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Life cycle assessment (LCA)

Life cycle assessment or LCA – refers to a process in industrial ecology by which the products, processes, and facilities used to manufacture specific products are each examined for their environmental impacts — a balance sheet prepared for each product that considers: the use of materials.

Material recovery

Material recovery is the extraction of materials from the waste stream for reuse or recycling. Examples include source separation, front-end recovery, in-plant recycling, post-combustion recovery, leaf composting, and so on.


Precycling is source reduction and reuse. In most waste management planning, the hierarchy is Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Reduction and reuse are the first lines of defence against increasing waste volume.

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