From: Technical University of Madrid
Published July 4, 2017 04:14 PM

How does municipal waste collection affect climate change?

Researchers from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid suggest a new methodology to assess the environmental impact of the containers used for the collection of urban waste.

An inappropriate design of a container system might unnecessarily aggravate the impact on environment when collecting and transporting the urban waste. This is the major conclusion of a team of researchers from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid after carrying out a systematic evaluation process of the urban containerization system.

The developed procedure, which can be extrapolated to other cities and areas, allows us to assess the existing differences among the administrative units in which a territory is divided, to detect anomalies and suggest corrective measures to minimize the impact on environment when collecting urban waste.

Municipal solid waste (MSW) management includes the following stages: collection, transport and treatment. They involve various technical operations that depend on the existence of selective collection systems for the different fractions, which are usually packaging, organic waste, glass, paper/cardboard and mixed waste. Each of these stages has environmental impacts stemming from the use of bags to hold the waste generated by residents in their homes, from the containers placed in public roads for drop-off, from the use of lorries or systems to transport the waste to the processing point, and from the construction and operation of plants to treat each waste fraction.

Read more at Technical University of Madrid

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