Logistics service triads for household waste: the case of consumers as co-producers of sustainability
Conference contribution, 2018
In this study, we sought to explore the sustainability of waste supply chains with respect to energy efficiency of first-mile waste collection systems and quality of waste. In particular, we sought to understand the co-producing roles of different actors in the waste service triad, ranging from waste services providers to the individual household.
The study included multiple sources of evidence: data during brainstorming sessions, semi-structured interviews, and site visits with officials from a municipality in Sweden and its waste service provider. These data were triangulated with that from a focus group with households members and analysed based on the different waste collection systems.
The findings reveal the tension between energy efficiency of waste collection logistics and the quality of the waste. Consumers, as co-producers of logistic services for effective of sorting and moving waste, may provide input to improve energy efficiency and quality.
This study provides principles for policymakers and practitioners to evaluate energy efficiency of waste management options with consideration for the quality of waste. In addition, ‘quality of waste’ as a concept might provoke new thoughts on how to involve the consumer in the recovery of resources.
Few studies have focused on the end consumer’s role in waste supply chains. By considering waste as resource (raw material input) to the supply chain and the consumer as the supplier of this input, this study provides a new way of thinking about waste collection.