77913 - Environmental Sustainability Assessment in Waste Prevention and Treatments

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Rimini
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Resource Economics and Sustainable Development (cod. 8839)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, students will be able to describe the priority actions according to the waste hierarchy fixed by European and Italian regulations. Principles of waste prevention, recycling and recovery of materials and energy will be learnt, in the light of the Best Available Techniques in this field. LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) approach will be introduced, allowing students to conceive the issue of environmental sustainability in waste treatments, within a systemic perspective. The presentation of significant case-studies will let the students to achieve professional skills in this field.

Course contents

Introduction to the regulatory framework, in particular at the European level, concerning waste prevention and treatment. Description of Integrated Waste Management System. Performance of product and physico-chemical analysis of waste. Efficiency of separated collection system. Application of incineration and other thermal treatments. Disposal in a sanitary landfill. Outlines of raw and secondary materials, treatments and process performance. Waste sorting and material and energy recovery (e.g., paper, glass, plastics). Organic fraction recovery: compost and anaerobic digestion. Introduction to the environmental impact assessment, by a life cycle approach. Case studies of different waste treatment systems. Introduction and examples of Mass Flow Analysis applied to critical resource management.


John Pichtel, "Waste Management Practices. Municipal, Hazardous, and Industrial" (Second Edition), CRC Press 2014
S . Bhupatthi Rav (ed. by). "Sustainable Solid Waste Management", Apple Academic Press 2012

O. Jolliet, M. Saadé-Sbeih, S. Shaked, A. Jolliet, P. Crettaz, "Environmental Life Cycle Assessment", CRC Press, 2016

M. Z. Hauschild, R. K. Rosenbaum, S. Irving Olsen (Eds.), "Life Cycle Assessment. Theory and Practice", Springer, 2018.
ISO Standards 14040:2006, 14044:2006/A1:2018

Teaching methods

The course will be held with theoretical lectures, exercises and presentation of case studies.

Assessment methods

The exam consists in a presentation, followed by an oral discussion, considering a case study of resource/waste management, and of related environmental assessment, reported in literature.

The study should be critically commented, giving personal remarks on the assumption and the interpretation made by the authors.

The ability of performing a critical analysis of a research based on bibliographic sources found by the students will be verified, assessing the degree of investigation of the course contents.

The exam is aimed at verifying that the students have learnt how to go inside the problems of waste prevention and treatment, to understand the environmental processes associated to waste management activities, to know how to take a thoughtful decision in the view of a higher environmental sustainability. Oral discussion could then concern some topics covered in the course, near the issue developed in the report prepared by the candidate.

Before the end of the course, frequently problems associated to waste management are usually recalled, discussing together on the possible solutions.

In order to sit for the examination, it is necessary to enter one's name in the list through AlmaEsami. Those who are not able to register themselves in time, must tell it to the teacher, who however have the faculty of admitting them to the exam.

Teaching tools

The course will be taught with the aid of computer support for the projection of text and images. The slides will be left available to the students, usually uploaded on the Unibo platform https://virtuale.unibo.it/. Information instruments will be employed to introduce the use of calculation software.

Office hours

See the website of Fabrizio Passarini


Sustainable cities Responsible consumption and production Climate Action Life on land

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.