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From trash to cash: A case of waste management business model formation

Conference paper
Authors Tobias Ladhe
Johan Magnusson
Andreas Nilsson
Published in Proceedings of WorldCIST14, Springer, April 14-15 Madeira, Portugal
Publication year 2014
Published at Centre for Business Solutions (CFA)
Department of Business Administration
Department of Business Administration, Accounting
Language en
Keywords Waste management, Smart city, Business model
Subject categories Business Administration


With increased urbanization and the need for environmental sustainability, the issue of efficient waste management is highlighted as one of the many current challenges. In light of this, new solutions for waste management involve moving away from grand-scale, centralized facilities towards more decentralized, smaller facilities supported by novel usage of information technology. It is also important to reduce waste and move the operations towards efficient and interesting services focusing on increased quantities that are re-used, recycled and upcycled. A key prerequisite for this type of solution lies in the creation and maintenance of sustainable business models. This paper explores the formation phase of one such business model for decentralized, local waste management facilities. Through an Action Design Research study conducted in 2013, the research team worked together with representatives from both the public and private sectors within a smart city initiative in Stockholm, Sweden. As the results show, the applied method resulted in a successful business model formation. The contribution of this paper lies in presenting a method for business model formation in a smart city context, along with recommendations related to how this method can be applied to solve the issue of waste management.

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