New study profiles SWM in Rajkot and GHG emissions

A new study has quantified the environmental impact associated with municipal solid waste management (MSWM) in Rajkot city, India, using the life cycle assessment (LCA). The study found that currently, around 0.2 million tonnes of municipal solid waste (MS) are generated annually in Rajkot city, and non-segregated MSW is preferably sent to open dumping sites. However, 70-80% of the total cost of MSWM was employed in the collection and transportation of waste to a centralized material recovery facility (MRF).

To develop an environmentally sound and economical practice, the research hypothesis focused on the current practice of MSWM. The study examined four integrated scenarios using the LCA: (i) open dumping of MSWM; (ii) a combination of anaerobic digestion (AD), composting, incineration, landfilling without energy recovery, and MRF; (iii) a combination of AD, composting, incineration, landfilling with energy recovery, and MRF; and (iv) a combination of AD, composting, landfilling with energy recovery, and MRF.

The results showed that the environmental impact due to the potential emissions of greenhouse gases of tested scenarios followed the subsequent order: SCI (17600 kg CO2eg) > SC2 (1500 kg CO2eg) >> SC3 (511 kg CO2ed) >>> SC4 (285 kg CO2ew). Based on the results analysis, mandatory source segregation along with decentralized MRF was highly recommended, where waste is converted into secondary resource materials.

The study highlighted the suitability for sustainable management of MSW for middle-income Indian cities and helped to achieve the targets of sustainable development goals. This study provides valuable insights into the importance of environmentally sound and economical practices in the management of municipal solid waste.

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