Application of LCSA to used cooking oil waste management

Elisabet Vinyes, Jordi Oliver-Solà, Cassia Ugaya, Joan Rieradevall, Carles M. Gasol

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106 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Used cooking oil (UCO) is a domestic waste generated as the result of cooking and frying food with vegetable oil. The purpose of this study is to compare the sustainability of three domestic UCO collection systems: through schools (SCH), door-to-door (DTD), and through urban collection centres (UCC), to determine which systems should be promoted for the collection of UCO in cities in Mediterranean countries. Methods: The present paper uses the recent life cycle sustainability assessment (LCSA) methodology. LCSA is the combination of life cycle assessment (LCA), life cycle costing, and social life cycle assessment (S-LCA). Results and discussion: Of the three UCO collection systems compared, the results show that UCC presents the best values for sustainability assessment, followed by DTD and finally SCH system, although there are no substantial differences between DTD and SCH. UCC has the best environmental and economic performance but not for social component. DTD and SCH present suitable values for social performance but not for the environmental and economic components. Conclusions: The environmental component improves when the collection points are near to citizens' homes. Depending on the vehicle used in the collection process, the management costs and efficiency can improve. UCO collection systems that carry out different kind of waste (such as UCC) are more sustainable than those that collect only one type of waste. Regarding the methodology used in this paper, the sustainability assessment proposed is suitable for use in decision making to analyse processes, products or services, even so in social assessment an approach is needed to quantify the indicators. Defining units for sustainability quantification is a difficult task because not all social indicators are quantifiable and comparable; some need to be adapted, raising the subjectivity of the analysis. Research into S-LCA and LCSA is recent; more research is needed in order to improve the methodology. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-455
JournalInternational Journal of Life Cycle Assessment
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • Life cycle assessment (LCA)
  • Life cycle costing (LCC)
  • Social assessment
  • Sustainability


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