WARM a Tool for GHG Evaluation of Waste Management Strategies

WARM (WAste Reduction Model) was created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to support solid waste managers and organizations in planning waste management strategies under climate aspect. It is available in a web based calculator format and as a Microsoft EXCEL spreadsheet (EPA, 2005a).

WARM calculates GHG emissions for waste management practices, including source reduction, recycling, combustion, composting and deposition. In every calculation case a baseline and an alternative option are compared. The GHG emission factors were calculated following the LCA methodology (see chapter 8). A wide range of materials is considered (see table 12.14). For an explanation why recycling some materials reduces GHG emissions more than source reduction (e.g. aluminium) see EPA (2008b).

Table 12.14 GHG emission data of waste components used in the WARM model (EPA, 2005a)

Material

GHG emissions of materials (t CO2-eq./t )

source reduced

recycled

deposited

combusted

composted

Aluminum cans

-8.97

-14.93

0.04

0.06

Steel cans

-3.21

-1.79

0.04

-1.53

Copper wire

-7.55

-5.08

0.04

0.06

Glass

-0.58

-0.28

0.04

0.05

HDPE

-1.81

-1.41

0.04

0.90

Material

GHG emissions of materials (t CO2-eq./t )

source reduced

recycled

deposited

combusted

composted

LDPE

-2.29

-1.71

0.04

0.90

PET

-2.12

-1.55

0.04

1.07

Corrugated cardboard

-2.63

-2.74

0.59

-0.66

Magazines/third-class mail

-4.30

-2.70

-0.23

-0.48

Newspaper

-4.06

-3.49

-0.80

-0.75

Office paper

-3.64

-2.48

2.27

-0.63

Phonebooks

-5.23

-3.34

-0.80

-0.75

Textbooks

-4.82

-2.74

2.27

-0.63

Dimensional lumber

-2.02

-2.45

-0.39

-0.79

Medium density fiberboard (MDF)

-2.23

-2.47

-0.39

-0.79

Food scraps

0.84

-0.18

-0.20

Yard trimmings

-0.15

-0.22

-0.20

Grass

0.03

-0.22

-0.20

Leaves

-0.10

-0.22

-0.20

Branches

-0.39

-0.22

-0.20

Mixed paper, broad

-3.17

0.52

-0.66

Mixed paper, residential

-3.17

0.42

-0.66

Mixed paper, office

-3.06

0.64

-0.60

Mixed metals

-7.27

0.04

-0.47

Mixed plastics

-1.51

0.04

0.97

Mixed recyclables

-2.87

0.28

-0.62

Mixed organics

0.33

-0.20

-0.20

Mixed MSW

0.58

-0.13

Carpet

-4.10

-7.36

0.04

0.37

Personal computers

-58.07

-2.46

0.04

-0.20

Clay bricks

-0.29

0.04

Aggregate

-0.01

0.04

Fly ash

-0.87

0.04

To use the model it is necessary to define the waste management practices to be compared and to gather the waste management data, such as type and amount of waste components at the existing waste management practice as well as in prospective alternative scenarios. For all technological elements of waste management processes WARM proposes certain values (see table 12.15) which may be changed if necessary to adapt to a specific situation.

Table 12.15 WARM standard technological items

Waste management practice

Program standard

Possible choices by user

Benefits of source reduction

Current mix of virgin and recycled inputs (see figure 12.1)

100 percent unhandled material (represents an upper limit of possible effects)

Landfill gas recovery

U.S. national average based on the emission proportions of landfills with landfill gas control in 2000

Landfill gas recovery No landfill gas

Recovery of energy Flare only

Landfill gas efficiency after national average: 75 percent

Current or predicted efficiency

Waste transportation distances

Estimated distances from the curb to the landfill or waste treatment facility, as combustion, recycling or composting: 20 miles

Actual distance

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