Waste Management & Research, 21(6), p. 535-548 (2003); doi:10.1177/0734242X0302100606
Directive 1994/62 concerning packaging and packaging waste and Directive 1999/31 related to waste disposal will substantially modify the management and treatment of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) in Europe. In this study, a life cycle analysis has been carried out of the different possibilities of managing Municipal Solid Waste in Asturias. The “Integrated Waste Management” (IWM-1) model was employed, analysing the different alternatives for collection and treatment of MSW. This model predicts overall environmental burdens of MSW management systems and includes a parallel economical model. The sources of costs in the different systems of collection and treatment of MSW were considered in the economical analysis, as well as the sources of resource gathering that may be obtained via the sale of recovered materials. What emerges from this study is the soundness of management strategies based on biological treatment technologies in comparison with thermal treatments, together with the need to increase the level of collection at source.