Life cycle assessment (LCA) can be used as a tool to find environmentally the most sustainable alternatives for waste management solutions. It is used as a research tool to compare different system and technology solutions and to find the hot spots of the systems where the development measures are the most effective from environmental and economic points of view. LCA can be used as a support for strategic decision making in the waste management operations of cities and industries. It can also be used as a tool for R&D purposes of new waste treatment and recovery technologies to design and apply them as sustainably as possible. One of the challenges of LCA and restrictions for it to be used easily for all the beneficial purposes is its laboriousness. The data for each waste management LCA has to be acquired from many different sources, both primary data from different stakeholders and secondary data from several literature sources. Often secondary data has to be converted to fit into scale of the application and there are many uncertainties and inaccuracies in the data. These facts make it very difficult to automatize the data collection for LCA purposes. Waste management LCA implementation demands very good understanding of the entire waste management and recovery system and so far it can be done properly only by skilled LCA and waste management experts. There is some on-going development to increase the data collection from the existing waste management systems and waste materials, but they don’t solve very large share of the data management problems of waste management LCA.
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