A Holistic Sustainability Framework for Waste Management in European Cities: Concept Development

Sue Ellen Taelman, Davide Tonini, Alexander Wandl, Jo Dewulf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)
139 Downloads (Pure)


Waste management represents a challenge for public authorities due to many reasons such as increased waste generation following urban population growth, economic burdens imposed on the municipal budget, and nuisances inevitably caused to the environment and local inhabitants. To optimize the system from a sustainability perspective, moving the transition towards a more circular economy, a better understanding of the different stages of waste management is necessary. A review of recently developed sustainability frameworks for waste management showed that no single framework captures all the instruments needed to ultimately provide a solid basis for comprehensive analyses of the potential burdens associated with urban waste management. Bearing this limitation in mind, the objective of this research is to propose a conceptual and comprehensive sustainability framework to support decision-making in waste management of European cities. The framework comprises a combination of methods capable of identifying future strategies and scenarios, to assess different types of impacts based on a life cycle perspective, and considers the value of waste streams, the actors involved, and possible constraints of implementing scenarios. The social, economic, environmental, technical and political domains are covered, and special attention is paid to impacts affecting foremost the local population.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2184
Number of pages33
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2018


  • urban waste management
  • circular economy
  • life cycle thinking
  • sustainability
  • framework

Thematic collaboration

  • Circular Built Environment Hub


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