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Decision support systems in solid waste management: A case study at the national and local level in Greece

  • Authors
    Abeliotis K.
    Karaiskou K.
    Togia A.
    Lasaridi K.
Abstract

Decision support systems (DSS) are used to aid at solid waste management, a tedious
problem with many technical, economic and social constraints. The main DSS available are
briefly presented and the development of a novel system, ReFlows, is described. The novelty
of the developed DSS consists of the detailed analysis of the collection subsystem and in
particular the source separation and collection programs for recyclables materials. ReFlows
utilises mathematical equations for material and financial flows, organised in several
subroutines, to simulate the various sub-systems of an integrated solid waste management
system and may be applied to any geographical scale, from the local to the national. The
model, currently developed in MATLAB, is applied on recycling scenarios based on the
degree of expansion of the different source collection schemes currently operating in Greece.
Results are presented at a national (Greece) and a local level (Municipality of Athens). The
main outcome of the study is that full expansion of the existing schemes may not fulfil the
recovery goals for packaging waste in Greece. Improved collection schemes are required,
based on more pilot programs in order to investigate the optimum recycling strategy.