Effective and efficient urban waste management systems (WMSs) are a cornerstone for a sustainable society. Life cycle costing (LCC) provides a useful framework for the joint analysis of economic and environmental impacts of a WMS, by considering both financial and external costs. The present study applies the methodology of societal LCC to the WMS of the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna to provide a case study on how the available information on waste flows and budget costs of a real WMS can be used to obtain an estimate of the total cost of waste management, including externalities. The results evidence that the main source of negative externality in the analyzed WMS is the transportation of waste, with only a minor role of external burdens due to incinerators and landfills. However, the positive externality resulting from recycling more than compensates those impacts, leading to a net external benefit associated to the WMS. The contribution of both uncertain unit external costs and environmental benefits imputable to recycled materials to the overall uncertainty of the result is systematically investigated by parametric uncertainty analysis. The most critical parameters in determining the sensitivity of the result are the monetary values attributed to primary energy consumption and CO2 emissions, together with assumptions on energy savings related to recycling. Eventually, it is shown how the developed LCC model can be used as decision-support tool to preliminarily investigate the implications of alternative management options on the financial and external costs of the WMS.

Assessing the externalities of a waste management system via life cycle costing: The case study of the Emilia-Romagna Region (Italy)

Magrini, Chiara
Primo
;
Dal Pozzo, Alessandro
Secondo
;
Bonoli, Alessandra
Ultimo
2022

Abstract

Effective and efficient urban waste management systems (WMSs) are a cornerstone for a sustainable society. Life cycle costing (LCC) provides a useful framework for the joint analysis of economic and environmental impacts of a WMS, by considering both financial and external costs. The present study applies the methodology of societal LCC to the WMS of the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna to provide a case study on how the available information on waste flows and budget costs of a real WMS can be used to obtain an estimate of the total cost of waste management, including externalities. The results evidence that the main source of negative externality in the analyzed WMS is the transportation of waste, with only a minor role of external burdens due to incinerators and landfills. However, the positive externality resulting from recycling more than compensates those impacts, leading to a net external benefit associated to the WMS. The contribution of both uncertain unit external costs and environmental benefits imputable to recycled materials to the overall uncertainty of the result is systematically investigated by parametric uncertainty analysis. The most critical parameters in determining the sensitivity of the result are the monetary values attributed to primary energy consumption and CO2 emissions, together with assumptions on energy savings related to recycling. Eventually, it is shown how the developed LCC model can be used as decision-support tool to preliminarily investigate the implications of alternative management options on the financial and external costs of the WMS.
Magrini, Chiara; Dal Pozzo, Alessandro; Bonoli, Alessandra
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/841822
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