This project aims to promote the achievement of a circular economy in waste management, and identify what changes are needed to ensure that urban informal waste workers are included in the transition to sustainable waste management.
The project will focus on the household solid waste sector in urban Thailand, including the regulatory, technical, economic, and physical environment and behavioural elements, and will especially consider plastic waste and opportunities to reduce its generation as well as improve its rates of recycling. The project outcomes will identify practical and policy changes that can be made to ensure an inclusive circular economy that helps Asian cities to achieve SDGs 8, 12 and 11.
This project will investigate the current challenges to achieving more large-scale recycling practices at the household level in Thai cities, and seek to identify opportunities for ensuring that informal waste workers can benefit from innovations in waste management, to achieve both a) circularity in the management of waste products to maximise household recycling rates, and b) more sustainable, inclusive, and safe working conditions for informal waste workers. This will lead us to a re- conceptualisation of the urban solid waste management sector in which informal workers are integrated as partners, facilitating the achievement of just, inclusive cities alongside sustainable consumption practices. In order to achieve this, our overarching research question is:
How can we ensure a sustainable transition for informal waste workers to become key waste management actors in a circular economy?
The answer will be examined through the following four sub-questions:
We will be applying a mixed-methods approach to gather information on the dispersed waste pickers to understand the circuit of recyclable waste in the city (Harris-White, 2019), to ensure that the knowledge generated can be used to inform both policy and practice and is relevant to the involved stakeholder groups. The methods will include:
Design and development by Soapbox.