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Title: The sustainable management of household waste : a decision-making framework
Author: Jade-Ashlee Cox
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2016
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Waste is an inevitable output of our modern lives. Industrialisation and globalisation have facilitated society’s desire (and capacity) to consume more products than previous generations. Such increases in consumption are responsible for the increasing amounts of material that arise in the household waste stream, collected by local authorities. The term 'waste' has long been associated with disposal, despite the fact that 44% of household waste in the UK is now recycled. By thinking of household waste as a resource, it may be possible to extract value. Items that householders no longer require should not simply be discarded as waste but instead should be appreciated for the inherent value they possess and the new products they can become. However, implementing this paradigm is complicated by the variety of different materials in the waste stream, and the number of stakeholders responsible for its management. A central theme of the work presented in this thesis is the paradigm shift ‘From Waste to Resource’. This is important both for issues of resource security and sustainability. Indeed, whilst the times of ‘make do and mend’ can appear to be in the past, there is a great deal of interest in reusing and recovering material resources, especially if components or assemblages can be refurbished or ‘upcycled’. This research has developed a decision-making tool – The Local Authority Optimal Material Management Framework (LAOMMaF) – which can enable local authorities to assess the best way of managing their household ‘waste’. The LAOMMaF takes the user through the identification and quantification of the materials of interest, the determination of viable treatment options, and an options appraisal. The framework has been refined using five case studies: i) assessment of the optimal management of absorbent hygiene products, ii) quantification of waste as a material, through the development of a composition specification, iii) exploration of future waste and potential impacts on waste generation in Surrey, iv) assessment of management options for household wood waste using Multi-Criteria Decision-Making, and v) application of the revised LAOMMaF to assess the compliance of current collection systems in Surrey to the amended Waste Regulations (2011). By understanding the composition, amount and value of waste available to them, local authorities can take a more proactive approach in the ‘Waste Supply Chain’ to prevent the implementation of ‘sub-optimal’ management practices and the loss of valuable resources.
Supervisor: Jesson, D. A. ; Mulheron, M. ; Druckman, A. ; Smyth, M. Sponsor: EPSRC ; Surrey County Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Eng.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available