Optimization of integrated supply chain networks for sustainable utilization of municipal solid waste


  • Process Control and Automation Research Group, School of Chemical Technology, Aalto University



Begin: 2017-11-01

End: 2019-10-31



Municipal solid waste (MSW) management is a global concern due to the fast population growth, rapid urbanization and industrialization, and massive increase in MSW generation rate. The MSW management systems require to consider environmental, social, and economical criteria to prevent and/or minimize the short and long-term negative effects on the environment and human health. MSWs include biomass materials such as paper and food waste, non-biomass combustible materials such as plastic, and non-combustible materials such as glass and metal. They are managed by a combination of disposal in landfill sites, reusing, recycling and composting to produce useful products, and combustion to produce energy in the forms of electricity and heat.

The MSW management can be considered as a strategic supply chain problem as it involves the waste generation, collection, separation, transportation, treatment, distribution, and disposal. The integrated network may lead to a smooth flow of wastes to alternative treatment plants and disposal centers, extracting the maximum value from the produced waste, balancing production lots and vehicle loads, an improvement in relevant service by exploiting economies of scale of production and transportation, reducing inventory and stock-out at each entity, as well as a significant reduction in total cost of the supply chain while providing good services to customers.

Based on the existing literature, little attention has been paid to the optimization of MSW management problem in integrated supply chain network. Therefore, in this project, a comprehensive mathematical model and solution methods for the optimization of the MSW system in an integrated network will be developed with the aim of maximizing the total net profit. It will also contribute to acquiring a better energy efficiency, significant reduction in toxic emission, as well as better reusing waste for cost-effective renewable energy delivery to end consumers. A framework that connects knowledge and decisions across different decision-making levels (planning, scheduling and control) in a collaborative way will also be developed. The proposed model focuses on the effective supply chain strategies with emphasis on how to plan and integrate supply chain components of the MSW system into a coordinated system, ensuring the most feasible (sustainable and cost-efficient) operations.

Maryam Mohammadi
Professor Iiro Harjunkoski




             This info last modified 2018-03-19 by Jukka Kortela