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Development of a decision making tool for waste management: case study of a local authority in Wales

Davies, Alexander 2016. Development of a decision making tool for waste management: case study of a local authority in Wales. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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The landscape for waste collection is ever changing. With constant adjustments in Government, increasing budget restrictions and changes in Legislation, Local Authorities have to adapt their collection methods to achieve the best recycling rates possible. The focus of their efforts is frequently on the cost; however there are many other drivers and barriers that they must pay attention to such as legislative compliance. The aim of this study was to understand the interaction of these drivers and barriers. More specifically, the decision making process that they follow. A long term, consistent decision making process is required to maximise the amount of recyclate they can collect. A study of the decision making methodologies showed that the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) was the easiest to understand and implement. By having an understandable methodology, the decision maker(s) have clarity and a solid reasoning for the choice they make. Also, by using a commonly understood software to create a programme meant a clear understanding and ownership of the decision made. Scenarios were created to understand how the criteria interact and affect the choice of waste collection method. The interaction of criteria dependent on the size and type of Local Authorities was examined. Of all the criteria that could be taken in to consideration, Legislative Compliance, Net Running Costs and the Quality of the Recyclate collected were repeatedly the most important. The results gathered from the Case Study Authority were checked against these scenarios and it was found that they performed in the same manner that was expected from their classification by type and size of authority. It was concluded that the decision making process, as a whole and in relation to waste management, was successfully understood. The novel development of the Analytic Hierarchy Process and inception of a decision making tool to clearly define the drivers and barriers that face a Local Authority were accomplished. The time sensitive nature of the process highlighted the difficulty assuring the right decision is made at any given time. Nevertheless, it was successfully applied to a Case Study Authority whose decision matched the ideals of the Welsh Government in suggesting a Kerbside Sort collection scheme.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Engineering
Uncontrolled Keywords: Decision Making; Recycling; Waste Management; Local Authority; Analytic Hierarchy Process, AHP.
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 22 May 2017
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 09:50

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