WTERT-India is co-founded by the National Environmental Engineering Research
Institute (NEERI) and the Earth Engineering Center of Columbia University.
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Methodological framework to assess environmental impacts of various waste management options

The concept of integrated solid waste management (ISWM) systems has gained acceptance. The objective of ISWM is to deal with waste in a way that is environmentally and economically sustainable and socially acceptable. To assess such sustainability, tools that can predict the environmental burdens (both in the short and the long term) and likely overall cost of any system are needed. Life Cycle assessment is an environmental management tool that allows prediction of the environmental burdens associated with a product or service over the whole Life Cycle, from ‘cradle to grave’. However, such tools invariably require a sound methodological framework to assess environmental impacts of various possible options. Formal waste management is relatively a recent development in India and hence first hand data pertaining to possible waste management options is scanty. The current paper attempts to bridge the gap and presents methodology to evaluate the potential environmental impacts (namely global warming, eutrophication, acidification, photo oxidant formation and human toxicological potential impacts) associated with different waste management options using life cycle assessment (LCA) to help ensure sustainable planning of MSW treatment systems in life cycle perspective. The presented methodological framework could be used by Indian municipalities to assess/ gather information on the environmental performance of the various elements of their existing or proposed waste management systems and further take informed decisions regarding actions required using tools such as LCA.

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1. Report of the Task Force on Waste to Energy (Volume I) (In the context of Integrated MSW Management) Click Here
2. Report of the Task Force on Waste to Energy (Volume II) Click Here

3. Energy from Waste – Clean, efficient, renewable: Transitions in combustion efficiency and NOx controlClick Here