Life cycle assessment of municipal solid waste management in Nottingham, England: Past and future perspectives

Dan Wang, Jun He, Yu Ting Tang, David Higgitt, Darren Robinson

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Since the enforcement of the EU Landfill Directive, EU waste directives were successively enforced in EU member states to facilitate the establishment of sustainable MSW management. Various changes have been made in England to reduce the global impact of its MSW management, but the effectiveness of these changes on mitigating the global warming potential (GWP) from MSW management has never been investigated in detail. This study assessed the historical GWP of MSW management in Nottingham throughout the period from April 2001 to March 2017 through life cycle assessment (LCA). The LCA results indicate continuous reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from MSW management during the study period due to improvements in waste collection, treatment and material recycling, as well as waste prevention. These improvements resulted in a net reduction of GHG emission from 1076.0 kg CO2–eq./t of MSW (or 498.2 kg CO2–eq./Ca) in 2001/02 to 211.3 kg CO2–eq./t of MSW (or 76.3 kg CO2–eq./Ca) in 2016/17. A further reduction to −142.3 kg CO2–eq./t of MSW (or −40.2 kg CO2–eq./Ca) could be achieved by separating food waste from incinerated waste, treating organic waste via anaerobic digestion and by pretreating incinerated waste in a material recovery facility.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119636
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • EU waste directives
  • Evolution
  • Global warming potential
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Municipal solid waste
  • Nottingham

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Environmental Science
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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