Waste Management Policy

Consider a policy to cover household garbage collection, wastewater treatment, hazardous waste containment, landfill accumulation, and community cleanup services run by the state. Seems like there are a few policies adjacent to this, including recycling, green electronics initiative, and pollution controls, all of which might be connected to such a policy. But this idea is to represent a country’s waste management industry which handles all the waste that isn’t sorted out by these other services.

Some possible connections:

  • Cost to run increases exponentially with GDP to represent additional waste generated
  • Higher investment improves the environment exponentially
  • Low investment decreases Environmentalist happiness, and high investment increases it
  • Increases State Employee membership
  • Low investment decreases State Employee happiness, and high investment levels out to 0 influence
  • Low investment increases probability of Garbage Scam event, and high investment decreases it
  • Recycling and Green Electronics Initiative policies reduce the cost of running, to represent recyclable and e-waste items being sorted out of general garbage

Could also have a “Garbage” crisis similar to Pollution, to represent material waste littering the streets or accumulating in natural spaces like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Such a crisis might have a few different causes and effects:

  • GDP increases crisis exponentially
  • Car, Bus, Air, and Rail usage all increase crisis slightly (Car Usage probably weighted more)
  • Higher investment in Waste Management lowers crisis exponentially
  • Keep The Country Tidy Campaign slightly lowers crisis, to represent reduction in littering behavior
  • Plant Based Diets slightly lowers crisis, to represent less trash generated
  • Compulsory Work For The Unemployed slightly lowers crisis, to represent trash pickup efforts
  • Garbage crisis degrades the environment greatly
  • Garbage crisis lowers health slightly
  • Garbage crisis lowers tourism moderately
  • Garbage crisis decreases Environmentalist happiness

Thoughts on the core idea, and on other possible influences it could have?


This is a old post. However, I like the idea.


Terrific idea, yes. And another state division to chip away at Unemployment


Bumping this because I have not forgotten and adore it


I suppose we will wait for the game dev to answer this idea.


Yes, it recalls an article I read about how Norway’s waste management infrastructure was so strong, other countries were paying them to handle their waste, creating a modestly lucrative sector that produced a solvent industry creating a modicum of raw materials and energy.

This may well be a dramatic case, but it is increasingly true that recycling and energy generation through biomass has a certain ROI when heavily supported. I think it’d take lots of intertia to get there though.


I have to admit. This is also a nice touch as the Garbage Crisis is very topical in nations such as Brazil, Lebanon, India, and some parts of China, Philippines and the continent of Africa.


Interesting suggestion, TBH I have only just found this thread! That might sound crazy, but we also have reddit, facebook and the steam forums to keep an eye on (plus email), so we often miss some good ideas sadly…
The only concern I have for stuff like this is it could clutter the game and make it feel too complicated for casual players, so may work better as a mod.

The emphasis I have, as a game designer, is finding connections between things that are not represented in any other way in the game, so they add new novel problems and strategies to the game.

I think its possible to suggest that the recycling policy encompasses a lot of this, if you see it as symbolic of a whole policy area, rather than simply a recycling policy. I think there is a good argument for having some negative consequence of high economic growth combined with zero recycling, as a negative situation. That could be good :smiley:


Quite a long time has passed since the publication of that article, and now they have achieved quite significant success in the field of waste recycling.

The City of Oslo’s waste management is based on the philosophy of ‘cycle-based waste management’, where all household waste that cannot be recycled is energy-recovered.

Food waste is recovered and transformed into bio-fertilizer for the agricultural industry and into biogas used as fuel. Plastic waste is recovered into new plastic products, and the residual waste is incinerated and used in production of environmentally-friendly district heating and electricity. This philosophy enables the City of Oslo to efficiently utilize all its waste resources, while simultaneously reducing the use of fossil fuels.

Efficient and safe waste-to-energy plant with recycling capacity of 310,000 tons annually, Klemetsrud is a significant contributor to City of Oslo’s goal to cut GHG emissions in half by 2030.


That’s amazing. I love learning about that stuff. Would you recommend any hand further reading materials on that? I can’t get enough.