IEHIAS scenarios: example from waste

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The text on this page is taken from an equivalent page of the IEHIAS-project.

As part of the EU-funded INTARESE project, which contributed to the development of this Toolbox, a case study was carried out in a region of Italy (Lazio) to assess the health impacts associated with the collection, transport and treatment/disposal of municipal wastes.

Three scenarios were developed and assessed: a baseline scenario, and two alternative scenarios representing different management strategies (all summarised below, see also the table).

Baseline scenario

In the baseline scenario (2008) waste collection is performed with highly polluting diesel trucks (Euro 2) using street bins, recycling and composting rates are very low. A total of seven municipal biological plants (MBTs) are operating and two incinerators burn refuse-derived fuel produced in the MBTs; a total of nine landfills are operating where waste disposal occurs mostly without pre-treatment.

Alternative scenario 1: Waste Strategy

The first alternative scenario is taken from the regional waste plan (Waste Strategy) and it considers the period up to 2016 and foresees an increase in recycling and composting rate up to 60%, using door-to-door collection of waste. The strategy is intended to recover the material (especially paper and glass), and to use various mechanical and biological treatment processes to turn mixed wastes into refuse-derived fuel for energy recovery through incineration/gasification. In 2016, only the stabilised organic fraction after composting will reach landfills and only iron and metals will be separated. The increasing recovery of materials will reduce the use of landfills and they will not accept waste without pre-treatment. According to the plan, six new plants for processing waste (2 gasification plants and 6 new MBTs) will be built by 2016, while the number of landfills will remain unchanged.

A 'door-to-door' selective waste collection will be implemented to reduce the unsorted waste production, and to increase the selective waste collection. In terms of waste transportation, special attention will be given to the renewal of the trucks collecting bins with smaller and less polluting vehicles. For example, in the historic centre of the city of Rome waste collection will be performed by electric vehicles, while in the remaining parts of the city both natural gas vehicles and low emission diesel vehicles will be used. For a portion of the city of Rome, waste transportation will be performed by trains from an intermediate station to the final destination.

Waste collection and treatment can have an effect on occupational health and rates injuries on workers. When planning collection systems, special care will thus be taken to avoid heavy lifting and strain from handling containers, as well as the prevention of injuries at incineration, composting or recycling plants.

Alternative scenario 2: Green policy

The second alternative scenario was designed to provide the most sustainable waste management, in which a radical application of the EU waste hierarchy principles of reduction of waste (-15% over baseline) and high recycling/composting rates (70%) and progressive closure of landfills are applied. Waste prevention will be a key factor: if the amount of waste generated in the first place is reduced and sorted in the appropriate way for recycling, then disposing of it will automatically become simpler. As a consequence, in the green scenario there will be a reduction in the number of the operating plants: two incinerators, six landfills and seven MBTs. The criteria for which some plants will be closed are based on the number of people resident nearby, emission levels, and age of the treatment plant. In addition, in the large central area of the city within the railway ring, waste collection and transportation will be performed with electric vehicles.

Key aspects of the Lazio Waste Scenarios
Baseline 2008 Waste strategy 2016 Green policy 2016
waste prevention no reccomended reccomended and enforced (-15% over baseline)
recycling and composting 17,8 % 59,5 % 70 %
waste collection system mostly by bins and trucks both by bins and trucks and "door to door" mostly "door to door"
recycling street collection of glass and paper door to door collection of glass and paper door to door collection of glass and paper, centralised collection at recyclinf centres
vehicle fleet diesel trucks, trains trains. Electric vehicles in the central area (District 1) electric and low emissions vehicles, trains. Electric vehicles in the large central area (Railway ring)
Mechanical Buologican Treatment 30,5 % 100 % 100 %
landfill without pretreatment 69,4 % 0 % 0 %
waste management facilities 2 incinerators, 9 landfills, and 7 MBTs 4 incinerators, 9 landfills, and 13 MBTs 2 incinerators, 6 landfills and 7 MBTs
health program occupational health program improved occupational health program improved occupational health program

See also

Integrated Environmental Health Impact Assessment System
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