An industrial ecology approach to municipal solid waste management: I. Methodology Academic Article uri icon


  • Municipal solid waste (MSW) can be viewed as a feedstock for industrial ecology inspired conversions of wastes to valuable products and energy. The industrial ecology principle of symbiotic processes using waste streams for creating value-added products is applied to MSW, with examples suggested for various residual streams. A methodology is presented to consider individual waste-to-energy or waste-to-product system synergies, evaluating the economic and environmental issues associated with each system. Steps included in the methodology include identifying waste streams, specific waste components of interest, and conversion technologies, plus steps for determining the economic and environmental effects of using wastes and changes due to transport, administrative handling, and processing. In addition to presenting the methodology, technologies for various MSW input streams are categorized as commercialized or demonstrated to provide organizations that are considering processes for MSW with summarized information. The organization can also follow the methodology to analyze interesting processes.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Smith, R. L., Sengupta, D., Takkellapati, S., & Lee, C. C.

citation count

  • 24

complete list of authors

  • Smith, RL||Sengupta, D||Takkellapati, S||Lee, CC

publication date

  • January 2015