Document Type




Publication Date



municipal waste management, management system, waste system, municipal solid waste, food waste, waste prevention, interdisciplinary, sustainability


Waste management is a complex task involving numerous waste fractions, a range of technological treatment options, and many outputs that are circulated back to society. A systematic, interdisciplinary systems management framework was developed to facilitate the planning, implementation, and maintenance of sustainable waste systems. It aims not to replace existing decision-making approaches, but rather to enable their integration to allow for inclusion of overall sustainability concerns and address the complexity of solid waste management. The framework defines key considerations for system design, steps for performance monitoring, and approaches for facilitating continual system improvements. It was developed by critically examining the literature to determine what aspects of a management framework would be most effective at improving systems management for complex waste systems. The framework was applied to food waste management as a theoretical case study to exemplify how it can serve as a systems model for complex waste systems, as well as address obstacles typically faced in the field. Its benefits include the integration of existing waste assessment models; the inclusion of environmental, economic, and social priorities; efficient performance monitoring; and a structure to continuously define, review, and improve systems. This framework may have broader implications for addressing sustainability in other disciplines.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.