Skip to main content

IFS/STICERD/UCL Development Work in Progress Seminar

The Impact of Circular Economy Training on the Waste Footprint of Urban Communities

Fjolla Kondirolli (LSE), joint with Swati Dhingra, and Stephen Machin

Thursday 04 May 2023 13:00 - 14:00

Many of our seminars and public events this year will continue as in person or as hybrid (online and in person) events. Please check our website listings and Twitter feed @STICERD_LSE for updates.

Unless otherwise specified, in-person seminars are open to the public.

Those unable to join the seminars in-person are welcome to participate via zoom if the event is hybrid.

About this event

Waste generation has risen tenfold in the past century, and by 2050, it is anticipated to be another 70 percent higher than now. Yet less than a third of waste is handled in an environmentally responsible way. Untreated waste contributes to methane emissions, groundwater pollution, marine litter and public health and safety hazards. These problems are expected to exacerbate as most of the growth in waste will take place in the developing world, where the bulk of waste is mismanaged. Although waste management makes up one of the largest costs of municipal budgets in developing countries, it has not moved much beyond the collection of waste from households and then dumping into landfills or open dumps that pose environmental, health and safety concerns for communities and waste workers. Waste solutions that are commonly deployed in high-income countries are not well-suited to the needs of developing countries. Segregation of waste at the source of generation has been proposed as a critical low-cost solution for reducing the amount of waste that needs to be landfilled, but its take-up remains low in developing countries. This paper examines the potential of segregation and recycling at source in improving waste management. In collaboration with the municipal government of the city of Patna in India, an information and training programme was introduced to train 10,000 households in circular economy principles of segregation at source and reduction, reuse and recycling of waste. The intervention was staggered over time to clusters of urban residences on routes covered by municipal waste trucks that are mandated to provide door-to-door waste collection services to residents. Waste data was collected to examine the impacts of the information and training programme on waste practices of households. We find that segregation rates increased among the households that received the intervention compared to those that didn't, and that these effects persist over time.

This seminar series is jointly organized by the IFS, STICERD, and UCL.

IFS/STICERD/UCL Development Economics Work In Progress seminars are held on Thursdays in term time at 13:00-14:00, at the IFS, unless specified otherwise.

Seminar organisers: Oriana Bandiera (STICERD, LSE), Imran Rasul (UCL), Britta Augsburg (IFS) and Jonathan Weigel (LSE).

For further information please contact Britta Augsburg:

Registration is required, via our mailing list:

Please use this link to subscribe or unsubscribe to the Development Economics Work In Progress seminars mailing list (developmentwip).