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Solid Waste Management Systems and Informal Waste Picking & Recycling Chains in Dhaka, Bangladesh: A Ward-Level Study
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Waste management is a critical issue in the fast growing mega-cities of developing countries today. It is therefore pertinent that studies on all activities contributing to waste management, whether formal or informal, be conducted for decision makers that are actively seeking solutions to problems. The following ward-level study of a neighborhood in Dhaka gleans a three-pronged perspective of the waste-related systems and activities currently in operation. Firstly, the relationship between the formal waste management system and the informal waste picking/recycling chain will be explored, using the systems approach ‘modernized mixtures’ as a framework. Secondly the informal waste picking/recycling chain will be deconstructed, assessing the economic and environmental implications of this chain’s work, against the concept urban symbiosis. Finally, the concept urban symbiosis and it’s ‘proximity principle’ will be used to understand the geographical flow of plastic waste through this informal chain. This study is qualitative, using both empirical data, collected through observation, following (physically trailing behind waste workers on their rounds) and semi-structured interviews conducted in the field, as well as a secondary source literature review. The separate but linked examinations that make up the aims of this study will lend nuanced insights into the waste-related systems at play from a sub-local setting in Dhaka City, contributing both a socio-material systems perspective, an economic and environmental perspective, as well as a geographical perspective, emphasizing the importance of contextual and holistic approaches to municipal waste management by local authorities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-59730OAI: diva2:430219
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2011-09-02 Created: 2011-07-07 Last updated: 2011-09-02Bibliographically approved

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