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Managing municipal solid waste from a system perspective: A comparative study of Dalian, China and Waterloo, Canada


  • Xudong Chen
  • Murray E. Haight

    (School of Planning, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada)

  • Yong Geng

    (Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenhe District, Shenyang,China)

  • Tsuyoshi Fujita

    (National Institute for Environmental Studies, 16-2 Onogawa, Tsukuba, Japan)


In China, one of the challenges on managing solid wastes is how to realize waste reduction, reuse and recycling while maintaining rapid development, leading to a demand for an Integrated Solid Waste Management (ISWM) approach. A practical way to improve ISWM in developing countries is to learn from successful experiences in developed countries. Hence, systematic comparisons that reflect the complexity of ISWM systems in different contexts are needed. This paper takes a system perspective to compare and contrast two cases, the Region of Waterloo in Canada and Dalian in China, exploring the reasons for the different management approaches between the two cases. The results show that in some aspects, differences between the two waste management systems are tightly linked to their respective social and economic contexts, which can hardly be changed, whereas other differences can be attributed mainly to management strategies and tools. Suggestions are provided on waste planning, the development of waste diversion programs and waste treatment industries, the design of new programs, and the role of the local government. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.

Suggested Citation

  • Xudong Chen & Murray E. Haight & Yong Geng & Tsuyoshi Fujita, 2010. "Managing municipal solid waste from a system perspective: A comparative study of Dalian, China and Waterloo, Canada," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(5), pages 282-294.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:sustdv:v:18:y:2010:i:5:p:282-294 DOI: 10.1002/sd.479

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Yong Geng & Murray Haight & Qinghua Zhu, 2007. "Empirical analysis of eco-industrial development in China," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(2), pages 121-133.
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    3. Ralf Isenmann, 2003. "Industrial ecology: shedding more light on its perspective of understanding nature as model," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(3), pages 143-158.
    4. Nunnenkamp, Peter, 2002. "Determinants of FDI in developing countries: has globalization changed the rules of the game?," Kiel Working Papers 1122, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    5. John H Dunning, 1988. "The Eclectic Paradigm of International Production: A Restatement and Some Possible Extensions," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 19(1), pages 1-31, March.
    6. Andreas Waldkirch & Munisamy Gopinath, 2008. "Pollution Control and Foreign Direct Investment in Mexico: An Industry-Level Analysis," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 41(3), pages 289-313, November.
    7. Marcelo Braga Nonnemberg & Mario Jorge Cardoso de Mendonça, 2004. "The Determinants Of Foreign Direct Investment In Developing Countries," Anais do XXXII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 32th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 061, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
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