Stakeholder cooperation in circular economy adoption for municipal solid waste management

Palafox-Alcantar, Pablo Giovani ORCID: 0000-0002-5005-3683 (2022). Stakeholder cooperation in circular economy adoption for municipal solid waste management. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The current global pattern of systematic use and disposal of resources, combined with the evergrowing urban population increasingly demanding more goods and services, has resulted in vast amounts of resources being extracted and waste generated. A circular economy aims to capture the remaining value in waste through several disruptive actions such as reuse, recycle, recover and regenerate. However, stakeholders in this transition often find themselves in conflict due to their different objectives and priorities. Cooperation is a critical feature in the circular economy implementation, but in practice it is not easily achieved. There is a shortfall of studies and tools that attempt to facilitate stakeholder cooperation in developing a circular economy.

This doctoral research addresses this gap by establishing an instrument as a questionnaire to analyse the cooperation features in stakeholders, and by developing a Game Theory-hybrid tool that can help to induce cooperation or to make discord clear. Such a methodology consists of six steps: 1) define stakeholders, scope and objectives; 2) select indicators and construct future scenarios for municipal solid waste management; 3) survey stakeholders on cooperation features and to rank the evaluation indicators; 4) determine the weightings for the scenarios criteria; 5) reveal the preference order of the scenarios; and 6) analyse the preferences to study cooperation. The questionnaire was sent to stakeholder groups of the circular economy with interest in the adoption in the municipal solid waste management of Birmingham, UK. The cohorts consisted of 101 MSc students and 27 businesses. The efficiency of the proposed game theory method was tested using a case study with 14 stakeholder responses: The Tyseley Energy Park, a major energy-from-waste facility that currently treats over two-thirds of the municipal solid waste of Birmingham in the United Kingdom.

The results of the questionnaire and Game Theory-hybrid tool are compared and contrasted with existing literature to reveal their commonalities and differences. The findings allowed conclusions to be drawn that circular economy awareness and cooperation readiness from stakeholders are high, but their practices do not sufficiently align with this. However, the study revealed a range of encouraging and optimistic thoughts from stakeholders surrounding the development of a circular economy, despite (as repeatedly mentioned) benefits and costs not always being evident to all participants. Finally, the supporting decision-making process suggests mechanisms to embed cooperation in circular economy adoption so that decisions are made optimally (as a collective) and are acceptable to all the stakeholders.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering
Funders: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Other Funders: Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia (CONACYT)
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)


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