Environmental Impacts Assessment of Energy Recovery and Landfilling for Managing High Heating Value Components of C&D Waste Using LCA.

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Hossein Abolghasemi, Mohammad Reza Sabour, Ehsan Asnaashari


The construction and demolition (C&D) sector significantly contributes to global waste generation, necessitating effective management strategies for high heating value components like wood, paper, and plastics. This study evaluates the environmental impacts of two waste disposal methods—landfilling and incineration with energy recovery—using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodologies aligned with ISO 14040/44 standards. Data from Tehran's C&D waste composition were utilized, focusing on key impact categories such as climate change, stratospheric ozone depletion, and human toxicity. The ReCiPe and TRACI models were employed for impact assessment. Results indicate that incineration generally has lower climate change impacts due to energy recovery benefits, whereas landfilling shows higher impacts in categories like terrestrial and marine eutrophication due to leachate and landfill gas generation. Sensitivity analysis reveals that transportation distance, material composition, and emission factors significantly influence environmental outcomes, highlighting the need for optimized waste management practices. The study provides robust evidence and policy recommendations for sustainable C&D waste management.

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