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Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering >> 2012, Volume 6, Issue 4 doi: 10.1007/s11783-011-0344-0

Industrial solid waste flow analysis of eco-industrial parks: implications for sustainable waste management in China

1. Shanghai Key Laboratory of Urbanization and Ecological Restoration, School of Resources and Environmental Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China; 2. Shanghai Municipal Engineering Design Institute, Shanghai 200092, China; 3. Shanghai Institute for Design & Research in Environmental Engineering, Shanghai 200232, China; 4. Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA

Available online: 2012-08-01

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Sustainable waste management in the industrial ecology perspective brings enormous challenges to the existing methodology of waste analysis at the industrial park (IP) scale. In this study, a four-step method was proposed for industrial solid waste (ISW) flow analysis of eco-industrial parks (EIPs) and applied to two IPs in eastern China. According to a park-wide census of 619 industrial enterprises and 105 questionnaires by a survey from 2006 to 2008, the results indicated that: 1) at the enterprise scale, more than 60% of enterprises were small-ISW-generation enterprises which encountered great difficulties on effective waste management; 2) at the IP scale, though the two IPs have set up their own environmental management systems and passed the ISO 14001 certification, the efficiencies of the ISW management systems have yet to be improved in the industrial ecology perspective; and 3) at the regional scale, more than 97% of ISW flowed within the provincial region, indicating that the provincial governments prevented the wastes from flowing into their own “back yard”. Effective waste management should be placed in a broader perspective. Approaches to sustainable waste management may include wastes exchange, efficient waste and information flow, virtual EIP, waste minimization clubs and regionalization of waste management.

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