Conference Dates

June 5-10, 2016


Municipal solid waste are mainly composed by carbon-based materials which leaves the households with still in-use lifespans. Many plastic bottles, papers, textiles, cans with tens of lifespan years are commonly found on streets, landfills, lakes, and oceans. A better use of waste products is demanding in a world of increasing competition for (mineral, metallic, and so on) materials and in some cases expected decline of reserves. Recycling is a source of much confusion particularly when comparing its process with manufacturing of new products. Notwithstanding, primary raw materials are became scarce. For this reason the increase demand for secondary raw materials requires a proper understanding of waste flows, recycling and their impacts in the society. Many studies have previous analysed the models of municipal solid waste generation, economic, policy and greenhouse gas mitigation of municipal solid waste technologies. However, a lack of research on carbon flows, stocks of municipal solid waste, secondary raw materials and their sustainability relationship into society are perceived; this is specific importance in cities with relevant share of waste pickers. Overarching aim is the environmental impact assessment and recycling efficiency of recyclable municipal solid waste. In the first part of this article, a systemic and conceptual model based on urban carbon cycle including the carbon stock of municipal waste manage processes such as waste collection, transportation, treatment and disposal is described. Moreover, the model takes into account three possibilities of recycling (primary, secondary and tertiary). In the second part, the current carbon cycling of municipal solid waste management system and five different type of plastic flows (polyethylene terephthalate, high-density polyethylene, low-density polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene) are analysed using a Belo Horizonte city (Brazil) case study. Belo Horizonte is known by the informal recycling sector integration system where waste pickers are responsible for largest part of urban recycling. The results indicate the landfill formed the largest carbon stocks. The influence of secondary polyethylene terephthalate reduce of 12 per cent of the environmental impact. Polystyrene presented a negative recycling efficiency and negative attraction for waste picker’s commercialization.

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Engineering Commons