Advanced

Review of LCA studies of solid waste management systems - Part II: Methodological guidance for a better practice.

Laurent, Alexis; Clavreul, Julie; Bernstad, Anna LU ; Bakas, Ioannis; Niero, Monia; Gentil, Emmanuel; Christensen, Thomas H and Hauschild, Michael Z (2014) In Waste Management 34(3). p.589-606
Abstract
Life cycle assessment (LCA) is increasingly used in waste management to identify strategies that prevent or minimise negative impacts on ecosystems, human health or natural resources. However, the quality of the provided support to decision- and policy-makers is strongly dependent on a proper conduct of the LCA. How has LCA been applied until now? Are there any inconsistencies in the past practice? To answer these questions, we draw on a critical review of 222 published LCA studies of solid waste management systems. We analyse the past practice against the ISO standard requirements and the ILCD Handbook guidelines for each major step within the goal definition, scope definition, inventory analysis, impact assessment, and interpretation... (More)
Life cycle assessment (LCA) is increasingly used in waste management to identify strategies that prevent or minimise negative impacts on ecosystems, human health or natural resources. However, the quality of the provided support to decision- and policy-makers is strongly dependent on a proper conduct of the LCA. How has LCA been applied until now? Are there any inconsistencies in the past practice? To answer these questions, we draw on a critical review of 222 published LCA studies of solid waste management systems. We analyse the past practice against the ISO standard requirements and the ILCD Handbook guidelines for each major step within the goal definition, scope definition, inventory analysis, impact assessment, and interpretation phases of the methodology. Results show that malpractices exist in several aspects of the LCA with large differences across studies. Examples are a frequent neglect of the goal definition, a frequent lack of transparency and precision in the definition of the scope of the study, e.g. an unclear delimitation of the system boundaries, a truncated impact coverage, difficulties in capturing influential local specificities such as representative waste compositions into the inventory, and a frequent lack of essential sensitivity and uncertainty analyses. Many of these aspects are important for the reliability of the results. For each of them, we therefore provide detailed recommendations to practitioners of waste management LCAs. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Waste Management
volume
34
issue
3
pages
589 - 606
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • pmid:24388596
  • wos:000332266100003
  • scopus:84893758573
ISSN
1879-2456
DOI
10.1016/j.wasman.2013.12.004
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
b67b9d7f-ef40-4b26-a2b8-c76d45558889 (old id 4292044)
date added to LUP
2014-02-12 09:17:58
date last changed
2017-11-12 03:04:57
@article{b67b9d7f-ef40-4b26-a2b8-c76d45558889,
  abstract     = {Life cycle assessment (LCA) is increasingly used in waste management to identify strategies that prevent or minimise negative impacts on ecosystems, human health or natural resources. However, the quality of the provided support to decision- and policy-makers is strongly dependent on a proper conduct of the LCA. How has LCA been applied until now? Are there any inconsistencies in the past practice? To answer these questions, we draw on a critical review of 222 published LCA studies of solid waste management systems. We analyse the past practice against the ISO standard requirements and the ILCD Handbook guidelines for each major step within the goal definition, scope definition, inventory analysis, impact assessment, and interpretation phases of the methodology. Results show that malpractices exist in several aspects of the LCA with large differences across studies. Examples are a frequent neglect of the goal definition, a frequent lack of transparency and precision in the definition of the scope of the study, e.g. an unclear delimitation of the system boundaries, a truncated impact coverage, difficulties in capturing influential local specificities such as representative waste compositions into the inventory, and a frequent lack of essential sensitivity and uncertainty analyses. Many of these aspects are important for the reliability of the results. For each of them, we therefore provide detailed recommendations to practitioners of waste management LCAs.},
  author       = {Laurent, Alexis and Clavreul, Julie and Bernstad, Anna and Bakas, Ioannis and Niero, Monia and Gentil, Emmanuel and Christensen, Thomas H and Hauschild, Michael Z},
  issn         = {1879-2456},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {589--606},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Waste Management},
  title        = {Review of LCA studies of solid waste management systems - Part II: Methodological guidance for a better practice.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2013.12.004},
  volume       = {34},
  year         = {2014},
}