Research towards sustainable waste management

The need of a more sustainable waste management

The quantity of household waste continues to increase as a result of society´s production and consumption patterns. In spite of successful recycling schemes, the waste quantities remaining after material recycling have been more or less constant since the beginning of the 1990s.

We need to find ways to reduce the trend of increasing waste quantities. We also need to manage the produced waste in the best way possible. A more sustainable waste management means more efficient use of natural resources and decreasing environmental burdens, both in and outside of Sweden. Also, waste management must be affordable and widely accepted by the public as well as by key companies and organisations.

 

Policy instruments that contribute to the development of a more sustainable waste management

The purpose of Towards Sustainable Waste Management was to identify policy instruments and strategic decisions that contribute to the development of a more sustainable waste management.

The research in Towards Sustainable Waste Management was carried out by an interdisciplinary network of Swedish researchers. We surveyed existing informative, economic, legal and physical policy instruments. We also developed and suggested new policy instruments and aim at finding the combinations of policy instruments that are more efficient in contributing to a more sustainable waste management. We focus on waste prevention, reuse, material recycling and biological treatment.

Towards Sustainable Waste Management also includes:

  • development of future scenarios illustrating how a more sustainable waste management can be designed.
  • investigation of systems for source separation and collection, seeking to adapt these systems to the needs and requirements of consumers, organisations and companies.
  • investigation of the processes of the recycling industry, aiming for an improvement and expansion of the recycling system.   

A broad scope

Many different aspects of waste management - environmental, economic, cultural and social - are studied in Towards Sustainable Waste Management. Seeking the broadest scope possible, economists, ethnologists, environmental psychologists, systems analysts and futurologists carried out the research in close co-operation.

 

Ten research projects

Towards Sustainable Waste Management includes ten research projects. Each project adds important information and knowledge to the programme. Knowledge and results from the other projects are integrated in the project Future-oriented synthesis, with an aim to identify instruments and decisions that contribute to the development of a more sustainable waste management system. In this way, the results of Towards Sustainable Waste Management provides useful input to actual policy-making and strategy development in waste management and other related fields. Read more about the research projects

>>The research projects   

>>Organisation
 
>>Financial support

  
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