Main content area

A technique to quantify incinerability of municipal solid waste

Sebastian, Roshni Mary, Kumar, Dinesh, Alappat, Babu J.
Resources, conservation, and recycling 2019 v.140 pp. 286-296
attitudes and opinions, economic sustainability, energy recovery, environmental impact, experts, multi-criteria decision making, municipal solid waste, China, India, United States
A technique to quantify the incinerability of municipal solid waste (MSW) called incinerability index or i- Index is formulated. Incorporating the 3-E concept (potential environmental impact, energy recovery and economic sustainability), the incinerability can be quantified into a unique number on a scale of 0–100. This helps to assess the feasibility of incineration of MSW and ascertain the sustainability of the waste management scheme. A detailed account of the formulation of i- Index is presented in this article. Being a complex multi-criteria decision-making problem (MCDM), the opinions of more than 200 experts were collected through the different stages of its formulation. The relative weighting of the parameters was determined through the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and normalisation was done using rating curves. Incinerability of the MSW generated in countries belonging to three economic groups, namely, the United States of America (USA), China and India and the i- Index values were subsequently determined, which amounted to 72.38, 62.68 and 41.94 respectively. Being an increasing scale index, a high i-Index value indicates higher incinerability. This also substantiates how the variation in the composition of MSW across different economies affect the incinerability of the MSW.