Zero-Waste: Reconsidering Waste Management for the Future, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover


Reconsidering Waste Management for the Future, 1st Edition

By Atiq Zaman, Tahmina Ahsan


232 pages | 39 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2019-12-20
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This book analyses ‘zero-waste’ as an emerging waste management strategy for the future, which considers waste prevention through innovative design and sustainable consumption practices.

Drawing on a diverse range of case studies from Australia, Bangladesh, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden and the USA, this book explores why urban waste management systems still remain a major challenge for almost all cities around the world. Rejecting waste as an ‘end-of-life’ problem, Atiq Zaman and Tahmina Ahsan instead consider waste prevention through the zero-waste model, in which resources are utilized and consumed with minimum environmental degradation. In addition, the authors give extended discussion on why embracing the zero-waste concept will be beneficial for the circular economy.

Providing a strategic zero-waste framework and an evaluation tool to measure waste management performance aimed towards zero-waste goals, this book will be of great relevance to students, scholars and policymakers with an interest in waste management, sustainable consumption, urban planning and sustainable development.


"This book is very timely, given the fact that the world is currently experiencing the third wave of environmentalism: the environment and climate emergency. Zaman and Ahsan propose an alternative zero-waste approach to tackle the critical waste problems we have in our society. We cannot continue to deplete our global natural resource in the name of consumerism. The book argues an alternative circular design and system thinking where zero-waste practice is a central approach to solving the core challenge of global waste." -- Greg Morrison, Professor of Sustainable Cities, Director of Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute, Curtin University, Australia

"The opportunity presented by striving for zero waste and building a circular economy shouldn’t be underestimated by businesses wanting to improve their triple bottom line or governments seeking jobs growth and a better environment. This book documents examples and gives hope that we can achieve these goals." -- Vaughan Levitzke, PSM, Chief Executive, Green Industries SA, Adelaide, Australia

"The global waste crisis has made the issues addressed in this book ever more urgent: we need a clear waste reduction and elimination goal to aim for, a mix of 'hard and soft' strategies to reshape systems towards this goal, and ways of measuring progress towards its achievement. This valuable book addresses all three essentials together, showing how they depend upon each other, and does so in an accessible yet scholarly and balanced way. This is a substantial achievement." -- Robert Crocker, DPhil (oxon), Deputy Director, China Australia Centre for Sustainable Development, University of South Australia, Australia

"This book is in response to the enormous waste problem plaguing the planet’s ecosystems from urban settlements to landfills and contaminated sites, and severely impacting the once pristine marine environments. We need a drastic change in the way "waste" is perceived. Zaman and Ahsan offer the zero-waste approach as an alternative to the current practices and management systems. They tackle the challenges of plastics use, e-waste, consumerism and planned obsolescence through zero-waste strategies and solutions. The readers will find insights and examples which help understand better the essence and solutions of the problem created by industrial society and human behaviour." -- Dora Marinova, Professor of Sustainability, Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute, Curtin University, Australia

Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Tables




Part 1: The Anatomy of Zero Waste

Zero Waste and Beyond

Chapter 1: Background of Waste Management System

Chapter 2: Plastics and the Throwaway Society

Chapter 3: Production, Consumption and Waste Management: The Missing Link

Chapter 4: Zero Waste in Urban System

Part 2: Case Studies of Zero Waste

Chapter 5: Zero Waste Practices in Our Society

Chapter 6: Zero E-waste

Chapter 7: The Whole House Reuse Project

Chapter 8: Zero Waste in The Global Cities

Part 3: Zero Waste Strategy and Tool

Chapter 9: Zero Waste Strategy

Chapter 10: Smart Zero Waste Tracking System

Chapter 11: Measuring Tool for Zero Waste

Chapter 12: Application of The Zero Waste Index


About the Authors

Atiq Zaman is a Lecturer at the School of Design and the Built Environment and an early carrier researcher at the Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute, Curtin University, Australia. He has more than eight years of research experiences in the area of sustainable waste management and environmental assessment. He is an active advocate for zero waste philosophy, activities and practices. His research interests include sustainable waste management, collaborative consumption, circular economy and sustainability in the built environment.

Tahmina Ahsan is a casual academic at the School of Design and the Built Environment, Curtin University, Australia. She is an Architect with a Master in Environmental Engineering and Sustainable Infrastructure from KTH, The Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden and a PhD degree from The University of Adelaide, Australia. She has a keen interest in sustainable practices and design.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Waste Management and Policy

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development
NATURE / Ecology
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy