Author(s): Pardo G, Moral R, Aguilera E, Del Prado A
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Abstract The establishment of sustainable soil waste management practices implies minimizing their environmental losses associated with climate change (greenhouse gases: GHGs) and ecosystems acidification (ammonia: NH3 ). Although a number of management strategies for solid waste management have been investigated to quantify nitrogen (N) and carbon (C) losses in relation to varied environmental and operational conditions, their overall effect is still uncertain. In this context, we have analyzed the current scientific information through a systematic review. We quantified the response of GHG emissions, NH3 emissions, and total N losses to different solid waste management strategies (conventional solid storage, turned composting, forced aerated composting, covering, compaction, addition/substitution of bulking agents and the use of additives). Our study is based on a meta-analysis of 50 research articles involving 304 observations. Our results indicated that improving the structure of the pile (waste or manure heap) via addition or substitution of certain bulking agents significantly reduced nitrous oxide (N2 O) and methane (CH4 ) emissions by 53\% and 71\%, respectively. Turned composting systems, unlike forced aerated composted systems, showed potential for reducing GHGs (N2 O: 50\% and CH4 : 71\%). Bulking agents and both composting systems involved a certain degree of pollution swapping as they significantly promoted NH3 emissions by 35\%, 54\%, and 121\% for bulking agents, turned and forced aerated composting, respectively. Strategies based on the restriction of O2 supply, such as covering or compaction, did not show significant effects on reducing GHGs but substantially decreased NH3 emissions by 61\% and 54\% for covering and compaction, respectively. The use of specific additives significantly reduced NH3 losses by 69\%. Our meta-analysis suggested that there is enough evidence to refine future Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) methodologies from solid waste, especially for solid waste composting practices. More holistic and integrated approaches are therefore required to develop more sustainable solid waste management systems. © 2014 The Authors. Global Change Biology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
This article was published in Glob Chang Biol
and referenced in Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry