- Open Access
Simulation of sustainable solid waste management system in Khulna city
© The Author(s) 2019
- Received: 14 June 2018
- Accepted: 12 March 2019
- Published: 30 April 2019
Municipal solid waste management (MSWM) is the major environmental concern for Khulna, the third largest city of Bangladesh. The aim of the study was to determine the most environmentally friendly option of MSWM system for Khulna city. The present system of MSWM in Khulna city was chosen as the baseline scenario in which recycling, composting and landfilling are 9.1, 4.4 and 86.5% respectively of the total managed waste. Different scenarios were developed by varying the percentage of recycling, composting and landfilling. The life cycle inventory analysis of MSWM system was done by integrated waste management model for each scenario. The model outputs of each scenario were classified into impact categories: emission of the following pollutants: greenhouse gases, acidic gases, smog precursors, heavy metal and organics to air and to water as well as quantity of residual waste and energy consumption or recovery. In the context of the aforesaid impact categories, scenario 7 consist of 71% composting, 13.6% recycling and 15.4% landfilling is the most favorable alternative for Khulna city.
- Municipal solid waste
- Life cycle assesment
- Greenhouse gases
- Energy consumption
Sustainable management of municipal solid waste (MSW) is a critical issue of the municipal authority in most of the cities in the world because of the growing volume of waste and the presence of harmful chemicals and additives in different waste fractions [1–3]. In Bangladesh, MSW management (MSWM) system is not well-organized and generally based on collection and dumping of MSW . In Khulna city, the quantity of total generated MSW is 420 to 520 t d− 1 and the Khulna city corporation (KCC) authority is responsible for waste management . By door to door collection system, MSW are generally deposited in secondary disposal sites (SDS) either by the dwellers themselves or community based organizations or non-government organizations . KCC performs MSWM through transportation of MSW from SDS to the final disposal sites (FDS) at Rajbandh, about 7 km away from the main city . The existing practice of MSWM has led to various emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) such as carbon dioxide from the production of new materials and methane from the decomposition of organic waste in landfills . Similarly, uncontrolled disposal of MSW is a latent reason for water pollution, public health problems, explosion and landslide.
The Waste Framework Directive does not state which assessment method should be used if deviating from the waste hierarchy, but one of the possibilities is life cycle assessment (LCA), which starts as an assessment method for products but has, since the early 1990s, begun to be used on waste management as well . Also LCA is an effective decision supporting tool associated with a product, process or service from cradle to grave and from production of the raw materials to final disposal of wastes for assessing different approaches of waste management through examining environmental impacts [10–13]. In Khulna city, a few studies have been found to assess the sustainable MSWM by applying LCA methodology. The aim of the present study is to determine the sustainable solid waste management system emphasizing on recycling and composting for Khulna city through LCA.
Survey in study area
A series of field surveys were done to find the amount of MSW used for landfilling, composting and recycling. The field surveys were conducted at each location of SDS, large hauled container points (LHCP), small hauled container points (SHCP), and distinct collection routes (DCR) throughout the city. Countless questionnaire surveys were done with the drivers of waste collection vehicles, employees of conservancy department of KCC, workers of waste collection vehicles and landfill management to collect the quantity of fuel used in collection and transportation of MSW. It is to be noted that the three major seasons are winter season (December to February), summer season (March to May) and rainy season (June to September) in Bangladesh. For the simplicity of research, the year was sub-divided into the two season, i.e., dry season (October to March) and wet season (April to September). Moreover, the amount of MSW from each location of SDS, LHCP, SHCP and DCR was recorded throughout the entire November 2016 for the dry season and throughout the entire July 2017 for the wet season.
Life cycle inventory analysis
The life cycle inventory analysis was done by an integrated waste management (IWM)-2.0 model which is an Excel TM model with a visual basic graphical interface . In Europe, South America and Asia, the IWM model is designed as a decision supporting tool to decide between various options for waste management in industry as well as local government [15–18].
Details of input data for baseline scenario in IWM model
Particulars in input screens
Total quantity of managed MSW, t
Composition of MSW, %
Distance driven by collection truck, km
Yard waste truck
Diesel fuel efficiency, km L−1
Electric grid selection, %
Diesel and light fuel oil
Heavy fuel oil
Management procedure of residue
Gas recovery system
Annul precipitation, mm
Landfill lining facility
Leachate collection system
Quantity of collected and transported MSW
Quantity of collected and transported MSW by KCC in Khulna city
Name of the sites
Quantity of MSW (t d−1)
(Number of sites)
Secondary disposal sites (17)
Large hauled container points (27)
Small hauled container points (11)
Distinct collection routes (12)
Description of the modelled scenarios
Baseline scenario (S-0)
Scenario 1 (S-1)
Scenario 2 (S-2)
Scenario 3 (S-3)
Scenario 4 (S-4)
Scenario 5 (S-5)
Scenario 6 (S-6)
Scenario 7 (S-7)
It is estimated that the recyclable waste in the city is about 14.2%, and compostable food and vegetable waste is about 78.9% from the composition of solid waste of Khulna city . In the scenario 1 (S-1), the composting is increased to six times of the baseline scenario (26.3%) because of present existing facility of composting technique by a non-government organization named Rural Unfortunates Safely Talisman Illumination Cottage which is locally called RUSTIC, recycling is considered at the same of the baseline scenario (9.1%) and landfilling is decreased to 64.6%. This scenario emphasizes composting technique of MSW in Khulna city . Smiliarly in the scenario 2 (S-2), the composting is increased to twelve times of baseline scenario (52.6%), the recycling is considered at the same level of the baseline scenario (9.1%) and landfilling is decreased (38.3%). The reason for the further increment of the percentage of composting of MSW is to compare the amount of emission reduction of different environmental parameters. In the scenario 3 (S-3), the composting is increased to the highest level as 71.0% (i.e., 90% of compostable food and vegetable waste) due to the available quantity of compostable MSW excluding losses in collection, transportation, and sorting from other MSW, the recycling is at the same of the baseline scenario (9.1%) and landfilling is decreased (19.9%).
In the scenario 4 (S-4), the recycling is increased to its highest level of maximum recycleable MSW as 13.6% excluding 5 to 6% material losses, composting is considered at the same level of the baseline scenario (4.4%) and landfilling is decreased (82.0%).
Life cycle inventory analysis
Based on the data gathered at the inventory analysis stage, the IWM Model was run for total managed waste of 411.23 t d− 1 in each scenario. The results of the simulation were evaluated on the environmental aspects for all the scenarios as described below. It is to be noted that in all tables, positive values indicate energy consumed or emission released and negative values indicate energy recovered or emissions reduced.
Emission of GHGs from modelled scenarios in net LCI
Emission of GHGs (kg CO2 eq d− 1)
Emission reduction (%)
Emission of acidic gases in total waste management system
NOx (kg d− 1)
SOx (kg d−1)
HCl (kg d−1)
Emission of smog precursors in total waste management system
NOx (kg d−1)
PM (kg d− 1)
VOCs (kg d−1)
Emission of heavy metal and organics to air in total waste management system
Emission of heavy metal and organics to air (mg d−1)
Emission of heavy metal and organics to water in total waste management system
Emission of heavy metal and organics to water
Lead (mg d− 1)
Mercury (mg d−1)
Cadmium (mg d− 1)
BOD (kg d− 1)
Dioxins (TEQ) (mg d− 1)
In case of emission of heavy metal and organics to water in total waste management system, the lowest emission to water was found in S-7 as shown in Table 8. In S-7, the maximum emission reductions of lead, mercury, cadmium, biochemical oxygen demand and dioxins were found to be approximately 75% as compared to baseline scenario.
Quantity and the reduction of residual waste
Residual waste (t d−1)
Reduction of residual waste (%)
Energy consumption in different modelled scenarios
Energy consumed or recovered (GJ d−1)
Scenario 7 has the least emission of greenhouse gases, acidic gases, smog precursors, heavy metal and organics to air as well as to water than that of all other scenarios.
Scenarios 4 to 7 consume less energy compared to other scenarios.
Scenario 7 has the minimum residual waste than that of all other scenarios.
Therefore, it can be concluded that scenario 7 is the best waste management system for Khulna city of Bangladesh.
The authors wish to express thanks to Khulna University of Engineering & Technology for the financial support to complete this research. The authors of this article also wish to express thanks to all officers and staff of conservancy the department of Khulna City Corporation for providing relevant data and assistance in this study.
Both authors read and approved the final manuscript.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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