Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) at Acorn Recycling Composting Facility

rx3, the government body tasked with developing markets for recyclable materials and secondary recycled products in Ireland, recently published ‘A life cycle assessment (LCA) of a standard Irish composting process and agricultural use of compost’.

The information on which the report is based came from Acorn Recycling’s in-vessel composting facility at Ballybeg, Littleton, Co. Tipperary.  The report shows that Acorn Recycling’s composting facility operates to the same efficiency as the most advanced facilities in Europe.

The standard LCA methodology employed enables the environmental impact of a product or service to be determined in terms of the consumption of resources and emissions into the atmosphere, as well as the production of waste during the entire life cycle (“from the cradle to the grave”).

The results of this LCA have shown that ‘’in a life cycle assessment perspective, the system of composting organic waste has a clear environmental benefit over using artificial fertilisers with landfill as a waste management option.  From this LCA, one can confidently conclude that using a composting system to manage organic waste and produce organic fertiliser is a much more effective system than conducting these functions separately.’’

The full report is available at:

http://www.rx3.ie/MDGUploadedFiles/file/rx3publications/Compost_Life_Cycle.pdf

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