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Perception of fire-risk at temporary storage sites of organic materials, waste fuels and recyclables
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science. Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences. (Environmental Science and Engineering Group)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0021-5971
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0702-0306
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Marketing.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1903-760X
2014 (English)In: International Journal of Environment and Waste Management, ISSN 1478-9876, E-ISSN 1478-9868, no 2, p. 165-180Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The risk of fires at municipal solid waste (MSW) storage sites is of great concern because such fires not only result in material losses worth millions of Euros annually but also have deleterious effects on both human health and the environment. Keeping in view that management decisions addressing risk of fires cannot be divorced from human psychology regarding safety, a questionnaire survey was designed for which 187 respondents gave a response rate of 33%. Survey results showed that three types of biases; optimism, attribution and availability bias, prevail among managers of waste management companies. Furthermore, biased respondents had experienced higher frequency of fire incidents and preferred low cost risk averting technologies. It is concluded that there is a need to acknowledge the existence of biases and to improve the decision making skills of managers with the help of risk awareness programmes and implementation of government steering tools to reduce risk of spontaneous fires.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
InderScience Publishers, 2014. no 2, p. 165-180
National Category
Environmental Management
Research subject
Natural Science, Environmental Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-30881DOI: 10.1504/IJEWM.2014.064085Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84905590559OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-30881DiVA, id: diva2:672136
Available from: 2013-12-03 Created: 2013-12-03 Last updated: 2018-05-16Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Risk of spontaneous fires at temporary storages sites for organic material, waste fuels and recyclables: Quantification and mitigation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Risk of spontaneous fires at temporary storages sites for organic material, waste fuels and recyclables: Quantification and mitigation
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Economic and environmental constraints have created increasing demand for (material and energy recovery) and recycling of waste generated from households, commercial and industrial activities. A wide variety of materials waiting for sorting, recovery, recycling and disposal are stored at temporary storage sites (TSS) where physical, biotic and abiotic processes can lead the stored material to spontaneous ignition. Spontaneous fires at TSS are associated with severe social health economic and environmental implications.

The objective of the present thesis was to access, quantify and mitigate the risk of spontaneous fires at temporary storage sites. It was found that during the period from 2000 to 2010, spontaneous fires have caused losses of about 49 million SEK (about 5 million Euros) to the Swedish waste and recycling industry. A comparison of two groups of waste operators (non-seasonal storage sites at private companies and seasonal storage sites at municipality owned companies) showed that the number of fire incidents per storage site was higher for the former one.

Furthermore, it was found that there is a need to improve the behavior of environmental managers related to safety issues as a group of managers was found to be under the influence of optimism, attribution and availability biases. The managers under the influence of optimism bias preferred to follow low cost risk averting strategies and fire incidents were more frequently reported at their storage sites.

The ArcGIS spatial analysis using Boolean and Weighted Linear Combination approach and open burn/open detonation model was used to provide the screening level guidelines for siting new storage sites with a due consideration given to potential off-site consequences of spontaneous fires on downwind population. Furthermore, experiments were conducted to investigate the combustion characteristics of MSW bales. The data suggested that the unwrapped bales might pose higher hazards for adjacently stored material to catch fire than bales wrapped with low density polyethylene (LDPE) plastic sheets. For future, interdisciplinary research with focus on technical solutions (e.g. development of performance based design using fire simulations and methods for early detection and extinction of fires) and economic, political and organizational solutions that ensure risk of spontaneous fires not to be trivialized is recommended.

Keywords: temporary storage, risk of fires, spontaneous ignition, biofuels, recyclables, waste fuels

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Växjö: Linnaeus University Press, 2014. p. 82
Series
Linnaeus University Dissertations ; 160/2014
Keyword
temporary storage, risk of fires, spontaneous ignition, biofuels, recyclables, waste fuels
National Category
Environmental Management
Research subject
Natural Science, Environmental Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-31583 (URN)978-91-87427-71-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-02-28, Fullriggaren (B-135), Landgången 3, Kalmar, 09:30 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-02-25 Created: 2014-01-22 Last updated: 2014-05-09Bibliographically approved

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Ibrahim, Muhammad AsimAlriksson, StinaSultana, NorinHogland, William

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