Integration of Waste Supply and Use Data into Regional Footprints: Case Study on the Generation and Use of Waste from Consumption and Production Activities in Brussels

The development of material flow accounting and environmental impact assessment models to evaluate production and consumption activities is a challenge at the regional level due to the restricted availability of regional data, especially waste data. However, the regional context is often required, for example for the development and evaluation of regional circular economy programs for which waste generation and valorization plays a key role. In this research, we present an approach to develop regional waste supply and use tables based on regional waste statistics and national input-output tables. The results show that this method is well suited to quantify waste generation from households, but it is more difficult to implement for waste generation from urban economic activities where production and waste intensities deviate from the national average. The comparison between regional statistics and calculated waste extensions indicates that regional statistics could underestimate certain waste flows which are important for the circular economy context, such as metal, glass and inert waste. Such uncertainties can be reduced by developing more complete and reliable bottom-up waste data and physical/hybrid tables where full mass balance checks can be carried out. However, the results demonstrate that it is possible to develop a coherent framework at city-regional scale that integrates material/waste flow accounting and impact assessment of production and consumption.

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