This research project approaches waste management as a combination of critical infrastructure and service industry: a critical infrastructure service. The societal purpose is to show that an effective waste management is a value creating process and the research focus is correspondingly on the organizing of waste management as a critical infrastructure service.
The research project adopts a theoretical and methodological approach that (1) gives priority to the nexus between spatial and organizational relationships at and between micro, meso and macro levels; (2) focuses on the dynamics of organizing processes; and (3) anchors the research questions in the actual practices of waste management.
The project is divided into four parts. The first three are research oriented while the fourth one is a development project. The first part has a macro approach: waste prevention strategies are used as examples of how waste management firms are both active agents and receivers of discursive changes in how waste is understood and valued. The second part has a meso-level approach. It analyses how waste management firms organize themselves to serve other organizations that in turn produce electricity, heat, mobility or food. The third part takes the analysis to the micro-level and investigates manifested intra-organizational competences among waste management staff, and how these competences are organized and practiced. Finally, the knowledge gained from these three research parts is used in the fourth part to develop, in close cooperation with waste management practitioners, performance measures for waste management efficiency and sustainability.
Planned results are practice-grounded knowledge on the organizing of waste management, and performance measures of waste management efficiency and sustainability.