Theses Master's

Stop Filling the World with Trash: A Study of Circular Waste Management Strategies in NYC

Gonzalez Samot, Luis Argelis

This thesis seeks to understand the impacts and ramifications of solid waste generation and waste management strategies in New York City. It is concerned with the relationship between solid waste and the mass production and mass consumption patterns associated with the take-make-waste industrial economic model. Additionally, the investigation examines the circular economy as an alternative to take-make-waste. Special attention is given to the environmental and societal implications of continuing in the current linear industrial system and the urgency to move towards a circular economy. “Stop Filling the World with Trash: A Study of Circular Waste Management Strategies in NYC” addresses the following questions: what are the current municipal solid waste management strategies? Where does the solid waste go post-collection and how is it transported? What policies are being considered to address the negative externalities related to solid waste and Waste Management? What role can the circular economy play in minimizing the negative environmental and societal impacts of waste management? What are the implications of adopting a circular economy? Does moving to a circular economy require changes to the regulatory framework? The findings suggest that shifting to a circular or sustainable economic model is urgent. If we continue in the linear system of mass production and mass consumption, the negative effects to people and the environment may become irreversible. However, making this paradigm shift will entail a concerted effort among the public and private sectors, and civil society.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Hutson, Malo A.
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
August 19, 2020