This study focuses on the application of the environmental part of the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach to identify the best alternative among four solutions representing different integrated management systems for the treatment of municipal solid waste (MSW) fluxes. The comparison between the results is made in terms of the human toxicity potentials, with respect to other treatments, including mechanical-biological treatments (MBTs). However, findings from previous studies highlighted the potential risk deriving from the applications of MBTs in their conventional configurations. It may be important to consider the need for adopting additional methods, such as emission, dispersion and exposure models. These tools can improve the understanding of the potential constraints derived from the choice of an integrated solution for waste management and provide useful insights for the choice of the location of a plant, in order to protect fields, pasture and dwellings from potential contamination of soil, the food chain and air. © 2014 WIT Press.
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