As they say, one man’s garbage is another man’s treasure. Product end-of-life can be complicated to model, particularly when recycling or reuse is involved. Where does one life end and the other begin? The social aspects of landfill and incinerator location add another dimension to the sustainability of waste management. EarthShift Global has explored many ways of modeling end-of-life and provides clients with a comprehensive understanding of the different perspectives and questions that stakeholders may have:
- What if there is not enough demand for recycled material?
- What if there is too much demand for recycled material?
- What risks and opportunities are there to landfilling? Incineration?
- What can be done to educate the public and minimize the risks around these technologies?
- What is the benefit of a take-back program? Do the transportation impacts outweigh the benefits of reuse/recycling?
We’ve also looked in detail at the different end-of-life options including an in-depth study of the US landfill process that is in the most current release of DataSmart, several pyrolysis studies, gasification, and enzymatic and chemical treatment of waste products to create fuels and other raw materials.
Our LCA Recycling course helps LCA practitioners understand the nuances of modeling recycling and how the model choice drives behavior. We have helped numerous organizations better understand waste management.