Global warming potential (GWP) is an important impact category in life-cycle-assessment modelling of waste management systems. However, accounting of biogenic CO(2) emissions and sequestered biogenic carbon in landfills and in soils, amended with compost, is carried out in different ways in reported studies. A simplified model of carbon flows is presented for the waste management system and the surrounding industries, represented by the pulp and paper manufacturing industry, the forestry industry and the energy industry. The model calculated the load of C to the atmosphere, under ideal conditions, for 14 different waste management scenarios under a range of system boundary conditions and a constant consumption of C-product (here assumed to be paper) and energy production within the combined system. Five sets of criteria for assigning GWP indices to waste management systems were applied to the same 14 scenarios and tested for their ability to rank the waste management alternatives reflecting the resulting CO(2) load to the atmosphere. Two complete criteria sets were identified yielding fully consistent results; one set considers biogenic CO(2) as neutral, the other one did not. The results showed that criteria for assigning global warming contributions are partly linked to the system boundary conditions. While the boundary to the paper industry and the energy industry usually is specified in LCA studies, the boundary to the forestry industry and the interaction between forestry and the energy industry should also be specified and accounted for.