Moving Towards a Circular Economy: Rethinking Waste Management Practices

George E. HALKOS, Kleoniki Natalia PETROU


Abstract. Nowadays waste has become a vital part of our economy, as a by-product of economic activity. It originates from businesses, the government and households and following appropriate management techniques, it can be used as an input to economic activity for instance through material or energy recovery. Waste is produced by all activities and although it is a locally arising problem it has both local and global effects. Societies need to dispose their waste products creating a source of environmental pollution. Sustainable waste management requires the combination of skills and knowledge of physical sciences and engineering together with economics, ecology, human behaviour, entrepreneurship and good governance. This paper discusses extensively the policy framework and the legislative background around waste and its management in the EU and worldwide. In this way, it focuses on the treatment options for waste under the Circular Economy approach having in mind the idea of closing the loop and hence achieving a more efficient use of resources.

Keywords. Municipal solid waste, Waste management, Resources, Circular economy, Waste infrastructure.

JEL. O13, O52, Q50, Q53, Q56, R11.

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