Exploring the Characteristics of Solid Waste Management Policy in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area

Zhenjie Yang, Canpeng Huang, Fengjie Liao, Fat Iam Lam, Lue Li, Quande Qin, Bi Fan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) plays an important role in China’s development strategy. With recent GDP growth and high population density, solid waste generation has emerged as a significant challenge for the region. This study sought to clarify GBA’s solid waste management policies by constructing a two-dimensional policy analysis framework covering nearly 99 available policy texts. This quantitative method provides an explanatory framework for solid waste management policy in GBA, identifying the main policy objectives and instruments as well as making comparisons. Additionally, given the variations in policy format resulting from regime differences, this paper utilizes a novel approach to encode the documents. The results of the study indicate that both Macao and Hong Kong have made greater progress than Shenzhen in waste management development. While Shenzhen is primarily focused on source control, Macao and Hong Kong have transitioned to the recycling stage, with Hong Kong having a more advanced system. It is recommended that Shenzhen increase its engagement in information sharing, learning, and collaboration with Macao and Hong Kong. Moreover, it is observed that Shenzhen’s waste management approach relies heavily on administrative measures, whereas Macao and Hong Kong have implemented social participation-oriented and economic incentives-oriented policies, respectively. There is also an adaptation deviation between Waste Collection and Treatment Development (WCTD) and the policy instruments used to achieve it in the three cities. It is imperative that the three governments utilize their policy tools in an effective manner and have a rational use of power and the performance of functions. These findings can provide recommendations for promoting inter-city learning and collaboration in the GBA.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8160
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - May 2023


  • Greater Bay Area
  • policy instruments
  • policy objectives
  • policy text analysis
  • waste management


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