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Waste Disposal

Waste disposal: tonne solid waste

This category represents the environmental issues associated with the loss of resource implied by the final disposal of waste. BRE uses an absolute measure based on the mass of any waste that is disposed of in landfill or incinerated. The aspect is also used in other characterisation methodologies, for example the Dutch EcoIndicator and the Swiss Ecopoints methods. The characterisation factor is based on the mass of solid waste. Key points for this characterisation factor are:

  • it reflects the loss of resource resulting from waste disposal (in contrast to recycling or reuse);
  • it does not include any other impacts associated with landfill or incineration – emissions from decomposition, burning and associated transport and other machinery are included in the relevant categories;
  • the mass of waste is used as a proxy for the loss of resource;
  • it includes waste sent to incineration and landfill or any other form of final disposal (e.g. dumping on land or in the sea);
  • it does not differentiate between hazardous, non-hazardous, inert or organic wastes;
  • different impacts from hazardous, non-hazardous etc will be included within the waste treatment models (landfill, incineration and composting) for these wastes;

Where heat recovery, energy recovery or other material recovery (e.g. recovery/recycling of ash, metal residues etc) are undertaken as part of incineration or landfill, then value is used to calculate the loss of resource.