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Sci Total Environ. 2013 Aug 1;458-460:499-507. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.04.061. Epub 2013 May 19.

Greenhouse gas accounting of the proposed landfill extension and advanced incineration facility for municipal solid waste management in Hong Kong.

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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, China.


The burgeoning of municipal solid waste (MSW) disposal issue and climate change have drawn massive attention from people. On the one hand, Hong Kong is facing a controversial debate over the implementation of proposed landfill extension (LFE) and advanced incineration facility (AIF) to curb the MSW disposal issue. On the other hand, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government is taking concerted efforts to reduce the carbon intensity in this region. This paper discusses the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from four proposed waste disposal scenarios, covering the proposed LFE and AIF within a defined system boundary. On the basis of the data collected, assumptions made, and system boundary defined in this study, the results indicate that AIF releases less GHG emissions than LFE. The GHG emissions from LFE are highly contributed by the landfill methane (CH4) emissions but offset by biogenic carbon storage, while the GHG emissions from AIF are mostly due to the stack discharge system but offset by the energy recovery system. Furthermore, parametric sensitivity analyses show that GHG emissions are strongly dependent on the landfill CH4 recovery rate, types of electricity displaced by energy recovery systems, and the heating value of MSW, altering the order of preferred waste disposal scenarios. This evaluation provides valuable insights into the applicability of a policy framework for MSW management practices in reducing GHG emissions.

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