Evaluating waste management alternatives by the multiple criteria approach

S. S. Chung, C. S. Poon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


in the past, justifications on decision making in the environmental (including waste management) field have always been qualitative and implicit in Hong Kong. The use of multiple criteria analysis (MCA) in waste management decision making has the advantage of rendering subjective and implicit decision making more objective and transparent. An additional merit of MCA is its ability to accommodate quantitative and qualitative data. In this paper the MCA approach is made use to find out the preferred waste management option(s) for Hong Kong (HK). Landfilling, waste to energy, composting and source separation of municipal solid waste (MSW) are analysed by the MCA, It is found that source separation is the most preferred option. Waste to energy is found to have a better overall performance than landfilling (with methane recovery). Composting of solid waste is found to be very land intensive and should only be used with care. Incineration without energy recovery is the least desirable option, Landfilling of solid waste although is not the best option, it is indispensable in a waste management system. Thus, it should only be practised in a limited extent. It is also demonstrated in this paper that dominance pairwise comparison is not sensitive to weighting differences. Thus, if decisive criteria exist, then they should be considered prior to the use of dominance pairwise comparison.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-210
Number of pages22
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1996

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Economics and Econometrics

User-Defined Keywords

  • Municipal solid waste management Decision making
  • Decision making
  • Multiple criteria analysis
  • Landfilling
  • Waste to energy
  • Composting
  • Source separation


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