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MSW management strategies for the city of Rome: a comparative assessment

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In this paper, on the basis of a detailed characterisation of the Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) generated in the city of Rome, different integrated management strategies regarding both source separation of selected fractions and the treatment and disposal of the residual commingled waste were compared and discussed in terms of achievable material and energy recovery. The main findings of this study, that can be extended to other regions characterised by similar environmental policies and social and economical conditions, showed that source separation percentages cannot realistically exceed certain maximum percentages, particularly when they are addressed at selecting waste fractions for recycling. Regarding the management of the residual commingled waste, thermal treatment of all the fractions for which no further material recovery can be realistically pursued resulted the most convenient strategy in terms of recoverable thermal energy.

Keywords: composition, energy recovery, material recovery, integrated management strategies, mechanical biological treatment, MSW, municipal solid waste, recycling, refuse derived fuel, residual commingled waste, source separation, Rome, Italy, thermal energy, waste management

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