MSW: From pollution/degradation source to resource

  • Francesca Pirlone Department of Civil, Chemical and Environmental Engineering (DICCA) - University of Genoa
  • Selena Candia Department of Civil, Chemical and Environmental Engineering (DICCA) - University of Genoa
Keywords: urban waste management, waste governance, urban degradation


Municipal Solid Waste is one of the biggest challenges that cities are facing: MSW is considered of the main sources of energy consumption, urban degradation and pollution. This paper defines the major negative effects of MSW on cities and proposes new solutions to guide waste policies. Most contemporary waste management efforts are focused at regional government level and based on high tech waste disposal by methods such as landfill and incineration. However, these methods are becoming increasingly expensive, energy inefficient and pollutant: waste disposal is not sustainable and will have negative implications for future generations. In this paper are proposed all the principle solutions that could be undertaken. New policy instruments are presented updating and adapting policies and encouraging innovation for less wasteful systems. Waste management plans are fundamental to increase the ability of urban areas to effectively adapt to waste challenges. These plans have to give an outline of waste streams and treatment options and provide a scenario for the following years that significantly reduce landfills and incinerators in favor of prevention, reuse and recycling. The key aim of an urban waste management plan is to set out the work towards a zero waste economy as part of the transition to a sustainable economy. Other questions remain still opened: How to change people’s behavior? What is the role of environmental education and risk perception? It is sure that the involvement of the various stakeholders and the wider public in the planning process should aim at ensuring acceptance of the waste policy.


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Author Biographies

Francesca Pirlone, Department of Civil, Chemical and Environmental Engineering (DICCA) - University of Genoa

PhD, engineer and assistant professor in town planning at Polytechnic School - University of Genoa. She has developed different lines of research, from requalification, natural risks, sustainability, infrastructures and mobility, activities carried out in particular in EU programs. Author of numerous publications and speakers at International and National Conferences.

Selena Candia, Department of Civil, Chemical and Environmental Engineering (DICCA) - University of Genoa

She is graduated in architecture and construction engineer. Actually she is working for the University of Genoa – Department of Civil, Chemical and Environmental Engineering -. She managed different European projects about sustainable development and urban regeneration. She worked for the Municipality of Genoa – Culture and Tourism Department, European Project Office - as European project manager.


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How to Cite
PirloneF., & CandiaS. (2016). MSW: From pollution/degradation source to resource. TeMA - Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment, 9(2), 209-225.