WIT Press

The Application Of Multicriteria Decision Making Techniques In The Assessment Of Waste Management Strategies


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WIT Press


A Morrissey & J Browne


While not a new idea, there has been considerable interest over the years in modelling waste management for decision support. Most current waste models fall into one of two categories: those based on multicriteria decision analysis and those based on life cycle assessment. For a waste management system to be sustainable, it needs to be environmentally effective, economically affordable and socially acceptable and must be accepted by the population affected by the waste management system, It has been identified in the literature that the applications of these models have limitations and none have considered the complete waste management cycle, from the prevention of waste through to final disposal. Most of the models identified assume that all options and decision criteria have already been identified and that the most important stage of the process is the actual evaluation of the alternatives using some form of multicriteria decision making technique or life cycle assessment. While this is important, for a waste management model or strategy to be sustainable, the identification of environmental, economic and social criteria and alternatives is a crucial stage of a successful waste management plan. Many of the waste management systems identified consider economic and environmental aspects, with very few considering social aspects. The outcome of these models also depends on who is making the decisions and on the alternatives and criteria selected. In many cases, the community were not involved in the decision making process and the implementation of these models achieve limited success. Introduction While not a new idea, there has been considerable interest over the years in modelling waste management. The way the models are structured and the