From linear to circular integrated waste management systems: A review of methodological approaches
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The continuous depletion of natural resources related to our lifestyle cannot be sustained indefinitely. Two major lines of action can be taken to overcome this challenge: the application of waste prevention policies and the shift from the classical linear Integrated Waste Management Systems (IWMSs) that focus solely on the treatment of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) to circular IWMSs (CIWMSs) that combine waste and materials management, incentivizing the circularity of resources. The system analysis tools applied to design and assess the performance of linear IWMSs were reviewed in order to identify the weak spots of these methodologies, the difficulties of applying them to CIWMSs, and the topics that could benefit from further research and standardization. The findings of the literature review provided the basis to develop a methodological framework for the analysis of CIWMSs that relies on the expansion of the typical IWMS boundaries to include the upstream subsystems that reflect the transformation of resources and its interconnections with the waste management subsystems.
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