LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT OF COMPOSTING - A CHALLENGE

Biogenous wastes are, irrespective of their origin,(municipal garden, kitchen and food waste; waste from food production or from agriculture and forestry) of particular interest in the field of waste management, due to the considerable quantities involved, composition and quality. On the one hand recyclable biogenous residues are a resource with high nutrient contents, whilst on the other the degradation and conversion of organic matter is detrimental in increasing the greenhouse effect due to the production of greenhouse gases such as methane or nitrous oxide. In waste management separate collection and composting of biogenous waste is considered a useful option. In addition, anaerobic digestion or incineration of biowaste are common treatment possibilities.

Separate collection and composting is one of several options available for the treatment of biogenous waste. The potential benefits of compost are well recognised, culminating in the most sustainable solution of closing of the cycle. On the other hand it is difficult to quantify these benefits, seeming furthermore even more difficult to translate the benefits into conventional usage in assessment methodologies such as Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The reason underlying this difficulty is due to the fact that benefits have to be translated into LCA-impact categories such as GWP, Eutrophication, or Ecotoxicity, meaning that they have to be reported as gaseous emissions or water pollution. The present paper is based on an extended review of literature, providing an updated overview of existing studies. Moreover the paper provides further insight into open questions and possible solutions for this issue.



Copyright: © IWWG International Waste Working Group
Quelle: Specialized Session D (Oktober 2007)
Seiten: 10
Preis inkl. MwSt.: € 10,00
Autor: Dipl.-Ing. Gudrun Obersteiner
Dipl.-Ing. Roland Linzner

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