an official journal of: published by:
Editor in Chief: RAFFAELLO COSSU


  • Erni Mariana Mukhtar - Centre for Environmental Science, Faculty of Engineering & the Environment, University of Southampton , United Kingdom
  • Ian D. Williams - Centre for Environmental Science, Faculty of Engineering & the Environment, University of Southampton , United Kingdom
  • Peter J. Shaw - Centre for Environmental Science, Faculty of Engineering & the Environment, University of Southampton , United Kingdom

DOI 10.26403/detritus/2018.16

Released under CC BY-NC-ND

Copyright: © Cisa Publisher

Editorial History

  • Received: 15 Jan 2018
  • Revised: 05 Mar 2018
  • Accepted: 20 Mar 2018
  • Available online: 31 Mar 2018


The development of solid waste management (SWM) has been closely related to factors that influenced waste practices in the past and have shaped contemporary waste management systems. Multiple influencing factors need to be considered if SWM is to be effective. We have identified non-measurable or “invisible” factors that are not easily quantifiable or routinely measured but may influence local waste management practices and behaviour. Although the degree of influence of invisible factors is varied and sometimes vague in terms of impact, they serve as a starting point to design more effective waste management strategies. The aim of this study was to identify factors in solid waste management and classify them into two broad categories: “visible” (usually measurable by specific indicators or scales, quantifiable, considered in decision-making and implementation processes, and publically accessible) and “invisible” (not usually measured or quantified but still likely to influence waste generation, behaviour and operational practices, and perceptions about waste). A PESTLE (Political, Environmental, Social, Technological, Legal and Economic) analysis was employed as the basis for categorization. We identified 43 fundamental factors that were divided into the six different PESTLE categories. Experts in waste management were consulted via a Delphi survey and were found to consider 34 (79%) of these 43 fundamental factors to be visible and 9 (21%) invisible. This study highlights the need to adopt new perspectives regarding the role of these fundamental factors in SWM and to understand better the nature and extent of their influence on progress towards cost-effective, efficient, locally-optimised and sustainable waste management systems.



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