Modeling for waste management associated with environmental-impact abatement under uncertainty
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Municipal solid waste (MSW) treatment can generate significant amounts of pollutants, and thus pose a risk on human health. Besides, in MSW management, various uncertainties exist in the related costs, impact factors, and objectives, which can affect the optimization processes and the decision schemes generated. In this study, a life cycle assessment-based interval-parameter programming (LCA-IPP) method is developed for MSW management associated with environmental-impact abatement under uncertainty. The LCA-IPP can effectively examine the environmental consequences based on a number of environmental impact categories (i.e., greenhouse gas equivalent, acid gas emissions, and respiratory inorganics), through analyzing each life cycle stage and/or major contributing process related to various MSW management activities. It can also tackle uncertainties existed in the related costs, impact factors, and objectives and expressed as interval numbers. Then, the LCA-IPP method is applied to MSW management for the City of Beijing, the capital of China, where energy consumptions and six environmental parameters [i.e., CO2, CO, CH4, NOX, SO2, inhalable particle (PM10)] are used as systematic tool to quantify environmental releases in entire life cycle stage of waste collection, transportation, treatment, and disposal of. Results associated with system cost, environmental impact, and the related policy implication are generated and analyzed. Results can help identify desired alternatives for managing MSW flows, which has advantages in providing compromised schemes under an integrated consideration of economic efficiency and environmental impact under uncertainty.
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