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Received: 29 July 2017 Revised: 19 September 2017 Accepted: 2 October 2017

DOI: 10.1002/bsd2.7


Indicators for establishing and assessing waste management

systems in developing countries: A holistic approach to
sustainability and business opportunities
Mahdi Ikhlayel

885‐137 Higashifukai, Chiba, Nagareyama

270‐0101, Japan Abstract
Correspondence Waste management is a pressing issue for sustainable development, particularly in developing
Mahdi Ikhlayel, Ph.D., Chiba, Nagareyama countries. Its urgent nature is an outcome of the increasing waste produced and the poor
270‐0101, 885‐137 Higashifukai, Japan. waste management in several developing countries. Waste is associated with negative environ-
mental impacts, dangers to public health, social acceptability, and economic aspects. Several
factors exacerbate the waste problem: inadequate waste disposal methods, mixing portions
of waste electrical and electronic equipment components with municipal waste, and informal
recycling. Other factors are a lack of awareness of the toxic nature of hazardous waste and
limited legislation to regulate and control the disposal of hazardous waste. Focusing on
municipal waste and waste electrical and electronic equipment, this article classifies the levels
of waste management and proposes 26 indicators for assessing and enhancing waste manage-
ment systems. The purpose of this research is to make a contribution to accelerating the
transition to sustainable development in developing countries and to highlight business

indicators, integrated waste management, integrative thinking, stakeholders, sustainability,
sustainable development

1 | I N T RO D U CT I O N ecological systems. Now waste management has emerged as a signifi-

cant issue for sustainable development (SD). Waste management is a

1.1 | Background complex problem with technical, socioeconomic, legal, ecological, polit-
ical, and even cultural components (Chang, Pires, & Martinho, 2011).
Waste refers to materials of little or no value to humans (Pichtel, Therefore, traditional management approaches to this problem must
2005). In this context, disposal of such materials may be preferred be revisited as they create unsustainable societies (Seadon, 2010).
(Pichtel, 2005). Traditionally, municipal waste has been managed so In today's modern societies, an efficient waste management system
that it is isolated from the living environment, and therefore, it was that isolates the adverse impacts of waste on the environment and
given a low priority. Massive quantities of generated waste as a result protects human health is a fundamental service that should be provided
of dynamic population increases, economic and industrial develop- by municipalities. Because proper management of waste requires the
ment, and lifestyle changes have made waste management an urgent active participation of residents, the public awareness levels should be
issue. The environmentally safe waste management may always be a a concern for local governments. Therefore, an interdisciplinary under-
problem because societies will continue to produce more waste due standing of the nature of waste issues is necessary when developing
to the drivers of their growth and the demands for developing modern sustainable plans. The question here is how to advance sustainable
societies (Rada, 2016). As discussed by Kissinger, Sussman, Moore, and waste management practices so that they will be appraised as a constit-
Rees (2013), the resource use and waste generation in cities make uent of SD. Various articles have been written about sustainability
urban centers key contributors to global ecological change. For exam- research, SD, and indicators for measuring sustainability in different
ple, carbon emissions and resource depletion cause severe stress in domains, such as agriculture, water resource management, and natural

Bus Strat Dev. 2018;1:31–42. Copyright © 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment 31

resources management. However few studies discuss waste from a sus- 2. The articles published in international and peer‐reviewed journals
tainable approach founded on a holistic view and indicators assessment. were retrieved from the Web of Science database.
Further, sustainability indicators to assess waste management plans 3. The qualitative data analysis method was applied to build a the-
have seldom been examined in the literature. For any city, country, or matic analysis of the relative content in the articles. Coding was
region, sustainability indicators should be developed to accelerate the applied to passages in the articles to identify common topics.
shift from traditional management approaches to an efficacious ones. The codes used include municipal waste, WEEE, e‐waste, informal
Existing research has investigated a wide range of waste manage- recycling, waste collection, waste dumping, open burning, indica-
ment‐related issues over the past 25 years. These endeavors are critical tors, waste disposal, waste treatment, research objective, research
to highlighting the weak points, improve waste management outcomes, method, research key findings, and research conclusion. In the
and examine alternatives. Nevertheless, a gap remains on how to bridge next step, the codes were annotated with comments on how
these efforts to replace unsustainable practices and attitudes with the authors approached the topics and with a brief interpretation.
integrated action plans that sustain waste management. Given that, this “Networks” of codes that represented connections between the
work addresses this gap in the context of developing countries. codes were created. The purpose of building the networks was
to gain a better understanding of the flow of information and
1.2 | Objective the relationships between each code. Each “network” was
The study presented here attempts to build upon the work by assigned a “context.” A “context” is a group of “networks” based
Ikhlayel and Nguyen (2017) published in an SD‐focused journal. on the discussion themes in the articles. Examples of “networks”

The study by Ikhlayel and Nguyen (2017) addresses the sustainabil- are health impacts, environmental impacts, and stakeholders.
ity challenge. The authors discussed how an integrated approach Examples of “contexts” are sustainability, SD, indicators, and
can lead to finding solutions to complex issues for modern societies geographical location. The qualitative data analysis procedure
in the SD context. was carried out using ATLAS.ti1 software to accelerate the coding
The presented work in this study seeks to propose sustainability process.
indicators based on an integrated approach for proceeding toward 4. Waste management status and issues in developing countries
effective management plans in developing countries. Such plans can from different regions were analyzed. Studies on those countries
help to mitigate the impacts of poor waste management, accelerate are listed in Table 1.
the process of SD, and improve people's lives. Therefore, this work 5. Building upon the work by Ikhlayel and Nguyen (2017) and the
attempts to advance an interdisciplinary understanding of intertwined related publications reviewed in this study, the concept of IWM
elements between sustainability and relevant waste drivers. Thus, as an approach of life‐cycle and integrative thinking was discussed
drivers include waste generation dynamics, waste technologies, and and presented. The concept was reviewed as a crucial step to
interrelated issues with economic development, environmental pollu- propose sustainable waste management indicators (SWMIs) for
tion, and society. The article highlights the differences between waste developing countries.
management in developed and developing countries. It also highlights
6. The life cycle assessment (LCA) method was discussed as a means
the sustainability and business opportunities of waste management
to advocate the IWM and as an integrated approach to waste
for developing countries. As a result, the presented set of indicators
management. More importantly, the environmental impact cate-
is expected to provide a measure of progress toward developing sus-
gories (hereinafter “environmental themes”) of the methods of life
tainable waste management systems.
cycle impact assessment (LCIA) were reviewed in the literature
(26 categories in total). Those themes were allocated to three
2 | METHODS major indicators for the proposed SWMIs: damage to health,
damage to the ecosystem, and damage to the environment. The
A systematic procedure was designed for conducting this study. The
overall procedure of the study is depicted in Figure 1.
steps performed are explained below:

1. Seventy‐eight peer‐reviewed articles that serve the objective of

this research were systematically reviewed. The articles discuss 3 | RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS
topics related to municipal waste management (32 articles), waste
electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) management (22 arti-
3.1 | Waste management in developing and
cles), sustainability (8 articles), SD (11 articles), and sustainability
developed countries
indicators (5 articles). The purpose of the review was as follows:
• Advance an understanding of the research gaps; Waste management remains a challenge worldwide, particularly with
respect to sustainability and SD. Major concerns with this include sub-
• Review the concept of integrated waste management (IWM)
stantial amounts of generated municipal waste and WEEE; waste
in the existing literature and in the context of developing
reduction and reuse; and public awareness. The 2012 World Bank
countries; and
report (Hoornweg & Bhada‐Tata, 2012) showed that the world's cities
• Understand the sustainability indicators reported in the

TABLE 1 Reference on the reviewed waste management status in exist or have not been established adequately. Further, the Basel
selected developing countries Convention has not been enforced in several countries (Tansel, 2017).
Country Reference In developed countries, for instance, EEA (2017) data indicates

Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Abu‐Qudais and Abu‐Qdais (2000), that the recycling rate of municipal and packaging waste has increased
Lebanon, and Egypt Mrayyan and Hamdi (2006), SWEEP‐ notably. Recycling rates of municipal waste grew by 13% between
NET (2013), Tarawneh and Saidan
2004 and 2014, and recycling rates for packaging waste grew by
(2013), SWEEP‐NET (2014), Saidan and
Tarawneh (2015), Ikhlayel, Higano, 10% between 2005 and 2013. Also, according to the data, in 2014,
Yabar, and Mizunoya (2016), and Ikhlayel 43% of the municipal waste produced in the EU‐27 and Norway was
recycled. In 2013, 65% of packaging waste generated was recycled.
Indonesia Andarani and Goto (2013)
In 2014, 24 countries recycled 55% or more packaging waste. These
India Garlapati (2016)
high recycling rates for packaging waste compared to municipal waste
China Zhang, Tan, and Gersberg (2010)
are a result of packaging waste targets being introduced, which
The Philippines Paul, Arce‐Jaque, Ravena, and Villamor
(2012) increased producer responsibility.
Ghana Oteng‐Ababio, Melara Arguello, and Implementing advanced technology to properly collect, manage,
Gabbay (2013) treat, and dispose of waste comes at a high cost, and cost remains a
major challenge for several developing countries, particularly those
generate about 1.3 billion tons of municipal solid waste per year, the slow to establish advanced management systems for both municipal
amount is expected to reach 2.2 billion tons by 2025. With WEEE, a solid waste and WEEE. Overall, advanced technologies represent
report by United Nations University (Baldé, Wang, Kuehr, & Huisman, higher potential to protect human health and the environment. Besides
2014) estimated that 41.8 million tons of WEEE were generated in mitigating these issues, advanced technologies also provide lower
2014, up from 33.8 million tons in 2010, and only 4 billion people overall risk. Although less advanced or conventional technologies are
are covered by national legislation (four out of every seven people). cheaper, they pose a high risk to both human health and the environ-
In several developing countries, uncontrolled waste disposal, open ment. Figure 2 depicts the relationship between technological
dumping, and open burning are practiced. Issues noted in the literature advances and the risk in both developed and developing countries.
include inadequate practices, poor infrastructure, lack of legislation,
and existing informal recycling practices. The economic burden and
3.2 | Sustainable development and waste
environmental and health impacts are also a matter of concern. This
alarming situation does not necessarily apply to all developing coun-
tries as due to differences in their respective economic levels and Over the past decade, SD has increasingly framed international
advances in offering educational programs. However, when these debates about environmental and developmental policy‐making
issues are present, developing countries should take further—and (Lafferty, 2000). Nevertheless, there are varying definitions of SD.
prompt—actions. For instance, Martens (2006) explained that SD aims to provide the
Tansel (2017) reviewed the challenges associated with the increas- fundamental needs of humankind without violating the natural sys-
ing WEEE quantities. The author came to the conclusion that the han- tem of life on earth. El Haggar (2007) explained SD as a methodology
dling and fate of WEEE in various countries show significant that attempts to encompass social, technological, economic, and envi-
differences between developed and developing countries. According ronmental aspects. According to El Haggar (2007), these aspects rein-
to the author, one of the most commonly used waste management force each other to attain a “win–win” solution. Strange and Bayley
options for WEEE is disposed in landfills. Several of those countries lack (2008) explained that SD as it provides a way to assess the situation,
adequate mechanisms to regulate WEEE, or such mechanisms do not set goals that will produce better results, and make the right choices

FIGURE 1 Illustration of the overall approach.

WEEE = waste electrical and electronic

FIGURE 2 Trade‐off between advances in

technology, cost, and risk

about the direction to take. Hák, Moldan, and Dahl (2012) explained local scale, such as human toxicity; water, air, and soil contamination;
that the concept of SD and the ability to measure progress toward and other related issues.
its goals have become immensely important for many professionals, Sustainable waste management can also create business and
researchers, educators, planners, nongovernment organizations, employment opportunities, for example, through recycling. A sustain-
experts, policy analysts, policymakers, and the wider public. able waste management approach emphasizes resource use. Reused
With waste management, it is a complex issue in SD due to its waste is rich with several valuable materials and metals, which should
multidimensionality (cutting across the areas of environment, public be put back into the supply chain. Business opportunities for develop-
health, society, education, economy, culture, technology, and natural ing countries exist and can be achieved through encouraging private
resources). Defining sustainable waste management is critical for sector participation. Paper, paper packaging, glass, and metals such
developing solutions to these related issues. In this context, Chang as copper, iron, steel, and aluminum can be recycled. WEEE is like-
and Pires (2015) defined sustainable waste management as follows: wise a valuable source for both nonprecious and precious metals.
However, determining what materials and metals are preferable for
A method of waste management sciences in concert with
recycling depends on several factors—for example, recyclable waste
urban development, in which resource use aims to meet
in the waste stream in a country (waste composition or fractions),
human needs of daily consumption while ensuring the
waste separation practices by residents (as the value of recycling is
sustainability of natural systems and the environment
a function of waste mixing, e.g., the less waste separation, the less
through appropriate waste collection, treatment,
recyclable materials, and revenues), and the cost of technology. Given
resources conservation, and recycling.
those factors, the materials and metals to be recycled should be well‐
The authors stated that it is necessary to judge where the optimal examined to select the most beneficial one from an economic
balance should lie among environmental protection, social well‐being, viewpoint.
and economic growth. Brunner and Rechberger (2004) cautioned that
a major goal of a modern waste management system should be to
3.3 | Levels of management
ensure that the wastes of today's generation do not pose an economic
or ecological burden to future generations. Therefore, a sustainable From the literature review, waste management systems can be
waste management system goes beyond the technical aspect of classified into three levels: (a) the traditional level, (b) the integrated
managing the produced waste streams; it must protect the natural level, and (c) the sustainable level. The traditional level is the one in
resources. which the waste problem occurs, whereas the integrated one aims to
Agamuthu, Khidzir, and Hamid (2009) described four groups of solve the problem. The sustainable level goes beyond integrated
drivers of sustainable waste management, specifically in Asia. The four management.
groups of drivers comprise three human elements (human, economic,
and institutional) and the environment as a single driving group. The 3.3.1 | Traditional level
authors concluded that each driving group must be investigated in a The traditional level mostly aims to provide the highest possible collec-
local context to ensure each nation agrees on its own sustainability tion coverage to residents and businesses in both rural and urban
goals. Some environmental issues associated with waste problems areas. Dumping of waste is the most preferred disposal option. This
occur on a global level—for example, climate change. Others are on a level of management aims to isolate produced waste from living

environments rather than to establish environmental and public health 3. It must integrate various management, treatment, and disposal
measures. In the traditional level, waste landfill or dumping is preferred technologies. They should be examined with various aspects so
due to the low cost and fewer technical requirements. This level pro- that the best available technologies can be selected.
vides limited business opportunities including, for example, revenues 4. It must achieve societal acceptance, reduce environmental
from waste collection, recycling, and job opportunities. burdens, and increase economic benefits.
5. It should look at a waste management system from all of its
3.3.2 | Integrated level
aspects, both technical and nontechnical. For example, it should
McDougall, White, Franke, and Hindle (2001) discussed the concept of
consider existing practices, agendas, or plans, as well as society
the integrated waste management and its related elements. They argued
and stakeholder involvement.
that the traditional approach to managing waste is no longer valid
6. It should consider the resources available, such as whether lands
because today's societies demand an approach that goes beyond the iso-
and materials are abundant or scarce.
lation of the negative impact of waste disposal. According to the authors,
the alternative approach is IWM, which can reduce the environmental 7. It should select the appropriate management option for a city or
impacts, optimize the associated cost, and achieve social acceptability. country based on the above considerations.
The authors argue that it is required because the traditional approach
cannot deal with the entire waste stream; a combination of treatment The concept of IWM is depicted in Figure 4, where the IWM is
and disposal methods is necessary. The IWM approach aims to reduce presented with its three dimensions (called “contexts”): the
the environmental burden, reduce the cost, and increase revenues. It also stakeholders, the aspects, and the management. Each context is
seeks to achieve social acceptance and preserve natural resources with divided into “elements.” For instance, the elements of “stakeholders”
emphasis on energy production and materials and metals recovery from are government, local authorities, society, and so forth. The context
waste. To achieve an ideal IWM, major ingredients are required, including of “aspects” includes environmental impact reduction, economic cost
waste prevention, avoidance, and minimization. These ingredients are optimization, and public health protection. The “management” context
subject to cultural and educational elements of the whole life‐cycle of a in the technical dimension involves waste avoidance and reduction,
product (production, consumption, and waste). The ingredients differ waste separation and collection, energy recovery, and disposal. The
from one society to another, and achieving an ideal waste management IWM starts with determining the goals and identifying the drivers
system rests upon existing and traditional practices. Figure 3 illustrates and challenges for successful implementation. Next, policy instruments
the overall processes required for the IWM system. are developed, and then the IWM is implemented. An IWM system
The IWM approach is summarized by Ikhlayel and Nguyen (2017), should be monitored and evaluated in each phase of the implementa-
who delineated the following characteristics of an IWM approach: tion process. The relationship between the dimensions is, to some
extent, complicated due to the need for several supporting elements,
1. The approach should take the entire life‐cycle of waste into the participatory process, and the interactions between each element.
consideration. An instance of such an interaction is as follows:
2. It should consider all the elements of a waste management
system, from prevention to final disposal. • Public health requires regulations and enforcement.

FIGURE 3 The overall processes required for the integrated waste management system

FIGURE 4 Illustration of the IWM concept

• Environmental aspects require regulations, environmental, and interpretation. In the first phase, the aim of the study and the system
economic instruments. boundaries are defined. In the second phase, resources and energy
• Waste avoidance, reduction, and reuse require elements with are quantified with environmental emissions. These emissions are
sophisticated interaction: individuals', communities', and society's associated with each process in the waste management system. In
active participation. Social instruments are crucial, as are the the third phase, the inventory results are described in an environment
environmental and economic instruments. relative information (environmental themes). In the fourth phase, the
results of an LCA study are interpreted. In this study, the third phase
(the impact assessment) is utilized for proposing the SWMIs. Several
LCIA methods are used in the impact assessment phase in order to
3.4 | Life cycle assessment evaluate a waste management system with respect to several environ-
Allesch and Brunner (2014) conducted a literature review on evalua- mental themes (e.g., climate change, human toxicity, and ecotoxicity).
tion methods to support decisions regarding waste management. Their The LCIA methods of the LCA cover a wide range of environmen-
study analyzed 151 articles. The authors found the most employed tal themes. These themes are classified into two assessment levels: the
methods are: benchmarking, cost‐benefit analysis, cost‐effectiveness midpoint and the endpoint levels. In methods such as ReCiPe 2008,
analysis, eco‐efficiency analysis, emergy analysis, environmental impact the midpoint categories are aggregated into three endpoint categories:
assessment, LCA, life‐cycle costing, Multiple‐criteria decision‐making, damage to human health, ecosystems, and resources. In this study, the
risk assessment, statistical analysis, and strategic environmental assess- environmental themes at the midpoint level were reviewed in the sur-
ment. In their review, the LCA method accounted for 41% of the veyed literature. These impacts were aggregated (allocated) to three
employed methods. Klöpffer and Grahl (2014) defined LCA as follows: levels of damage: damage to health, damage to ecosystems, and
damage to resources. The aggregation of the midpoint to the endpoint
LCA studies the environmental aspects and potential
impacts was based on ReCiPe (Goedkoop et al., 2008) and IMPACT
impacts throughout a product's life (i.e. cradle‐to‐grave)
2002+ (Jolliet et al., 2003) both of which are midpoint‐ and end-
from raw materials acquisition through production, use,
point‐oriented. Table 2 summarizes the impact themes (the midpoint)
and disposal. The general categories of environmental
reviewed in the literature and their allocation to the endpoint levels
impacts needing consideration include resource use,
in this study. The endpoint themes are regarded here as environmental
human health, and ecological consequences.
indicators for waste management.
In this study, LCA is discussed as a supporting method to establish
environmental indicators for sustainable waste management. LCA
3.5 | Proposed indicators for sustainable waste
quantifies how a product, process, or system affects the environment.
For example, it estimates the emissions or pollutants from several pro-
cesses that enter the medium (water, air, and soil), such as carbon diox- In this study, based on (a) the literature reviewed on municipal
ide and methane emissions from municipal waste and heavy metals waste and WEEE management in developing countries; (b) the
from WEEE. The LCA method comprises four phases (a) the goal and IWM approach; and (c) the environmental themes of the LCIA
scope definition, (b) inventory analysis, (c) impact assessment, and (d) methods, the SWMIs were proposed. The SWMIs aim to help
TABLE 2 The use of environmental impacts categories as appeared in the literature

Environmental Yi, Kurisu, Xiao, Zhang, Song, Wang, Song Parkes, Hong, Shi, Hong, Li, Dong Bernstad, la Cour Al‐Salem, Ikhlayel

themes and Hanaki Liu, and Li, and Zeng et al. Lettieri, and Wang, Chen, and Cui et al. Jansen, and Evangelisti, and et al. Ikhlayel
(midpoint) (2011) Yuan (2015) (2012) (2012) Bogle (2015) and Li (2015) (2010) (2014) Aspegren (2011) Lettieri (2014) (2016) (2017)
Municipal Municipal Municipal Municipal Municipal Municipal Allocation to endpoint
wastea E‐waste E‐waste E‐waste wastea E‐wastea wastea wastea Municipal wastea wastea wastea E‐wastea environmental theme

AD ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ x
AP ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ x
ALO ✓ ✓ Damage to ecosystem
ET ✓ ✓ ✓ x
EC ✓ Damage to resources
EP ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Damage to ecosystem
FD ✓ ✓ Damage to resources
FWAE ✓ ✓ ✓ Damage to ecosystem
FWE ✓ ✓ ✓ Damage to ecosystem
GWP ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Climate change, damage to
human health, damage
to ecosystem quality
HTP ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Damage to health
IR ✓ ✓ Damage to human health
MAETP ✓ ✓ ✓ Damage to ecosystem
ME ✓ ✓ ✓ Damage to ecosystem
MD ✓ ✓ Damage to resources
NLT ✓ ✓ Damage to resources
NE ✓ ✓ x
OLD ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Damage to ecosystem
quality, damage to
human health
PMF ✓ ✓ Damage to human health
PCO ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Damage to ecosystem
PCOCP ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Damage to ecosystem
RC ✓ x
TA ✓ ✓ Damage to ecosystem


ecotoxicity (FWAE); freshwater eutrophication (FWE); global warming potential (climate change; GWP); human toxicity potential (HTP); ionizing radiation (IR); marine aquatic ecotoxicity potential (MAETP); marine eutro-
Note. Midpoint: abiotic depletion (AD); acidification potential (AP); agricultural land occupation (ALO); ecotoxicity (ET); energy consumption (EC); eutrophication potentials (EP); fossil depletion (FD); freshwater aquatic

phication (ME); metal depletion (MD); natural land transformation (NLT); nutrient enrichment (NE); ozone layer depletion (OLD); particulate matter formation (PMF); photochemical oxidation (PCO); photochemical ozone
establish sustainable waste management systems in developing
countries. They also aim to provide a baseline for evaluating waste

Allocation to endpoint

Damage to ecosystem

Damage to ecosystem

Damage to ecosystem
E‐wastea environmental theme

Damage to resources
management systems' performance and show how far a waste
management system is from reaching the targets. The indicators
presented here consider municipal waste and WEEE only. The



indicators are lined up with the environmental, economic, and
societal aspects. They are aligned by considering the IWM concept
(Section 3.3.2). They were also allocated to the aggregated LCIA

method's indicators (Table 2). The concept of these indicators is


creation potential (PCOCP); resource consumption (RC); terrestrial acidification (TA); terrestrial ecotoxicity potential (TETP); urban land occupation (ULO); and water depletion (WD).
built on measuring the sustainability of waste management through

(a) damage or improvement to the ecosystem, (b) damage or


improvement of human health, and (c) damage or improvement to

et al.

resources. In the presented ISWMs, both the IWM and LCA are
viable concepts to assess and enhance waste systems based on
Evangelisti, and
Lettieri (2014)

an integrative life‐cycle thinking and the holistic approaches. Such


approaches prove their applicability as it is discussed in the litera-


ture to consider the full life‐cycle of waste from generation to final

disposition. It also looks at the three aspects of sustainability
Bernstad, la Cour

Municipal wastea

through reducing the environmental burden associated with

Aspegren (2011)

multiple and negative impacts of waste handling. They also consider

Jansen, and

cost optimization through generating revenues as well raising the

social acceptability of existing and future management systems.
A sustainable waste management system should be founded on
a holistic approach. The major goal is the transition from a

traditional system that depends on landfilling (controlled, uncon-

et al.

trolled, or dumping) to one that prioritizes resource recovery

(revenues, materials, metals, and energy). The transition process will
Hong, Li,
and Cui


be gradual and puts emphasis on waste prevention plans and


utilizes landfilling for waste residues. The transition processes

should be within a defined period with accordance to a government

and Li (2015)
Wang, Chen,

vision of waste management, part of a national agenda of environ-

Hong, Shi,


mental plans and sustainability goals. Table 3 presents the proposed


Bogle (2015)
Lettieri, and


E‐waste wastea

3.6 | Prioritizing the proposed indicators and policy

The LCA study is a comparative study that included scenario development.



This work proposes that prioritizing the SWMIs developed in this study
Song, Wang, Song
Li, and Zeng et al.

for certain countries and for driving policies depends mainly on the

factors below:

1. The most substantial concerns in a country regarding human

health impacts, environmental aspects, cost, and revenues.

Xiao, Zhang,

Yuan (2015)

2. Considering and addressing the waste‐related issues at a national

Liu, and

3. Emphasizing business opportunities. Such opportunities should

and Hanaki

turn waste into valuable resources, offer private sector participa-

Yi, Kurisu,


tion, engage stakeholders, and offer job opportunities.


This study emphasizes that sustainable waste management goes


beyond both the traditional and IWM approaches, particularly in creat-


ing businesses and establishing or improving, for example, the circular




economy. Materials and metals of both municipal waste and WEEE


should be put back into the supply chain with regard to both recyclable

TABLE 3 Proposed indicators for sustainable waste management (environment, economic, social, and business)
Aspects Proposed indicators
economic, social, Environmental
Number and business) Indicators Indicators' elements Indicator description damage category

1 Environment, Number of Informal sector Individuals or households are working in the Damage to ecosystem,
social, and people informal sector using inadequate recycling damage to human
business working in techniques, such as burning of plastic wires to health, and damage
informal extract copper and acid extraction to retrieve to resources
sector precious metals from printed circuit boards.
2 All Recycling rate Materials recycled versus Percentage of recycling practices in formal and Damage to ecosystem,
commodity and economic modern recycling facilities of materials (paper, damage to human
value plastic, glass, etc.), nonprecious metals health, and damage
(copper, aluminum, steel, etc.), and precious to resources
metals (gold, palladium, platinum, silver, etc.)
against their economic values.
3 All Environmental Goal setting, monitoring, and As described in Section 3.3.2, these are Damage to ecosystem,
management evaluation requirements for an IWM system. The damage to human
and policy progress in implementing a sustainable waste health, and damage
management system should be assessed in to resources
each phase.
4 Economic and Fees for Fees versus waste disposed How much residents should pay for the Damage to ecosystem,
environment collection collection service provided for both damage to human
services individuals and businesses. Higher fees might health, and damage
against waste reduce waste generated. Municipalities should to resources
produced ensure a full rate of cost recovery.
5 Economic Management Waste collected and An IWM should be able to optimize the cost of Damage to ecosystem,
expenditures disposed the entire management system. However, a damage to human
trade‐off between the overall expenditures health, and damage
and the environmental and social benefits to resources
might be considered.
6 Economic Revenues Recycling, energy recovery, An IWM should be able to generate revenues— Damage to resources
and cost recovery for example, the fees for the collection
services, implementation of recycling
schemes, energy recovery from controlled
landfill sites, and interaction plans. The clean
development mechanism might be a source of
7 Environment and Access to Infrastructure Citizens should be able to access Damage to human
business disposal environmentally sound waste facilities. That health and damage
sound includes collection services, for example, to ecosystem
facilities deposit containers and a drop‐off recycling
8 Environment Air quality Environmental management Percentage of areas with air pollution Damage to human
health and damage
to ecosystem
9 Environment, Sustainable Legislation Waste can be a source of business when, for Damage to resources,
economic, and business instance, enterprises are involved in the waste damage to human
business system. This aims to reduce the negative health, and damage
environmental impacts, engage the recyclers to ecosystem
into the IWM, and improve living conditions of
communities and societies. It also is regarded
as a means for sustainable economic
10 Environment, Energy recovery Organic fraction, the Energy recovery is one element of an IWM Damage to resources
economic, and percentage of the paper/ system. It is a function of waste composition;
business cardboard fraction, and therefore, establishing a policy that aims to
caloric value of waste produce energy from waste should also
consider the waste fractions.
11 Environment and Environmentally Population growth rate and Waste managers should consider population Damage to human
business sound population density growth and its density when planning for an health, damage to
collection IWM system. ecosystem, and
coverage damage to
12 Environment Methane Amounts of methane This indicator aims to measure the progress of Damage to human
reduction emitted from landfills GHG reduction from waste disposal. health and damage
to ecosystem
13 Environment Portion of Waste intensive Hazardous waste should be separated from Damage to human
hazardous consumption, GDP per municipal waste. Their negative health and health and damage
waste treated to ecosystem


TABLE 3 (Continued)

Aspects Proposed indicators

economic, social, Environmental
Number and business) Indicators Indicators' elements Indicator description damage category
capita, and household environmental impacts should be isolated in
consumption expenditure an IWM system.
14 Environment Reduction of Level of integration (meeting Environmental impacts mitigation is one of the Damage to ecosystem
environmental the requirements of IWM) major dimensions of IWM. It aims to achieve and damage to
impacts an environmentally friendly waste system. human health
15 Environment Reduction of Level of integration Health impacts should be eliminated. That Damage to human
health impacts includes for both residents and workers. health
16 Environment Soil quality Environmental management Percentage of areas with heavy metals Damage to ecosystem
contamination and other pollutants. and damage to
human health
17 Environment Percentage of Environmental management Practices such as open burning, open dump, and Damage to ecosystem,
uncontrolled uncontrolled landfill sites should be eliminated damage to human
disposal and replaced by environmentally sound health, and damage
disposal option. to resources
18 Environment Waste treated Population growth rate and Waste produced per person should be treated. Damage to ecosystem,
per population density damage to human
population health, and damage
to resources
19 Environment Water quality Environmental management Percentage of areas with heavy metal Damage to ecosystem,
contamination and other pollutants and damage to human
access to improved water source. health, and damage
to resources
20 Social and Employment Unemployment IWM should be able to create employment Damage to ecosystem,
business opportunities opportunities that include workers, experts, damage to human
and practitioners health, and damage
to resources
21 Social, Waste value Degree of waste type mixing The value of waste is a function of “degree of Damage to resources
environment, mixing”.
and business
22 Social and Waste Waste intensive Amounts generated per person per year. Damage to ecosystem,
environment generation consumption, GDP per damage to human
per capita capita, and household health, and damage
consumption expenditure to resources
23 Social and Waste Waste intensive Governments should promote education and Damage to ecosystem,
environment minimization consumption, GDP per awareness toward the environment and damage to human
capita, and household waste. Education for SD needs to be health, and damage
consumption expenditure considered. to resources
24 Social and Waste Waste intensive Waste management policies should promote Damage to ecosystem,
environment prevention consumption, gap per waste minimization and reduction. damage to human
capita, and household health, and damage
consumption expenditure to resources
25 Social Working Level of integration IWM should ensure safe working conditions for Damage to human
conditions workers. health
26 Social, Waste diversion Waste intensive IWM aims to divert waste going to landfills. Damage to ecosystem,
environment, consumption, GDP per damage to human
and business capita, and household health, and damage
consumption expenditure to resources

Note. IWM = integrated waste management; GDP = gross domestic product; GHG = greenhouse gas.

materials and the financial benefits. In this regard, a sustainable waste stability, economic profit, business and employment opportunities,
management scheme should improve the livelihood and quality of life and a socially accepted system.
of residents and workers, from health and environmental problems to
business aspects. Thus, policy agenda should be set based on the most
pressing issues in each country (health, economic, environmental, and 4 | CO NC LUSIO NS
social), the available resources, and the governmental vision of a waste
management model. Sustainability is a broad concept and should be Proper waste management schemes are urgently needed in several
defined at the local level with the most pressing environmental issues developing countries. Such schemes can protect human health and
addressed by each country. Therefore, in this sense, the goal of the environment and improve quality of life. Further, they advance
sustainable waste management should be to achieve environmental sustainable practices so that waste management will be appraised as

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