In this study, the carbon footprint of introducing a food waste disposer (FWD) policy was examined in the context of its implications on solid waste and wastewater management with economic assessment of environmental externalities emphasizing potential carbon credit and increased sludge generation. For this purpose, a model adopting a life cycle inventory approach was developed to integrate solid waste and wastewater management processes under a single framework and test scenarios for a waste with high organic food content typical of developing economies. For such a waste composition, the results show that a FWD policy can reduce emissions by nearly ∼42% depending on market penetration, fraction of food waste ground, as well as solid waste and wastewater management schemes, including potential energy recovery. In comparison to baseline, equivalent economic gains can reach ∼28% when environmental externalities including sludge management and emissions variations are considered. The sensitivity analyses on processes with a wide range in costs showed an equivalent economic impact thus emphasizing the viability of a FWD policy although the variation in the cost of sludge management exhibited a significant impact on savings.
Keywords: Carbon footprint; Food waste disposer; Solid waste; Wastewater and sludge management.
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