Life cycle assessment for municipal solid waste management: a case study from Ahvaz, Iran

  • Mohammad Amin Zarea
  • Hadi Moazed
  • Mehdi Ahmadmoazzam
  • Sajede Malekghasemi
  • Neemat JaafarzadehEmail author


This study assessed the available status of waste management system in Ahvaz and its impact on the environment, as well as seven other scenarios in order to quantitatively calculate potential environmental impacts by utilizing the life cycle assessment (LCA) method. These scenarios were as follows: scenario 1: landfilling without biogas collection; scenario 2: landfilling with biogas collection; scenario 3: composting and landfilling without biogas collection; scenario 4: recycling and composting; scenario 5: composting and incineration; scenario 6: anaerobic digestion, recycling, and landfilling; scenario 7: anaerobic digestion and incineration. Emissions were calculated by the integrated waste management (IWM) model and classified into five impact categories: resource consumption, global warming, acidification potential, photochemical oxidation, and eco-toxicity. In terms of resource consumption and the depletion of non-renewable resources, the third scenario showed the worst performance due to its lack of any recycling, energy recovery, and conversion to energy. In terms of greenhouse gas emissions and the effect on global warming, scenario 1 and scenario 2 showed that disposing the whole amount of waste resulted in the most amount of greenhouse gases produced. Moreover, 50% gas and energy recovery from landfills, in comparison with the non-recovery method, reduced the index of global warming by 12%. Finally, scenarios which were based on producing energy from waste showed a reasonably positive performance in terms of greenhouse gases emissions and the influence on global warming.


Life cycle assessment Municipal solid waste Waste management Ahvaz city 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. Abduli, M., Naghib, A., Yonesi, M., & Akbari, A. (2011). Life cycle assessment (LCA) of solid waste management strategies in Tehran: landfill and composting plus landfill. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 178(1–4), 487–498.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ahamed, A., Yin, K., Ng, B. J. H., Ren, F., Chang, V.-C., & Wang, J.-Y. (2016). Life cycle assessment of the present and proposed food waste management technologies from environmental and economic impact perspectives. Journal of Cleaner Production, 131, 607–614.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Amin, M. M., & Moazzam, M. M. A. (2016). Use of a UV/H2O2 process for posttreatment of a biologically treated composting leachate. Turkish Journal of Engineering and Environmental Sciences, 38(3), 404–410.Google Scholar
  4. Arena, U., Mastellone, M. L., & Perugini, F. (2003). The environmental performance of alternative solid waste management options: a life cycle assessment study. Chemical Engineering Journal, 96(1), 207–222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Astrup, T. F., Tonini, D., Turconi, R., & Boldrin, A. (2015). Life cycle assessment of thermal waste-to-energy technologies: review and recommendations. Waste Management, 37, 104–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Banar, M., Cokaygil, Z., & Ozkan, A. (2009). Life cycle assessment of solid waste management options for Eskisehir, Turkey. Waste Management, 29(1), 54–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Barton, J., Dalley, D., & Patel, V. (1996). Life cycle assessment for waste management. Waste Management, 16(1), 35–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Beylot, A., Hochar, A., Michel, P., Descat, M., Ménard, Y., & Villeneuve, J. (2018). Municipal solid waste incineration in France: an overview of air pollution control techniques, emissions, and energy efficiency. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 22(5), 1016–1026.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bosmans, A., Vanderreydt, I., Geysen, D., & Helsen, L. (2013). The crucial role of waste-to-energy technologies in enhanced landfill mining: a technology review. Journal of Cleaner Production, 55, 10–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Brunner, P. H., & Rechberger, H. (2015). Waste to energy–key element for sustainable waste management. Waste Management, 37, 3–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bueno, G., Latasa, I., & Lozano, P. (2015). Comparative LCA of two approaches with different emphasis on energy or material recovery for a municipal solid waste management system in Gipuzkoa. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 51, 449–459.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Coelho, L. M. G., & Lange, L. C. (2018). Applying life cycle assessment to support environmentally sustainable waste management strategies in Brazil. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 128, 438–450.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cucchiella, F., D’Adamo, I., & Gastaldi, M. (2017). Sustainable waste management: waste to energy plant as an alternative to landfill. Energy Conversion and Management, 131, 18–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Das, S., & Bhattacharyya, B. K. (2015). Optimization of municipal solid waste collection and transportation routes. Waste Management, 43, 9–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dong, J., Chi, Y., Zou, D., Fu, C., Huang, Q., & Ni, M. (2014). Energy–environment–economy assessment of waste management systems from a life cycle perspective: model development and case study. Applied Energy, 114, 400–408. Scholar
  16. Eriksson, O., Reich, M. C., Frostell, B., Björklund, A., Assefa, G., Sundqvist, J.-O., et al. (2005). Municipal solid waste management from a systems perspective. Journal of Cleaner Production, 13(3), 241–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Fernández-Nava, Y., Del Rio, J., Rodríguez-Iglesias, J., Castrillón, L., & Marañón, E. (2014). Life cycle assessment of different municipal solid waste management options: a case study of Asturias (Spain). Journal of Cleaner Production, 81, 178–189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Fikri, E., Purwanto, P., & Sunoko, H. R. (2016). Life cycle assessment of household hazardous waste management options for Semarang City, Indonesia. International Journal of Environment and Waste Management, 17(2), 146–157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Guerrero, L. A., Maas, G., & Hogland, W. (2013). Solid waste management challenges for cities in developing countries. Waste Management, 33(1), 220–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Haupt, M., Kägi, T., & Hellweg, S. (2018). Modular life cycle assessment of municipal solid waste management. Waste Management, 79, 815–827.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. He, J., & Lin, B. (2019). Assessment of waste incineration power with considerations of subsidies and emissions in China. Energy Policy, 126, 190–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Henriksen, T., Astrup, T. F., & Damgaard, A. (2018). Linking data choices and context specificity in life cycle assessment of waste treatment technologies: a landfill case study. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 22(5), 1039–1049.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ibáñez-Forés, V., Bovea, M. D., Coutinho-Nóbrega, C., de Medeiros-García, H. R., & Barreto-Lins, R. (2018). Temporal evolution of the environmental performance of implementing selective collection in municipal waste management systems in developing countries: a Brazilian case study. Waste Management, 72, 65–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Jain, S., Jain, S., Wolf, I. T., Lee, J., & Tong, Y. W. (2015). A comprehensive review on operating parameters and different pretreatment methodologies for anaerobic digestion of municipal solid waste. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 52, 142–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Jeswani, H., & Azapagic, A. (2016). Assessing the environmental sustainability of energy recovery from municipal solid waste in the UK. Waste Management, 50, 346–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Karamouz, M., Zahraie, B., Kerachian, R., Jaafarzadeh, N., & Mahjouri, N. (2007). Developing a master plan for hospital solid waste management: a case study. Waste Management, 27(5), 626–638.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Khoo, H. H., Tan, L. L., & Tan, R. B. (2012). Projecting the environmental profile of Singapore’s landfill activities: comparisons of present and future scenarios based on LCA. Waste Management, 32(5), 890–900.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Laurent, A., Bakas, I., Clavreul, J., Bernstad, A., Niero, M., Gentil, E., Hauschild, M. Z., & Christensen, T. H. (2014). Review of LCA studies of solid waste management systems–part I: lessons learned and perspectives. Waste Management, 34(3), 573–588.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Marshall, R. E., & Farahbakhsh, K. (2013). Systems approaches to integrated solid waste management in developing countries. Waste Management, 33(4), 988–1003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Mavrotas, G., Gakis, N., Skoulaxinou, S., Katsouros, V., & Georgopoulou, E. (2015). Municipal solid waste management and energy production: consideration of external cost through multi-objective optimization and its effect on waste-to-energy solutions. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 51, 1205–1222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Memon, F., Zheng, Z., Butler, D., Shirley-Smith, C., Lui, S., Makropoulos, C., et al. (2007). Life cycle impact assessment of greywater recycling technologies for new developments. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 129(1–3), 27–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Nabavi-Pelesaraei, A., Bayat, R., Hosseinzadeh-Bandbafha, H., Afrasyabi, H., & Chau, K.-w. (2017). Modeling of energy consumption and environmental life cycle assessment for incineration and landfill systems of municipal solid waste management-a case study in Tehran Metropolis of Iran. Journal of Cleaner Production, 148, 427–440.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Obersteiner, G., Binner, E., Mostbauer, P., & Salhofer, S. (2007). Landfill modelling in LCA–a contribution based on empirical data. Waste Management, 27(8), S58–S74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Pan, S.-Y., Du, M. A., Huang, I.-T., Liu, I.-H., Chang, E., & Chiang, P.-C. (2015). Strategies on implementation of waste-to-energy (WTE) supply chain for circular economy system: a review. Journal of Cleaner Production, 108, 409–421.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Rana, R., Ganguly, R., & Gupta, A. K. (2019). Life-cycle assessment of municipal solid-waste management strategies in Tricity region of India. Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management, 1–18.Google Scholar
  36. Roumak, V. S., Levenkova, E. S., Umnova, N. V., Popov, V. S., Turbabina, K. A., & Shelepchikov, A. A. (2018). The content of dioxins and furans in soils, bottom sediments of water bodies, and tissues of small mammals near the landfill site with municipal solid wastes (Moscow, Russia). Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 25(29), 29379–29386.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Tan, S., Hashim, H., Lee, C., Taib, M. R., & Yan, J. (2014). Economical and environmental impact of waste-to-energy (WTE) alternatives for waste incineration, landfill and anaerobic digestion. Energy Procedia, 61, 704–708.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Thanh, N. P., & Matsui, Y. (2013). Assessment of potential impacts of municipal solid waste treatment alternatives by using life cycle approach: a case study in Vietnam. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 185(10), 7993–8004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Tian, H., Gao, J., Hao, J., Lu, L., Zhu, C., & Qiu, P. (2013). Atmospheric pollution problems and control proposals associated with solid waste management in China: a review. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 252, 142–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Tong, H., Shen, Y., Zhang, J., Wang, C.-H., Ge, T. S., & Tong, Y. W. (2018). A comparative life cycle assessment on four waste-to-energy scenarios for food waste generated in eateries. Applied Energy, 225, 1143–1157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Tozlu, A., Özahi, E., & Abuşoğlu, A. (2016). Waste to energy technologies for municipal solid waste management in Gaziantep. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 54, 809–815.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Yay, A. S. E. (2015). Application of life cycle assessment (LCA) for municipal solid waste management: a case study of Sakarya. Journal of Cleaner Production, 94, 284–293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Yi, S., & Jang, Y.-C. (2016). Life cycle assessment of solid refuse fuel production from MSW in Korea. Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management, 1–24.Google Scholar
  44. Zhou, Z., Chi, Y., Dong, J., Tang, Y., & Ni, M. (2019). Model development of sustainability assessment from a life cycle perspective: a case study on waste management systems in China. Journal of Cleaner Production, 210, 1005–1014.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohammad Amin Zarea
    • 1
  • Hadi Moazed
    • 1
  • Mehdi Ahmadmoazzam
    • 2
    • 3
  • Sajede Malekghasemi
    • 4
  • Neemat Jaafarzadeh
    • 2
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Faculty of Water SciencesShahid Chamran University of AhvazAhvazIran
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Health EngineeringAhvaz Jundishapur University of Medical SciencesAhvazIran
  3. 3.Student Research CommitteeAhvaz Jundishapur University of Medical SciencesAhvazIran
  4. 4.Department of Civil EngineeringShahid Bahonar University of KermanKermanIran
  5. 5.Environmental Technologies Research CenterAhvaz Jundishapur University of Medical SciencesAhvazIran

Personalised recommendations