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A new guiding paradigm for waste disposal

TitleA new guiding paradigm for waste disposal
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsSuter P
Journal TitleEnergy
Keywordsenvironmental impacts, Life cycle assessment, Waste management
AbstractNew situations call for a revision of strategies in the waste recycling and recovery sector. The guidingparadigm is that the evaluation and optimization of strategies ought to be integral, i.e. it ought to incorporateall steps from cradle to grave, all cost components and also to take into account all environmental aspects,as well as resource depletion. Furthermore, all variants of a comparison must have the same output andthe same boundaries in space and time. Total cost (comprising also environmental damage and resourcedepletion) is proposed here as the evaluation function; environmental damage can be made operational bythe DALY concept (Hofstetter P. Perspectives in life cycle impact assessment. Boston: Kluwer Academic,1998) (‘disability adjusted loss of life years’) accounting for the years of life lost due to premature death,to illness or annoyance. The search for optimal strategies in the waste sector evidently requires the solutionof a system with an enormous number of parameters; the method of genetic algorithms may represent asuitable solution paradigm, leading to the result in a reasonable computing time.
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