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Investigaciones geográficas

On-line version ISSN 2448-7279Print version ISSN 0188-4611


ARAIZA-AGUILAR, Juan Antonio et al. What does ‘risk’ mean in municipal solid waste management?. Invest. Geog [online]. 2021, n.105, e60268.  Epub Nov 01, 2021. ISSN 2448-7279.

In the field of solid waste management, key concepts such as risk, impact and hazards have been used interchangeably and have had imprecise meanings and scopes; this can lead to a partial or biased vision, for example in relation to municipal solid waste management policies. This paper analyzes the use and diverse meanings of the concept of risk and its components in the scientific literature that addresses the issue of urban solid waste, from 1970 to 2020. It shows that the concept has been approached from various perspectives and interpretations. Economic and health crises can surprisingly increase risks and waste as in 2020. Waste composition has changed, since protective equipment against the coronavirus has been mixed with household waste. Of all risk components, vulnerability has been the least addressed in the literature, because technical aspects such as hazard modelling predominate in this field. Most of the publications have studied the final disposal stage, given that open dumpsites and landfills are still the most common methods for disposing of solid waste. Finally, a reference framework is proposed.

Keywords : hazard; vulnerability; exposure; risk; final disposal.

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