Waste sorting in apartments: integrating the perspective of the user
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 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.

apartment buildings

Household waste

sorting behavior

waste composition analysis

user perspective

sustainable waste handling


Isabel Ordonez Pizarro

Chalmers, Produkt- och produktionsutveckling, Design and Human Factors

Göteborgs universitet

Mistra Urban Futures

Robin Harder

Göteborgs universitet

Chalmers, Kemi- och bioteknik, Kemisk miljövetenskap

Mistra Urban Futures

Alexandros Nikitas

Chalmers, Produkt- och produktionsutveckling, Design and Human Factors

Mistra Urban Futures

Göteborgs universitet

Ulrike Rahe

Mistra Urban Futures

Chalmers, Produkt- och produktionsutveckling, Design and Human Factors

Göteborgs universitet

Journal of Cleaner Production

0959-6526 (ISSN)

Vol. 106 669-679


Hållbar utveckling




Annan naturresursteknik


Building Futures (2010-2018)



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