Dealing with waste, thinking about individuals: A conceptual design to supporting China’s municipalities to reach their target on waste separation and recycling with a focus on the social aspect
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- Institutt for design 
With the rapid economic growth, domestic living standard improvement and urban population increase in China, a tremendous amount of municipal solid waste is being generated everyday and is becoming one of the foremost issues of urban management. The planning and management of domestic waste is important to both the municipalities and the local community for a variety of reasons including environmental impact, financial cost, health and hygiene, city beautification, natural resource consumption, low carbon economic growth and a series of other concerns. At the same time, improving waste separation and collection systems in the residential area is one of the most efficient strategies for MSW management and recycling sector. This study aims to support the Chinese municipalities to work out an appropriate waste separation and recycling program with raising recycling rate as our common goal. During the investigation, substantial relevant stakeholders’ consultation was involved concerning household waste disposal. Methodologies utilized in this study include literature review, face-to-face interview, telephone and email interview and householder surveys. The collected information and data helps significantly with comprehensive stakeholder analysis, recommendation and final design solution generation. On the top of that, user-central design, 4Ps analysis and SWOT analysis are the supporting tool to be used for evaluating the strong points and feasibility of our solution. Many modernized cities in China have been experimenting with pilot projects on household waste separation since the late 1990's. Unfortunately, all of them are failed for a number of reasons. The result demonstrates that the attitude of municipality towards waste separation pilot project, ignorance of the recycling supply chain system as well as the inhabitants are lack of trust and creditability to the government has proven to become the main difficulties that hampering the household waste separation and recycling programs to be succeed in the past decade in China. On the other hand, this study emphasis that the individual responsibility and human psychological aspect is even more important instead of the responsibility of municipality, policy maker or other stakeholders when addressing municipal solid waste issues especially aiming better household waste separation and increased recycling rate. The essential part of this study is to come up with an integrated design solution to improve the efficiency of future household waste separation program and recycling industry in China. The inspirations and ideas are generated base on several successful cases concern MSW and recycling all around the world. The highlight of the design is to integrate a banking service and automated recyclable accounting system together with a recycling value chain consideration. Behind of this innovative recycling system, there is not just a monetary incentive mechanism, but also covers other factors such as building trust, fulfilling the needs of different stakeholders and human psychological thinking on how to make people happy and how to make people enjoy our recycling program as our core strategy and this will ultimately leads to a sustainable lifestyle for all.