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Integrated solid waste management: A life cycle inventory

The first edition proposed a vision of IWM, and the use of tools such as LCI to provide a way to assess the environmental and economic performance of waste systems. We now see actual examples of IWM systems on the ground, and published accounts of how LCI models for solid waste have been applied. This seemed a good time, therefore, to stop and take stock of what has been achieved, and to draw out the lessons learned. For that reason, a significant part of this edition focuses on case studies – both of IWM systems, and of where LCI has been used to assess such systems.

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The second reason for a new edition was to provide a more user-friendly model (IWM-2) for waste managers. The feedback we received from readers of the first edition was that while the book effectively conveyed the concepts of IWM and the application of LCI to solid waste, only computer experts felt comfortable with the spreadsheet tool provided. To make the tool more widely accessible, this edition provides a new tool in Windows format, with greatly improved input and output features, and the ability to compare different scenarios. A significant part of this edition provides a detailed user’s guide, to take the reader through the use of the IWM-2 model, step by step.

Finally, the whole field of LCI has progressed over the past 5 years, with the acceptance of ISO standards (14040 Series on Environmental Management) which stress the need for transparency. The new model, IWM-2, presented here allows for total transparency as to how it calculates results, and as to the sources of data used.