Estimation Tool for Greenhouse Gas (GHG) and Black Carbon (BC) Emissions from Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Management in a Life Cycle Perspective

Version: Version III
Data or Tool

In 2011, IGES-Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) Group, in collaboration with local counterparts, conducted capacity building workshops for local governments to promote waste utilisation for climate change mitigation in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Thailand. Also, there was training on estimations of GHG emissions from waste management practices. However, it was difficult for personnel in local authorities since they are not familiar with the complex equations that are used for GHG estimation. Therefore, IGES developed a simple spreadsheet simulation to facilitate the decision-making of local governments on selection of appropriate technology and designing suitable waste management systems for climate change mitigation, as well as to evaluate their achievement/progress on GHG mitigation. In recent years, much attention has been given on BC emissions potentials from waste management activities (e.g. burning of fossil fuel and open burning of waste) as it would contribute as a short-lived climate pollutant (SLCP).
Therefore, version III of the model was developed to quantify both GHG and SLCP (e.g. BC) emissions from individual treatment technologies as well as from integrated systems. Life cycle approach (LCA) has been adapted for developing this simulation. By using this model, the user can see the result of both direct emissions and potential savings. This model can be applicable for countries across the Asia-Pacific region by selecting/entering country-specific or location specific parameters at the desired places.
This simulation consists of ten spreadsheets, which have been defined using the following names: User guidance, Home, Transportation, Mix waste landfilling Composting, Anaerobic Digestion, Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT), Recycling, Incineration and Open burning. Except for the first two sheets (User guidance and Home), users are asked to enter the input data in all the other sheets and select the most appropriate conditions which are aligned with the waste-management practices of their local authority. Therefore, users should provide the required input data for each sheet in order to calculate GHG and BC emissions from different aspects such as transportation, landfilling, composting, anaerobic digestion, MBT, recycling, incineration and open burning as shown in the chart below. If a municipality does not have all these technologies, they can enter the data in the corresponding sheets, specifically on available existing technologies or selected technology to be implemented.