Environmental evaluation of reuse of by-products as road construction materials in Sweden
2003 (English)In: Waste Management, ISSN 0956-053X, Vol. 23, no 2, 107-116 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Reuse of by-products in road construction is most often environmentally evaluated from the narrow perspective of the material itself, i.e. the material level. In this article, we argue that the current mainstream environmental evaluation of reuse of by-products in road construction should use wider system boundaries. In order to illustrate the importance of system boundaries to the final result, three additional levels that complement the material level, are applied to the environmental evaluation of reuse of by-products. In total these four levels of evaluation are, firstly, the material itself, mainly studied by leaching tests, secondly, the road environment studied by substance flow analysis, furthermore, a narrow life-cycle perspective and, finally, the industrial system level that addresses the reuse of by-products in a broader sense. Methods and tools applied to different levels emphasise different environmental aspects and consequently they are appropriate for addressing different questions. However, especially for the evaluation of environmental aspects on the industrial system level, there is a need to develop the methods. To apply these four levels to the evaluation would broaden the knowledge about the environmental impacts of the reuse of by-products. We argue that current leaching tests have to be complemented by the broader system boundaries used in substance flow studies and in life-cycle assessments in order to discuss the use of resources and environmental impacts from a wider perspective.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. Vol. 23, no 2, 107-116 p.
National CategoryEngineering and Technology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13589DOI: 10.1016/S0956-053X(02)00052-1OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-13589DiVA: diva2:20996