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Waste flow mapping to improve sustainability of waste management: a case study approach


Martin Kurdve, Sasha Shahbazi, Marcus Wendin , Cecilia Bengtsson , Magnus Wiktorsson

Publication Type:

Journal article


International Journal of Cleaner Production


Journal of Cleaner Production




AbstractInnovative, resource-efficient solutions and effective waste management systems capture value in business and contribute to sustainability. However, due to scattered waste management responsibilities in the vehicle industry and the orientation of operations management and lean tools, which mostly focus on lead-time and labour-time improvements, the requirement of a collaborative method to include material waste efficiency in operational development is identified. The main purpose of this research is to study how operations management and environmental management can be integrated on an operational level and include the waste management supply chain. Based on a literature review of environmental and operational improvement tools and principles, the gaps and needs in current practice were identified. A large case study implementing a waste flow mapping (WFM) method on a set of manufacturing sites revealed potentials in terms of reducing material losses and inefficiencies in the handling of materials and waste. Finally, the integrated WFM method was analysed with respect to the gaps and needs identified in the existing body of tools for operational and environmental improvement. The method combines lean manufacturing tools, such as value stream mapping with cleaner production and material flow cost accounting strategies. The empirical data showed that the WFM method is adequate for current state analysis of waste material efficiency potentials, especially when multiple organisations are involved. However, further development and specific methods are needed such as, for example, logistics inefficiencies, root cause analysis, implementation guidelines for best practice and systems for performance monitoring of actors.


author = {Martin Kurdve and Sasha Shahbazi and Marcus Wendin and Cecilia Bengtsson and Magnus Wiktorsson},
title = {Waste flow mapping to improve sustainability of waste management: a case study approach},
editor = {D. Huisingh},
volume = {98},
number = {32},
pages = {304--315},
month = {July},
year = {2015},
journal = {International Journal of Cleaner Production},
publisher = {Journal of Cleaner Production},
url = {}