Economic, social and environmental impacts of the life cycle of organic waste management methods


Ana Olivera (PhD student, civil and building engineering, USherbrooke)

Direction: Alexandre Cabral

Co-direction: Ben Amor


For the eastern township region, as is the case for Sherbrooke, the management of several growing organic waste piles (agri-food residues, paper, etc.) currently spotlight several efficiency problems, mainly due to a lack of a territorial approach.


The goal of this project is to identify an optimal scenario for the management of organic matter. The aim being that current and planned developments in organic waste management can be achieved without jeopardizing the sustainability of the territorial system already in place. It is therefore essential that the identified scenarios (composting and / or biomethanization of organic matter) are rigorously and objectively assessed, at the environmental, economic and social levels. These scenarios will also be compared with the current situation (landfill).


Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) has been identified as a promising tool in a local context for decision support. It assesses, based on ISO 14040 and 14044, the potential environmental impacts of a service (such as organic matter management) over its entire life cycle. The main interest of this holistic tool is the avoidance of problem shifting from one stage of the cycle to another or from one impact category to another. However, LCA is at the root of a product / service-oriented approach. Proposals have been made to extend the scale of the systems studied by integrating the analysis of territorial systems. In addition, the LCA does not consider the social and economic aspect but the underdevelopment tools that are the social life cycle analysis and life-cycle cost analysis will be explored.


The results of the study will determine the optimal amount of organic waste to divert from landfill from an economic, social and environmental point of view.

VALORIS via the CEVMR wishes to become an avant-garde technological showcase and targets zero waste in landfill. To achieve this, the company wants to achieve optimal management and recovery for the concerned territory. The development and adaptation of the LCA tools, expected results from this study, are therefore necessary to achieve such ambitious goal.


Industrial partners



Sherbrooke City