Enhancing municipal solid waste recycling through reorganizing waste pickers: A case study in Nanjing, China

Chen, F, Luo, Z, Yang, Y, Liu, G and Ma, J 2018, 'Enhancing municipal solid waste recycling through reorganizing waste pickers: A case study in Nanjing, China', Waste Management and Research, vol. 36, no. 9, pp. 767-778.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Enhancing municipal solid waste recycling through reorganizing waste pickers: A case study in Nanjing, China
Author(s) Chen, F
Luo, Z
Yang, Y
Liu, G
Ma, J
Year 2018
Journal name Waste Management and Research
Volume number 36
Issue number 9
Start page 767
End page 778
Total pages 12
Publisher SAGE Publications
Abstract Waste pickers (WPs) play an indispensable role by helping to control municipal solid waste (MSW). However, they constitute the entry-level workforce of the waste recycling industry and receive little attention from the general public. In China, approximately 4 million WPs make their living by collecting MSW recyclable materials. To assess the role of WPs, an extensive social survey including urban management decision-makers, recycling industrial circle insiders, WPs, as well as common citizen respondents has been conducted in the city of Nanjing, China. The results confirmed that 70-80% of recyclable MSW materials were collected by WPs in the informal sector, which are an integral component of the waste recycling system. In Nanjing, the recyclable material collected annually by WPs is about 505,000 tons, which creates annual economic value of about 78.6-84.7 million USD. However, WPs account for only 6.8-7.3% of the entire industrial chain of the recycling economy. In Nanjing, WPs are able to save an annual MSW disposal cost of about 17.6-22.0 million USD. The resource recovery rate is also increased by 1.9-8.0%. The survey results support the experience of establishing a community-based semi-official picker organizational framework, accompanied by relevant laws, regulations, and preferential policies that would improve the resource recovery rate and pickers' living and working conditions in order to achieve more effective and hazard-free MSW resource utilization. It is anticipated that the results of this research will be instrumental for the improvement of the MSW recycling system and WP management in other cities in China and other developing countries.
Subject Land Use and Environmental Planning
Keyword(s) garbage classification
municipal solid waste
resource utilization
urban management
Waste picker
DOI - identifier 10.1177/0734242X18766216
Copyright notice © The Author(s) 2018
ISSN 0734-242X
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 3 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 0 times in Scopus Article
Altmetric details:
Access Statistics: 18 Abstract Views  -  Detailed Statistics
Created: Mon, 29 Apr 2019, 13:04:00 EST by Catalyst Administrator
© 2014 RMIT Research Repository • Powered by Fez SoftwareContact us