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• A systematic literature review is done on social dimensions of MSW management.
• A comprehensive list of related publications between 1980 and 2014 is built.
• All publications are classified into 4 categories for analysis.
• The global distribution of social dimension reports on MSW management is uneven.
• The research on the social dimensions of MSW management is insufficient.
Currently, municipal solid waste (MSW) is experiencing a massive increase in both the amount and composition throughout the world. Effective and efficient MSW management has been widely accepted as an emergent factor for future social development, which requires not only technical innovation, but also the involvement of all stakeholders as well as social, economic, and psychological components. On account of this reality, there is an urgent need for research related to the social dimensions of MSW management. In this paper, a systematic literature review was carried out to characterize and critically evaluate the published literature on the social dimensions of MSW management from 1980 to 2014 in terms of vulnerability, public participation, public attitude and behavior, and policy. A keyword search was first performed by using the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) Web of Science, which retrieves 1843 documents. After removing the papers that were not closely related to the topic, 200 articles were retained for an in-depth review. In each category, major research issues and observations were summarized, and important insights were obtained. Besides compiling a related list of key references, the analysis results indicate that the global distribution of social dimensions reports on MSW management is inequitable and the research on the social dimensions of MSW management is insufficient, which may attract increased research interest and attention.
Journal: Waste Management - Volume 56, October 2016, Pages 3–12