The authors of the study apply ascendency analysis (a systematic method based on information theory for quantifying the efficiency and resilience of natural ecosystems) at EU level and discuss the implications for urban waste management systems, taking the Netherlands as an example.
They argue that ecological principles can be useful for developing human-made systems. The system is made sufficiently robust to be able to cope with shocks by including a diverse set of stakeholders who provide:
- resource-use efficiency through specialised know-how in capturing, processing and delivering a range of resources, and
- resilience by generating multiple paths that allow these vital resources to circulate throughout the urban network at different levels and rates.