Multi-stakeholder Multi-criteria Decision-Making Framework for Sustainability Prioritization: Investigation of the Processes for Sludge-to-Wealth

Part of the SpringerBriefs in Applied Sciences and Technology book series (BRIEFSAPPLSCIENCES)


The treatment of sewage sludge has been a great challenge of many counties. This study aims at developing a generic multi-stakeholder multi-criteria decision making framework for sustainability assessment and prioritization of the pathways for sludge recycling. Multi-stakeholder intuitionistic fuzzy analytic hierarchy process (AHP) method which allows multiple groups of stakeholders to participate in the determination of the weights of the evaluation criteria was developed. Multi-stakeholder intuitionistic fuzzy grey relational analysis (GRA) method was proposed to rank the alternative processes for converting sludge to energy or resources. Four pathways for sludge treatment including sludge for landscaping, sludge for landfilling, sludge for incineration, and sludge for cement production were studied, and this method enables the decision-makers to know the integrated priorities of the processes for sludge treatment. Sludge for landscaping has been recognized as the most sustainable pathway for sludge treatment, follows by sludge for landfilling, sludge for cement production (A4), and sludge for incineration. The results were validated by the sum weighted method, and sensitivity analysis was also carried to investigate the effects of the weights on the final sustainability ranking.



This study was financially supported by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council for Early Career Scheme (Grant No. 25208118).


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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Industrial and Systems EngineeringHong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHong Kong SARChina

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