Characterization of university solid waste and estimation of greenhouse gas emissions in two management alternatives

Keywords: environmental equivalences, greenhouse gases, solid waste, waste treatment


The generation of solid waste in university canteens impacts the environment. When these are not well-managed, they release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere; this is due mainly to the breakdown of organic waste. The aim of this project was to estimate the amount of greenhouse gases and their environmental equivalences based on the results obtained in 2019 from the characterization of solid waste in the canteens of the Universidad Científica del Sur. The methodology was conducted in accordance with the guidelines for the characterization of municipal solid waste and the greenhouse gas inventory guide. It was found that 85.82% of waste is usable waste, of which 83.58% is organic, while 14.18% of waste is non-usable. Finally, two possible scenarios were considered for annual CO2eq generation: a) In Scenario 1, in which there is no management and recovery of waste, emissions totaling 28.88 tCO2eq were obtained, equivalent to the consumption of 3261 gallons of gasoline; b) While in Scenario 2, where the university manages and recovers solid waste, emissions totaling 4.07 tCO2eq were obtained, equivalent to the consumption of 458 gallons of gasoline.


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