Renewable Energy Systems

2013 Edition
| Editors: Martin Kaltschmitt, Nickolas J. Themelis, Lucien Y. Bronicki, Lennart Söder, Luis A. Vega

Waste Management for Sustainable Society

Reference work entry

Definition of the Subject

The goal of this entry is to establish how an integrated waste management system can be part of the solution to the emerging crises of climate change and inadequate supply of renewable energy for future generations.

Developed and emerging countries societies are consuming natural resources at an increasing rate due to consumer habits and growing population. There is international agreement that a long-term solution to the energy and climate change issues must be a low, or neutral, carbon energy supply. There is no agreement on a solution; however, most discussion focuses on solar or wind energy and even these options are opposed sometimes at a local level. Waste is a resource that, when managed correctly with commercially proven technologies, can also be a sustainable source of renewable energy and contribute to greenhouse gas mitigation.

The waste hierarchy adopted by the European Union [1] and the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) [2] provides a...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1.
    European Parliament; Council of the European Union (2008) Directive 2008/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 November 2008 on waste and repealing certain Directives. J Eur Union L 312/3Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    U.S. EPA (2009) Opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through materials and land management practices. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Solid Waste and Emergency ResponseGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kaufman SM, Themelis NJ (2009) Using a direct method to characterize and measure flows of municipal solid waste in the United States. J Air Waste Manag Assoc 59:1386–1390CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), 1987, Our Common Future, United Nations, New York.
  5. 5.
    European Union (EU) (2002) Decision No 1600/2002/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 July 2002 laying down the Sixth Community Environment Action Programme. Off J Eur Communities L242:1–15Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bahor B, Van Brunt M, Blue K, Stovall J (2009) Integrated waste management as a climate stabilization wedge. Waste Manag Res 27:839–849CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    European Union (EU) Eurostat, Municipal waste generated and treated. Accessed 25 Sept 2011
  8. 8.
    USEPA (2010) Municipal solid waste in the United States: 2009 facts and figures. EPA530-R-10-012. United States Environmental Protection Agency Office of Solid Waste (5306P), Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Arsova L, Van Haaren R, Goldstein N, Kaufman S, Themelis N (2008) 16th Nationwide Survey of MSW Management in the US: The State of Garbage in America. BioCycleGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Van Haaren R, Themelis N, Goldstein N (2010) 17th Nationwide Survey of MSW Management in the US: The State of Garbage in America. BioCycleGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    USEPA (2011) Inventory of U.S. GHG Emissions and Sinks: 1990–2009. USEPAGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Berenyi E (2009) Recycling and waste to energy: are they compatable? 2009 updateGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    European Commission (2006) Integrated pollution prevention and control – reference document on the best available technologies for waste incinerationGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    US EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency) (2006) Waste Reduction Model (WARM). Version 10, November 2009. Accessed 17 June 2011
  15. 15.
    US EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency) (2002) Fact sheet: cutting edge software to cut emissions. Accessed 25 Sept 2011
  16. 16.
    US EPA (2006) Solid waste management and greenhouse gases – a lifecycle assessment of emissions and sinks, 3rd edn. U.S Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Kaufman SM, Krishman N, Themelis N (2010) A screening lifecycle metric to benchmark the sustainability of waste management systems. Environ Sci Technol 44:5949–5955CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (2008) U.S. Energy flowchart 2008. Accessed 25 Sept 2011
  19. 19.
    Pacala S, Socolow R (2004) Stabilization wedges: solving the climate problem for the next 50 years with current technologies. Science 305:968–972CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Shindell DT, Faluvegi G, Koch DM, Schmidt GA, Unger M, Bauer SE (2009) Improved attribution of climate forcing to emissions. Science 326:716–718CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    European Union (EU) (2000) Directive 2000/76/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 December 2000 on the incineration of waste. Off J Eur Communities L332:91–111Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    US EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) (1996) Standards of performance for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills. Fed Regist 49(61):9905–9944Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Council Dircetive 1999/31/EC of 26 April 1999 on the landfill of waste. Official Journal of the European Committee, 16 Jul 1999Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) (2008) Draft update, compilation of air pollutant emission factors, Section 2.4, Municipal Solid Waste Landfills, Oct 2008Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) (2006) An inventory of sources and environmental releases of dioxin-like compounds in the United States for the years 1987, 1995, and 2000. National Center for Environmental Assessment, Washington, DC, EPA/600/P-03/002 F. National Technical Information Service, Springfield.
  26. 26.
    FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) (2002) Landfill fires: their magnitude, characteristics and mitigation. Federal Emergency Management Agency United States Fire Administration National Fire Data Center, May 2002/FA-225Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    US EPA (2006) An inventory of sources and environmental releases of dioxin-like compounds in the United States for the years 1987, 1995, and 2000. US EPA, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Covanta Energy CorporationMorristownUSA