Waste management represents a challenge for public authorities due to many reasons such as increased waste generation following urban population growth, economic burdens imposed on the municipal budget, and nuisances inevitably caused to the environment and local inhabitants. To optimize the system from a sustainability perspective, moving the transition towards a more circular economy, a better understanding of the different stages of waste management is necessary. A review of recently developed sustainability frameworks for waste management showed that no single framework captures all the instruments needed to ultimately provide a solid basis for comprehensive analyses of the potential burdens associated with urban waste management. Bearing this limitation in mind, the objective of this research is to propose a conceptual and comprehensive sustainability framework to support decision-making in waste management of European cities. The framework comprises a combination of methods capable of identifying future strategies and scenarios, to assess different types of impacts based on a life cycle perspective, and considers the value of waste streams, the actors involved, and possible constraints of implementing scenarios. The social, economic, environmental, technical and political domains are covered, and special attention is paid to impacts affecting foremost the local population.
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