What is it about?
This research delves into a comprehensive study of fifteen national-level municipal solid waste (MSW) management schemes in Thailand, focusing on their environmental, economic, and social impacts. These schemes include a business-as-usual (BAU) approach, seven composting-oriented schemes, and seven biogas production-oriented schemes. All of them utilize incinerators and refuse derived fuel (RDF) processing for waste disposal. The environmental impacts and costs are evaluated using the Stepwise2006 model and the ecoinvent database. Economic returns are assessed by calculating the net present value of construction and operational costs. The social impact is measured by examining the affected local communities' perception of waste disposal projects.
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Why is it important?
With global population growth and urbanization, there's been a significant increase in municipal solid waste generation, leading to environmental degradation. In Thailand, where the population is rapidly growing, the issue of waste management has become increasingly important. Sustainable waste management is crucial to minimizing environmental and public health hazards caused by improper waste disposal practices. In developing Asian countries like Thailand, municipal solid waste primarily consists of biodegradable, recyclable, and non-recyclable waste. Proper disposal methods like composting and biogas production are essential for biodegradable waste, while recyclable and non-recyclable waste require distinct treatment processes. To manage waste effectively, a combination of methods that minimize environmental and socio-economic impacts is necessary. This study employs life cycle assessment (LCA) to analyze environmental impacts, net present value (NPV) for economic impact assessment, and social impact evaluation to consider local communities. The research aims to find the most suitable national-level MSW management scheme that takes into account environmental, economic, and social factors. Surprisingly, there have been no comparative studies that evaluate various national-level MSW management schemes while considering all these critical aspects. KEY TAKEAWAY: This study compares fifteen waste management schemes in Thailand, focusing on environmental, economic, and social impacts. It concludes that a composting-incineration-RDF scheme is the most preferable choice for treating biodegradable and combustible waste, providing a more sustainable and balanced approach to waste management.
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This page is a summary of: Comparative analysis of environmental costs, economic return and social impact of national-level municipal solid waste management schemes in Thailand, Journal of Cleaner Production, April 2022, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2022.131017.
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