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A dissipative structure theory-based investigation of a construction and demolition waste minimization system in China

Hongping Yuan, Zheng Wang, Yongwei Shi and Jianli Hao

Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 2022, vol. 65, issue 3, 514-535

Abstract: Construction and demolition (C&D) waste minimization is an important strategy for addressing waste management challenges. Generally, C&D waste minimization is a complex and open system involving various interrelated processes, elements and stakeholders. Previous studies have investigated internal factors of the system, but neglected effects of external factors and interactions between internal and external factors. Therefore, this paper aims to investigate China’s C&D waste minimization system from the perspectives of integrity and dynamics. Based on the dissipative structure theory, the paper examines whether China’s C&D waste minimization system is a dissipative structure, given that a dissipative structure system can transform itself from disordered state to ordered state spontaneously through interactions among the inherent subsystems and elements involved. Firstly, 28 factors influencing waste minimization are identified. Secondly, the Brusselator model and entropy methods are adopted for empirical analysis with the data collected by questionnaire survey. The findings reveal that China’s current C&D waste minimization system is not a dissipative structure; consequently, the development of the system cannot form a macroscopic stable and orderly structure through self-organization. Accordingly, suggestions are proposed to effectively promote the C&D waste minimization system toward a dissipative structure. The findings are expected to enhance the C&D waste minimization system through forming a dissipative structure and consequently achieving orderly and coordinated system development.

Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1080/09640568.2021.1889484

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