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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Comparative Study of Municipal Solid Waste Management Strategies in Hong Kong and London

Municipal solid waste (MSW) management in developed cities is getting more and more difficult, due to the tremendous increase in the volume of waste, brought about by both the population growth and improvement in living standards.  This is particularly the case for Hong Kong (HK) and London.  To tackle this problem, both HK and London have recently come up with new MSW management strategies.  The HK Government published "A Policy Framework for the Management of Municipal Solid Waste in Hong Kong (2005-2014)" in December 2005, whereas the Mayor of London published his strategy, called “Rethinking Rubbish in London”, in September 2003.

This dissertation aims to carry out a comparative study of MSW management strategies in HK and London, particularly in the aspects of financial incentives to encourage waste reduction and recycling; producer responsibility schemes; design of waste collection services; facilitation of reuse; support for the recycling industry; publicity and education; waste recovery and treatment; diversion of waste from landfills and disposal of waste at landfills; data on waste; and single waste authority.  The intention of the comparison is to review the waste management strategies of the two cities, identify lessons to be learnt from each of the two cities in the implementation of the strategies and make recommendations for the two cities on their roads to sustainable waste management.  

Course Overview


The need to engage in better problem definition through careful dialogue with all stakeholder groups and a proper recognition of context.


An ability to work with specialists from other disciplines and professional groups acknowledging that technical innovation and business skills also must be understood, nurtured and combined as precursors to the successful implementation of sustainable solutions.


An understanding of mechanisms for managing change in organisations so future engineers are equipped to play a leadership role.


An awareness of a range of assessment frameworks, sustainability metrics and methodologies such as Life Cycle Analysis, Systems Dynamics, Multi-Criteria Decision making and Impact Assessment.