Sustainable fuzzy multi-trip location-routing problem for medical waste management during the COVID-19 outbreak

Tirkolaee E. B. , Abbasian P., Weber G.

SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT, vol.756, 2021 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 756
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.143607
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus, Academic Search Premier, PASCAL, Aerospace Database, Analytical Abstracts, Aqualine, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, Chimica, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, EMBASE, Environment Index, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, Geobase, Greenfile, MEDLINE, Metadex, Pollution Abstracts, Public Affairs Index, Veterinary Science Database, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: Multi-trip location-routing problem, Infection risk, Sustainable development, Waste management, COVID-19 pandemic, MATHEMATICAL-MODEL, ALGORITHMS


The performance of waste management system has been recently interrupted and encountered a very serious situation due to the epidemic outbreak of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). To this end, the handling of infectious medical waste has been particularly more vital than ever. Therefore, in this study, a novel mixed-integer linear programming (MILP) model is developed to formulate the sustainable multi-trip location-routing problem with time windows (MTLRP-TW) for medical waste management in the COVID-19 pandemic. The objectives are to concurrently minimize the total traveling time, total violation from time windows/service priorities and total infection/environmental risk imposed on the population around disposal sites. Here, the time windows play a key role to define the priority of services for hospitals with a different range of risks. To deal with the uncertainly, a fuzzy chance-constrained programming approach is applied to the proposed model. A real case study is investigated in Sari city of Iran to test the performance and applicability of the proposed model. Accordingly, the optimal planning of vehicles is determined to be implemented by the municipality, which lakes 19.733 h to complete the processes of collection, transportation and disposal. Finally, several sensitivity analyses are performed to examine the behavior of the objective functions against the changes of controllable parameters and evaluate optimal policies and suggest useful managerial insights under different conditions. (C) 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.