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rGreen Landfill - Development of tools

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Development Of Appropriate Sustainable Decision Support Tools For Disruptive Innovations In Solid Waste Technologies

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rGreen Landfill - Development of tools

  1. 1. DEVELOPMENTOFAPPROPRIATE SUSTAINABILE DECISION SUPPORT TOOLSFOR DISRUPTIVE INNOVATIONSIN SOLID WASTE TECHNOLOGIES Prepared by: Mark Hudgins, rGreen Landfill, Inc., 2016 Abstract Incorporating "green infrastructure" practices within large urban areas can effectively and affordably complement traditional infrastructure. Whether through the application of conventional or new approaches, these practices give municipal managers the ability to create integrated solutions across various departments. Further, there are strong societal expectations from the public for sustainable development, transparency and accountability as they have evolved with increasingly stringent legislation, growing pressures on the environment from pollution, inefficient use of resources, improper waste management, climate change, degradation of ecosystems, and loss of biodiversity. As a result, moving from subjective discussions about green benefits to quantitative business cases that monetize social and environmental impacts offers a new way of thinking about infrastructure development in order to leverage natural systems and create a more resilient infrastructure, especially as part of today’s integrated solid waste management (ISWM) planning. Over the past few years, communities have begun using various decision support tools (DSTs), models, standards, and programs to develop sustainable ISWM plans. These include life-cycle analysis (LCA), goal-oriented assessments, ENVISION, ISO 14001, and capacity, management, operations, and maintenance programs (CMOMs) as used for various utilities, such as water and wastewater treatment facilities. Yet, while many DST assessment methods for waste management systems are quite advanced and sophisticated, ISWM planning becomes more difficult when accepted hierarchies and assumptions within the solid waste industry are challenged by new technologies and approaches, some of which may cause either significant market or paradigm shifts (known as “disruptive innovations”). As result, both infrastructure development and sustainability plans can be bereft of such influences and benefits. To address this, DST’s should accommodate state-of-the-art analytics and “value stream” thinking, appropriate metrics, as well as based on practical approaches. To best develop a DST to allow for disruptive innovations, presented herein is a review of several DSTs that have been used for conventional ISWM planning, some of which could be modified. In addition, a holistic view of planning a DST for disruptive innovations within ISWM is offered and an example case for a large municipality in Florida. Introduction According to the National League of Cities, incorporating "green infrastructure" practices can “effectively and affordably complement traditional infrastructure,” giving municipal managers the ability to create integrated solutions across different departments, especially in the face of a shrinking budgets and limited resources. Sustainable development as a goal is achieved by balancing the three pillars of sustainability. (economic, social and environmental). Moreover, societal expectations for sustainable development, transparency and accountability have evolved with increasingly stringent legislation, growing pressures on the environment from pollution,
  2. 2. Development Of Appropriate Sustainable Decision Support Tools For Disruptive Solid Waste Technologies December 2016 Page | 2 Commercial in Use inefficient use of resources, improper waste management, climate change, degradation of ecosystems and loss of biodiversity. With respect to integrated solid waste management (ISWM) planning, many large cities perform sustainability assessments using a variety of decision-support tools (DSTs). However, many of these DSTs are based on established hierarchies and assumptions which limit the opportunities for new technologies to be introduced. For example, it is assumed that landfills will always produce methane and toxic leachate (liquids) and thus remain as threats to the environment. Also, the landfill’s airspace capacity is generally permitted to be a fixed volume. Lastly, most waste is either landfill, recycled, or used for energy purposes. However, as presented herein, few DSTs, therefore ISWM plans, accommodate across-the-board impacts and “value streams” (multiple municipal departments, for example) and/or do not account for if the challenging of ISWM assumptions. Further, many DSTs are single-output based, focusing only on environmental outcomes such as climate change, for example, while others are only cost-based. In these cases, DSTs may not give attention to value streams that can flow horizontally across technologies, assets, and departments. Lastly, while debates still exist between landfill and recycling proponents, few realize there are new “disruptive innovations” in solid waste management where not only can both approaches co-exist and thrive, but where a significant paradigm shift in the solid waste industry could occur. The impact of these hierarchies and assumptions, current DSTs, and conventional perspectives, can limit the number of ISWM options available to communities. Landfills versus Recycling Assumptions Take for example landfilling and waste recycling. Guided mainly by US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA’s) solid waste hierarchy, as illustrated below in Figure 1, landfills are the least desired management option due their perceived hazards. Here, business are encouraged to generate less waste in their manufacturing process, while communities are asked to reduce the amount of waste they generate. More challenging for communities are aggressive recycling goals (e.g. 75%). Without other new approaches on the horizon, US EPA states that this current hierarchy best protects the environment, reduces Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and creates jobs that are focused on the use of recycled materials. Figure 1: US EPA’s Waste Management Hierarchy
  3. 3. Development Of Appropriate Sustainable Decision Support Tools For Disruptive Solid Waste Technologies December 2016 Page | 3 Commercial in Use On the other hand, many in the solid waste industry and landfilling proponents support the position that landfilling is economical and it will always be needed in some manner. Yet, zero- waste proponents point out that landfilling costs do not include the life-cycle costs of likely site remediation down the road. Their basis is that while modern landfills are designed with highly- engineered protection systems, such as HDPE liners, even the US EPA, views landfills as temporary protection solutions, for “even the best liner and leachate collection system will ultimately fail due to natural deterioration”1 . This has made ISWM planning challenging for over a decade, as exampled by the Environmental Defense Fund’s2 1996 debate of certain waste management “myths” and “facts” about recycling and landfills, as presented in Table 1. Table 1: Recycling versus Landfilling Landfill Proponents Recycling Proponents Recycling responds to a false landfill-space “crisis” created by the media and environmentalists. Concentrating on landfill space misses the point. Most of recycling’s environmental benefits lie in reduced energy use and natural resource damage and pollution from extracting virgin raw materials and from manufacturing— benefits documented in every recent study that has examined virgin and recycled products over their full life cycle. As just one example, recycling at current levels saves enough energy to supply 9 million U.S. households. Landfill space is cheap and abundant. Landfill space is a commodity, priced according to supply and demand. The major growth in recycling has occurred where landfills are expensive or recyclable materials command higher than average prices. Curbside recycling in these areas is a rational response to economic costs and opportunities. Recycling should pay for itself. Recycling, landfills, incinerators are not expected to pay for themselves. Recycling proponents instead focus on what recycling’s net costs over the long term as compared with those of the alternatives. As they support that “snapshot” accounting of recycling costs early in the life of a program is misleading. Lastly, substantial efficiencies occur (and improve) as these programs innovate and mature, making well run recycling programs cost- competitive. There are no markets for recyclable materials. Recycling is the foundation for large, robust manufacturing industries that are an important part of our economy. The volume of the major scrap materials sold in domestic and global markets is growing steadily. As with all commodities, prices fluctuate over time, yet recycling is often the lowest-cost option for manufacturers. Strict regulations ensure that the environmental costs of making and using products are included in their prices. Many of the environmental costs of virgin materials extraction, manufacturing, consumption, and disposal are not included in products’ prices. An entire sub-discipline of environmental economics has developed to address these market “externalities,” which occur even in the most regulated industries. Recycling is nearing its maximum potential. There remains enormous room for growth in recycling. We still throw away about 35 million tons of highly recyclable materials each year—including half of all newspapers and almost three-quarters of magazines and glass containers. Recycling is a time-consuming burden on the American public Convenient, well-designed recycling programs allow Americans to take action in their daily lives to reduce the environmental impact of the products they consume. Informing citizens of the costs of their own consumption and 1 US EPA Federal Register, Aug 30, 1988, Vol.53, No.168 2 EDF Letter VOL. XXVII, NO.5, 1996
  4. 4. Development Of Appropriate Sustainable Decision Support Tools For Disruptive Solid Waste Technologies December 2016 Page | 4 Commercial in Use disposal activities through “pay as you throw” user fees makes economic and environmental sense—but only alongside viable recycling programs. From this debate, it appears that recycling and landfills are mutually exclusive- that communities must decide either waste is to be recycled (or used for energy) or landfilled. Recycling Debate Illustrates the Need to Examine Values Streams However, amongst this dialogue, there is a clear illustration regarding the important of value streams. Recycling proponents point out that both the energy sector and manufacturing are comparative factors that are interrelated with recycling. This points out that the ISWM decision- making process should ensure that other municipal departments or “value streams”- energy and material usage- are included whenever recycling is presented as an ISWM alternative. Extending this further, ISWM plans should recognize other value streams such as carbon credits, if they apply. Lastly, such plans should flexible to accommodate possible challenges to the status quo, for example, economic factors where a particular approach or technology has the ability to avoid costs, increase the value of an asset (landfill air space), or create new revenues. By its own illustration, the recycling industry has nevertheless recognized that all decisions regarding ISWM planning are instead not mutually exclusive. Assumptions on Landfilling With the exception of reducing the amount of degradable wastes to the landfill, landfills are less interesting from an ISWM perspective as there are fewer interrelationships, sensitivities, or impacts within the waste hierarchy. The introduction of new technologies and improvements in this sector has historically had little impact across other value streams or other departments. For example, increasing waste compaction in the landfill, improvements in landfill gas (LFG) collection, or advances in leachate pre-treatment, such as more efficient reverse osmosis (RO) units, are viewed more as improvements. This is supported by the fact that such improvements do not “shift” landfilling up to the next hierarchy level. Added to this is that many view landfills, as discussed, as bane on climate change, as it is assumed that a MSW landfill will always produce LFG, containing approximately 55% (v/v) carbon dioxide and 45% (v/v) methane, both Greenhouse gases (GHGs). This is supported by the US EPA that 11% of global methane production is from landfills. Further, it is assumed that landfills will always generate leachate and thus require some sort of end-of-pipe treatment system. This is supported by the thousands of landfills worldwide which impact groundwater and other resources. Lastly, improvements in other ISWM approaches, such as energy-from-waste (EfW), plasma, and waste gasification technologies, would likely keep landfilling at the bottom of the hierarchy. A New Perspective on Landfilling However, what if these hierarchies and assumptions regarding landfill were challenged? What would be the impact if for example:  If a new technology allowed a community to produce as much waste as it wants without filling up their landfill to capacity? In other words, how could 10 million tons of waste fit into a landfill built to hold only 1 million tons? Which “value streams” or how many municipal departments would be affected?  What if such an approach eliminated the need for a landfill closure and a permanent composite landfill cap costing over $300,000 per acre?
  5. 5. Development Of Appropriate Sustainable Decision Support Tools For Disruptive Solid Waste Technologies December 2016 Page | 5 Commercial in Use  What if this same approach avoided the production of odors? As well as methane, thereby generating millions of dollars of new revenues from carbon credit sales? And applied at both closed landfills and operating site?  What if leachate production (100%) was eliminated, thereby not only lowering operating costs but directly closing down an expensive a downstream remediation effort previously caused by leachate leaking from the landfill?  What would be the total life-cycle impacts of such a technology have on the landfill as well as on the solid waste industry?  What if both recycling and landfilling were not mutually exclusive, whereby recycling activities could occur even after the waste was buried?  How would the solid waste market react if the disposal/management cost per ton of waste were significantly lowered, while at the same time, environmental risks were reduce as well?  Last, what impact would this have on the US EPA waste hierarchy? Such actions would almost certainly not only change the manner in which landfills are viewed, but could “disrupt” the manner in which the entire solid waste sector operates. Further, as presented herein, a new types of DST would likely be needed, as compared to the ones currently available, as there would likely be a multitude of impacts across many value streams. Today’s Integrated Solid Waste Management (ISWM) For years, ISWM has involved carefully evaluating local needs and conditions to determine suitable options for many aspects of waste management, including generation, segregation, collection, transportation, sorting, recovery, treatment, and disposal. Because it is based on local needs and conditions, ISWM has been an effective policy tool in many cities, regardless of their level of development and existing waste management practices. Through careful planning and the use of decision support tools (DST), as discussed below, ISWM has helped mitigate the influence of external stressors (e.g., economic and population growth) on waste management, and contribute numerous benefits, including to human health and the environment (HHE), climate change, and the economy. Further, ISWM results in other benefits to society, including reducing bad odors and improving the quality of life for communities as a whole. Developing an ISWM Plan: Key Considerations Developing an ISWM plan requires careful assessment of numerous issues. Key considerations when developing an ISWM plan include: • Analyze weaknesses, strengths, and capacities. Completing an analysis of the weaknesses, strengths, and capacities of their waste management activities will help cities identify the most suitable waste management options and effectively and efficiently implement an ISWM plan. • Conduct triple-bottom line assessment. A robust assessment of the economic, environmental, and social impacts of waste management options can help inform decisions about which options to pursue. • Consider all aspects of waste. To maximize the efficiency of a waste management program, an ISWM plan should account for all aspects of waste, including generation, segregation, collection, transportation, sorting, recovery, treatment, and disposal.
  6. 6. Development Of Appropriate Sustainable Decision Support Tools For Disruptive Solid Waste Technologies December 2016 Page | 6 Commercial in Use • Involve stakeholders. Involving all stakeholders, especially the public, in developing and implementing an ISWM plan will enhance its efficacy (e.g., by engaging support for the program). • Select suitable waste management options. Waste management options should be based on local needs and conditions. Cities should identify opportunities to use environmentally preferable waste management options (e.g., waste prevention and reduction) whenever possible. • Coordinate with the national government. National governments play a key role in waste management, especially in establishing and enforcing waste management policies. Cities should work closely with national governments to clarify their respective roles and identify opportunities for mutual support. • Identify sustainable sources of funding. An ISWM plan must include reliable sources of funding (e.g., user fees) to sustain waste programs. Incorporating the private sector into waste management activities can offer a way to reduce the costs of managing waste while also leveraging private sector expertise. This may include public/private partnerships (PPPs). “Disruptive Innovation” Impact on ISWM Planning A disruptive innovation is “a business vehicle that creates a new market and value network, which eventually disrupts an existing market and value network, and potentially displaces the established leading firms, products and alliances.” The term was defined and phenomenon analyzed by Clayton M. Christensen beginning in 1995. Examples include mobile phones that can connect one to almost any place in the world as well as treat chronic diseases through remote health monitoring. Also, almost every web user is aware that The Cloud serves as use of computer hardware and software resources now over the Internet, and 3D Printing has had a significant impact on today’s manufacturing. All of these have changed their respective markets considerably. Some would agree that, within the solid waste industry, recycling is probably one of its few disruptive innovations, in that a recognizable amount of waste has been diverted from landfills since the beginning of the 1990’s. However, disruptive innovations loom for the solid waste industry. As presented below, not only will communities be able to completely re-think their ISWM planning, but their sustainability efforts as well, Further, the communities who use these innovations will increase transparency to the public and may play a role in shifting the solid waste industry paradigm altogether. The Aerobic Landfill Bioreactor System TM Today’s landfills are an effective system for storing waste. However, the plastic liners and covers beneath and over the waste, cause a “dry-tomb” effect, where the waste decays under “anaerobic” (without air) conditions. These systems, which are required by law to protect the environment, ironically increase risks to the public as they produce toxic leachate, foul odors, and methane gas, which can leak or be released from these same systems. Further, under these conditions, many landfills can take decades or hundreds of years to “stabilize” before it can be used or redeveloped. In the meantime, millions of dollars are spent to monitor and care for it as it settles and collapses. Millions more could be spent if leachate is released from liners into the groundwater.
  7. 7. Development Of Appropriate Sustainable Decision Support Tools For Disruptive Solid Waste Technologies December 2016 Page | 7 Commercial in Use Building on successful pilot testing over a decade in the US, Canada, Japan, and China (currently at over 20 sites worldwide), the Aerobic Landfill Bioreactor System (ALBS) is an alternative to operating landfills in the manner in which they are designed and operated today. Instead of building landfills to bury and store waste for hundreds of years, the ALBS is attached to the landfill and operated (injecting air and water) to rapidly treat and degrade the waste inside at a rate up to 30x times faster than the normal anaerobic decay process, and complete the treatment in approximately 3 to 5 years. The ALBS (blowers, pumps, instruments) is then detached and either salvaged or reused at a later date. As the waste is now treated and safer to handle, it is removed and separated from the inert materials such as soil, metal, glass, and plastic. These are either reused or recycled along with non-landfilled recyclables. With the landfill emptied, the cell is refilled and the ALBS process repeated. Not only is the ALBS an alternate landfill operating scheme, but it is the only known landfill biotechnology that directly addressing the problem with landfills- the buried waste itself. In other words, it is not a technology that just treats the “downstream” or “left-over symptoms” of a conventional landfill release, such as local soil and groundwater contamination, but instead it is a pro-active, direct means of accelerating what nature is expected to do. Instead of using techniques such as conventional approaches such natural attenuation, advanced groundwater treatment, and chemical odor control (sprays) to address releases, the ALBS treats the waste in- situ, addresses or preventing the problem sooner, without the long-term costs. Similar to waste composting, the ALBS process is conducted on much larger scale treating millions of tons of waste until the landfill waste is safe to remove. However, the ALBS system resembles a conventional LFG collection and recovery system, consisting of vertical wells installed through he landfill cover and into the waste. These wells are connected to PVC or HDPE header piping and then to blowers and pumps. However, instead of pulling LFG from the landfill under vacuum, the ALBS instead injects air and liquids into the waste. Immediately, the respiring and facultative bacteria indigenous to the waste begin mineralizing the degradable matter under aerobic conditions. At the same time, methanogens, microorganisms that were producing methane as a metabolic byproduct, begin to die off as oxygen is toxic to them. As long as there is oxygen, a moisture sources, and degradable waste to consume, the aerobic bacteria will reduced methane production by over 90% as well as reduce carbon dioxide gas. Also, most waste-borne pathogens are eliminated, many by 100%, due to internal exothermic (heat) production, around 165 degrees F., which is controlled as part of ALBS operations. While waste degradation is the key goal, the ALBS is also recognized by the US EPA as a “Tier II” landfill gas (LFG) reduction approach. It is also is registered with the United Nations Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) as “Avoidance of landfill gas emissions by in-situ aeration of landfills --- Version 1.0.1, Number AM0083” and is used as the basis for the Alberta (CA) Aerobic Landfill Protocol. In addition, the ALBS improves leachate quality, as seen in many aerobic wastewater treatment systems, for air also comes in contact with the leachate inside the landfill. Last, the ALBS can reduce leachate volume due to the elevated waste temperatures that are controlled. At many sites, 100% of the leachate that is generated is captured and used in the ALBS process, thereby eliminating off-site leachate disposal. Ex-post ALBS operations can include the redevelopment of the landfill into more useable property as many of the hazards have been addressed. Here, construction materials can be brought in and compacted over the stabilized site, readying the site for vertical development. At
  8. 8. Development Of Appropriate Sustainable Decision Support Tools For Disruptive Solid Waste Technologies December 2016 Page | 8 Commercial in Use present, there are ALBS projects that are underway with a focus on redeveloping former landfills into residential high-rise towers in China. Landfill mining (LFM) has also matured over the past few years. To date, over 30 LFM projects have been reported worldwide (e.g. Georgia, Florida, New York) being conducted for a number of reasons, with increasing available airspace as one of the key drivers. Using LFM as well as traditional screening and tromelling equipment, the ALBSTM can be applied and waste mined repeatedly in a cycle that extends the landfill’s capacity to receive waste for decades longer than planned. Known as a “Sustainable Landfill,” (SL), see Figure 2, millions of tons of waste can cross the scales (adding new revenues) and loaded into the same volume that previous wastes once occupied. Also, millions of gallons of leachate are either improved or eliminated (100% due to the internal heat) and millions of dollars of carbon credits sold due to the long-term avoidance of GHGs. More on the ALBSTM can be found at US EPA’s website at https://archive.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/municipal/web/html/aerobic.html Figure 2: The Sustainable Landfill As compared to many other technologies, the ALBSTM epitomizes waste sustainability. Listed below in Table 2 are several of the environmental, economic, and social inputs that would likely be used as part of assessment of the ALBSTM during an ISWM development effort. Table 2. Summary of Potential ALBSTM Benefits and Key DST Factors ISWM Element Description Potential ALBSTM Benefits/ Impact on Sustainability and Other Value Streams Landfill Operations The airspace is reused repeatedly whereby normal fill operations continue, yet degraded waste removal is introduced as a new operation. Less material and haul costs for daily cover (from borrow pit) Potential for increases in cover settlement Recycling Waste is treated aerobically reducing pathogens and VOCs. Thus, the waste is safe to remove, handle, and can be blended into other recycling streams.
  9. 9. Development Of Appropriate Sustainable Decision Support Tools For Disruptive Solid Waste Technologies December 2016 Page | 9 Commercial in Use Increased recycling lowers energy costs- further. Cell Reuse Cell reuse extends landfill life and delays or minimizes the need for extending or building new landfill sites in the future Landfill Footprint Instead of filling up the entire permitted footprint, only 4-5 smaller cells, thus a smaller operational, may be needed. This frees up the balance of land for infill, greenspace, and/or urbanization efforts. Closure/Post Closure Care (PCC) If the landfill remains open longer, PCC and its 30-year costs are delayed or avoided. Lower risk to HHE, sets the case for relief from prescriptive PCC (less frequent monitoring, fewer parameters) Impact on Natural Resources Waterways/ Lakes/ Groundwater Reduced leachate production and improved leachate quality reduces potential impact to groundwater and other water resources. Reducing Carbon Footprint Heavy equipment and truck emissions may increase due to new mining, hauling, and recycling activities. Improvements in Air Quality 90%+ reduction in methane emissions; 50% less carbon dioxide emissions. More efficient reductions as compared to LFG generation, collection and destruction. Built Environment Commercial/ Industrial Property Reduced leachate and odor production as well as less risk to groundwater improves potential for site redevelopment, infill and urbanization initiatives. Residential Fewer odors complaints. Land Planning Less landfill footprint used, fewer landfills needed makes more land available for more useful purposes. Wastewater Treatment Less reliance on leachate treatment at WWTP is avoided as it reapplied to the waste as part of liquids requirement for ALBSTM operations. Quantity Up to 100% elimination due evaporative effects of ALBSTM Quality Lower BOD, VOCs, arsenic, lead, metals (due to neutral pH) Sludge Disposal Sludge disposal into landfill increases ALBSTM effectiveness as it adds more organics and nutrients to the waste and thus the decay process. Treatment Capacity Increases volumetric availability for premium users (industrial) Less BOD, VOCs reduces WWTP treatment load and surcharges, Energy Reliance on LFG Users Decreased as methane production is avoided. Good news for landfills with insufficient volumes of LFG or not economical/ practical Renewable Energy (Solar) More industrial room for solar farms. See Land Planning. Operations Increased recycling lowers energy costs further. Recovered BTU materials can be used as energy supply. (cement kilns) Increased energy costs for blowers. Budget Tipping Fees/ Market Impacts Given the potential cost savings and new revenues, the life-cycle costs of landfill operations could be less. New Revenues (carbon credits, recycling) Potentially more revenues per ton of waste as compared to LFG-to-energy sales. Risk Reduction Reduced leachate production, improved leachate quality, less odors reduces potential impact to groundwater and associated costs of risk. (Insurance)
  10. 10. Development Of Appropriate Sustainable Decision Support Tools For Disruptive Solid Waste Technologies December 2016 Page | 10 Commercial in Use Departmental Costs (landfill, WWTP) Potentially lower tipping fees. Increased competiveness for local waste. Lower odor and leachate management costs. Funding/ Grants Many grants available for local, national, and global sustainability, recycling, GHG reduction, biotechnology, research initiatives Social Impact Odors/ Environmental Impact Fewer odors means fewer complaints? Greenspace/ Healthy Neighborhoods Reduced risk from landfills could change public perceptions, increase land values. Civic Engagement Public hearings would introduce new solutions. Confidence in Government Increased due to openness to new approaches, Legislative Responds well to new ideas and approaches, especially if conducted in compliance with existing regulations. Education Workshops to learn about how biotechnology can help solid waste issues. Employment Increased recycling, increases jobs. Additional operator training on ALBSTM Community Green landfills forms a community bond Tourism Attractive to public and academia Future Responsibilities Reduce potential of landfill remediation by future generations In one sense the ALBS seems counter-intuitive. Landfilling is relatively less expensive in many geographical locations, it can generate revenues from LFG-to-energy, and it can provide long- term disposal solutions. Yet, looking closer at the ALBS benefits, a comprehensive assessment of the ALBS could produce several interesting outcomes, as hypothesized:  Landfill Reconfiguration and Operation. The ALBS may reduce the need for large mountains of waste. Instead, low profile treatment cells could be built under current design regulations but would be smaller). The aesthetics would likely be favorable to many in the public.  LFG Equipment Market- Instead of designing, suppling and installing conventional equipment, the current workforce could be retrained to design and supply equipment for ALBS systems.  Reusable Liners. If a landfill cell is to be reused, stronger, more resilient floors and sidewalls could be designed, including concrete or asphalt. Not only would this provide a better operating surface for waste filling and removal and protect the environmental as a stronger barrier than plastic liners, but the likely higher costs of these liners could be amortized over a longer period of time since the landfill would stay open, and collect fees, longer.  Increase Labor- Increases in recycling can increase waste-related employment. Hiring new waste spotters at the landfill gate can ensure less hazardous waste enters that could interfere with ALBS performance.
  11. 11. Development Of Appropriate Sustainable Decision Support Tools For Disruptive Solid Waste Technologies December 2016 Page | 11 Commercial in Use  Less Energy Use- Increases in recycling increases decreases energy consumption, per the recycling industry, perhaps offsetting ALBS energy demands.  Reduce Reliance on Subsidies. The avoidance of methane production would meet one key aspect of sustainability. The revenues from the sales of carbon credits, the “new” airspace value, and the reduction in operations and long-term care could preclude the need to rely on energy subsides.  Increasing Research, Design, and Development (RD&D) Projects. On its website3 , the US EPA does not currently have a single model or tool for decreasing the level of contaminants inside a landfill nor is there one that focuses on increasing the rate of decay of waste in a landfill. Instead there are a number of commercially available software companies, such as MULTIMED a steady-state model, that are instead used to predict the migrating of contaminants after they have been released from a waste disposal facility via the subsurface. Also, there are models which estimate the natural attenuation (self-decay) of organic contaminants in groundwater due to the processes of advection, dispersion, sorption, and biodegradation. Again, these address contaminants after they have been released into the groundwater. With the ALBS, there will be new opportunities for RD&D projects, models, and tools related to the aerobic treatment of wastes on soil, groundwater, and air to better understand the relevant biokinetics to improve system performance.  Increased Research Funding. Being part of a disruptive innovation may yield additional research dollars for ALBS process improvements, as compared to many other solid waste concepts which do little to impact the current waste hierarchy.  Increase WWTP User- Reduction of high-strength leachate can allow for new users and lower-strength wastewaters, thereby reducing WWTP expansion.  More land available for solar farms. Landfill footprint areas owned by the municipality but not used for landfilling due to the less footprint requirements for the SL could be used for build solar farms. Potential Impact to Related Markets At first glance, not only would most landfilling in the US be impacted, but the ALBS could impact the entire communities ISWM planning process as well as several industries tied to waste. As such, it could be argued that the ALBS is a disruptive innovation, as discussed above, with respect to the solid waste, energy, wastewater and air pollution control markets, sectors, and industries, as well as the engineering and technical support that would be needed to make such changes. The US has one of the biggest consumer markets, producing approximately 251 million tons of trash every year. As such, the U.S. waste industry has an annual revenue of 75 billion dollars, making it a large part of our economy.4 There are approximately 20,000 companies within it, with eight of the largest waste management companies accounting for nearly half of the of industry’s yearly revenue. The industry employs approximately 367,800 employees, most of them being part of the private sector of the industry, generating approximately three-fourths of the waste industry’s revenue. The balance are the public sector services. Looking closer, although the biggest part of the waste industry, collection, accounts for approximately 55% of the industry’s revenue, waste treatment and disposal is responsible for 20%, with the most 3 https://www.epa.gov/land-research/models-tools-and-databases-land-and-waste-management-research 4 http://www.gridwaste.com
  12. 12. Development Of Appropriate Sustainable Decision Support Tools For Disruptive Solid Waste Technologies December 2016 Page | 12 Commercial in Use established waste treatment methods consisting of composting, incineration, landfill, and recycling. As waste management is a commodity that can be monopolized by big businesses, meaning higher costs and subpar services rendered, many businesses and entrepreneurs spend enormous amounts of energy and resources creating a competitive market for greater transparency, lower prices, and better service.5 Another aspect to consider is the shrinking number of US landfills. This has been facilitated by tighter regulatory controls, the establishment of large regional landfills, consolidation of private waste management companies, and economies of scale. In the public sector, municipalities that desire to retain control over their own solid waste operations and disposal sites are increasingly looking to neighboring municipalities to develop larger regional solid waste management sites in order to minimize costs and risks associated with the management of a landfill. Even though landfills remain the primary disposal option for the majority of solid waste, the assumptions and hierarchies that ISWM is based on push owners to consider programs that are effective, yet sometimes more expensive. For example, many communities are implementing programs to recover food scraps and other organic materials for composting and anaerobic digestion. From 2008 to 2012, U.S. EPA estimates that the amount of food scraps diverted from landfills has more than doubled from 0.80 million tons to 1.74 million tons. Other markets could be affected as well. The market for industrial water (including landfill leachate) treatment technologies is set to expand by more than 50% over the next five years, from an estimated $7 billion in 2015 to more than $11 billion in 2020.6 Where 100% of the landfill leachate is used in the ALBS process, new methods for injecting water while simultaneously injecting air will be needed. Regarding new jobs, the ALBS’s impact on creating a demand for new engineering, science, and recycling jobs would be signficant. Businesses and vendors which rely on building landfills in the conventional sense would instead need to prepare for new designs where waste is instead treated and removed, versus stored for decades. These could range from liner manufacturers to engineering services. In all of these regards, any potentially new disruptive innovation in ISWM would likely be attractive to both private and public landfill owners and could have significant impact across all value streams and their receptive markets. As such, the ALBS deserves a full and proper assessment in terms of the various value streams. 5 A unique example of this is Grid Waste. This firm gives waste generators options and greater transparency through reverse-auction bidding. Per their website, “Grid Waste’s grouping function allows users to form purchasing groups with neighboring generators to trump monopolization in their neighborhood. By creating purchasing groups, more waste management companies can penetrate a market. The bigger the purchasing group, the more fiscally viable for smaller companies to service these monopolized areas.” 6 Rapid Growth Hits Industrial Water Treatment Technologies, Water Online, February 25, 2015 http://www.wateronline.com/doc/rapid-growth-hits-industrial-water-treatment-technologies-0001
  13. 13. Development Of Appropriate Sustainable Decision Support Tools For Disruptive Solid Waste Technologies December 2016 Page | 13 Commercial in Use Example Case: City of Orlando and Orange County, Florida The potential for impact could be most dramatic in major US cities as most of them with populations of over 10 million generate the most waste on a per capita basis. Orange County, Florida could be one such example. Recycling Driven by the State of Florida’s recycling goal of 75% by 2020, the City of Orlando hopes to eventually become a “zero waste” community, eliminating all solid waste to landfills or incinerators, with an intermediate target of 75% reduction by 2020. In 2012, the City Orlando had a curbside residential recycling rate of 27%, switching to single-cart recycling to surpass the US average of 34% recycled. In line with US EPA’s solid waste hierarchy, up-front recycling of waste can create opportunities for economic growth within both jurisdictions. Instead of paying to haul, treat and dispose of solid waste in the OCSWMF landfill, this waste can become the raw material for sustainable industries producing new products. In this way, the City “can become a leader in proving that solid waste is a resource rather than an environmental liability.” In fact, City states that “strong zero waste focused programs have spawned the growth of new businesses, creating new jobs and more diverse local economies.” Facing the same state-wide recycling goal, Orange County residential recycling rate is one of the highest in the state, around 41% and single family participation in curbside is around 90%. However, multi-family curbside recycling is only at 14% and commercials units are around 40%. To improve their rates and reach the goal of 75%, the County has developed a Plan (Sustainable Orange County, 2014) to help improve commercial recycling rates. Per this Plan, “strategies could include evaluating residential composting, post-collection consumer sorting, and enforcement of mandatory recycling requirements in the Orange County Code.” Infill Development The City of Orlando also supports the “eco- district” concept- livability, efficiency, neighborhoods, stewardship and a sense of place, Per its 2013 Community Action Plan, the City has begun to identify locations in Orlando where eco districts could thrive with the goal of creating a connected network of eco districts throughout the City minimizing sprawl and providing more services and options within walking distance to home and work. Similarly, one of the County’s focus areas is supporting new growth in infill areas and on redevelopment that does not require the extension of water, sewer, and road infrastructure or facilitate sprawl. Here County Planning would assess infill and redevelopment potential based on a susceptibility to change for vacant or underutilized land within the County. Greenhouse Gases Per the City’s Plan, buildings are the number one contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy use, so ensuring new construction takes advantage of green building technology and aggressively pursues energy efficiency upgrades on existing buildings will have a large impact on sustainability goals. The City already realizes $1 million in annual energy savings through its various green building and efficiency programs. In addition to municipal buildings, there are approximately 100 certified green buildings in the City, along with hundreds of residential homes that have received some level of energy efficiency upgrades through though Federal, state and local programs.
  14. 14. Development Of Appropriate Sustainable Decision Support Tools For Disruptive Solid Waste Technologies December 2016 Page | 14 Commercial in Use Altogether, the City’s goal is reduce GHG emissions by 90% from 2007 levels by 2040, with reductions by 25% by 2018. To do this, the City intends to: • create a market-based program that offers incentives for buildings to meet green standards; • develop financing programs for community-oriented energy efficiency upgrades and solar installations.; • implement policies and technologies to take advantage of the local utility’s smart grid investments, focusing on EcoDistricts and market-based innovations; • establish an energy benchmarking and disclosure policy; and • develop a roadmap to position Orlando as the solar leader in the Southeast United States. The County GHG’s reduction goals include the collection of landfill gas (LGF) and digester gas, and using it for energy purposes. OCSWMF Landfill Located east of Orlando, the Orange County Solid Waste Management Facility (OCSWMF), the largest publicly owned municipal solid waste landfill in Florida, began operations in 1971 and currently accepts approximately 2,000 tons of waste per day. The landfill site encompasses 5,000 acres and accepts Class I (putrescible) waste, Class III (construction and demolition) waste, yard waste, and waste tires. In addition to the landfill, Orange County operates two transfer stations and 25 transfer trucks to facilitate garbage disposal for residents while also reducing road traffic. The landfill footprint is approximately 252 acres, comprising of Cells 9 through 12. The OCSWMF disposal areas are in different stages of LFG generation. The majority of the LFG is currently generated where the active Cells 9 and 10 are located. Cells 11 and 12 are planned in the near future after the disposal capacity of Cells 9 and 10 is depleted. It is predicted that the peak LFG generation will be approximately 11,550 scfm occurring in 2031. New Technologies Along with phasing in commercial and multi- family recycling standards programs, one of the key waste management strategies proposed by the City, for example, is to “support the development of technolog[ies] that make it easier to recycle materials.” As the City recognizes that policies and education alone will not achieve a 100% waste diversion goal, they also believe that “emerging technologies will enable communities to recover recyclable materials before they are buried.” As such, the City’s Plan proposes that it and its key partners implement innovative technologies that “mechanically extract recyclables from landfill-bound solid waste streams and utilize organic waste for energy production.” Moreover, the Plan also places an emphasis on advancing composting. Lastly, the City recognizes that older landfills have impacted soil, groundwater, and surface water “as material leaks out of the landfill and into these areas” and that these landfills do not meet today’s standards. Although not specifically discussed in the Plan, both the City and the County are exploring options for mitigation these impacts.
  15. 15. Development Of Appropriate Sustainable Decision Support Tools For Disruptive Solid Waste Technologies December 2016 Page | 15 Commercial in Use From this, it is evident that both governments have similar goals and interests, and since the City is one of the County’s largest landfill customers, it may be beneficial for the County and the City to work together in re-assessing their respective ISWM plans, advancing technologies, such as the ALBS, and waste operations using a comprehensive DST that would fully highlight the advantages, disadvantages, costs, revenues, and overall impact across multiple value streams. Presented in Table 3, is a summary of the potential impacts an ALBS/Sustainable Landfill application, as described above, may have on the County interests when taking into account just some of the suitable programs they want to develop. (No DST has yet been applied.) Table 3. Estimated Economic Benefits from ALBS/ SL Application- Orange County Description Status Quo ($M) Using ALBS/SL ($M) Notes Permitted Airspace Value $825 $4,125 Assume 22M tons @ $37.50./ton Assume SL reuses airspace 5x Increased Revenue from GHG sales $0 $396 Assume $3/ per ton CO2Eq x 5 reuses (22M tons x 1.2 x $3/Co2Eq x 5) Avoided Capping Costs ($93) $0 Assume 31 acres x $300,000 per acre Avoided PCC Costs ($86) ($43) Assume 50% reduction ($86M/2) over 30 years Sale from Recycled Materials Baseline Baseline + 20% Assume 20% increase in sale of recycled goods Value of Land not used for landfilling $0 $63 Permitted Footprint is 252 acres. Assume 50% is used for SL. Assume surrounding land worth $0.5M per acre Once an appropriate DST is applied, not only will municipalities, such as Orange County be able to completely re-think their ISWM planning and sustainability efforts, but they may play a critical role in shifting the solid waste industry paradigm and facilitate moving landfilling up the US EPA waste hierarchy. Decision Support Tools (DSTs) Assessment methods and decision-support tools (DSTs) are common in decision-planning for businesses, in the production of products, and the implementation of services. Within waste management, they have been used to help communities achieve practicable waste management at an acceptable cost, balancing environmental, economic, technical, regulatory, and other social factors. Over the last decade, there has been a growing emphasis on address sustainability as well as in regard to industrial ecology, carbon cycle management, life cycle assessment, and earth systems engineering and management. In one 2014 study7 of the various DST’s that were used for solid waste management, the tasks that were recommended when assessing waste management systems included using (i) a mass balance approach based on a rigid input–output analysis of the entire system, then a (ii) a goal- oriented evaluation of the results of the mass balance, which takes into account the intended waste management objectives; and finally (iii) a transparent and reproducible presentation of the methodology, data, and results. However, this same study reported that only a small number of the DSTs evaluated social aspects. Further, the choice of system elements and boundaries varied significantly among the studies; thus, assessment results were sometimes contradictory. 7 Allesch, A and Brunner PH(2014) Assessment methods for solid waste management: A literature review. Waste Management & Research,Vol. 32(6) 461– 473
  16. 16. Development Of Appropriate Sustainable Decision Support Tools For Disruptive Solid Waste Technologies December 2016 Page | 16 Commercial in Use With this mind and as the ALBS may be a disruptive innovation, several questions to be asked to municipalities such as Orange County emerge:  What is the proper DST(s) to use as part of ISWM planning?  How would all the important aspects of sustainability be accounted for?  How would current ISWM or sustainability plans be impacted?  How would the outputs be normalized? At first glance, it appears that multiple DSTs would be needed, as described herein. However, each DSTs would need to consider what metrics would be used in regard to a number of potential impacts, for example:  re-purposing a portion of the permitted landfill footprint in light of advancing community urbanization initiatives;  amortization of airspace costs if the landfill capacity is extended by reusing the airspace 5-10 times;  assessing the contractual implications to both a municipality and LFG end-user whereby LFG-supply contracts are modified or terminated because an approach was found that eliminates methane from LFG and thereby reduces risk to human health and groundwater;  evaluating the impacts to a community’s wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) that no longer is required to take in and treat landfill leachate as the landfill no longer produces leachate;  recycling marketable portions of the waste that has been removed from a landfill;  modifying land development codes to encourage sustainable development; and/or,  monetizing the impacts to financial incentives to encourage infill and redevelopment. Moreover, what DSTs would be used regarding social, environmental, and economic impact of conducting current actions with an eye on future outcomes; for example, the life-cycle aspects savings if the potential for future cleanup costs are minimized by removing the risk in the present-day? Also of social importance, municipal leaders can take credit for removing the burden on future generations by accounting for it in their ISWM planning. This, and similar actions, may be important if, for example, should future efforts by the federal government, for example, seek to develop extended producer responsibility (EPR) requirements, whereby a manufacturer is required by law to integrate environmental costs into the current price of the product. Is there a measurement for this? Lastly, although PCC and costs are generally accepted to be 30 years, there are today landfill owners who are looking at having that care period extended because the environmental regulators believe that the landfill still poses a longer-term threat. Even more so, some regulators are talking in terms of “perpetual” care, having no real grasp on what the total costs would be. Which DST is available to assess the present-day removal of that risk? To better understand how a new DST could be developed, possibly integrating new analytics, presented below is a review of some of the DST elements that have been used for conventional ISWM planning. In addition, a holistic view of the impact the ALBSTM might have on the development of a new DSTs is offered in order to help assess future disruptive technologies and/or innovations within solid waste. Also presented are several DST models and sustainability
  17. 17. Development Of Appropriate Sustainable Decision Support Tools For Disruptive Solid Waste Technologies December 2016 Page | 17 Commercial in Use standards, such as ISO, that can guide such development. Lastly, an example case of what a proper DST could yield is developed based on this discussion. DST Elements For most DSTs, economic aspects have probably been the most important factor because money, in combination with available technology, is generally the limiting factor for a sophisticated, properly functioning waste management system. Economic aspects can be discussed on a business (micro-economic) level or on a public (macro-economic) level. The purpose of considering environmental aspects in waste management (from waste generation over collection, recycling, and treatment to the final disposal) has been to evaluate the impacts on air, soil, and water, as well as on resource consumption. To protect humans, flora, and fauna, it is necessary to know the environmental aspects of a service or a process. Studies using life- cycle assessment (LCA) methodology often evaluate environmental impacts by examining the following categories: global warming potential; stratospheric ozone depletion; acidification; terrestrial eutrophication; aquatic eutrophication; photochemical ozone formation; human toxicity; and ecotoxicity. Social sustainability can be classified under three different perspectives: social acceptability (the waste management system must be acceptable); social equity (the equitable distribution of waste management system benefits and detriments between citizens); and social function (the social benefit of waste management systems). Public health and safety are important factors within society, with a close link to the economy and to the environment. Social aspects also refer to the employment market, governance, ethics, security, education systems, and to culture. Presented below in Table 4 is a summary of economic, environmental, and social impacts of waste management that are typically considered. Table 4. Summary of DST Considerations in ISWM Economic Impact Environmental Impact Social Impact  Function of the internal market  Investment costs  Operating costs  Administrative burdens  Public authorities  Property rights innovation and research  Economic effects on consumers and households  Economic effects on industry and business  Climate  Energy  Air quality  Biodiversity, flora, fauna, and  landscapes  Water quality and resources  Soil quality or resources  Land use  Renewable or non- renewable  resources  Environmental consequences  of firms and consumers  Likelihood or scale of  environmental risks  Animal welfare  Employment and labor markets  Social inclusion and protection of particular groups  Non-discrimination  Individuals, private and family life, personal data  Governance, participation, good administration, access to justice, media, and ethics  Public health and safety  Security  Access to and effects on social protection, health, and educational systems  Culture
  18. 18. Development Of Appropriate Sustainable Decision Support Tools For Disruptive Solid Waste Technologies December 2016 Page | 18 Commercial in Use Using these considerations, a number of DST have been developed, including life-cycle analysis (LCA), Multi-criteria decision-Making (MCDM), and Risk assessment (RA). While several of them focus on the impacts related to the production of goods, presented in Exhibit A is summary of several types of DSTs that are used in ISWM planning which could be used wholly, in-part, or as the basis for modifications to develop an appropriate DST for disruptive innovations. For example, strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is a method to provide a high level of protection to the environment and to contribute to the integration of environmental considerations into the preparation and adoption of related plans and programs, with an aim to promote sustainable development by ensuring that an environmental assessment of certain plans and programs, which are likely to have significant effects on the environment, is performed. Review of Status Quo DST Studies (2014) The 2014 study cited above reported that approximately 41% of the 151 DST studies that were reported for ISWM used life cycle assessment (LCA) as the method to evaluate waste management systems. Since 1990, attempts have been made to develop and to standardize the LCA methodology (Burgess and Brennan, 2001), and since the publication of the guidelines for LCA (ISO 2006), an international standard has been defined. (More below) Many of these studies assessed entire waste management systems. Here, the life cycle of a product ends with waste management, which includes the waste management system from waste generation, waste collection, recycling, and treatment to final disposal. Therefore, the efficient planning of waste management systems requires an accounting of complete sets of effects caused by the entire life cycle of waste (Emery et al., 2007). One-quarter of the reviewed works assessed either one treatment plant or compared different treatment options to determine the best available alternative. In particular, the performances of incinerators or landfills were often the objects of such investigations. Comparing system boundaries with the object of investigation shows that studies evaluating waste management systems, waste collection systems, and waste prevention options often used geographic boundaries (country, region, or city). The reason is that these boundaries most likely coincided with administrative boundaries. The functional unit to compare different treatment options was primarily one unit of a specific waste stream, and the evaluation of single treatment often referred to the inputs and outputs of the investigated plant. Also, benchmarking methods were often used for assessing MSW management. However, benchmarking does not seem common for investigations of single waste streams. Compared with the other assessment methods, LCA, MCDM, and RA were more often performed for assessing single waste streams. Advanced DTSs The creation of new DSTs and analytics is not new. For example, researchers who consider carbon flows through landfills and WTE facilities, cite that it is important to factor in global warming potential, energy offsets, and different timescales to have a full and accurate picture of ISWM. Here they perform a statistical entropy analysis to quantify the power of a system to concentrate or to dilute substances and to the basis for a simple lifecycle “net energy” metric – encompassing the “lost energy” that would have been gained when high-calorific materials are landfilled rather than combusted with energy recovery. As appropriate, it is introduced to account for additional influxes of carbon when using landfilling as the primary disposal method. When combining net energy calculations and long terms effects of landfilling,
  19. 19. Development Of Appropriate Sustainable Decision Support Tools For Disruptive Solid Waste Technologies December 2016 Page | 19 Commercial in Use waste to energy (WTE) becomes a more attractive option for dealing with non-recycled municipal solid waste (MSW). In response to the increasing demand for sustainability assessments which consider adavances in energy assessment, as well as spatial, thematic, and/or programmatic influences, a number of new, now commercialized, DSTs have been developed, as illustrated in Figure 4 and Table 5. A recent study shows that there are over 59 DTSs reported from 22 countries. They include rating categories which range from nature conservation, local environmental quality, resource recycling, and carbon dioxide absorption, to comprehensiveness, green space, cultural and natural landscapes, urban living environment, and community participation. More detail on these DSTs are provided in Exhibit B. Table 5. Selected Commercial DST assessment methods with Rating Categories DST Providers CASBEE for Cities Institute for Bldg. Environment & Energy Conservation, Japan Comprehensive Plans for Sustaining Places American Planning Assn, US Eco-City Ministry of Environmental Protection, China Eco-Garden City Ministry of Housing & Urban-Rural Development, China Low-Carbon City National Development & Reform Commission, China STAR Community STAR Communities, US Sustainable Communities Audubon International, US (available internationally, and for Existing Neighborhoods) Envision Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure, US Global Sustainability Assessment System for Railways Gulf Organization for Research & Dev, Qatar Green Mark for Infrastructure Bldg. & Construction Authority, Singapore Greenroads Greenroads Foundation, US INVEST U.S. Dept of Transportation, Federal Hwy Administration, US IS Rating Tool Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia PEER Perfect Power Institute, US Walk Score Walk Score, US Eco-City Ministry of Environmental Protection, China H+T Affordability Center for Neighborhood Technology, US Enterprise Green Enterprise Green Communities Green Communities Figure 4. Selected Commercial DST Used in 22 Countries
  20. 20. Development Of Appropriate Sustainable Decision Support Tools For Disruptive Solid Waste Technologies December 2016 Page | 20 Commercial in Use In regard to these, a number of different inputs and influences were used, as shown in Table 6: Table 6. Select DST Inputs and Influences Scope & Scale  Topical scope  Physical scale  Minimum elements Usefulness  Value proposition  Efficiency: effort vs. benefit Standards Conformity  Tool development  Rating criteria  Tool maintenance Maturity & Impact  Years operating  Ratings performed  Tool versions  National or intl. market  Market uptake  Empirical results Tool Administration  Business model  Tool delivery method  Staffing/support infrastructure  Languages  Ancillary services (training, credential) Rating Procedure  Responsible party  Transparency  Verification  Local adaptability  Monitoring/re-certification Costs to Use  Time  Fees  Documentation  Process  Rating Criteria  Creation process  Technical rigor  Scoring & weighting  Trade-off reconciliation  Mandatory vs. optional  Prescriptive vs. performance  Criteria maintenance Users  Households  Businesses  Neighborhood organizations  Designers  Developers  Local government  Disadvantaged groups Issues with Current ISWM DSTs While many of these DSTs have similar rating categories, it is evident that many of them have been developed for precise purposes or centered on specific themes. Few DSTs appears to have been developed with a comprehensive focus on sustainability, account for disruptive innovation, or have the appropriate metrics to measure as many important social, economic, and environmental aspects, as possible, across multiple departments. For example, US EPA’s Office of Research and Development, Air Pollution Prevention and Control Division developed a life cycle DST that allows designer to examine factors outside of the traditional MSW management framework of activities occurring from the point of waste
  21. 21. Development Of Appropriate Sustainable Decision Support Tools For Disruptive Solid Waste Technologies December 2016 Page | 21 collection to final disposal.8 Per US EPA, while this DST identifies and quantifies energy, water and materials usage and environmental releases (e.g., air emissions, solid waste disposal, waste water discharges), its main focus is to assess the potential human and ecological effects of energy, water, and material usage and the environmental releases on the potential environmental impacts associated with identified inputs and releases. However, this DST does not take into account technical performance, cost, or political and social acceptance. Moreover, this DST is based on the hierarchy of diverting waste material from the landfill and only considers the wastestream characteristics. Therefore, it is US EPA recommends that this LCA not be used in conjunction with these other parameters.9 In 2009, EPA developed a Waste Reduction Model (WARM), a tool which provides material- specific emission factors for activities such as recycling, combustion, landfilling, and composting. However, the focus of WARM is mainly on reducing GHGs. WARM compares the emissions and offsets resulting from a material in a baseline and an alternative management pathway in order to provide decision-makers with comparative emission results. For example, WARM could be used to calculate the GHG implications of landfilling 10 tons of office paper versus recycling the same amount of office paper. With respect to recycling, WARM focuses on redesigning products to use fewer materials (e.g., lightweighting, material substitution); reusing products and materials (e.g., a refillable water bottle), extending the useful lifespan of products, and avoiding using materials in the first place (e.g., reducing junk mail, reducing demand for uneaten food). But what if a disruptive innovation allowed for significant increases in recycling, thus lower energy usage, as compared to both reduced landfill costs and GHG emissions? What if another type of analysis indicated that as a result of lower overall net costs (thus more available revenue), the higher cost of lightweighting and material substitution. (e.g. aluminum) could be avoided, and that the more GHG-producing material, e.g. steel, would have no net impact on GHG emissions, especially in areas of the country such as Pennsylvania where re-hiring the labor force is politically and socially important? Here, both LCA approaches may not be able to provide many of the answers needed to address important social, economic, and environmental aspects, in different parts of the county or across multiple departments. DST Modification Factors As described by Allesch and Brunner (2014), a simplistic approach to new DST development may first be needed before the impact of disruptive innovation can be assessed. 1. Goals are important and first be must clearly stated. This concerns two types of goals: a. First, the objectives for waste management, as provided by the legislative framework, policy statement, or regional guideline, must be considered. It is important to focus on these objectives because these objectives can be manifold and even contradictory and because these objectives have a determining influence on the methodology that must be chosen for the evaluation. 8 Application of Life-Cycle Management to Evaluate Integrated Municipal Solid Waste Management Strategies, United States Office of Research and Environmental Protection Development May 2006 Agency Washington, DC 20460 9 LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT: PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE by Scientific Applications International Corporation (SAIC), May 2006
  22. 22. Development Of Appropriate Sustainable Decision Support Tools For Disruptive Solid Waste Technologies December 2016 Page | 22 b. Second, the purpose, scope, and the goals for the assessment must be clearly defined, considering the addressees and the objectives of waste management stated in (i). It is important to select a preliminary assessment method, or, most often, a set of assessment methods, that is capable of addressing all the criteria necessary for characterizing the goals established in the first step. To meet these expectations, numerous studies have been published. If only a part of the goals are to be considered, for example environmental protection such as in a LCA, this consideration must be clearly stated to allow for the comparison of different studies. According to the purpose of the assessment, it may be also necessary to address additional issues, such as the value of previous investments and of existing waste treatment components. It is evident that such a comprehensive evaluation is a demanding task requiring reliable methodologies, sound data, and experienced evaluators. 2. Often, waste management systems are assessed by evaluating the impacts caused by selected single outputs, for example emissions. A comprehensive evaluation must consider all direct and indirect impacts. Waste management should be perceived as a ‘throughput economy’, with inputs from the market and with outputs to the market and to the environment. Taking this view, the complexity of the economic system is apparent. It becomes evident that sophisticated assessment methods are required, especially for disruptive innovations. Only such methods are able to evaluate the economic, ecological, and social effects of a waste management system. The choice of the starting point and end point of an assessment can have a decisive impact on the results. The scope and system boundaries have to be selected carefully, because changing the boundaries can have a key influence on the results. Particularly in the case of recycling, it is important to consider not only emissions but also all the risks. The fate of hazardous substances that are not released to the environment, but that are retained in the recycling goods, must be followed as well. If not, then an ‘after-care-free’ waste management cannot be established because these hazardous substances will have to be managed after x cycles (Velis and Brunner, 2013). Hence, when recycling processes, or even landfilling, are assessed, waste composition, process characteristics, emissions, and recycling product qualities must be known. In summary, inputs must be linked with outputs. 3. The application of the mass balance principle is crucial for an impartial, comprehensible evaluation. Assessment methods can be divided into two groups: methods that are based on the mass balance principle and other methods that do not require this strict precondition. The establishment mass balances of the total waste management system is recommended as a base for any subsequent evaluation step. Such mass balances on the level of goods and substances represent required and highly useful tools for evaluation because these tools allow the cross-checking plausibility of available information (Brunner and Rechberger, 2004). When evaluating waste management systems, data availability and data quality are often limiting steps. Wastes contain many products that are made from complex mixtures of elements and that are composed of countless substances, yielding highly heterogeneous combinations. In fact, wastes may contain everything because their content cannot be completely controlled. Thus, to analyze waste inputs over longer periods for real situations is a non-trivial, time- consuming, and costly endeavor. A more effective means is output-oriented analysis. If
  23. 23. Development Of Appropriate Sustainable Decision Support Tools For Disruptive Solid Waste Technologies December 2016 Page | 23 inputs and outputs of waste treatment systems are monitored and balanced, then the law of conservation of matter allows the comparison of information concerning material flows from the input side with the output side. Hence, data can be crosschecked, deviations can be detected, and additional investigations can be performed, if necessary. The products of waste treatment are generally more homogenous and easier to analyze, and the accuracy of waste composition data calculated from the products of waste treatment is usually higher (Brunner and Ernst, 1986). This advantage becomes even more pronounced when, in addition to the level of goods, the level of substances is considered. Mass balances on the level of goods ensure that the total input (wastes) and total output (products, residues, emissions) match. Substance balances go one step further; these balances ensure that inputs and outputs correspond on the level of individual elements or chemical compounds (e.g. carbon or CO2). Thus, if an array of valuable and hazardous substances is balanced together with the flow of inputs and outputs of goods, then the resulting information serves as a reliable and comprehensive base for subsequent evaluation steps. Hence, a mass balance approach based on a rigid input–output analysis of the entire waste management system should be taken. Well suited for this purpose is material flow analysis, a systematic assessment that considers all processes, flows, and stocks in a defined system, delivering a complete and consistent set of information concerning a waste management system (Brunner and Rechberger, 2004). 4. Assessments must be reproducible, comprehensible, and transparent regarding methodology and data. Methods based on mass balances must be favored and applied that promote these characteristics. Good, impartial, and reliable data sources with known uncertainty are crucial. Objectivity, transparency, and confirmability are not only necessary during the assessment step; these qualities are also of key importance when the results are presented, for example policy decisions. Politicians, stakeholders, and decision makers generally require results that these individuals can grasp with little effort. If informative and convincing text, figures, and tables are produced in a transparent and reproducible manner, then the results of the assessment are likely to have a larger impact. As a framework for waste management decisions, assessment methods depict the strengths and weaknesses of different management alternatives. An approach based on mass balances or on a goal-oriented evaluation of impacts is a powerful means to ensure comprehension, objectivity, rigidity, and transparency. Applying this approach for assessing waste management systems will result in better and more comprehensive support for decision makers. Accounting for Disruptive Innovation To account for disruptive innovation, the new DST can be assessed based on one of four according to a community’s ISWM aims. 1. ‘Scenario-based’: an evaluation of different scenarios to find the best scenario for a single project/community or for a whole waste management system. 2. ‘Comparison-based’: a comparison of countries/cities/regions or companies to determine the best in a defined category. 3. ‘Performance-based’: an evaluation of the performance of a single project (e.g. treatment plant) or strategy (waste management system) with the goal to increase efficiency.
  24. 24. Development Of Appropriate Sustainable Decision Support Tools For Disruptive Solid Waste Technologies December 2016 Page | 24 4. ‘Goal-based’: an evaluation of the current status of a project or strategy concerning provided goals or regulations. In the cited 2014 study of conventional DST approaches used, approximately 60% of these were ‘scenario-based’. Often, three or four scenarios were compared; however, the range of the considered scenarios in the reviewed studies was from one to 19. One-third of the studies used the ‘performance-based’ approach, and approximately 10% were ‘comparison-based’. Only four studies compared the efficiency of current waste management systems with provided goals or laws. The scales (boundaries and functional units) used in the study were (i) one unit of a specific waste stream (e.g. 1 tonne organic household waste), (ii) the entire waste input and output of a treatment plant, or (iii) the waste management system of a city, country, or region. In a few cases, household waste or waste generated through the demolition of buildings was investigated. Only approximately one-fifth of the reviewed studies used the mass balance principle (Brunner and Rechberger, 2004) to identify the inputs and outputs of the investigated system. More commonly, only the outputs of the systems were considered. Each scenario has its benefits. However, it is proposed that the DST should first map out the internal value-adding processes, as these processes make the final product (or service) more valuable to the end consumer (or constituent) than otherwise it would have been. The difference between the traditional supply or value chain and the value stream is that the former includes the complete activities of all the departments involved, whereas the latter refers only to the specific parts of the municipality that actually add value to the specific service under consideration. As such the value stream is a far more focused and contingent (dependent) view of the value-adding process. For example, if a community could generate as much plastic waste as it wanted, completely disregarding the US EPA’s waste hierarchy, yet still met its recycling goals (75%) through the application of an SL and blending of recovered recyclables into the communities existing recycling program, which departments would be affected? Would every department that generated waste then be able to reduce its own waste (and costs) as extraction from the landfill would now replace inter-departmental recycling? Here, the DST would need to identify direct and indirect value streams within the departments that impact the outcome, based upon internal and external situations, versus the municipality as a whole. Another example, is where municipalities seek to modify land development codes to encourage sustainable development as well as provide financial incentives to encourage infill and redevelopment. Mapping the internal value-adding processes would be beneficial to the DST processes, whereby landfill property that is not used for building such a structure could be monetized and management differently, as compared to other properties. Resources, Standards, and Models To aid the development of a new DST, there are a number for resources and standards that are available to the designer. Presented below are just a few. ENVISION Different than Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification for buildings, Envision recognizes that infrastructure has different challenges. Buildings are under the control of a single owner or entity, where one can readily optimize the building systems. Yet, for infrastructure, there is no single responsible entity. There are multiple departments with different
  25. 25. Development Of Appropriate Sustainable Decision Support Tools For Disruptive Solid Waste Technologies December 2016 Page | 25 issues, agendas, schedules, budgets, customers and integration needed at the city/community and regional levels. In the Envision rating system there are five main categories: 1. Quality of Life specifically addresses a project’s impact on communities from the health and well-being of individuals to the well-being of the larger social fabric as a whole. 2. Leadership is comprised of the tasks that demonstrate effective leadership and commitment by all parties involved in a project including meaningful commitments from the owner, team leaders, & constructors. 3. Resource Allocation measures the use of renewable and non-renewable resources for the project. Benefits of managing resources needed will allow a longer life as we know it. 4. Natural World allows project teams to assess the effect of the project on the preservation and renewal of ecosystem functions. This section addresses how to understand and minimize negative impacts while considering ways in which the infrastructure can interact with natural systems in a synergistic and positive way. 5. Climate and Risk looks at two main concepts: minimizing emissions that may contribute to increased short- and long-term risks and ensuring that infrastructure projects are resilient to short-term hazards or altered long-term future conditions. Envision also helps clients and communities define what broad terms like sustainable, resilient, and smart mean to them. For example, Envision contains sixty credits, each one representing an indicator of sustainability, such as: • Stimulate local growth and development • Improve public health and safety • Take into account stakeholder views and concerns • Last longer • Reduce energy needs • Protect farmland • Withstand climate change threats Lastly, Innovation Points are assigned in each of the five categories for both exceptional performance beyond the expectations of the system and the application of methods that push innovation in sustainable infrastructure. Innovation credits act as bonus points that are added to the project score. Examples include a project where job development and training far exceed the restorative level and fundamentally revitalize a community’s economy, or a project where the stormwater management system is a community-wide resource for capturing stormwater, preventing erosion, and treating stormwater prior to release back into natural hydrologic systems. In addition, Envision can be used in choosing materials. One can ask, is a community using recycled materials? This can reduce the load on the landfill. We cannot just consider the cost of taking material to the landfill – what about the future cost? The questions are answered, the points tallied, and projects are then scored, planned and executed, only to be assessed by Envision to ensure quality control. Using Envision for ISWM Modifications Envision is flexible because of the diverse range of projects it addresses and that there are no “prerequisites” or “must-dos” like in other rating systems. Lastly, Envision incorporates sustainable philosophies into discreet infrastructure projects. While these and other benefits
  26. 26. Development Of Appropriate Sustainable Decision Support Tools For Disruptive Solid Waste Technologies December 2016 Page | 26 arguably help expand how project teams look at sustainability to encourage more creative ways of solving infrastructure and solid waste challenges, there are some limitations inherent within Envision that the user should know which can lead to an improper scoring and/or outcome. For example, the merits of applying Envision to two Texas water infrastructure projects that were specifically designed to enhance supply resiliency were assessed by retroactively rating the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) Twin Oaks Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR).10 In this review, the authors described that the novelty and innovation inherent in the ASR was largely overlooked by Envision, which often does not evaluate sector-specific concepts. Here, several important aspects of groundwater sustainability were omitted: aquifer-wide monitoring programs, sustainable yield, groundwater regulations, and public awareness of water resource limitations. To address this, an effective water resource sustainability index was proposed to include system principles and simultaneously assess both surface and subsurface water supplies. Per the authors, Envision’s focus was more on project implementation and less on what a project does on a large scale. If Envision were used in conjunction with a groundwater specific sustainability index, the authors argue, both the water system and the individual water project could be reviewed together in a truly holistic manner. Using the Twin Oaks Envision rating as an example, five important aspects of the Envision system should be noted when apply is as a DST for a disruptive innovation in regard to ISWM planning: 1) Conflation of project purpose and project design 2) No weighting of points based upon local needs 3) Project-oriented focus omits systems scale 4) Uneven weighting of three sustainability pillars 5) Positive scoring overlooks negative aspects of projects 6) Established hierarchies (e.g. waste) can be challenged and thus affect scoring In the case of the ISWM planning, Envision also builds on the assumption that while landfilling has a huge impact on the sustainability of the community, siting a new landfill not only costs money, it has many social impacts that have a cost. Yet, its developers admit that it too may be difficult to assign a value to it. Other assumptions include:  As much waste or materials as possible should be avoided from landfills;  Priorities are given for the production and/or use of renewable energy;  Landfills will always produce methane; and  Energy consumption is fixed as part of landfill operations. Potentially Applicable Standards, Principles, and Models International Organization for Standardizations (ISO) The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is the world's largest developer of voluntary international standards which facilitates world trade by providing common standards between nations. Nearly twenty thousand standards have been set covering everything from manufactured products and technology to food safety, agriculture and healthcare. ISO 9001, for example, has been shown to improve sales, customer satisfaction, corporate image and market 10 Using Envision to Assess the Sustainability of Groundwater Infrastructure: A Case Study of the Twin Oaks Aquifer Storage and Recovery Project. Article by Cody R. Saville, Gretchen R. Miller * and Kelly Brumbelow, Texas A & M University, 2016
  27. 27. Development Of Appropriate Sustainable Decision Support Tools For Disruptive Solid Waste Technologies December 2016 Page | 27 share (Manders 2014 ) and ISO 14001 (discussed below) has been shown to have a positive impact on environmental performance worldwide (de Vries et al, 2012 ) In the UK standards account for an $8.2bn annual growth in GDP, while in Canada, the use of standards has injected over $91bn into the economy since 1981. When developing a new DST, applicable and salient ISO standards should be used. With respect to disruptive technologies such as the ALBS, the ones listed in Table 7 may apply: (More detail is provided in Exhibit B) Table 7: Description of Selected ISO Standards Applicable to the ALBS ISO Category 14001 Environmental Management Systems 14040 Environmental management - Life cycle assessment 14064 14065 Climate Change 14064 Water Protection 18091 Quality Management Systems in Local Government 37101 Sustainable Development in Communities 50001 Energy Capacity, Management, Operations, and Maintenance Programs (CMOMs) Strategic tools to support the most effective and efficient use of a utility's resources have become critically important to a utility's planning process. Using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's capacity, management, operations, and maintenance program (CMOM) as a guide, utilities such water and wastewater prepare performance management plans to address the challenges of rapidly growing populations and stretched water resources. Originally developed for wastewater utilities, CMOM can addresses many aspects of a municipality’s organization, with specific focuses such as water utility management and operations, financial considerations, water treatment maintenance issues, public health protection, regulatory compliance, and safety. For example, in Orange County, Florida, the County’s Water CMOM program showed the gaps in the utility's organization, provided a method to prioritize and implement gap closure projects, and aligned the final recommendations of the assessment with the utility's goals and mission statement. The program created a repeatable process that can measure how the utility is performing, re-analyze the utility periodically, show gaps in performance, develop plans to close those gaps, and remeasure the utility using performance indicators and industry-accepted metrics. Climate- Based Efforts The Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC) is a partnership of governments, intergovernmental organizations, the environmental community, and other groups that is dedicated to catalyzing rapid reductions in SLCPs to protect human health and the environment now, and to slow the rate of climate change within the first half of this century. One of the CCAC’s focal areas is the Mitigating SLCPs from Municipal Solid Waste Initiative, where the CCAC works to enable cities, with the support of their regional and national governments, to move along the waste hierarchy in a coordinated and cohesive manner in order
  28. 28. Development Of Appropriate Sustainable Decision Support Tools For Disruptive Solid Waste Technologies December 2016 Page | 28 to mitigate methane and black carbon emissions. Information on actions that cities can take to improve waste management and reduce SLCP emissions is available through the CCAC MSW Knowledge Platform (http://waste.ccac-knowledge.net). LEAN A “Lean” organization understands customer value and focuses its key processes to continuously increase it. The ultimate goal is to provide perfect value to the customer through a perfect value creation process that has zero waste. The core idea is to maximize customer value while minimizing waste. Simply, lean means creating more value for customers with fewer resources. To accomplish this, lean thinking changes the focus of management from optimizing separate technologies, assets, and vertical departments to optimizing the flow of products and services through entire value streams that flow horizontally across technologies, assets, and departments to customers. Eliminating waste along entire value streams, instead of at isolated points, creates processes that need less human effort, less space, less capital, and less time to make products and services at far less costs and with much fewer defects, compared with traditional business systems. Companies are able to respond to changing customer desires with high variety, high quality, low cost, and with very fast throughput times. Also, information management becomes much simpler and more accurate. DST Software and Models EASEWASTE Commonly used software tools for LCAs include EASEWASTE and SimaPro software programs. EASEWASTE (Environmental Assessment of Solid Waste Systems and Technology) is a LCA-based DST which calculates waste flow, resource consumption and environmental emissions from waste management systems. It also provides an impact assessment in terms of potential global warming, ozone depletion, photochemical ozone formation, acidification, nutrient enrichment, ecotoxicity and human toxicity. The model also possesses two impact categories: Spoiled Groundwater Resources and Stored Toxicity. The model is flexible, user- friendly and provides default data for waste composition, collection, transport, various treatment processes, landfilling, use on land, recycling, utilization as well as upstream and downstream processes (for example electricity consumption and heat production). As such programs are mechanized, they can be readily modified. For example, EASEWASTE assumes that time periods are long, and as such, waste materials and substances are left in the waste at the end of the set time period. In the conventional landfill case, the organic waste may be somewhat degraded, but the landfill can still contain significant amounts of materials and substances that can support leaching for long time. In order not to forget what is left in the waste after the time period in focus, EASEWASTE includes an impact potential called “stored toxicity.” This metric basically keeps account of how much is left of each toxic substance in the waste at the end of the normal decay period and ascribes each substance the characterization factor for ecotoxicity to water and to soil, 50% each, an arbitrary assumption that half of the toxic substances end up in the water compartment and the other half in the soil compartment. However, this model can be modified using empirical ALBS data, including results which show less impact remaining, than assumed. This ties directly to long-term care of the landfill after closure and costs.
  29. 29. Development Of Appropriate Sustainable Decision Support Tools For Disruptive Solid Waste Technologies December 2016 Page | 29 TOPSIS Over the last decade, sustainability experts and modelers have proposed more advanced DSTs and method, for example a sustainability measurement and scoring system for assessing the efforts of organizations at meeting sustainability targets. Using a “technique for order preference by similarity to ideal solution” (TOPSIS) as the basic framework, this method proposes to incorporate all three sustainability dimensions – economic, environmental and social – to establish a threshold below which an organization is considered to have failed a sustainability test. In addition, time-independent thresholds are proposed to enable a clearer comparison of performance of organizations over time. Such proposed methods include plots for visualizing the sustainability performance of organizations under review. In this example case, the proposed method first assigns target values to a hypothetical organization. TOPSIS is then used to generate composite scores in which the score of the hypothetical organization is set as the threshold below which organizations are deemed to have failed a sustainability test. Using the square of the closeness coefficient of TOPSIS, the final composite score is decomposed into three components to reflect the contribution of the three dimensions of sustainability to serve as a guide to determining which dimension to focus on for improvement. A relative comparison score is then proposed to track the performance of organizations over time. While such proposals appear more advanced than other sustainability assessments, it is important to know that such methods are available when either disruptive innovations or more complex interrelations are at stake as part of ISWM planning. Humanitarian Standards The Sphere Project The Sphere Project http://www.sphereproject.org/ is a voluntary initiative that brings a wide range of humanitarian agencies together around a common aim - to improve the quality of humanitarian assistance and the accountability of humanitarian actors to their constituents, donors and affected populations. The Sphere Handbook, Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response, is one of the most widely known and internationally recognized sets of common principles and universal minimum standards in life-saving areas of humanitarian response. The Sphere Project is structured very loosely, without any membership or sign-up process for organizations. Yet, its aim is that agencies use Sphere minimum standards to the benefit of affected populations. While focused more on international efforts, there are elements of Sphere that can be integrated into sustainable ISWM. Sustainability Assessment & Measurement Principles (Bellagio STAMP) A growing number of organizations have been involved in the development of indicator systems around the key socio-economic and environmental concerns of sustainable development within their own context. In order to provide guidance and promote best practice, in 1997 a global group of leading measurement and assessment experts developed the Bellagio Principles. The Bellagio Principles have become a widely quoted reference point for measuring sustainable development, but new developments in policy, science, civil society and technology have made their update
  30. 30. Development Of Appropriate Sustainable Decision Support Tools For Disruptive Solid Waste Technologies December 2016 Page | 30 necessary. The Principles founders state they are responding to widespread calls for greater harmony with the natural environment and for measures to secure the wellbeing of current and future generations. http://www.sustainabledevelopment2015.org The Bellagio Sustainability Assessment and Measurement Principles (BellagioSTAMP) have been developed through a similar expert group process, using the original Principles as a starting point. Intended to be used as a complete set, the new BellagioSTAMP includes eight principles: (1) Guiding vision; (2) Essential considerations; (3) Adequate scope; (4) Framework and indicators; (5) Transparency; (6) Effective communications; (7) Broad participation; and (8) Continuity and capacity. Overall, while the BellagioSTAMP process focus is mainly the eradication of poverty through sustainable development, the Principles are designed to help any group assessing societal progress, considering policy options or advocating change: community bodies, academics, non- governmental organizations, corporations, governments and international institutions. BellagioSTAMP helps realize the full potential of sustainability assessments by guiding them in these areas: • Content – Questions that should be answered in assessments • Process – The way in which assessments should be carried out • Scope – Range of assessments across the dimensions of time and geography • Impact – The way to maximize the impact of assessments on the public and policy makers These principles are interrelated and are intended to be used as a complete set and its framework supports communities revisiting of how they assess progress as a key lever for sustainable development. Therefore, they can used as a learning tool. Further, high level principles can help guide measurement and assessment system design. Lastly, BellagioSTAMP principles cover both the content and process of measurement and assessment. Conclusion Incorporating "green infrastructure" practices within large urban areas can effectively and affordably complement traditional infrastructure. Yet, integration of disruptive innovations, such as the ALBS, can make sustainability and ISWM planning challenging. As presented herein, there are a number of available resources and standards to help planners develop new DSTs, yet they should consider that community goals and regulations are important, and first be must clearly stated. Further, waste management should be perceived as a ‘throughput economy’, with inputs from the market and with outputs to the market and to the environment. Also, assessment of any ISWM must be based on waste composition, process characteristics, emissions, and recycling product qualities, and inputs must be linked with outputs. Lastly, DST assessments must be reproducible, comprehensible, and transparent regarding methodology and data.