Main content area

A novel software for optimizing emissions and carbon credit from solid waste and wastewater management

Maalouf, Amani, El-Fadel, Mutasem
The Science of the total environment 2020 v.714 pp. 136736
Monte Carlo method, biological treatment, carbon markets, computer software, cost effectiveness, decision support systems, ecological value, economic sustainability, emissions, energy recovery, food waste, management systems, models, policy analysis, recycling, solid wastes, wastewater, wastewater treatment
A novel model/software that assesses emissions from integrated solid waste and wastewater, SWW, management systems is presented. The main objective of SWW is to optimize emissions and carbon credit of complex systems. Besides its general applicability, the software covers the lack of available tools applicable in the context of developing economies. It uses carbon credit as a measure of environmental valuation and provides a user-friendly platform supported with several tools for technical, economic, and policy analysis as well as optimization towards minimal total emissions or costs. Finally, it encompasses a sensitivity analysis with a built-in Monte Carlo simulation to check on the variability in emissions by varying key parameters. The model/software interface was tested in the context of developed and developing economies. The results showed that best practices through material recycling, biological treatment, food waste diverted and/or energy recovery can lead to substantial savings in emissions reaching 96% (under a developing economy) and 93% (under a developed economy), with cost savings (including carbon credit) reaching 26% (under a developing economy) and 4% (under a developed economy), depending on the system. In closure, the results demonstrated the model applicability as a credible decision-making tool to define economically viable management alternatives with minimal environmental externalities and optimal carbon credit.