LCA – Life Cycle Assessment

With the understanding that the management of an integrated waste system is a wicked problem, we will adapt the search for solutions to this characteristics. We also underline that being able to properly describe  a wicked problem is the first step toward the design of solutions.

The description provided in the section Integrated Waste System is important not only to clarify the structure and the complexity of the studied system when considered in its completeness, but also because it provides the basis to correctly apply the  Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of an integrated waste management system.

LCA is a scientific and internationally codified method adequate to support the planning and the assessment of the effectiveness of a waste management system. LCA is envisaged by the Waste Framework  Directive (EU/98/2008, art. 4, p.2) where it states that “when applying the waste hierarchy referred to in paragraph 1, Member States shall take measures to encourage the options that deliver the best overall environmental outcome. This may require specific waste streams departing from the hierarchy where this is justified by life-cycle thinking on the overall impacts of the generation and management of such waste.”

But in the method we propose here, we need to undlerline that one of the tools that should be associated to this scientific evaluation, and should integrate it, is the description of the network of waste actors. In fact, describing the ANT network, its extension, its nodes and the relationships among the humans and non-human actors contributes to the design of the solutions of a wicked problem, because it strengthen the capability to formulate alternative scenarios and support the dialogue.

The intertwining of these two descriptions –  the waste network and the quantitative analysis of management flows – aims at finding a unitary solution to the several faces  of the waste management problem, either the technical and the social ones. How to design effective WM strategies

This article (only as an incomplete version) shows the results of a UK case study, the interesting LCA of a high amount of waste LCA waste management UK case study_partial text