Doktorski rad „Društveni aspekti sustava zbrinjavanja otpada u Zagrebu“ teorijski i empirijski izučava sustav zbrinjavanja otpada na primjeru grada Zagreba iz sociološke perspektive. Cilj je rada ustanoviti ključne društvene odnose koji utječu na poimanje otpada i postupanje s njime, a njegova je svrha ponuditi sociološki utemeljen odgovor na pitanja o društvenim odnosima među ključnim skupinama aktera važnima za sustav zbrinjavanja otpada i unutar tih skupina; o usklađenosti normativnog i vrijednosnog okvira sa stvarnim stanjem sustava zbrinjavanja otpada u Zagrebu; te o usklađenosti normativnog okvira s principima ekološke, ekonomske i socijalne održivosti. Osim toga, rad traži odgovor na pitanje koje je optimalno i dugoročno održivo rješenje za postupanje s otpadom u gradu Zagrebu i Republici Hrvatskoj. Disertacija se sastoji od tri glavna dijela: (1) teorijskog okvira, (2) višerazinske analize normativnih dokumenata i (3) prezentacije i analize rezultata provedenog empirijskoga istraživanja. U teorijskom dijelu rada problematiziraju se sociološki koncepti i teze o otpadu, primarno iz područja sociologije rizika, urbane sociologije i socijalne ekologije. Normativni se okvir analizira metodom kvalitativne analize sadržaja, a odabrani su ključni dokumenti o otpadu na europskoj (8 dokumenata), nacionalnoj (3 dokumenta) i gradskoj razini (1 dokument). Analizom je utvrđeno da se lokalni i nacionalni normativni dokumenti deduciraju iz europskog normativnog okvira, ali i da nisu sasvim konzistentni te da nisu u potpunosti usklađeni s najnovijim europskim principima postupanja s otpadom. Empirijsko istraživanje provedeno je kvalitativnom metodom polustrukturiranog intervjua s ključnim akterima za sustav gospodarenja otpadom u Zagrebu. U istraživanju je sudjelovalo 30 ključnih aktera, podijeljenih u 5 skupina (stručni, politički, upravljački, medijski i civilni akteri). Ustanovljeno je da postoji latentni društveni sukob između skupina ključnih aktera, ali i unutar njih. Najizraženiji je sukob između političkih i civilnih aktera, a najpozitivniji je odnos civilnih i medijskih. Stavovi sudionika o sustavu zbrinjavanja otpada u Zagrebu su heterogeni, ali svi se slažu da sustav treba unaprijediti te da je potrebno provoditi sustavnu edukaciju javnosti o ovim temama na svim obrazovnim razinama, putem medija i drugih oblika edukacije. Dugoročno održivo rješenje moguće je ostvariti samo uz uvažavanje stručnih mišljenja, uspostavljanje dijaloga između ključnih aktera, postizanje širokog društvenog konsenzusa o važnosti ove teme i odabirom sustavnog i konzistentnog modela gospodarenja otpadom.
The doctoral thesis "Social aspects of the waste disposal system in Zagreb" theoretically and empirically studies the waste disposal system on the example of the city of Zagreb from a sociological perspective. Waste is an inevitable by-product of life, and in a modern, consumeroriented society, it is becoming increasingly recognized as an environmental and public health risk and social problem. Nevertheless, in the social sciences and thus in sociology, this topic is relatively poorly represented. However, the sociological relevance of the topic is unquestionable given that, for example, inefficient waste management can be a threat to constitutional and internationally recognized fundamental human rights such as the right to a healthy environment and the right to health. The aim of this thesis is to establish the key social relations that influence the perception and treatment of waste, and its purpose is to offer a sociologically based answer to questions about social relations among key groups of actors relevant to the system and within them; on the harmonization of the value and normative framework on waste with the actual state of the system in Zagreb, and on the harmonization of the normative framework with the principles of ecological and social sustainability. In addition, the paper seeks to answer the question of what is the optimal and long-term sustainable solution for waste management in the city of Zagreb and the Republic of Croatia. The dissertation consists of three key parts: (1) theoretical framework, (2) multilevel analysis of normative documents of different types and (3) presentation and analysis of empirical research findings. All chapters are divided into smaller units (subchapters) that represent rounded thought and subject units. In the theoretical part of the paper, primarily sociological concepts and theses on waste are problematized, and the most present are the concepts of three sociological subdisciplines, risk sociology, urban sociology and social ecology. The reasons for choosing these three subdisciplines are assessments that the topic is in the sphere of risk because waste and related plants are basically risky; urban because waste problems are more pronounced in cities and socio-ecological because waste is one of the biggest global threats to the ecosystem. In addition to the stated sociological starting points, the work takes a transdisciplinary and pluriperspective view. The concepts and theses of authors who are not sociologists, but consider waste as a social phenomenon, are listed and analyzed, due to the belief that a complete solution to a complex problem such as waste disposal is possible only with respect for different professions and focus on the problem. The normative framework on waste in this paper is analyzed by the method of qualitative content analysis and key documents on waste at the European (8 documents), national (3 documents) and city level (1 document) were selected. The method of qualitative content analysis of the normative framework was chosen because normative documents represent a link between dominantly accepted social values and the actual and desired state in the lifeworld. The European level (1) is regulated by directives and plans for sustainable waste management, of which the most important strategic document is taken into account in this paper along with six key operational consolidated directives; (2) the national level is regulated by three key documents, namely the Waste Management Strategy of the Republic of Croatia (2005), the Sustainable Waste Management Act (2013) (including amendments, published in the Official Gazette No. 73/17, 14/19 and 98/19) and the Waste Management Plan of the Republic of Croatia for the period 2017-2022 and (3) at the city level there is a Waste Management Plan of the City of Zagreb 2018-2022. The selection of documents was carried out after a detailed study of the entire normative framework and consultation with experts in the field. In addition to being of different levels, the analyzed documents are of different types. Thus, the paper analyzes strategies (long-term documents of a broader type in which social values are expressed), plans (more focused documents that show the goals of the system and give deadlines for their fulfillment) and laws and directives (legal documents with clear and precise provisions and responsibilities). The analysis showed that local and national documents are deduced from the European framework, but also that they are not completely consistent and that they are not fully in line with the latest European principles of waste management. The inconsistency is manifested in the fact that the national normative framework could not be implemented because some of the provisions are contradictory. Namely, if the set goals were achieved - a high rate of separate waste collection and the construction of all planned waste management centers - there would be nothing to process in the mentioned centers. The National Strategy is an outdated document and it is necessary to adopt a new strategic document on waste, harmonized with the latest principles of waste management of the European Union. The plans are ambitious, but previous experiences with similar documents show that they are not realized in practice. In the national and city normative framework, compared to the European one, public participation in decisionmaking is less present and less importance is placed on the education of the general public. Empirical research was conducted using a qualitative method of semi-structured interviews with key actors for the waste management system in Zagreb. The survey involved 30 key actors, divided into 5 groups (professional, political, managerial, media and civil (NGO) actors). The interviews were conducted face to face, and all participants were located in Zagreb. The study of available literature and media content helped in selecting relevant potential participants for the research. The sample was intentional, unprobabilistic, because it was estimated that it was the most favorable for research on such a specific topic, with a small total number of key actors. The actors were selected according to different criteria, depending on the group. In the case of politicians, those who deal with environmental issues in their parties have been selected; the selected management actors were those in the highest hierarchical positions within their departments; media representatives were selected according to the criteria of specialization for environmental and waste topics; all civil actors in the research are in the leadership of the most influential Zagreb enviromental organizations. The experts were selected according to the criteria of diversity, ie inclusion of different professions; and scientific and / or professional excellence. The participants in the research recognized corruption, clientelism and disrespect for the professionals in deciding on important social issues as the biggest Croatian social problems, and they often mentioned the problems of unemployment, insufficiently high standards, demographic devastation and hopelessness of young people. The general social situation was mostly assessed as unsatisfactory, although some actors pointed out some positive developments since Croatia's independence (1990). The issue of the general state of the environment in Zagreb has caused divisions among groups of actors. Civil society actors are most critical of the state of the environment and most concentrated on the waste management system. Management actors are satisfied with the general environmental state of the city. Apart from waste, experts also point out the problem of water supply and traffic. It was found that there is a latent social conflict among groups of key actors, but also within them. The conflict between political and civil actors is the most pronounced, and the relationship between civil and media is the most positive. All other relationships are divided, in other words, within groups there are both positive and negative opinions about other groups. Such relationships are the most common, diagnosed between politicians and managers, managers and experts, journalists and experts, journalists and managers, experts and civil society organizations. The attitudes of the participants about the waste management system in Zagreb are heterogeneous, but all participants agree that the system needs to be improved and that it is necessary to conduct systematic education of the general public on these topics at all educational levels and through the media and other forms of education. Consensus among thirty highly qualified and specialized actors is difficult to reach on any issue, but from all the answers presented it can be concluded that all actors believe that social and environmental conditions in Zagreb and Croatia can and should be improved, and the Zagreb waste management system needs to be significantly improved. The participants in the research are not overly optimistic when it comes to the development of the city of Zagreb in the near future and believe that it mostly depends on political trends. In the concluding part of the paper, the results of both researches are summarized, and the findings are connected with the theoretical concepts presented in the theoretical part of the paper. It is concluded that the Zagreb waste management system needs to be transformed. It is necessary to implement an economically, ecologically and socially sustainable model of waste management in Zagreb - and this can be achieved through systematic education on waste at all levels of education and with the creation of a complete waste management system. The conditions for this are (1) the creation of social consensus on the importance of this topic, (2) selection and long-term work on the implementation of a consistent and sustainable management model that will not depend on changes of political power and (3) involvement of experts, civil society organizations and the public in decision-making processes.