Waste management (WM) is a complex sustainability issue because of its intrinsic association with many environmental and economic drivers. Addressing this issue requires clear vision, consideration of the waste life cycle, integrative approaches, and implementation of best-practice WM systems. Therefore, this research aims to present an approach to sustainable management of municipal solid waste in developing countries through systematic life cycle thinking. The study examined the practices in Lebanon as a case study of uncontrolled disposal. The environmental impacts of Lebanon’s waste disposal were evaluated to better understand their serious threats. In the next step, 30 alternative WM systems of waste handling were designed. They were assessed for their environmental and economic benefits to demonstrate the proposed approach of developing WM systems and selecting alternatives. The results showed that recycling coupled with composting notably reduces the environmental impacts. It also showed that different waste compositions play a major role in the environmental performance of a WM system, and therefore, they should be considered when developing WM plans. In this regard, high fractions of organic waste are associated with multiple environmental impacts. Such organic waste levels create a challenge for making better use of recycling due to the high amounts in developing countries. Overall, the study concluded that sustainability of WM is a broad concept and should be defined at the local level, with the most pressing environmental issues addressed by each country.
Waste management is a pressing issue for sustainable development, particularly in developing countries. Its urgent nature is an outcome of the increasing waste produced and the poor waste management in several developing countries. Waste is associated with negative environmental impacts, dangers to public health, social acceptability, and economic aspects. Several factors exacerbate the waste problem: inadequate waste disposal methods, mixing portions of waste electrical and electronic equipment components with municipal waste, and informal recycling. Other factors are a lack of awareness of the toxic nature of hazardous waste and limited legislation to regulate and control the disposal of hazardous waste. Focusing on municipal waste and waste electrical and electronic equipment, this article classifies the levels of waste management and proposes 26 indicators for assessing and enhancing waste management systems. The purpose of this research is to make a contribution to accelerating the transition to sustainable development in developing countries and to highlight business opportunities.
E-waste (also known as waste electrical and electronic equipment) is one of the fastest-growing waste streams worldwide. Given this rapid growth, issues related to e-waste are a serious concern. Increasing amounts of e-waste pose detrimental effects to the environment and public health through improper recycling and disposal techniques. Such informal recycling practices are common in several developing countries, where recycling methods are rudimentary, and a significant proportion of e-waste components ends up in unsanitary (uncontrolled) landfill and open dump sites. To address these issues, this paper aims to introduce a systematic approach to e-waste management; a process termed integrated e-waste management (IEWM) is a theoretically viable technique in which municipal solid waste and e-waste management systems are managed. This is possible because both systems share common waste fractions and treatment and disposal technologies. Therefore, integrated e-waste management represents an advance in the controlled disposal of e-waste and improvements in local environments and public health in developing countries. This study employs a systematic approach that combines field trip work, systematic literature review, and quantitative data analysis to propose a solution that can bring benefits in the short, medium and long-term. The study proposes the hypothesis that an integrated approach can improve e-waste handling in developing countries by addressing region-specific issues simultaneously. This study considers the technical aspects of implementing an integrated approach and, by comparing these aspects against more traditional, widely practiced approaches.
This study aims to evaluate the environmental impacts and benefits of state-of-the-art technologies for proper e-waste handling using Jordan as a case study. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was employed to evaluate five advanced management systems represent state-of-the-art treatment technologies, including sanitary landfilling; proper recycling of metals, materials, and precious metals (PMs); and incineration of plastic and the hazardous portion of printed circuit boards (PCBs). Six e-waste products that contribute the most to the e-waste in Jordan were included in the assessment of each scenario, which resulted in 30 total cases of e-waste management. The findings indicated that landfills for the entire components of the e-waste stream are the worst option and should be avoided. The most promising e-waste management scenario features integrated e-waste processes based on the concept of Integrated Waste Management (IWM), including recycling materials such as non-PMs and PMs, incinerating plastic and the hazardous content of PCBs using the energy recovered from incineration, and using sanitary landfills of residues. For this scenario, the best environmental performance was obtained for the treatment of mobile phones. Incineration of the portion of hazardous waste using energy recovery is an option that deserves attention. Because scenario implementation depends on more than just the environmental benefits (e.g., economic cost and technical aspects), the study proposes a systematic approach founded on the IWM concept for e-waste management scenario selection.
This study aims to estimate the emissions and evaluate the environmental impacts from the production of rare earth elements (REEs). The life cycle assessment method was used to evaluate the environmental load from the production of each metal. To understand the environmental impacts of REEs production, they were compared with the impacts from the production of base metals and precious metals. The findings of this study should present a scientific baseline for the environmental profile for producing these REEs, which might help lessen their impacts and improve production processes and technologies.
We aim in this paper to address the sustainability challenge of how an integrated approach can lead to figuring out solutions to complex issues for modern societies. We reviewed papers related to integrated water resource management (IWRM) and integrated solid waste management (ISWM) to advocate some innovative concepts and methodologies of sustainability science. An investigation of the concepts of IWRM and ISWM over various sustainability science research clusters and dimensions is presented. Water resource management projects at different scales and across various geographical boundaries are reviewed to understand the IWRM approach. The ISWM approach is discussed with regard to research topics and methodologies from selected case studies in developed and developing countries. We sought to look at various definitions, the integrated elements, and the similarities and differences between the two approaches. We also present our definitions for each approach. Our findings show how integrated thinking can help in achieving sustainable development. Finally, we present our recommendations for possible implications to the integrated approach in order to accelerate the process of sustainable development.
This paper examined pros and cons of five methods of estimating generation of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). The study considered WEEE generated from the household sector and aimed at discussing the applicability of the methods to developing countries. For this purpose, Jordan was used as a case study in the Middle East and the North Africa (MENA) region. The total and individual amounts of six types of WEEE generated in Jordan, including both firsthand and secondhand were estimated. The Consumption and Use (C&U) method, which has been widely employed in developing countries because parameters needed are a few and easy to obtain, was modified. The modifications addressed its drawback in which it underestimates the amounts of WEEE. The study showed that most of the compared methods provided similar estimates of the total WEEE amounts but dissimilar results for each appliance. Each method has to be applied with careful consideration of the market conditions (e.g. saturated or unsaturated). For instance, the original C&U method can be applied to a condition of a fully saturated market. Here, the method’s assumption is each household owns, at least, one appliance shared by the household members. The Simple Delay method can be applied to a fully saturated market, where the Time Step and the Mass Balance methods apply to both saturated and unsaturated markets. The Approximation 2 method overestimates the amount of WEEE, but its suitability is for a fully saturated market.
Municipal solid waste management (MSWM) is considered one of the challenging environmental problems in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Municipal solid waste increased significantly due to rapid population growth and fast urbanization, change in lifestyles and consumption patterns. Major problems associated with MSWM are poor collection rates, open dumping, and improper recycling that pose environmental damages. An environmental impact analysis of Jordan’s MSWM was required to look into opportunities for bringing in an integrated solid waste management (ISWM). In this paper, we analyzed the country’s MSWM as a case study in the MENA region. Our goal was to identify the most environmentally-friendly and economically-viable alternative to the current situation. Based on the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), we evaluated the potential environmental and economic impacts of 10 MSWM scenarios adopting different waste treatment technologies. Indicators of the environmental performance used were four impact categories of EDIP 2003 assessment method: Climate Change (GWP 100a), Acidification Potential, Eutrophication Potential and Human Toxicity. The results showed that improving the current MSWM with 72% of sanitary landfills with energy recovery and 28% of dry recyclable materials was the best scenario in terms of environmental impacts and economic cost. The cost recovery of this scenario was 155% compared to an average of 55.5% of the current cost recovery. The study also revealed that the materials recycled could be increased by 33.5% if the waste separation was applied at the source of generation.
E-waste (also known as Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment; WEEE) is one of the fastest-growing waste streams worldwide. Given this rapid growth, major issues related to e-waste are a serious concern: (i) increasing amounts of e-waste pose detrimental effects to the environment and public health through improper recycling and final disposal, (ii) practices of informal recycling in developing countries are common, and recycling methods are rudimentary, and (iii) a significant portion of e-waste components ends up in unsanitary (uncontrolled) landfill and open dump sites. To address these issues, this dissertation sets the following objective: to evaluate the environmental impacts of the current improper e-waste management practices in developing countries in comparison with state-of-the-art technologies that can replace the existing inappropriate practices. To achieve the objective, this dissertation introduced a systematic approach in the Jordanian context to propose an integrated approach to e-waste management, IEWM (Integrated E-waste Management).
This dissertation comprises six chapters. In Chapter 1, e-waste management issues and related studies in developing countries and Jordan were reviewed, the research problem and research gaps were explained. Based on the problem statement, a systematic approach was designed to address the e-waste management related issues. In Chapter 2, the concept of Integrated Waste Management (IWM) was reviewed as a starting point for discussing proper waste management because it can contribute to figure out solutions to complex e-waste management issues. Therefore, seven topics related to IWM were discussed: (1) the emergence of the concept, (2) the definition of the concept, (3) harmonization of the concept with the waste management hierarchy, (4) planning for an adequate IWM system, (5) implementation of the concept in both developed and developing countries, (6) a comparison between the conventional approach and the integrated one, and (7) the analytical methods employed for planning and assessing IWM systems. Based on the discussions in Chapter 2, a definition and aims of IEWM approach in this dissertation were proposed, and the IEWM approach was introduced. IEWM suggested, the integration between both Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) and e-waste management systems is theoretically possible. That is because both systems share common waste fractions and treatment and disposal technologies.
The proposed IEWM suggested utilization for a suitable e-waste estimation method that is appropriate for developing countries as a first step. Therefore, in Chapter 3, pros and cons of five methods of estimating e-waste used in developing countries were examined, and applicability of these methods was discussed. Then, total and individual amounts of six appliances generated in Jordan, including both firsthand and secondhand of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE), were estimated. Due to limited data availability in developing countries, the Consumption and Use (C&U) method has been widely employed for e-waste estimates. It was modified for its wider utilization for developing countries.
In Chapter 4, the concept of the IWM was applied to design nine Municipal Solid Waste Management (MSWM) alternatives for Jordan. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) method was employed to evaluate the environmental impacts of the alternative systems, and they were discussed in comparison with the present system. The economic cost of the alternatives was also estimated. The goal was to identify the most environmentally-friendly and economically-viable alternative. The evaluations of MSWM was a necessity as a second step suggested by IEWM. That was because (i) e-waste stream in most of the developing countries is mixed with the MSW, and (ii) it is advantageous to utilize existing MSWM infrastructure. The results of Chapter 4 indicated that the scenario which utilizes the maximum theoretical recycling rate with waste separation at Material Recycling Facility (MFA), and sanitary landfilling of the remaining waste with energy recovery is the best regarding the environmental impacts and the cost. These results were employed for developing and evaluating e-waste management scenarios in Chapter 5.
The last step of the suggested IEWM approach is to estimate and evaluate emissions of e-waste practiced in the present situation in comparison with advanced management options. Thus, in Chapter 5, six scenarios for six EEE of e-waste handling were evaluated in relation to the present situation. These scenarios comprise three advanced technologies: recycling of materials, metals, precious metals, and incineration of plastic and hazardous waste, and sanitary landfill of the remaining waste. The scenarios were assessed for their potential to supplant the existing improper practices. The results of Chapter 5 showed that the best IEWM scenario was the one that features recycling of materials, precious and non-precious metals with a Material Recycling Facility (MRF) used for waste separation. Such a scenario also features incineration of plastic and Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs), and sanitary landfill of MSW and e-waste residues with the energy recovered from incineration and landfilling. This evaluation was based on a semi-arid to arid climate conditions as seen in Jordan.
Chapter 6 provides the conclusions of this dissertation, its limitations, and the future studies. Overall, the results showed that the environmental impacts of e-waste are significantly high in the present situation. Among 70 examined cases for e-waste management for six EEE (mobile phone, laptop, CRT TV, LCD TV, washing machine, and refrigerator), the study concluded that the integrated technologies that should be paid attention are: recycling with an appropriate proportion of materials, metals (precious and non-precious) with waste separation of MSW at MRFs. Such technologies also include sanitary landfill of the MSW with energy recovered with a proper recovery efficiency. These technologies benefit for reduction of the environmental impacts. The results also indicated that composting or biogasification or both of the organic fraction of MSW are promising technologies for an IEWM system. Incineration of a burnable waste of the MSW stream is a technology that should also be paid attention in developing countries for an IEWM system with a proper efficiency of energy recovery. It notably minimizes the environmental impacts for an IEWM system. However, implementing an incineration technology would lead to increased cost of the overall system.
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