WIT Press

Methods For Sustainable Management Of Secondary Resources


Free (open access)

Paper DOI






Page Range

323 - 330




3,257 kb


A. Pehlken, M. Rolbiecki, A. Decker & K.-D. Thoben


Dumping secondary raw materials is already forbidden by legislation in Europe. Due to limited resources, especially in high-tech products or the dependency on other countries who provide specific minerals or metals, efficient recycling processes are improving to guarantee a sustainable management of secondary resources with replacing primary resources. We can save our raw materials by either reducing the consumption of primary raw materials or the increased use of secondary raw materials. Processing waste materials ensures the availability of secondary resources. To evaluate the potential of the reusability of materials the knowledge of material flows of recycling processes and their characteristics is essential. For example, the knowledge of the quantity and quality of material flows gives an indication for the assessment of the environmental process performance. The combination of Material Flow Assessment (MFA) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) may help to improve sustainable resource management and makes environmental decision making easier. This paper will give an overview on the required information received from recycling processes to build up an environmental management system to serve as a tool for sustainable material management. The main focus lies on the material characteristics, uncertainties and the material’s future potential to replace primary resources. Keywords: material flow assessment, life cycle assessment, sustainable resource management, uncertainty.


material flow assessment, life cycle assessment, sustainable resource management, uncertainty