Waste sorting in apartments: integrating the perspective of the user
Journal article, 2015

In order to increase resource recovery from solid waste, better sorting of household waste is needed. This article reports on a case study about waste sorting infrastructure performance carried out in two buildings in Gothenburg, Sweden. Results from the study reveal mismatches between users' needs and what the system offers, affecting the sorting rates and quality of the sorted material. Frequent sorting errors were observed from the tenants in these apartment buildings, where more than 70% of the discards that go in the mixed waste could be sorted out into other available fractions, with biodegradable waste being the most neglected. Hazardous waste was often discarded wrongly and recurrent errors were observed in the containers available for sorting different packaging material. Given the performance observed, initial suggestions are made for housing companies to rethink the sorting system they offer to their tenants (i.e. accessible space for electronic waste, more space for biodegradable waste, possibility of sorting textiles, etc.). Most importantly this paper makes the case that housing companies have the opportunity to provide sorting infrastructure that is designed for the user, rather than just fitted to the waste management system.

Household waste

sustainable waste handling

waste composition analysis

user perspective

apartment buildings

sorting behavior

Author

Isabel Ordonez Pizarro

Mistra Urban Futures

University of Gothenburg

Chalmers, Product and Production Development, Design and Human Factors

Robin Harder

University of Gothenburg

Mistra Urban Futures

Chalmers, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Chemical Environmental Science

Alexandros Nikitas

Mistra Urban Futures

University of Gothenburg

Chalmers, Product and Production Development, Design and Human Factors

Ulrike Rahe

Mistra Urban Futures

University of Gothenburg

Chalmers, Product and Production Development, Design and Human Factors

Journal of Cleaner Production

0959-6526 (ISSN)

Vol. 106 669-679

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Subject Categories

Design

Infrastructure Engineering

Areas of Advance

Building Futures (2010-2018)

DOI

10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.09.100

More information

Created

10/7/2017