Title: Improving the environmental performance of Bio-Waste management with Life Cycle Thinking (LCT) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
Authors: MANFREDI SIMONEPANT Rana
Citation: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT vol. 18 no. 1 p. 285–291
Publisher: SPRINGER HEIDELBERG
Publication Year: 2013
JRC N°: JRC66446
ISSN: 0948-3349
URI: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11367-012-0497-5
http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC66446
DOI: 10.1007/s11367-012-0497-5
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Globally, many countries worldwide aim at increasing the environmental sustainability of waste management activities. Special attention is devoted to bio-waste, as its improper handling may have severe environmental consequences. In particular, most waste management strategies should encourage diverting bio-waste away from landfills to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and leachate. The European Waste Framework Directive (WFD – 2008/98/EC) defines bio-waste as “biodegradable garden and park waste, food and kitchen waste from households, restaurants, caterers and retail premises and comparable waste from food processing plants”. Bio-waste should not be confused with the wider term “biodegradable waste”, which covers also other biodegradable materials such as wood, paper and cardboard. In Europe, landfilling of untreated bio-waste is being progressively reduced to meet the requirements set by the Landfill Directive (1999/31/EC). Other options for bio-waste management are then prioritized (e.g. biological treatment), inline with the so-called “waste hierarchy”, the legally binding priority order for waste management established by the Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC). However, following the waste hierarchy may not always lead to the identification of the most environmentally sound option, and new approaches are thus needed for a more differentiated and science based support to decision-making for bio-waste management. For this purpose, the Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES) of Joint Research Centre (JRC) has developed guidelines that provide environmentally sound support to decision-making and policy-making for bio-waste management using Life Cycle Thinking (LCT) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The methodological approach developed in the JRC guidelines is presented and contextualized in this paper. Although the findings presented in this paper refer to the European context, their appropriateness extends far outside Europe and could be used to improve the environmental performance of bio-waste management strategies elsewhere in the world, including developing countries.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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