Environmental Systems Analysis of Municipal Solid Waste Management in Chisinau, Moldova
Abstract: The increasing scale of economic activity, i.e. industrialization, urbanization, rising standards ofliving and population growth, has led to a sharp increase in the quantity of waste generated. The environment has a limited capacity for waste assimilation. If too much waste enters the environment rather than being recycled or reused, the assimilative capacity of the environment isput under too much stress to be able to handle the total quantity of waste generated. Nowadays,due to improper treatment, waste management is something that affects people. In the Republicof Moldova handling of all types of waste such as municipal, hazardous, industrial etc. relies onlandfilling only. This thesis is a basis for decision-making for local authorities and is about environmental systems analysis and computer modelling of municipal solid waste management in Chisinau. The ORWARE model was used for systems analysis, aiming to examine the environmental impacts that could be expected from different future alternatives (scenarios) for future municipal solid waste management. By having a strong foundation in life cycle assessment, ORWARE intends to cover the environmental impacts through the entire life cycle of waste management.The model consists of several submodels starting from the generation point; collection,transportation, biological treatment, incineration and final disposal. Moreover, the model comprises material recycling of plastics and cardboard. Different solid waste management scenarios were constructed, simulated and compared with each other. The first scenario was the current waste management in Chisinau that contains only landfilling. Three other scenarios for future waste management in (2020) were constructed and simulated. They took into consideration that a certain amount of materials will be recycled in 2020; consequently the same amount of materials was assumed to be recycled in all future scenarios. The business as usual scenario had as a basis landfilling with greater amount of waste as in the year 2005. The incineration scenario had a mixture of landfilling and incineration with energy recovery. The last scenario, the biological treatment scenario, differed from theincineration scenario in that 25% of the organic waste was treated by anaerobic digestion with biogas production and fertilizer for spreading on arable land. The simulation results show that the incineration and anaerobic digestion scenarios have great environmental advantages over the landfill scenario. Even though only one forth of the organic waste is treated biologically, the last scenario is the most environmentally friendly treatment option. If more organic waste will be separated and treated biologically, the impact will be furtherreduced. Economical aspects were not included in this study, due to limited time but a further analysis of the costs is necessary for a proper decision making.
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