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Recovery and Recycling from Waste Streams

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Waste and Recycling".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2024 | Viewed by 12123

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Environment and Energy, Sejong University, Seoul 05006, Republic of Korea
Interests: waste and wastewater treatment; waste recovery and recycling; machine learning-based waste prediction

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Guest Editor
School of Engineering and Built Environment, Griffith University, Brisbane, QLD 4111, Australia
Interests: solid waste management; hazardous waste management; circular economy

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Guest Editor
Faculty of Environmental and Food Engineering, Nguyen Tat Thanh University, Ho Chi Minh City 70000, Vietnam
Interests: circular economy; waste management; data analyst; machine learning; human behavior; innovation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The improper management of increasing volumes of waste is a seen as a missed opportunity to recover the useful resources contained in them. The recovery of energy and resources from waste streams contributes to key concepts of the circular economy. Significant opportunities exist for waste recovery and recycling during collection, transportation and treatment processes. Thus, promoting, understanding and developing technologies and methods for recovering valuable materials and energy from waste flows are essential. 

This Special Issue presents original studies on energy and resource recovery from waste streams. It also includes new results on waste recycling and sustainable management methods toward the circular economy. Furthermore, this Special Issue offers a foundation for engineers, managers, and researchers to exchange results and progress in waste recovery, recycling, and linked areas. We invite studies related but not limited to one or more of the following topics:

  • Recovery of materials from waste (or by-product or wastewater);
  • Recovery of energy from waste (or by-product);
  • Waste biorefinery;
  • Recycling of all waste types;
  • Sustainable waste management toward recovering resources and energy.

Dr. Xuan Cuong Nguyen
Dr. Sunil Herat
Dr. Kieu Lan Phuong Nguyen
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • waste recovery
  • waste recycling
  • energy recovery
  • material recovery
  • by-product recovery
  • waste biorefinery

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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20 pages, 368 KiB  
Article
Intentions to Create Green Start-Ups for Collection of Unwanted Drugs: An Empirical Study
by Anuli Njoku, Kamel Mouloudj, Ahmed Chemseddine Bouarar, Marian A. Evans, Dachel Martínez Asanza, Smail Mouloudj and Achouak Bouarar
Sustainability 2024, 16(7), 2797; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16072797 - 27 Mar 2024
Viewed by 496
Abstract
Drug waste poses a real threat to human health and the environment. Therefore, recycling and sustainability scholars have recently sought practical solutions to the drug waste problem. Furthermore, several governments have made significant efforts to reduce the negative effects of waste, such as [...] Read more.
Drug waste poses a real threat to human health and the environment. Therefore, recycling and sustainability scholars have recently sought practical solutions to the drug waste problem. Furthermore, several governments have made significant efforts to reduce the negative effects of waste, such as establishing programs to take back unwanted drugs (expired and unused) for recycling (i.e., drug reuse or drug redispersing). However, many of these programs have failed to achieve their goals. In this context, it is expected that creating green start-ups to collect unwanted drugs will contribute to solving this problem. Accordingly, this study aims to investigate the antecedents of intentions to create green start-ups for collecting unwanted drugs. To this end, the authors integrate start-up self-efficacy and drug waste collection-related knowledge constructs into the theory of planned behavior (TPB). Using a self-administered paper questionnaire and relying on a convenience sample, data were collected from 328 students in six Algerian universities. A hierarchical multiple regression was conducted to test the proposed study model. Theresults revealed that perceived behavioral control (PBC) (β = 0.187, p < 0.001), attitudes (β = 0.182, p = 0.002), start-up self-efficacy (β = 0.169, p = 0.001), drug waste collection-related knowledge (β = 0.161, p < 0.001), and subjective norms (β = 0.088, p < 0.05) have a positive significant effect on the intention to create a start-up to collect unwanted drugs. In conclusion, this paper contributes to reducing drug waste by investigating the drivers of intention to create green start-ups for collecting unwanted drugs. Therefore, our study is expected to provide valuable insights for hospitals, pharmacies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, environmental protection associations, and stakeholders interested in reverse logistics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recovery and Recycling from Waste Streams)
22 pages, 2807 KiB  
Article
Management of Small WEEE: Future Directions for Australia
by Gimhan Jayasiri, Sunil Herat and Prasad Kaparaju
Sustainability 2023, 15(18), 13543; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151813543 - 11 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 968
Abstract
Globally, the generation of small Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) is rapidly increasing and accounted for over 30% of total E-waste in 2019. Managing this critical waste stream has proven challenging in Australia due to diverse product categories, short lifespans, and high [...] Read more.
Globally, the generation of small Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) is rapidly increasing and accounted for over 30% of total E-waste in 2019. Managing this critical waste stream has proven challenging in Australia due to diverse product categories, short lifespans, and high frequency of disposal. To address the issue, a Multivocal Literature Analysis was conducted to identify prevailing situations, barriers, and prospects for a practical management framework. Findings were thematically analysed based on sustainability and circular-economy principles. The study revealed several critical obstacles, including the lack of involvement by local governments, the mixing of small WEEE with municipal waste, the absence of an established repair and reuse culture, and the limited domestic application of recovered metals. To address these issues, the study identifies the need for a dedicated co-regulatory stewardship scheme based on extended producer responsibility with eco-modulated fees and realistic scheme targets. Additionally, to accommodate the high product diversity, the expansion of treatment infrastructure is suggested while encouraging responsible consumption among customers. The findings of this investigation hold substantial value for the regulatory bodies in developing and implementing small-WEEE management schemes for Australia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recovery and Recycling from Waste Streams)
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18 pages, 15316 KiB  
Article
Energy Efficiency and Environmental Benefits of Waste Heat Recovery Technologies in Fishmeal Production Plants: A Case Study in Vietnam
by Tra Van Tung, Nguyen Thi To Nga, Huu Tap Van, Tran Hai Vu, Ksawery Kuligowski, Adam Cenian, Nguyen Quang Tuan, Phuoc-Cuong Le and Quoc Ba Tran
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 12712; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151712712 - 22 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1298
Abstract
The fishmeal production industry is essential for providing protein for animal feed in the aquaculture sector. However, the industry faces challenges related to energy consumption and environmental sustainability. This study evaluates the energy efficiency and environmental benefits of waste heat recovery (WHR) technologies [...] Read more.
The fishmeal production industry is essential for providing protein for animal feed in the aquaculture sector. However, the industry faces challenges related to energy consumption and environmental sustainability. This study evaluates the energy efficiency and environmental benefits of waste heat recovery (WHR) technologies in a fishmeal production plant in Vietnam. Data were collected from the plant between 2016 and 2022, and a specific energy consumption (SEC) indicator and a comprehensive methodology were utilized. Implementing an economizer as a WHR technology resulted in a 55.5% decrease in SEC compared to the state before installation. The enhanced energy efficiency also translated to reduced energy consumption per output unit. Moreover, the economizer contributed to annual energy savings of 4537.57 GJ/year and cost savings of USD 26,474.49. Additionally, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions associated with producing one ton of fishmeal decreased by 58.37%. These findings highlight the potential for WHR technologies to improve energy efficiency and reduce the environmental footprint of fishmeal production. The study’s results provide valuable insights for practitioners and policymakers in promoting energy efficiency practices and reducing environmental impact in this and similar industries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recovery and Recycling from Waste Streams)
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22 pages, 5754 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Kitchen Waste Recycling as Organic N-Fertiliser for Sustainable Agriculture under Cool and Warm Seasons
by Ksawery Kuligowski, Izabela Konkol, Lesław Świerczek, Katarzyna Chojnacka, Adam Cenian and Szymon Szufa
Sustainability 2023, 15(10), 7997; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15107997 - 14 May 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3701
Abstract
Kitchen waste could be processed and recycled into safe fertilizers/soil improvers for sustainable agriculture through different methods: (1) Dried pellets from model kitchen waste treated with anaerobic effective microorganisms; and (2) Anaerobically digested kitchen waste. For comparison, a commercial mineral fertilizer was used. [...] Read more.
Kitchen waste could be processed and recycled into safe fertilizers/soil improvers for sustainable agriculture through different methods: (1) Dried pellets from model kitchen waste treated with anaerobic effective microorganisms; and (2) Anaerobically digested kitchen waste. For comparison, a commercial mineral fertilizer was used. These methods were applied in two separate glasshouse experiments: one under cool (mainly winter) conditions (X–IV) and one under warm (mainly summer) conditions (VI–X) consisting of 3–4 subsequent harvests in northern Poland. Comparing the food waste agronomic performance after anaerobic digestion and effective microorganism treatments, especially under different climatic conditions, is a novel approach. Kitchen waste served as a much better fertilizer than mineral fertilizer, but only during the cool season. In addition, it provided 20–40% more plant yields for dosages >120 kg N/ha and a similar N uptake. In the warm season, in comparison to effective microorganism-incubated kitchen waste, its anaerobic digestion improved the relative agronomic effectiveness twice after 30 days of growth (82% versus 43%). However, the total effectiveness for anaerobically digested kitchen waste versus pelleted and effective microorganism-incubated kitchen waste was 32% versus 27% (N utilization-wise) and 36% versus 21% (plant biomass yield-wise). The Monod kinetic model was applied for the internal efficiency of N utilization; for the best fitting procedure, R2 > 0.96 for the cool season and R2 > 0.92 for the warm season. Kitchen waste introduced to the soil provided better soil properties than mineral fertilizer. The study contributes to the biological systems for waste recycling in agriculture, bioproduction processes, and the global food chain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recovery and Recycling from Waste Streams)
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21 pages, 1046 KiB  
Article
Development of Sustainability Assessment Criteria in Selection of Municipal Solid Waste Treatment Technology in Developing Countries: A Case of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
by Phuong Giang Le, Hung Anh Le, Xuan Thang Dinh and Kieu Lan Phuong Nguyen
Sustainability 2023, 15(10), 7917; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15107917 - 11 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1808
Abstract
Municipal solid waste (MSW) management is a significant problem for developing countries due to lack of sufficient infrastructure, poor management capacity, and low level of waste treatment technology. This study proposes three main groups of criteria, i.e., social, economic, and environmental, that can [...] Read more.
Municipal solid waste (MSW) management is a significant problem for developing countries due to lack of sufficient infrastructure, poor management capacity, and low level of waste treatment technology. This study proposes three main groups of criteria, i.e., social, economic, and environmental, that can be used as an effective tool to assess the sustainability of MSW treatment technologies, considering Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam as a case study. The sustainability assessment criteria consist of a list of indicators which consider potential waste treatment plants. The indicators and technologies then undertake a selection process from identifying assessment goals and key aspects to data collection and consultation of experts. The findings from the previous phase will be used to select the most preferred waste technology through AHP and normalization approaches. As a result, 12 selected indicators are as follows: investment cost, treatment cost, operation and maintenance costs, revenue/benefits, job creation, community consensus, support policy, community health, air pollution, water pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and land quota. Among three MSW facilities selected, i.e., landfill, compost, and waste-to-energy incineration, waste-to-energy is determined as the best alternative solution for Ho Chi Minh City in a given context of approximate 70% of landfilling being applied. The selection process and indicators found can guide decision-makers and policy on selecting MSW treatment technologies in developing countries. Additionally, Ho Chi Minh City’s governors benefit from finding the most appropriate waste technology. A technology adoption roadmap and its implementation plan should be thought thoroughly to address challenges in MSW management in the city. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recovery and Recycling from Waste Streams)
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16 pages, 6912 KiB  
Article
Improving the Degradation Kinetics of Industrial Dyes with Chitosan/TiO2/Glycerol Films for the Sustainable Recovery of Chitosan from Waste Streams
by Nhung T. Tuyet Hoang and D. Duc Nguyen
Sustainability 2023, 15(8), 6979; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15086979 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1291
Abstract
This study investigates the potential of a combined photocatalysis–adsorption approach to effectively degrade near wash yellow (NWY), a commonly used and highly persistent dye in the textile industry, notorious for its challenging treatment and removal from wastewater due to its colorfastness. A chitosan–glycerol [...] Read more.
This study investigates the potential of a combined photocatalysis–adsorption approach to effectively degrade near wash yellow (NWY), a commonly used and highly persistent dye in the textile industry, notorious for its challenging treatment and removal from wastewater due to its colorfastness. A chitosan–glycerol (CTiG) film combined with titanium dioxide was examined in both batch and continuous-flow experiments under visible solar irradiation. The results show that this combination was more effective than a pure chitosan film (60%) or chitosan–glycerol film (63%), with up to 83% degradation of NWY achieved in just 60 min of visible solar irradiation. The kinetics of the film were evaluated using both pseudo-first-order and Langmuir–Hinshelwood kinetic models. The rate constant values (k, min−1) decreased with increasing NWY concentration from 20 to 80 mg/L, and k was found to be greater than twice as high under visible solar irradiation as it was in the dark. The Langmuir–Hinshelwood model’s KLH (reaction rate constant) and KL (adsorption coefficient) values were 0.029 mg/L·min and 0.019 L/mg, respectively. The optimal conditions for NWY degradation were found to be 4% TiO2 to chitosan ratio, glycerol/chitosan ratio of 40%, and a pH of 7. In the continuous-flow model, the CTiG film was submerged in an 8 L NWY solution (80 mg/L) and degraded at a rate of 22.6 mg NWY/g film under natural sunlight. This study contributes to the development of effective and sustainable methods for the degradation of dyes from textile industry wastewater. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recovery and Recycling from Waste Streams)
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Review

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21 pages, 11718 KiB  
Review
Biochar-Based Phosphorus Recovery from Different Waste Streams: Sources, Mechanisms, and Performance
by Hai Bang Truong, Thi Cuc Phuong Tran, Thi Phuong Nguyen, Thi Thao Nguyen Nguyen, Doan Thi Oanh, Duong Thi Thuy and Xuan Cuong Nguyen
Sustainability 2023, 15(21), 15376; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152115376 - 27 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1098
Abstract
Elevated phosphorus (P) levels in water sources can result in eutrophication, which in turn causes environmental pollution and adversely affects aquatic ecosystems. Additionally, there is a risk of P depletion due to intensive exploitation and utilization. Therefore, the sustainable and efficient use of [...] Read more.
Elevated phosphorus (P) levels in water sources can result in eutrophication, which in turn causes environmental pollution and adversely affects aquatic ecosystems. Additionally, there is a risk of P depletion due to intensive exploitation and utilization. Therefore, the sustainable and efficient use of P, waste reduction, and P recovery from waste sources have become urgent priorities. This article aims to provide the most current assessments of the P regeneration process and its origins within waste and wastewater. This work also evaluates P recovery, as to its mechanisms, influencing factors, and performance. Moreover, the review presents comprehensive results from pilot and full-scale applications of P recovery. Further perspectives are analyzed, including economic feasibility, potential environmental impacts, research needs, and opportunities for improving P recovery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recovery and Recycling from Waste Streams)
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