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Towards Circular Economy: Innovations in Waste Management and Technological Solutions

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Waste and Recycling".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 25 August 2024 | Viewed by 1161

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Engineering and Management, “Gheorghe Asachi” Technical University of Iasi, Iasi, Romania
Interests: life-cycle assessment; sustainability assessment and sustainability indicators; conventional and advanced wastewater treatment technologies; waste management and waste treatment

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Guest Editor
Department of Civil, Environmental, Land, Building Engineering and Chemistry (DICATECh), Politecnico di of Bari, Via E. Orabona, 4, 70125 Bari, Italy
Interests: bioplastic waste treatment; anaerobic digestion; composting; bioplastics degradation; municipal solid waste

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Engineering and Management, “Gheorghe Asachi” Technical University of Iasi, Iasi, Romania
Interests: waste management and valorization in the context of circular economy; advanced wastewater treatment processes for recycling and reuse; environmental and sustainability assessments by means of various instruments (life-cycle assessment, water footprint, carbon footprint, sustainability indicators, environmental integrated impact and risk assessment); integrated water resources management; environmental engineering
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent decades, driven by environmental concerns and the need to foster sustainable practices, the concept of a circular economy has emerged as a way to perceive and address waste management. At its core, the circular economy seeks to minimize waste generation, promote the responsible use of resources, and maximize the longevity of products and materials through innovative strategies and technologies. This transformative approach represents a shift from traditional linear consumption patterns to the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, and recycle) waste management policies and hierarchy.

Despite the fact that, in some countries, the development of waste treatment technologies has led to a solid and consolidate waste management system, these technologies are not fully efficient, with some newly incoming waste types being completely missing from developing countries, where waste management thinking is still based on disposal. To confront these issues, researchers, engineers, and innovators from various disciplines have been collaborating to enhance the existing processes and devise novel solutions in waste management and technology.

In this context, we are pleased to invite you to contribute to the Special Issue titled "Towards Circular Economy: Innovations in Waste Management and Technological Solutions". The present Special Issue aims to explore the latest advancements in waste reduction, recycling, sustainable materials, green technologies, and circular supply chains. By examining these innovations, we hope to foster a deeper understanding of how science and technology can play a pivotal role in driving us closer to a circular economy and, in turn, a more sustainable world.

This Special Issue aims to collect original research articles and reviews, which could deal with (but are not limited to) the following research areas:

  • Strategies, policies, and technologies that encourage circular economy practices and discourage waste generation at the source;
  • Advanced recycling (i.e., chemical, mechanical, and biological) and waste-to-resource conversion (i.e., energy, bio-fuels, bio-based chemicals, etc.) processes to maximize resource recovery;
  • Research on eco-friendly and sustainable materials to replace conventional ones;
  • Technical, economic, and/or environmental performances of waste treatment processes and/or facilities;
  • Upgrading and enhancing existing technologies to make them more environmentally friendly, such as energy-efficient waste management systems and green manufacturing processes;
  • Strategies for designing and implementing circular supply chains that reduce waste and promote the durability, reparability, and recyclability of products;
  • Specialized approaches for handling emerging waste, including (but not limited to) e-waste recycling and safe disposal methods;
  • Strategies for sustainable waste management in urban environments, including smart waste collection, sorting, and disposal systems;
  • Evaluating the broader social and environmental implications of circular economy initiatives by consumer attitudes and behaviours to promote responsible consumption;
  • Using data, tools, indicators, and analytics to assess and optimize waste management processes.

I look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. George Barjoveanu
Dr. Giovanni Gadaleta
Dr. Sabino De Gisi
Prof. Dr. Carmen Teodosiu
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • circular economy
  • waste reduction
  • recycling
  • emerging waste
  • resource efficiency
  • energy recovery
  • life-cycle assessment
  • green technologies
  • technological innovation
  • sustainability

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

15 pages, 2244 KiB  
Article
Leveraging Circular Economy Metrics for Data-Driven Forecasting of Solid Waste Production in Europe
by Chun-Chih Chen and Yu-Shing Chang
Sustainability 2024, 16(3), 1017; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16031017 - 24 Jan 2024
Viewed by 778
Abstract
This study integrates circular economy (CE) metrics with machine learning techniques, specifically XGBoost and Shapley additive explanations (SHAP), to forecast municipal solid waste (MSW) in the EU, analyzing data from 2010 to 2020. It examines key economic and consumption indicators, including GDP per [...] Read more.
This study integrates circular economy (CE) metrics with machine learning techniques, specifically XGBoost and Shapley additive explanations (SHAP), to forecast municipal solid waste (MSW) in the EU, analyzing data from 2010 to 2020. It examines key economic and consumption indicators, including GDP per capita and energy consumption, along with CE metrics such as resource productivity, the municipal waste recycling rate, and the circular material use rate. The model demonstrates high predictive accuracy, with an R2 of 99% for in-sample data and 75% for out-of-sample data. The results indicate a significant correlation between a higher GDP per capita and an increased gross municipal waste per capita (GMWp). Conversely, lower energy consumption is associated with reduced GMWp. Notably, the circular material use rate emerges as a crucial factor for sustainability, with increased use significantly decreasing the GMWp. In contrast, a higher resource productivity correlates with an increased GMWp, suggesting complex implications for waste generation. The recycling rate, while impactful, shows a more modest effect compared to the other factors. The culminating insights from this study emphasize the need for sustainable, integrated waste management and support the adoption of circular economy-aligned policies. They underscore the efficacy of merging CE metrics with advanced predictive models to bolster regional sustainability efforts. Full article
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