Determination of the least impactful municipal solid waste management option in Harare, Zimbabwe

Trust Nhubu, Edison Muzenda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Six municipal solid waste management (MSWM) options (A1-A6) in Harare were developed and analyzed for their global warming, acidification, eutrophication and human health impact potentials using life cycle assessment methodology to determine the least impactful option in Harare. Study findings will aid the development of future MSWM systems in Harare. A1 and A2 considered the landfilling and incineration, respectively, of indiscriminately collected MSW with energy recovery and byproduct treatment. Source-separated biodegradables were anaerobically treated with the remaining non-biodegradable fraction being incinerated in A3 and landfilled in A4. A5 and A6 had the same processes as in A3 and A4, respectively, except the inclusion of the recovery of 20% of the recoverable materials. The life cycle stages considered were collection and transportation, materials recovery, anaerobic digestion, landfilling and incineration. A5 emerged as the best option. Materials recovery contributed to impact potential reductions across the four impact categories. Sensitivity analysis revealed that doubling materials recovery and increasing it to 28% under A5 resulted in zero eutrophication and acidification, respectively. Increasing material recovery to 24% and 26% under A6 leads to zero acidification and eutrophication, respectively. Zero global warming and human health impacts under A6 are realised at 6% and 9% materials recovery levels, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Article number785
Number of pages22
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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