The aim of the guide is to assist councils in avoiding common pitfalls when undertaking or commissioning carbon footprint or life cycle analysis studies of waste management.

It includes an introduction to the concept of modelling environmental impacts on a life cycle basis, a description of the common life cycle assessment and carbon footprint software tools available on the market.

It also highlights the considerations that should be given to the scope of such studies and discusses the main assumptions that need to be fed into them for a waste-specific analysis.

The tool was developed by ADEPT, an association comprising council directors on environment, economy, planning and transport across the UK.

ADEPT’s waste panel identified that an increasing amount of complex information was needed to make informed decisions on waste management infrastructure and collection systems.

Chair of the ADEPT waste panel, Julia Barrett, said: “Our choices must be based on sound evidence to ensure the best possible environmental outcome is balanced with the constraints of the public purse.

“The guide aims to support those who have a variety of responsibilities to make good decisions within a specialist field.”

The tool, Carbon sense for better waste management, can be downloaded here

Maxine Perella

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