Title: Towards more sustainable management of European food waste: methodological approach and numerical applications
Authors: MANFREDI SIMONECRISTOBAL GARCIA JORGE
Citation: WASTE MANAGEMENT & RESEARCH vol. 34 no. 9 p. 957– 968
Publisher: SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD
Publication Year: 2016
JRC N°: JRC98001
ISSN: 0734-242X
URI: http://wmr.sagepub.com/content/34/9/957
http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC98001
DOI: 10.1177/0734242X16652965
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Trying to respond to the latest policy needs, the work presented in this paper aims at developing a life-cycle based framework methodology to quantitatively evaluate the environmental and economic sustainability of European food waste management options. The methodology is structured into six steps aimed at defining boundaries and scope of the evaluation, evaluating environmental and economic impacts and identifying best performing options. The methodology is able to accommodate additional assessment criteria, e.g. the social dimension of sustainability, thus moving towards a comprehensive sustainability assessment framework. A numerical case study is also developed to provide an example of application of the proposed methodology to an average European context. Different options for food waste treatment are compared, including landfilling, composting, anaerobic digestion and incineration. The environmental dimension is evaluated with the Life Cycle Assessment software EASETECH, while the economic assessment is conducted based on different indicators expressing the costs associated with food waste management. Results show that the proposed methodology allows for a straightforward identification of the most sustainable options for food waste. However, it was also observed that results markedly depend on a number of user-defined assumptions related to the way to conduct the evaluation, e.g. on the choice of the indicators to express the environmental and economic performance.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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