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Critical Issue on Waste Management for Environmental Sustainability

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 July 2024 | Viewed by 890

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
Division of Science, Research and Development, Faculty of Transportation Sciences, Czech Technical University in Prague, 128 00 Prague, Czech Republic
Interests: solid waste management; solid biofuel; biomass; densification; renewable energy; sustainable technologies

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Guest Editor
Centre for the Development of Renewable Energy Sources, Centre for Energy, Environmental and Technological Research (CEDER-CIEMAT), 28040 Madrid, Spain
Interests: sustainable technologies and energy use of biomass; biomass particle analysis; characterization of feedstock material for biofuel production

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Effective waste management is essential to curbing pollution, conserving resources, and protecting biodiversity, making it a pivotal aspect of our journey towards an environmentally sustainable and greener future. Waste management is a critical aspect that underpins environmental sustainability, and it requires a strong emphasis on critical thinking to address the complex challenges associated with waste generation and disposal.

This Special Issue delves into the critical issue of waste management, emphasizing the urgent need for comprehensive solutions that can safeguard the planet and ensure a harmonious coexistence between humanity and the environment. By addressing waste-related issues, solutions that protect ecosystems, conserve resources, safeguard public health, combat climate change, and foster a more sustainable and prosperous future for generations to come may be offered.

In this Special Issue, original research articles and reviews are welcomed. The area of waste management may be discussed with reference to the following topics:

  • Lifecycle thinking: Instead of focusing solely on end-of-life disposal, it is crucial to consider the entire life cycle of products and materials, including extraction, production, distribution, use, and eventual disposal or recycling.
  • Prevention over disposal: The most sustainable waste management strategy is waste prevention. By promoting a circular ecology, where products are designed for durability, repairability, and recyclability, we can minimize waste generation in the first place.
  • Technology and innovation: Implementation of new technologies and processes that can efficiently handle waste, such as waste-to-energy technologies, advanced recycling techniques, and novel materials that are more sustainable.
  • Local context: Waste management solutions must consider the local context, including socio-economic factors, cultural practices, and infrastructural capabilities. Solutions that work well in one region may not be suitable for another.
  • Stakeholder engagement: Environmental sustainability in waste management necessitates involving diverse stakeholders, including governments, industries, communities, and non-governmental organizations. It is important to engage stakeholders to understand their perspectives, needs, and concerns, leading to more inclusive and effective waste management strategies.
  • Education and awareness: Raising awareness about responsible consumption, recycling practices, and waste reduction empowers individuals to make informed choices and actively participate in sustainable waste management.
  • Policy and regulation: Critical thinking plays a vital role in shaping effective waste management policies and regulations by analysing existing policies, identifying gaps, and proposing evidence-based solutions.
  • Integration with other sustainability goals: Waste management is interconnected with issues like climate change, resource depletion, and public health.
  • Collaboration and international cooperation: Waste management is a global challenge that requires collaboration among nations in order to share best practices, knowledge, and resources, ultimately leading to more comprehensive and sustainable waste management solutions worldwide.

In conclusion, critical thinking is essential in waste management for environmental sustainability as it encourages holistic approaches, innovative solutions, and inclusive practices that address the complex and interconnected nature of waste management challenges. It fosters a shift towards sustainable consumption and production patterns, enabling us to move closer to a more environmentally resilient and responsible future.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Anna Brunerová
Dr. Veronika Chaloupková
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at 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.


  • environmental conservation
  • sustainable technologies
  • recycling
  • critical thinking
  • circular ecology
  • waste management
  • renewable energy
  • clean energy production

Published Papers (1 paper)

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18 pages, 2295 KiB  
Study Protocol
Assessing the Ecological Cost of Material Flow in China’s Waste Paper Recycling System
by Tiejun Dai
Sustainability 2024, 16(4), 1610; - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 556
This article introduces the concept of ecological costs associated with the waste paper recycling system. The costs associated with this process include resource consumption, waste emissions, ecological damage, and production processes. To analyze the ecological costs of deviations from the baseline material flow [...] Read more.
This article introduces the concept of ecological costs associated with the waste paper recycling system. The costs associated with this process include resource consumption, waste emissions, ecological damage, and production processes. To analyze the ecological costs of deviations from the baseline material flow in a waste paper recycling system, a benchmark material flow diagram is constructed using the material flow analysis method. The diagram illustrates a fully closed one-way material flow of the recycling system, which is highly abstracted and simplified. The study analyzed the ecological costs of the benchmark material flow and the impact of deviations from it. The results suggest that the circulation of materials within and between processes increases the ecological cost of the waste paper recycling system. Furthermore, the release of materials from a process into the environment also contributes to its ecological impact. However, the introduction of external materials into the recycling system can reduce its ecological impact, particularly if these materials are recycled resources. The study emphasizes the significance of considering ecological costs in waste paper recycling systems to minimize their environmental impact. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Critical Issue on Waste Management for Environmental Sustainability)
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