2019-1-18

Carbon footprint assessment for the waste management sector: A comparative analysis of China and Japan

Sun L., Li Z., Fujii M., Hijioka Y., Fujita T

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Carbon footprint assessment for the waste management sector: A comparative analysis of China and Japan

Authors:Sun L., Li Z., Fujii M., Hijioka Y., Fujita T
Year:2018
Journal:Frontiers in Energy, 12 (3), PP 400-410

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Keywords

waste management, waste recycling, carbon footprint, hybrid LCA

Abstract

Waste management is becoming a crucial issue in modern society owing to rapid urbanization and the increasing generation of municipal solid waste (MSW). This paper evaluates the carbon footprint of the waste management sector to identify direct and indirect carbon emissions, waste recycling carbon emission using a hybrid life cycle assessment and input-output analysis. China and Japan was selected as case study areas to highlight the effects of different industries on waste management. The results show that the life cycle carbon footprints for waste treatment are 59.01 million tons in China and 7.01 million tons in Japan. The gap between these footprints is caused by the different waste management systems and treatment processes used in the two countries. For indirect carbon footprints, China’s material carbon footprint and depreciation carbon footprint are much higher than those of Japan, whereas the purchased electricity and heat carbon footprint in China is half that of Japan. China and Japan have similar direct energy consumption carbon footprints. However, CO2 emissions from MSW treatment processes in China (46.46 million tons) is significantly higher than that in Japan (2.72 million tons). The corresponding effects of waste recycling on CO2 emission reductions are considerable, up to 181.37 million tons for China and 96.76 million tons for Japan. Besides, measures were further proposed for optimizing waste management systems in the two countries. In addition, it is argued that the advanced experience that developed countries have in waste management issues can provide scientific support for waste treatment in developing countries such as China.

Figure 1 Life cycle carbon footprint of waste management sector
Figure 1 Life cycle carbon footprint of waste management sector
Figure 2 Carbon footprint of each phase of the waste management sector in China and Japan
Figure 2 Carbon footprint of each phase of the waste management sector in China and Japan

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