University of Deusto publishes a Deusto Social Impact Briefing about Waste4Think

Within the framework of the work carried out by the University of Deusto ( on the social impact of research, a series of research projects with high potential for social impact are selected annually, and from these, the so-called Deusto Social Impact Briefings (DSIB) are prepared and published as short monographs. They are aimed at social organisations, users, policymakers and businesses. They seek to ensure that research outcomes are intelligible to all these different social actors. They also seek to provide guidelines, best practices and recommendations to support the tasks of meeting the challenges of social transformation that must be faced.

During the year 2017, the `Key factors to meet prevention and recycling targets for municipal solid waste: collection systems, environmental education programmes and taxation´ was published, This briefing, is based on international Project Waste4Think results and sets out to outline decision-making tools for the public authorities in matters of municipal solid waste (MSW) management, with a view to improving it via public engagement.

The document gives an innovative overview of the problem, and provides tools and mechanisms for determining new, across-the-board policies, monitoring them and quantifying their impact so as to facilitate learning and transference. In particular it seeks to respond to the main questions posed by any administration on this matter:

1) What are the main challenges in waste management and how to they fit into the latest directives and key elements on matters of a circular economy?;

2) How can those elements be factored in across the board?;

3) The WESTE methodology: What information is needed to monitor the impact of policies?;

4) Monitoring: loss of anonymity?;

5) Taxation: a matter of fairness? Transparency?;

6) awareness and public engagement: How can a change in habits be brought about if information alone is not enough?

The document also provides readers with some of the most innovative examples of the following:

1) implementation of PAYT (Pay-As-You-Throw) systems;

2) measures for containing food wastage;

3) waste prevention via eco-design policies;

4) zero waste ecosystems, with particular emphasis on municipal amenities; and

5) municipal councils with successful, pioneering collection systems.

You can download the document here.