The aim of this research is to understand the environmental effectiveness of the solid waste management in nation (with the exception of construction and demolition waste). This thesis does so by looking into the concept of environmental effectiveness and its four determinants (regulatory structure, time, economic structure, and science) as defined by government. It also employs the analysis of governance networks to understand the regulatory structure, waste governance, of waste management. Within these analytical frameworks, this research gathered data from 21 interviews, and reviewed literature published by the organizations that the informants worked for.
Although the waste governance in waste management performs well thanks to cooperation between related actors in the network, the environmental effectiveness of waste management is limited. First, it is revealed that, due to the Pollution Control Act, there is no governing agency to control industrial waste which makes up a significant amount of the total waste generated in Oslo, Norway. The second discovery is that the current solid waste management depends greatly on energy recovery and recycling, which are two feasible methods in the given context, although reuse and waste prevention are regarded as more desirable methods in preventing negative impacts to the environment from an environmental perspective. This point indicates that the waste management is more concerned with institutional feasibility rather than environmental necessity. The relationships between the waste management and three of the determinants (time, economic structure, and science) display the same results. It is important to note that the approach to these determinants are dealing more so with how we treat waste, rather than how we remove the origin of the problem.
Thus, this research concludes that, when it comes to environmental effectiveness, it is obvious that the current waste management focuses on what they can do given the context, instead of revolutionizing this context to improve waste management, making more desirable methods, like reuse and waste prevention, feasible.