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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Governance challenges and opportunities for implementing resource recovery from organic waste streams in urban areas of Latin America: insights from Chía, Colombia

García Aguilar, Mónica Carlota; Jaramillo, Juan Felipe; Ddiba, Daniel; Paez, Diana Carolina; Rueda, Hector; Andersson, Kim; Dickin, Sarah


Across the globe, there is increasing interest in implementing circular approaches to urban sanitation and waste management to mitigate environmental challenges and promote sustainable business opportunities. In Latin America where 80% of the population live in urban areas, there is limited investigation into the enabling factors and governance barriers that are critical to implementing circular economy strategies in urban areas. This paper aims at assessing the governance capacity to implement resource recovery from organic waste streams in the municipality of Chía, Colombia, through applying the Governance Capacity Framework in a participatory process with local stakeholders. The findings highlight the importance of local initiatives for resource recovery that allow experimentation, raise awareness and foster collaboration, as well as mechanisms available for public participation in decision-making processes as enabling factors. Meanwhile, the inadequate monitoring and assessment of environmental strategies and policies, inadequate sharing of information among stakeholders and the relative low awareness of potential benefits of recovering resources from organic waste streams, especially among public sector actors, emerge as key barriers. Beyond Chía, the results provide insights on crucial factors for ensuring sufficient governance capacity in other urban areas in low- and middle-income countries which are considering circular approaches to urban sanitation and waste management. The findings also provide an empirical basis to advance the understanding of the governance conditions necessary for implementing resource recovery from organic waste streams, upon which further applications of the governance capacity framework along with participatory aspects in other similar urban contexts could build.


Environmental governance; Circular economy; Resource recovery; Organic waste; Sanitation; Sustainable urban development

Published in

Sustainable Production and Consumption
2022, volume: 30, pages: 53-63

Authors' information

García Aguilar, Mónica Carlota
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Urban and Rural Development
García Aguilar, Mónica Carlota
University of Copenhagen
Jaramillo, Juan Felipe
El Bosque University
Ddiba, Daniel
Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)
Paez, Diana Carolina
El Bosque University
Rueda, Hector
El Bosque University
Andersson, Kim
Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)
Dickin, Sarah
Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG11 Sustainable cities and communities
SDG16 Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
SDG12 Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

UKÄ Subject classification

Public Administration Studies
Environmental Management

Publication Identifiers


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