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Recycling 2016, 1(2), 254-270; doi:10.3390/recycling1020254

A Tale of Two Cities: The Emergence of Urban Waste Systems in a Developed and a Developing City

International Centre for Environmental Science, Faculty of Engineering and the Environment, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton, Hampshire SO17 1BJ, UK
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Academic Editor: Michele Rosano
Received: 2 June 2016 / Revised: 16 August 2016 / Accepted: 16 August 2016 / Published: 29 August 2016
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Abstract

Developing cities have historically looked to developed cities as exemplary models for waste management systems and practices without considering the consequent resource requirements or the key characteristics of the local setting. However, direct adoption of developed cities’ approaches without proper consideration of the local circumstances may lead to unsustainable future waste management in developing cities. This study evaluates waste management in London and Kuala Lumpur, representing developed and developing cities, focusing on the integration of policy changes, socio-economic background and waste data trends on a multi-decadal scale. This analysis reveals the gradual implementation of initiatives, the challenges faced and the attempted solutions that were applied differently in both cities. Conceptual models of waste management status in different scenarios for both cities were developed. These models highlight that societal behaviour shifts from minimal waste generation (wasteless) to throw-away society (wasteful) and a drive to achieve sustainable waste behaviour with integration of resource recovery and waste minimization (wasting less). A detailed understanding of the evolution of waste management systems towards fulfilling public needs alongside rapid urbanization can provide new perspectives on future waste scenarios, especially in developing cities. Ultimately, reliable and accurate data are crucial to avoid inaccuracies in planning for future waste management. View Full-Text
Keywords: urbanization; urban waste management; waste management evolution; policy; sustainability; developing cities; developed cities urbanization; urban waste management; waste management evolution; policy; sustainability; developing cities; developed cities
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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

Mukhtar, E.M.; Williams, I.D.; Shaw, P.J.; Ongondo, F.O. A Tale of Two Cities: The Emergence of Urban Waste Systems in a Developed and a Developing City. Recycling 2016, 1, 254-270.

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