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Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 645–655 | Cite as

Waste management assessment in Geneva through material system and resource analysis

REGIONAL CASE STUDY
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Abstract

In the canton of Geneva, public authorities use infrastructural and persuasive instruments to favour household waste sorting. The cantonal fund for waste management (CFWM) partly finances these policy instruments. The aim of this study is to assess household waste management (WM) in Geneva with a focus on waste sorting and the operation of the CFWM. This study relies on a new assessment method which combines material system analysis and policy analysis. This combination analyses how the resources used for household WM influence the state of the WM system. The assessment shows that the resources used by public authorities led to a growth in waste sorted and a decrease in waste incinerated in Geneva over the period 2002–2013. This trend, combined with a strong decrease in imported waste, induced the monopolisation by waste collection centres of the available funds in the CFWM budget at the expense of cantonal raising awareness. The assessment leads to two recommendations for decision makers. First, a policy instrument mix based on infrastructural and persuasive instruments constitutes an effective approach to favour waste sorting by households. Second, the use of a “disposal tax” does not constitute a sustainable approach to finance the operating costs of the sorting infrastructure.

Keywords

Canton of Geneva Resources Household waste management Assessment Material system analysis Policy analysis 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The author is grateful to Dr. Franco Romerio (University of Geneva) and Prof. Martin Patel (University of Geneva) for their very helpful comments. The author would like also thanks the interviewees for given their time for the interviews. A special thanks to Michel Bourdonnet (Canton of Geneva) for his frequent availability.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares no potential conflicts of interest with respect to research, authorships and/or publication of this article.

Funding

The author received no financial support for the research, authorships and/or publication of this article.

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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Environmental SciencesUniversity of Geneva, Uni Carl VogtGenevaSwitzerland

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