JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Municipal solid waste disposal in Portugal

Alexandre Magrinho, Filipe Didelet, Viriato Semiao
Waste Management 2006, 26 (12): 1477-89
16713239
In recent years municipal solid waste (MSW) disposal has been one of the most important environmental problems for all of the Portuguese regions. The basic principles of MSW management in Portugal are: (1) prevention or reduction, (2) reuse, (3) recovery (e.g., recycling, incineration with heat recovery), and (4) polluter-pay principle. A brief history of legislative trends in waste management is provided herein as background for current waste management and recycling activities. The paper also presents and discusses the municipal solid waste management in Portugal and is based primarily on a national inquiry carried out in 2003 and directed to the MSW management entities. Additionally, the MSW responsibility and management structure in Portugal is presented, together with the present situation of production, collection, recycling, treatment and elimination of MSW. Results showed that 96% of MSW was collected mixed (4% was separately collected) and that 68% was disposed of in landfill, 21% was incinerated at waste-to-energy plants, 8% was treated at organic waste recovery plants and 3% was delivered to sorting. The average generation rate of MSW was 1.32 kg/capita/day.

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