Source analysis of municipal solid waste in a mega-city (Guangzhou): Challenges or opportunities?
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2018

Rapid economic development accelerates the generation of municipal solid waste (MSW), and thereby calls for an effective and reliable waste management strategy. In the present work, we systematically investigated the status of MSW management in a mega-city of China (Guangzhou). The data were collected from literatures, government statistics and field sampling work. It can be found that a combination of waste sorting by individual residents and a necessary quantity of sanitation workers is one of the most feasible strategies to achieve a sustainable waste management. With implementation of that integrated strategy, approximately 0.03 million tons of metal, 0.24 million tons of paper, as well as 0.46 million tons of plastics can be recycled/recovered for further processing. A cost reduction of 70 million US$ is achieved in comparison with the un-optimized system due to the sale revenue of recyclable materials and the saving from waste disposal fees. The values of environmental assessment were expressed as environmental load units. The developed scenarios could decrease the environmental cost, namely, 0.66 million US$. Based on the studies, waste sorting is urgently needed in Guangzhou. However, to make the proposed strategy to be more economically feasible, the sorting should be performed individually as well as with public participation. The establishment of a win–win situation for all stakeholders is an effective path for the improvement of the integrated waste management system.

Municipal solid waste

waste sorting

recycling system

flow estimation

economic assessment


Jinfeng Tang

Guangzhou University

Chalmers, Kemi och kemiteknik, Energi och material

Lezhang Wei

Guangzhou University

Minhua Su

Guangzhou University

Hongguo Zhang

Guangzhou University

Xiangyang Chang

Guangzhou University

Yu Liu

Guangzhou University

Nana Wang

Guangzhou University

Enzong Xiao

Guangzhou University

Christian Ekberg

Chalmers, Kemi och kemiteknik, Energi och material

Britt-Marie Steenari

Chalmers, Kemi och kemiteknik, Energi och material

Tangfu Xiao

Guangzhou University

Waste Management and Research

0734-242X (ISSN) 1096-3669 (eISSN)

Vol. 36 12 1166-1176





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