Effective management of waste requires that it is sorted into fractions (plastic, paper, metal, food, etc.). In Sweden, this sorting is done by the various actors that generate the waste, such as supermarkets, restaurants and households. It is important to understand the reasons why we generate so much waste, and then identify, develop and implement interventions to reduce the amount of waste and improve the sorting of the waste.
Development of this knowledge and the interventions, as well as measuring their effect, is done in the Resource Management group. The relevant actor is placed in focus (instead of the technical waste management system) and the interface between the actor and the technical system is studied. The group has developed a research procedure that includes pick analysis, life cycle analysis (LCA) and economic costs. Pick analysis measures, for example, how much and what types of waste are sorted correctly and incorrectly. LCA measures the environmental impact of the waste and the extra impacts when it is sorted incorrectly. These methods are combined with other techniques, such as interviews and questionnaires, to identify effective interventions to reduce waste and improve sorting.
Our research contributes to many of the UN’s sustainable development goals, and mainly to: