The impacts of pollution and waste are borne by both government and society. Frequently, the greatest impact is on the poor, due to their high vulnerability and current land-use practices. Many pollution control and waste management technologies fail in developing countries, not due to problems with the technology, but rather due to policy, institutional, economic or social limitations. Research is recognised as playing a fundamental role in evidence-based policy development and implementation, and in decision-making.
The research focus here is on evidence-based decision-support to government, society and industry, with an emphasis on integrated waste management and the waste hierarchy, for domestic, commercial and industrial waste streams. Through directed research, this group explores the required government, industry and societal changes necessary to alter unsustainable production and consumption patterns and in so doing, decouple economic development and waste generation and associated impacts of pollution.
The CSIR, through its research focus, provides evidence for decision-making with respects to integrated waste management. This involves research in:
- Integrated waste management (e.g. best practice, waste policy, governance)
- Waste behaviour (e.g. post-consumer behaviour towards recycling; waste picking)
- Resource economics (e.g. economic instruments, determining the true costs of waste management)
- Waste information management (e.g. quantification and modelling of waste streams)