In several countries, due to the increasing cost and shortage of water, textile finishing industries are looking for non conventional water resources. The use of reclaimed wastewater appears a technically feasible solution and is gaining a growing consensus. A European Union research project (TOWEF0, Towards effluent zero) with the aim of elaborating a multicriteria integrated and coherent methodology to support the implementation of sustainable water reuse in textile finishing processes has been recently concluded. In order to achieve an optimal compromise between minimization of environmental impacts of the production processes and maximum recovery of resources, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology has been applied to selected textile products manufactured within Belgian and Italian textile finishing companies. The study identified the key environmental issues within the finishing processes of a variety of natural (cotton, silk) and man-made (polyester, acetate, viscose) fibers and fabrics and analyzed alternative water reuse scenarios. Significant margins exist for impressive reductions in water consumption with almost no additional environmental impact adopting in situ membrane filtration technology. In this paper the methodological approach and the results of the LCA analyses applied to a flax-polyester product are presented and discussed.
The VAMP project (VAlorization of building demolition Materials and Products, LIFE 98/ENV/IT/33) aims to build an effective and innovative information system to support decision making in selective demolition activity and to manage the valorization (recovery-reuse-recycling) of waste flows produced by the construction and demolition (C&D) sector. The VAMP information system will be tested it in Italy in some case studies of selective demolition. In this paper the proposed demolition-valorization system will be compared to the traditional one in a life cycle perspective, applying LCA methodology to highlight the advantages of VAMP system from an eco-sustainability point of view. Within the system boundaries demolition processes, transport of demolition wastes and its recovery/treatment or disposal in landfill were included. Processes avoided due to reuse-recycling activities, such as extraction of natural resources and manufacture of building materials and components, were considered too. In this paper data collection procedure applied in inventory and impact assessment phases and a general overview about data availability for LCA studies in this sector are presented. Results of application of VAMP methodology to a case study are discussed and compared with a simulated traditional demolition of the same building. Environmental advantages of VAMP demolition-valorization system are demonstrated quantitatively emphasizing the special importance of reuse of building components with high demand of energy for manufacture.