Special Issue "Sustainable Waste Technology and Management"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Engineering and Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Jutta Gutberlet
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Geography, University of Victoria, P.O. Box 3060, STNCSC, Victoria, BC V8W 3R4, Canada
Interests: sustainability, participatory resource management; waste governance; solid waste and recycling; food security; sustainable livelihoods; cooperatives; grassroots social innovation; qualitative research methodology; community based research
Dr. Sayed Mohammad Nazim Uddin
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Environmental Sciences, Asian University for Women, 20/A, M M Ali Road, Chittagong, Bangladesh
Interests: wastewater/greywater treatment and management; global water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), environmental health; solid waste management; sustainable sanitation; resource and energy recovery; community-based research; water resources management; and disaster/hazard risk reduction

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Building sustainability is a major current concern in times of climate change, environmental degradation and growing poverty, which requires unprecedented collaboration between civil society, government and business. Waste is a core sustainability challenge, and decisions regarding which practices or technologies to apply can have beneficial or detrimental long-term consequences. Global annual solid waste generation is projected to reach 3.4 billion tones over the next three decades, and it is critical for environmental and human health to act now and manage our waste in sustainable ways. Grassroots practices can make a substantial contribution to developing new technologies, approaches and models in waste management. Bottom-up organizations and networks in waste management (e.g. community based organizations, cooperatives, associations, unions, social enterprises) can forge a new conceptualization of the public and its role in service delivery and environmental protection. Seyfang and Smith (2007: 585) “use the term ‘grassroots innovations’ to describe networks of activists and organisations generating novel bottom up solutions for sustainable development; solutions that respond to the local situation and the interests and values of the communities involved”. We understand grassroots social innovations as bottom-up, democratic processes, actively engaging community members in the design, development or production of an innovation (which can be a technology, strategy or management practice), benefitting the public and bringing social change, approved and owned by the grassroots. Here grassroots take the form of community-based initiatives that emerge in a specific local context and explore alternative configurations in waste management. This Special Issue is particularly geared towards stimulating the debate on grassroots innovations making waste technology and management more sustainable. We encourage original articles on innovative waste collection and recycling models, good waste governance, role of wide range of different actors in waste management and governance, bottom-up circular economy models and any other grassroots innovation that makes waste management more sustainable. We welcome practical lessons or success stories on sustainable ways of dealing with waste, across various cities in different countries as well as theoretical discussions on grassroots innovations fostering sustainable waste technology and management.

Guiding references:

Azevedo, A.M.M.de; Carenzo, S.; Goodluck, C.; Gutberlet, J.; Kain, J.-H.; Oloko, M.O.; Pérez Reynosa, J.; Zapata, P.; Zapata Campos, M. J. (2018). Inclusive Waste Governance and Grassroots Innovations for Social, Environmental and Economic Change; Swedish Research Council (n° 2016-06289) and Canada Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (n° 890-2016-0098). In collaboration with WIEGO. ISBN 978-91-984547-3-4. http://www.wiego.org/reports/inclusive-waste-governance-and-grassroots-innovations-social-environmental-and-economic-chan

Gutberlet, J.; Carenzo, S.; Kain, J-H.; de Azevedo, A.M.M. Waste Picker Organizations and Their Contribution to the Circular Economy: Two Case Studies from a Global South Perspective. Resources 2017, 6, 1–12. www.mdpi.com/2079-9276/6/4/52/pdf

Seyfang, G.; Smith, A., Grassroots innovations for sustainable development: Towards a new research and policy agenda. Environ. Polit. 2007, 16, 584–603.

Smith, A.; Fressoli, M.; Abrol, D.; Around, E.; Ely, A. Grassroots Innovation Movements; Routledge: New York, NY, USA, 2016.

Prof. Dr. Jutta Gutberlet
Dr. Sayed Mohammad Nazim Uddin
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Grassroots innovation
  • Social innovation
  • Reuse, reduce, recycle
  • Zero waste
  • Composting
  • Transitions
  • Community action
  • Community based organization
  • Consumption and waste
  • Waste governance
  • Sustainable development
  • Waste and GIS
  • Public policy
  • LCA

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Expansion of the Waste-Based Commodity Frontier: Insights from Sweden and Brazil
Sustainability 2020, 12(7), 2628; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12072628 (registering DOI) - 26 Mar 2020
Abstract
Waste is a valuable commodity and remains a livelihood source for waste pickers in the global South. Waste to Energy (WtoE) is often described as alternative to landfilling, as it provides cheap fuel while making waste disappear. In some European cities, this method [...] Read more.
Waste is a valuable commodity and remains a livelihood source for waste pickers in the global South. Waste to Energy (WtoE) is often described as alternative to landfilling, as it provides cheap fuel while making waste disappear. In some European cities, this method has evolved into an impediment, slowing down the adoption of more sustainable technologies and waste prevention. These plants typically strain municipal budgets and provide fewer jobs than recycling and composting, thereby inhibiting the development of small-scale local recycling businesses. We applied the idea of ‘waste regime’ with an interdisciplinary and situated lens to provide insights to the following questions: How do different political developments in Brazil and Sweden, frame and reframe waste incineration and energy recovery, in the context of sustainability and waste management on local, regional and national levels? What forms of resistance against WtoE exist and what are the arguments of these protagonists? We evaluated the impact of WtoE and compare it with other waste management options with regard to CO2 balances and general environmental and social impacts. We conclude by suggesting more socially and environmentally appropriate ways of waste management, particularly for the context of global South cities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Waste Technology and Management)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
What Could China Give to and Take from Other Countries in Terms of the Development of the Biogas Industry?
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1490; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12041490 - 17 Feb 2020
Abstract
Anaerobic digestion is one of the most sustainable and promising technologies for the management of organic residues. China plays an important role in the world’s biogas industry and has accumulated rich and valuable experience, both positive and negative. The country has established relatively [...] Read more.
Anaerobic digestion is one of the most sustainable and promising technologies for the management of organic residues. China plays an important role in the world’s biogas industry and has accumulated rich and valuable experience, both positive and negative. The country has established relatively complete laws, policies and a subsidy system; its world-renowned standard system guarantees the implementation of biogas projects. Its prefabricated biogas industry has been developed, and several biogas-linked agricultural models have been disseminated. Nonetheless, the subsidy system in China’s biogas industry is inflexible and cannot lead to marketization, unlike that of its European counterpart. Moreover, the equipment and technology levels of China’s biogas industry are still lagging and underdeveloped. Mono-digestion, rather than co-digestion, dominates the biogas industry. In addition, biogas upgrading technology is immature, and digestate lacks planning and management. China’s government subsidy is reconsidered in this work, resulting in the recommendation that subsidy should be based on products (i.e., output-oriented) instead of only input subsidy for construction. The policy could focus on the revival of abandoned biogas plants as well. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Waste Technology and Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of the Municipal Solid Waste Collection System on the Time Spent at a Collection Point: A Case Study
Sustainability 2019, 11(22), 6481; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11226481 - 18 Nov 2019
Abstract
Waste management plans pay attention to municipal solid waste (MSW) collection systems. It represents a significant portion of waste management as it involves a great economic cost and environmental impact. For these reasons, many researchers have studied the optimization of collection routes, analyzing [...] Read more.
Waste management plans pay attention to municipal solid waste (MSW) collection systems. It represents a significant portion of waste management as it involves a great economic cost and environmental impact. For these reasons, many researchers have studied the optimization of collection routes, analyzing factors that make them more efficient and sustainable, for example, the overall distance traveled and the time spent on the route. Collection times depend on factors such as the speed of the truck, time at traffic lights or time spent on loading and unloading the waste. The loading and unloading times play an important role in the measurement of the total time of the route. Moreover, there is scarce information in the literature about measuring the real-time spent on the trip. All those times are necessary to optimize the total route time. However, it is difficult to obtain this information directly as it depends on parameters such as the type of truck. The aim of this work is to propose a methodology to define all the times involved in the waste collection process. Once they are well defined, they have to be measured in some cases or calculated in others. This works also presents a case study to validate the proposed methodology with an extensive fieldwork to measure those times that can’t be calculated in the waste collection process. The work presents the results of a study of the time spent at a collection point in six MSW collection systems using different types of collection trucks and bin designs. We have determined how the characteristics of the system affect the time spent at a collection point. Additionally, the times for the six models have been established. Finally, we have determined the influence of the collection model in the duration of the activity. Under certain conditions, times can coincide even though the models are different. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Waste Technology and Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Predicting Renovation Waste Generation Based on Grey System Theory: A Case Study of Shenzhen
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4326; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164326 - 10 Aug 2019
Abstract
With the rapid development of urbanization, more and more people are willing to improve their living conditions, thus substantial attention has been paid to residential renovation in China. As a result, large quantities of renovation waste are generated annually which seriously challenge sustainable [...] Read more.
With the rapid development of urbanization, more and more people are willing to improve their living conditions, thus substantial attention has been paid to residential renovation in China. As a result, large quantities of renovation waste are generated annually which seriously challenge sustainable urban development. To effectively manage renovation waste, accurate prediction of waste generation rates is a prerequisite. However, in the literature, few attempts have been made for predicting renovation waste as renovation activities vary significantly in different cases. This study offers an approach to estimate the amount of renovation waste based on the vacancy rate and renovation waste generation rates at a city level. The grey system theory was applied to predict the amount of renovation waste in Shenzhen. Results showed that the amount of renovation waste would reach 135,620 tons in 2023. The research findings can provide supportive information to relevant stakeholders for developing a renovation waste management framework. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Waste Technology and Management)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Advanced Recovery Techniques for Waste Materials from IT and Telecommunication Equipment Printed Circuit Boards
Sustainability 2020, 12(1), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12010074 - 20 Dec 2019
Abstract
Waste from information technology (IT) and telecommunication equipment (WITTE) constitutes a significant fraction of waste from electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). The presence of rare metals and hazardous materials (e.g., heavy metals or flame retardants) makes the necessary recycling procedures difficult and expensive. [...] Read more.
Waste from information technology (IT) and telecommunication equipment (WITTE) constitutes a significant fraction of waste from electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). The presence of rare metals and hazardous materials (e.g., heavy metals or flame retardants) makes the necessary recycling procedures difficult and expensive. Important efforts are being made for Waste Printed Circuit Board (WPCB) recycling because, even if they only amount to 5–10% of the WITTE weight, they constitute up to 80% of the recovered value. This paper summarizes the recycling techniques applicable to WPCBs. In the first part, dismantling and mechanical recycling techniques are presented. Within the frame of electro-mechanical separation technology, the chain process of shredding, washing, and sieving, followed by one or a combination of magnetic, eddy current, corona electrostatic, triboelectrostatic, or gravity separation techniques, is presented. The chemical and electrochemical processes are of utmost importance for the fine separation of metals coming from complex equipment such as WPCBs. Thermal recycling techniques such as pyrolysis and thermal treatment are presented as complementary solutions for achieving both an extra separation stage and thermal energy. As the recycling processes of WPCBs require adequate, efficient, and ecological recycling techniques, the aim of this survey is to identify and highlight the most important ones. Due to the high economic value of the resulting raw materials relative to the WPCBs’ weight and composition, their recycling represents both a necessary environmental protection action, as well as an economic opportunity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Waste Technology and Management)
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