Journal article

Complex risks from old urban waste landfills – a sustainability perspective from Iasi, Romania

Landfills continue to represent the most frequent managerial practice for municipal solid wastes and an increasing and complex problem globally. In certain countries, a transition to an open society and free market is superimposed on the transition to sustainability, resulting in even higher complexity of management. This paper proposes an approach for problem-structuring of landfills in complex transitions: sustainability or unsustainability of a management approach is determined by a set of sustainability filters that are defined by sets of indicators and prioritized according the systemic concept of sustainability, which says that economy is embedded in society, which is embedded in nature. The writers exercise this approach with an old landfill in Iasi, Romania, and conclude for unsustainability, because the ecological sustainability filter is not successfully passed. Social and economic sustainability filters are also discussed in relation with the ecological sustainability indicators. The described approach allows a coherent, transdisciplinary synthesis of knowledge scattered across various disciplines, a pervasive problem in landfill management. The case study helps distinguish between generally true and context- dependent aspects.


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