- Wednesday, March 24, 2010
- Sustainable Waste Management in the Mediterranean Region: Impacts of Socio-economical and Political Factors
- Published at:11th MRM Meeting 2010 – WS n° 02
Solid waste management is a key task of city councils and municipalities throughout the world in order to keep cities tidy and clean. Focus is often on the technologies such as collection, transportation, recycling, storage, and disposal of wastes. However, solid waste management must be seen in a much wider perspective that includes health to people and environment, conscious use of resources (materials and energy) and goods, as well as welfare and economic livelihood to business and people. Waste prevention, energy saving, reuse, recycling, and material and energy recovery, thereby, become concrete challenges to administrations, businesses and individuals in the urban areas. Up-to-date urban solid waste management demands a well designed mix of, for example, policy, administration, corporate social responsibility, business economy and motivation and education of the individual citizen. Successful implementation of such management of solid waste then becomes strongly dependent on the local and regional socio-economic and political attributes of the area where the waste is generated, in addition to the traditional collection and treatment technology aspects. A good understanding of the mechanisms by which these socio-economic and political factors impact the waste management process is pivotal to developing effective and more sustainable waste management strategies. For example, it is imperative that waste management policies express the sustainability ambition, that decision-making and implementation become participatory processes and include both businesses and citizens, that administrations become flexible and effective with short intervals between application and permission, and that resources be allocated or reallocated to implement new waste management strategies and systems. Climate change and Greenhouse Gas emission reduction will become new and concrete challenges in the needed change of solid waste management strategies.
The dynamics by which socio-economical and political factors influence or change solid waste management are not sufficiently understood or documented in literature or by practice. Therefore, this workshop will provide a platform for researchers from universities and private and public institutions and businesses from various Mediterranean countries to exchange their knowledge in this field, with the intent that such exchange of knowledge and experience will lead to more fruitful and sustainable waste management strategies in their countries.