deposition lack convincing evidence, nevertheless, methodological advice in diagnosing nutrient imbalances and nitrogen saturation in foliage or effects on root systems is given. Several laboratory and field experiments support the findings of the recent and long-term studies. More support comes from the acidification models PROFILE and SAFE which could, to some extent, be validated and confirm the past acidification history in Scandinavia. Although the main focus of this book is on acidification impacts on ecosystems, reference to ozone pollution is also made--the violation of the 'critical levels' as recently defined by the UNECE expert panel, suggest that in the south of Sweden production losses of more than 10% in crop may occur and, according to an open-top chamber experiment, tropospheric ozone may be a stress factor for Norway spruce. It was beyond the scope of this review to appraise or summarise all the chapters in this book. The intention of this personal selection of conclusions is to invite graduate students, scientists and policy maker advisors to read this informative volume of Ecological Bulletins. J. B. Bucher

Integrated Solid Waste Management: a Lifecycle Inventory. By P. R. White, M. Franke and P. Hindle. Blackie Academic, London, 1995, ISBN 0-7514-0046-7, 362 pp. Price: £79.00. As the authors of this book themselves point out, there is a clear need to develop improved solid waste management systems. What is novel about the approach in this text is the application of lifecycle inventories (LCIs) for the systematic dealing of data on the environmental effects of solid waste management and the subsequent developing of management systems. The book is packaged with the lifecycle inventory spreadsheet, which can be used with either ExcelT M or Lotus 1-2-3T M software. The structure of the text reflects the layout of the spreadsheet and takes the reader systematically through the introductory discussion of integrated waste management and lifecycle assessment, to chapters on waste generation, pre-sorting, collection, recycling, biological and thermal treatment options, and landfilling. Each chapter is usefully laid out, with a clear summary, boxes which summarise the key concepts, a LCI Box and a Data Box showing the questions asked of the user in the computer spreadsheet, and illustrating how the data are used. The reader is thus guided in easy stages through the operation of the spreadsheet. For anyone working in the area of waste management this is an extremely useful book, not least because it brings together information, from both national and EC sources, that has not been readily accessible. This compilation emphasises national differences in data collection, sampling and analytical techniques, and regulatory standards, and the authors make the point that the development of an integrated approach requires more reliable statistics and standardised techniques. I was particularly interested in the chapter on landfilling and was pleased to note the emphasis on landfilling as a treatment process and not simply as a sink for final disposal. As is the case throughout the book, the authors plead for more data--for example they note that in the absence of reliable data on liner leakage they have had to assume an arbitrary 30% leachate leakage over the active life span of a site. Since this book was published, the UK Government has introduced a landfill tax of £7 per tonne MSW, which is designed to encourage waste reduction and promote recycling. The LCI approach offers promise as a useful tool for the systematic examination of such regulatory changes and subsequent improvements in waste management techniques. This book would be invaluable if only for the breadth of the information it provides. At £79.00 it is expensive, however, the spreadsheet is included. The suggested readership includes operators, waste producers, policy makers and regulators, who will appreciate the succinct summaries and clear Key Concept boxes, as well as the spreadsheet. Irene A. Watson-Craik