The waste LCA method used for waste management has been successfully used by IFEU in a variety of projects. These lead to new discoveries and the further development of the method for a large variety of tasks.
All detectable environmental effects should be considered and evaluated in the LCA in order to answer the fundamental questions of the research or the substantive questions from the perspective of legislation and policy. Such comprehensive studies were carried out for the recycling of
in a research project funded by the German Federal Environmental Foundation. The
carried out at IFEU also consist of comprehensive LCA's. The environmental problems of the disposal of
sludge were investigated using a comprehensive LCA, particularly in projects for the German states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein.
In other circumstances, the guiding objective is the determination of leading representative findings. A simplified LCA is especially preferable for individual companies or individual decisions in regulatory implementation since it is practicable and proportionate to the demand. A corresponding adjustment of the LCA method was developed by IFEU during the study ""Bewertung von Entsorgungsoptionen" for the Baden- Wuerttemberg waste consultancy ABAG (2002). Afterwards, the cumulative energy demand (CED) proved to be a suitable lead parameter supplement as appropriate by specific control questions, that can't be considered by the CED covered environmental effects.
The possibilities of a comprehensive and simplified LCA are not limited to waste management, but can be widely used with the LCA method. Further instruments for LCA studies include ecological profiles and eco-efficiency analysis.
In connection with simplified LCA studies,
tools for indicative findings
were developed by IFEU as part of various projects. For example a screening tool was developed for the assessment of environmental packaging (2003) on behalf of a European packaging manufacturer. Also during a project about the LCA requirements for Co-Fermentation of organic waste in septic tanks on behalf of the Ministry of Environment in NRW, a tool was developed for wastewater treatment plan operators and authorities to determine the fundamental ecological suitability of certain organic waste for co-fermentation (2001).
More projects on the subject of waste management LCA's can be found in the LCA reference list.