Logistics service triad for household waste: consumers as co-producers of sustainability

Arni Halldorsson*, Ceren Altuntas Vural, Jessica Wehner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this paper is to explore the sustainability of waste supply chains regarding the energy efficiency of first-mile waste collection systems and quality of waste. Roles of actors in the waste service triad are considered, particularly focusing on households.

Primary data are collected from respondents including municipality officers, waste service providers (WSPs) and households through brainstorming sessions, semi-structured interviews, site visits and a focus group. Secondary data are collected from official reports for validation.

Findings reveal tension between the energy efficiency of waste collection logistics and the quality of waste collected. Households are co-producers of logistic services providing important inputs in the form of sorting and moving waste and raw materials into new cycles of goods circulating in logistics systems. Other actors in the logistics service triad are the municipality as regulator and the WSP acting as a reverse-logistics service provider.

Practical implications
This study provides principles for policymakers and practitioners to evaluate the energy efficiency of waste management options, considering the quality of waste. Also, “logistics services” and “quality of waste” as concepts might provoke new thoughts on how to involve the consumer in resource recovery.

Few studies have focused on the end-consumer’s role in waste supply chains. By considering waste as a resource and the consumer as the supplier of this input, this study provides a new way to think about logistics services for waste collection.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalInternational Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)398-415
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 13.06.2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Energy efficiency
  • Value co-creation
  • Logistics services
  • First mile
  • Household waste
  • Quality of waste
  • Sustainable logistics


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