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Systems 2015, 3(3), 133-151; doi:10.3390/systems3030133

A Management Framework for Municipal Solid Waste Systems and Its Application to Food Waste Prevention

Department of Technology and Society, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York, NY 11794-3760, USA
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Academic Editors: Alberto Paucar-Caceres and Diane Hart
Received: 7 July 2015 / Revised: 10 August 2015 / Accepted: 17 August 2015 / Published: 21 August 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Systems Thinking and Management Sciences Methodologies)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [266 KB, uploaded 21 August 2015]

Abstract

Waste management is a complex task involving numerous waste fractions, a range of technological treatment options, and many outputs that are circulated back into society. A systematic, interdisciplinary systems management framework was developed to facilitate the planning, implementation, and maintenance of sustainable waste systems. It aims not to replace existing decision-making approaches, but rather to enable their integration to allow for inclusion of overall sustainability concerns and address the complexity of solid waste management. The framework defines key considerations for system design, steps for performance monitoring, and approaches for facilitating continual system improvements. It was developed by critically examining the literature to determine what aspects of a management framework would be most effective at improving systems management for complex waste systems. The framework was applied to food waste management as a theoretical case study to exemplify how it can serve as a systems management tool for complex waste systems, as well as address obstacles typically faced in the field. Its benefits include the integration of existing waste system assessment models; the inclusion of environmental, economic, and social priorities; efficient performance monitoring; and a structure to continually define, review, and improve systems. This framework may have broader implications for addressing sustainability in other disciplines. View Full-Text
Keywords: municipal waste management; management system; waste system; municipal solid waste; planning; food waste; waste prevention; interdisciplinary; sustainability municipal waste management; management system; waste system; municipal solid waste; planning; food waste; waste prevention; interdisciplinary; sustainability
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. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Thyberg, K.L.; Tonjes, D.J. A Management Framework for Municipal Solid Waste Systems and Its Application to Food Waste Prevention. Systems 2015, 3, 133-151.

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