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Sustainability 2013, 5(10), 4349-4361; doi:10.3390/su5104349
Article

Assessing Incorrect Household Waste Sorting in a Medium-Sized Swedish City

1,*  and 2
1 School of Engineering, University of Borås, Allégatan 1, Borås 50190, Sweden 2 School of Business and IT, University of Borås, Allégatan 1, Borås 50190, Sweden
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 June 2013 / Revised: 25 September 2013 / Accepted: 26 September 2013 / Published: 2 October 2013
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Abstract

Source separation is a common method for dealing with the increasing problem of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) in society. The citizens are then responsible for separating waste fractions produced in their home. If the consumers fail to sort the waste according to the source separation scheme, it will lead to an ineffective system. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the environmental, economic and social aspects of incorrect waste sorting in a medium sized Swedish city that has established a source separation system. In order to determine the extent to which citizens correctly sort their waste, food waste (black bags) and combustible fraction (white bags), were collected randomly from a residential area and categorized in different waste fractions. The results show that approximately 68 wt% of the waste in the white and 29 wt% in the black bags were not sorted correctly. This incorrect sorting accrues over 13 million SEK per year cost for this community. In order to improve the inhabitants’ participation in the waste management system, it is necessary to change different factors such as convenience and easy access to the recycling stations in the local MSW management systems as well as to review current regulation and policy.
Keywords: solid waste management; source separation; Sweden; recycling behavior solid waste management; source separation; Sweden; recycling behavior
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Rousta, K.; Ekström, K.M. Assessing Incorrect Household Waste Sorting in a Medium-Sized Swedish City. Sustainability 2013, 5, 4349-4361.

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