Improving waste sorting- and collection systems, An Action Research study in Borås, Sweden

Examensarbete för masterexamen
Master Thesis
Industrial ecology (MPTSE), MSc
Jansson, Ann
Blomér, Frida
There are different ways to work towards a more sustainable future – a developed waste management system could be one part of the solution. In Sweden, munici-palities are responsible for collecting household waste. Borås, a medium-sized city in western Sweden, has a sorting system where food waste is sorted into a black bag and waste for incineration is disposed in a white. The bags are sorted optically at a treatment plant. Recyclables and bulky waste should be disposed at a recycling station or center. A lot of material is miss-sorted, and the supplier of waste management services, Borås Energi och Miljö (BEM), thus wants to investigate how to increase the sorting quality and still keep a high customer satisfaction. The main research question in the thesis has thus been: How can an already developed waste management system be improved in order to achieve high customer satisfaction and high sorting quality? To find area specific solutions, BEM chose four geographical areas with varied pre-conditions as base for the study. The Action research method was used throughout the work. Data was gathered through literature studies, interviews, focus groups and observations. Also results from a waste composition analysis were used. Data showed that Borås’ inhabitants are satisfied with the white- and black bag system but that the waste quality in the bags could be improved in all areas. General improvements needed are; maintenance at the recycling stations, distribution of information and attitudes toward waste sorting. It was shown that safety is an impo-rtant aspect to consider when developing the system. The waste sorting- and colle-ction system recommended for the first area is to divide the collection into one bin for white and another for black bags, and further to build an environmental room for recyclables. For the second area the proposed system includes keeping the waste chutes for white- and black bags and to reinstate the environmental room in the house. For the third area it is suggested to remove the waste bins in the yards and to collect waste inside the buildings. For the fourth area it is suggested to offer the inhabitants collection of recyclables at the house. Informing people about why the changes are happening is crucial. When implementing the changes, it is an opportunity for BEM to spread updated sorting instructions and to promote their sorting guide and phone-app.
Geovetenskap och miljövetenskap , Annan geovetenskap och miljövetenskap , Earth and Related Environmental Sciences , Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
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Geografisk plats
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