Agron. Sustain. Dev.
Volume 25, Number 4, October-December 2005
Page(s) 447 - 453
Agron. Sustain. Dev. 25 (2005) 447-453
DOI: 10.1051/agro:2005045

Improving waste management in protected horticulture

M.A. Antóna, P. Muñoza, F. Castellsb, J.I. Monteroa and M. Solivac

a  Institut de Recerca i Tecnologia Agroalimentària, Centre de Cabrils, 08348, Cabrils, Barcelona, Spain
b  Dept. D'Enginyeria Química, ESTEQ, Univ. Rovira Virgili, 43007 Tarragona, Spain
c  Escola Tècnica Superior d'Enginyeria Agrícola de Barcelona, C/ Urgell, 187, 08036 Barcelona, Spain

(Accepted 11 May 2005)

Abstract - One of the greatest problems associated with greenhouse horticulture is the amount of solid waste e.g. steel, plastics and non-yield biomass, that it produces. In this study, we used life cycle assessment (LCA) to evaluate the environmental burdens associated with crop processes and to investigate the relative importance of different waste management options applied in protected horticulture. Four waste management scenarios were analysed: (a) non-yield biomass was composted and other materials were disposed of in landfill; (b) all waste was disposed of in landfill; (c) all waste was incinerated; and (d) non-yield biomass was composted and other materials were incinerated. The study revealed that source segregation followed by the composting of biodegradable matter was the best way of managing waste to improve the impact assessment for most impact categories considered. Segregation of non-yield biomass and its composting reduced the environmental burden for most of the impact categories considered, reaching its maximum value in the category of climate change, which it was possible to reduce by between 40% and 70% depending, respectively, on the option considered; landfill or incineration.

Key words: compost / greenhouse / incineration / landfill / LCA / tomato

Corresponding author: M.A. Antón

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2005