New Approaches for Solid Waste Management to Maximize Organic Waste Reutilization

  • Serpil GuranEmail author
  • Ronald MersÝky
  • David Specca
  • Margaret Brennan-Tonetta
Conference paper


The world population is estimated to reach to 9.7 B by 2050, resulting in increased demand for resources and increased production of waste. As a result, today’s waste disposal systems and approach to waste management will not be adequate for future applications. Therefore, a systematic approach to sustainable food, energy, and water management is needed to meet increased demand for resources and efficient waste utilization systems. Currently, the food, energy, and water (FEW) sectors use technologies developed to address the needs of a given sector (i.e., energy, water, food, or agriculture), and wastes from each sector are usually managed separately. Production systems underlying these sectors have traditionally treated pollution and waste as externalities that are diluted into the ambient environment, and separate infrastructure systems have consequently been developed with unnecessary inefficiencies that are increasingly problematic. Because neither landfilling nor industrial composting provide ultimate reutilization of organic waste, and neither can achieve both energy and nutrient recovery in one process from organic waste, we need to transition from a “Traditional Linear Waste Disposal” approach to a sustainable “Closed Loop Resource Recovery” approach. Exploring how FEW systems can efficiently be optimized to (1) repurpose or recycle organic waste products, (2) internalize traditional externalities, and (3) integrate wastes with resource inputs across systems, by deploying integrative management strategies is essential.


Solid waste management Organic waste Landfills Closed-loop economy Anaerobic digestion 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Serpil Guran
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ronald MersÝky
    • 2
  • David Specca
    • 1
  • Margaret Brennan-Tonetta
    • 3
  1. 1.Rutgers Eco Complex “Clean Energy Innovation Center”Rutgers, The State University of New JerseyBordentownUSA
  2. 2.Widener UniversityChesterUSA
  3. 3.Rutgers University, The State University of New JerseyNew BrunswickUSA

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