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About TOPWASTE

The main objective of the project is to contribute to improved use of waste for energy or material recycling integrating economic and environmental considerations including resource scarcity.

Important questions to answer will be:

“How much waste will we have in the future?”
“What is the future optimal treatment of waste fractions in terms of economy and the environment: recycling or energy production?”
“Which regulatory and organizational measures may support the achievement of political goals under different market conditions?”

This is done by developing a coordinated set of four tools to analyze and plan investments and activities, taking into account that the waste management sector and the energy sector are intertwined and will be subject to new market conditions:

1) A new least-cost optimization model which prioritizes between different current and emerging recycling and waste-to-energy alternatives (OptiWaste)
2) A new life cycle assessment (LCA) tool giving an overview of environmental impacts (EnviroWaste)
3) An improved econometric model which projects the future amounts of waste (FRIDA)
4) An improved least-cost optimization model of the national energy system assessing the impact of waste on the energy system (Balmorel).

The tools are applied to the Danish situation through analyses of future scenarios. By developing the tools through an interdisciplinary approach the goal is to investigate how the different sectors are aligned to each other, or how “environmental policy integration” can be made possible.

The four tools developed make it possible to combine analyses of the waste and energy sectors so that holistic and coherent planning of investments and development of policies are facilitated. The joint cooperation in the project across a range of academic fields will enhance our knowledge in each field as well as bring cross-cutting new insights forward thereby facilitating and promoting innovative solutions. The goal is first to develop an improved understanding of the significance of new organizational regimes and regulatory measures and establish knowledge of new waste treatment technologies and recoverable resources. Secondly interrelated user-friendly tools will be developed allowing for the assessment of future waste resources, as well as cost-optimization and environmental assessments of a range of scenarios describing possible future developments. Furthermore, waste treatment technologies with good potential for being the “Green Tech” of the future will be identified, increasing the potential for export of these technologies.