Waste management policies for industrial symbiosis development: case studies in European countries.
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Industrial symbiosis (IS) emerged as a self-organizing business strategy among firms that are willing to cooperate to improve their economic and environmental performance. The adoption of such cooperative strategies relates to increasing costs of waste management, most of which are driven by policy and legislative requirements. Development of IS depends on an enabling context of social, informational, technological, economical and political factors. The power to influence this context varies among the agents involved such as the government, businesses or coordinating entities. Governmental intervention, as manifested through policies, could influence a wider range of factors; and we believe this is an area which is under-researched. This paper aims to critically appraise the waste policy interventions from supra-national to sub-national levels of government. A case study methodology has been applied to four European countries i.e. Denmark, the UK, Portugal and Switzerland, in which IS emerged or is being fostered. The findings suggest that there are commonalities in policy instruments that may have led to an IS enabling context. The paper concludes with lessons learnt and recommendations on shaping the policy context for IS development.