To Transport Waste or Transport Recycling Plant: Insights from Life-Cycle Analysis

To Transport Waste or Transport Recycling Plant: Insights from Life-Cycle Analysis

Guilhem Grimaud1,2, Laratte Bertrand2,3, Perry Nicolas2

1MTB Recycling, 38460 Trept, France; 2Arts & Métiers ParisTech, I2M-IMC, UMR 5295, Talence, France; 3APESA-Innovation, France

The rise of the world population and its life conditions go hand in hand with the growth of consumption of energy and raw materials as well as the steadily growing CO2 concentration in atmosphere. It is therefore vital to find industrial solutions to maintain standards of living equivalent while also decoupling resource use and demand. The circular economy offers a partial answer to this problem. Often motivated by economic considerations, companies are developing recycling solutions in close loop. Nevertheless, although the benefits of recycling are well established, the industrial processes need to be designed in regard with their environmental impacts.

The purpose of this study is to determine the environmental and economic balance between a collection of wastes and transport to a centralised recycling plant versus the displacement of a recycling plant near the waste production location. Two systems are compared in the study. The first one considers a centralised recycling plant that gathers batch of cables from different locations in the country. The second scenario considers a transportable recycling plant system, the CABLEBOX (designed by MTB Recycling), which is regularly moved to stay close to the wastes deposit and recycle waste cables.

On the one hand, the study demonstrates environmental benefits for transportable recycling plant in comparison with waste collection for centralised recycling. On the other hand, the economic results show advantages of such solution. Transportable recycling solutions seem to be a good answer to solve waste logistic issues, both from an economic and an environmental point of view.