Sustainability Analysis of Waste to Energy Strategies for Municipal Solid Waste Treatment

By Cinthia Avila, Karla Cedano and Manuel Martinez.

Published by The International Journal of Environmental Sustainability

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: January 23, 2017 $US5.00

Waste management constitutes a key element of a country’s sustainability. Environmental experts agree that the goals set for the waste utilization rate will never be achieved without energy recovery. Thus, the question is what technology is best for energy generation from waste? In order to answer this question, it is important to establish criteria for measuring the efficiency and sustainability of technological alternatives. The aim of this work is to select the best waste to energy (WtE) alternative within the framework of sustainable development. The methodology is based on a set of indicators that assess WtE, considering the four dimensions of sustainable development outlined by the World Commission on Environment and Development: environmental, economic, social, and institutional. This methodology takes into account each community’s differences by enabling, for each particular context, the construction of specialized sets of indicators. The analytic hierarchy process (AHP) was applied to identify indicators for each context using the experts’ opinion from various fields. This allows for the transparent selection of sustainable alternatives for WtE and contributes to making strategic decisions based on the characteristics of the various possible scenarios.

Keywords: Waste to Energy, Decision-making Analysis, Indicators of Sustainability

The International Journal of Environmental Sustainability, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp.1-14. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: January 23, 2017 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 784.982KB)).

Cinthia Avila

Master's Student, Energy Sustainability, Autonomous University of Mexico State, Cuernavaca, Mexico

Dr. Karla Cedano

Secretary of Technological Management and Liaison, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Temixco, Morelos, Mexico

Dr. Manuel Martinez

Researcher and professor, Instituto de Energías Renovables (IER), Universidad Autonoma de Mexico, Temixco, Morelos, Mexico