Water and Sewage
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Project Summary Project Description Application of Tools Opinion of Tools Decision making process Contact Details

Opinion of tools

Name of the case study
Assessment of organic waste treatment in Denmark.

Name of tool
ORWARE (LCA-analysis for organic waste)

Opinion of tool - argumentation for choosing the tool
ORWARE had been used in a number of cases in Sweden on waste assessment. In Denmark there was no similar tool, being able to make a LCA-based analysis. There is a tool under development (at DTU), but this was not ready to be used at that time.

The selection of tools was made by the Danish EPA

ORWARE has been used for analysis in a number of cases (mainly in Sweden), which is the main reason for choosing this tool. There are similar tools to ORWARE available. EASEWASTE is an LCA-model under development at DTU. "Integrated Solid Waste" is a Norwegian LCA-based approach, but it has not been turned into a calculation tool, or used in any studies to date.

The developer of EASEWASTE would not suspect any major differences in the results if the analysis had been carried out using this model. With EASEWASTE, composting would also not look attractive, as this method of recycling does not produce energy (source: interview with J. Kirkeby).

There are also other tools, based on different rationalities, for instance the "ecological rucksack". According to the EPA, the "ecological rucksack" is not seen as a different approach, but an approach that could provide information for a more detailed LCA-analysis of waste (waste imported and materials imported from outside the EU).

Opinion of tool - barriers for the tool implementation
There was no problem or barrier using ORWARE for the analysis. However, the usability of the analysis can be discussed. This is especially due to the local conditions in the municipalities which might be different that the general assumptions in ORWARE, which deals with general in Danish municipalities.

Name of tool
Socio-economic Assessment of Environmental Products (economic analysis)

Opinion of tool - argumentation for choosing the tool
The selection of tools was made by the Danish EPA

Opinion of tool - barriers for the tool implementation

Opinion of tool - assessment by tool users
It is difficult to predict what the consequences of the analysis will be. It is clear, that the analysis will be received differently according to the local context. However, some municipalities have already changed their waste policies from recycling (anaerobic digestion) to incineration as a result of the investigation. There were no spin-offs or unintended consequences as a result of the tools use.

ORWARE is rather complicated to use (even for PhD students), therefore municipalities will probably not use it in their waste policy. If EASEWASTE is easier to use, it might be used in local waste planning, although it is not developed directly for this purpose. It seems more likely that the tools will be used for general analysis (for instance on a national level or as a part of research projects) and the results will be provided to municipalities who can then act accordingly. There are a number of environmental effects connected with recycling that have not been included in the analysis, but the EPA has estimated that these effects would not affect the results of the analysis.

Lessons learned:
• The results from using new tools breaks with the current understanding of what is the most sustainable solution.
• National analysis (cost-benefit and LCA) does not necessarily correspond with local experiences due to contextual situations.

The EPA expects that this analysis method will also be used in the future, for assessment of other alternatives on environmental policies.

Opinion of tool - reviewer\'s assessment
The analysis is very useful, but has to be seen in relation to the local context (waste treatment management, equipment, political attitudes etc.). Ideally, the analysis should be carried out locally, but this requires much data and resources. The development of EASEWASTE (or other similar tools) might, over time, provide the municipalities with the necessary decision support.

What tools were used to assess sustainability?

ORWARE (LCA-analysis for organic waste)

Socio-economic Assessment of Environmental Products (economic analysis)

More information

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