Comparison of solid waste management scenarios based on life cycle analysis and multi-criteria decision making (Case study: Isfahan city)

Document Type : Regular Paper


Science and Research branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran


Life cycle assessment (LCA) is one of the decision support systems which can be considered for assessing the
different approaches of Waste Management. However, it only considers environmental effects and ignores other
decision making options such as economic and social effects of solid waste management. In this research, we
consider a combination of three decision making options including environmental, economic and social effects to
compare current waste management system to six alternative scenarios for selecting the best scenario of solid
waste management for Isfahan city where a total of approximately 1000 tons/day of waste is generated. SimaPro7
libraries through Eco-Indictor 99 method were used to obtain background data for the life cycle inventory and
assessing mid and end points of environmental impacts. One ton of municipal solid waste of Isfahan was selected
as the functional unit. Output of LCA along Economic and social effects were compared with Technique for Order
Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution method. According to Multi-criteria Decision Making, S5 and S1
(recycling, composting and landfilling) were selected as best scenario in terms of lower environmental impacts
(human health, ecosystem quality and resources) and finance requirements.