A Bird in the Hand, Solid Waste Modernisation, Recycling and the Informal Sector

To address the dilemmas facing Romanian and Bulgarian authorities and local experts, this paper seeks to answer the following reseach questions:

  • What happens in the solid waste modernisation process, and what drives it? In what ways does a post-modern landscape differ from a pre-modern one?
  • What choices have countries like the US and the Netherlands made the in the modernisation process, and how has this affected key stakeholders in the public sector and the recycling supply chain?
  • What are the key elements of a modernised solid waste system in practice? How does social science theory help to understand the differences between modernised and non-modernised social provisioning systems?
  • How does the informal sector fit into the modernisation process, and how does this relate to the specific characteristics of recycling in Romania and its Balkan neighbours?
  • What is necessary for Balkan countries to find their own way to modernised waste management, integrating solid waste and recycling on the one hand, and in designing flexible, affordable, and sustainable provisioning systems for solid waste on the other?

Paper Delivered at “Solid Waste Planning in the Real World”
CWG-Green Partners Workshop, Cluj, Romania, 22-23 February 2008