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Recycling and life cycle assessment

Photo: COWI
Life cycle assessments and economic and socio-economic analysis techniques among others are very important in ensuring sound decision-making for public and private investments in waste management systems.

COWI has successfully applied a number of recognised Life cycle analysis (LCA) tools like EaseWaste, GaBi and SigmaPro when analysing impacts on the environment and on the climate from different waste management scenarios, including alternative solutions for selected wastes and substances.

Different analysis techniquesCOWI uses LCA on many different assignments while at the same time applying different analysis techniques including economic and socio-economic analysis to establish a robust and broad basis for decision making for politicians, plant owners or other stakeholders prior to substantial investments or reinvestments.

Resources and recycling
These analysis tools are also applied when assessing environmental impacts from specific recycling solutions like waste collection systems, where the objective is to assess the effect of increased recycling in terms of increased transportation and operation of new container systems.

It is often necessary to supplement assessments of the direct environmental impacts of the recycling schemes with specific resource calculations, especially relating to limited natural resources like phosphor and other rare metals.

Cradle to cradle analysis


Our certified cradle to cradle consultants carry out resource based assessments within the particular C2C analysis framework.

Waste minimisation
Waste minimisation at source is most efficient. Additional waste minimisation is often difficult, but with a focussed approach it is possible to minimise waste e.g. by applying the C2C principles.

COWI has much experience in implementing focussed waste minimisation schemes like source separation and in finding new ways of minimising waste.

LAST UPDATED: 26.01.2016