Smart Cities and Households’ Recyclable Waste Management: The Case of Jeddah
municipal solid waste management
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AbstractOver the past 30 years, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has recorded rapid economic growth and development rates matched by corresponding levels of consumption. This has led to an exponential increase in the volume of municipal solid waste. Even if the bulk share of this waste is recyclable, the propensity of households to engage in the recycling of waste has so far produced a negligible effect. Arguably, in the context of the pervasive digitalization of public and private spaces, accompanied by the developments in information and communication technology (ICT), best conceptualized by reference to the concepts of smart cities and circular economy, it is natural to expect ICT and policy objectives to converge in order to encourage and enable greater engagement with waste segregation and recycling amongst households. Against this backdrop, this paper explores the feasibility and ways of increasing households’ participation in recyclable waste collection, segregation, and disposal in a context devoid of a top-down city-level waste management policy. To this end, the design thinking approach was employed to identify factors inhibiting/facilitating households’ engaging in recycling. A variety of ideation techniques were adopted in subsequent stages of the design thinking process, including interviews with stakeholders from the government and industry sectors, surveys with Jeddah households (N = 446), an eight week-long recyclable waste collection experiment, and feedback surveys (N = 46). The results suggest that applying relatively simple and resource-savvy tools aimed at promoting household recyclable waste collection has substantial potential. This, in turn, not only feeds into the debate on smart cities but also into the research of public policy.
DepartmentSupply Chain Management