Sustainable innovation in wastewater management: lessons for nutrient recovery and reuse

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Journal Article
Local Environment, 2013, 18 (7), pp. 769 - 780
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Urine diversion (UD) has great potential to contribute to sustainably managing wastewater by separating urine at the source and recovering nutrients for reuse in agriculture. While factors enabling the UD technology in Sweden are thought to involve policies supporting nutrient recovery/reuse, on closer inspection, the variable success of UD systems has revealed that critical factors for success also relate to human-centred issues of social organisation, participation and incorporation of social knowledges of a variety of stakeholders into the decision-making process in which new technologies are trialled and adopted. Through the analytical lens of strategic niche management, we consider how early experimentation in UD has involved user participation and whether internal processes of learning, networking and visioning have been consciously considered and to what effect. As niche experiments are enabled/disabled not only by informal institutions such as values and social norms but also formal regulatory institutions, we have concurrently analysed the broader environment in which policies and institutions influence, to varying degrees, the uptake of UD. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
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