Sustainability Science

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 37–46 | Cite as

The forecasting of municipal waste generation using artificial neural networks and sustainability indicators

  • Davor Antanasijević
  • Viktor Pocajt
  • Ivanka Popović
  • Nebojša Redžić
  • Mirjana Ristić
Original Article


The feasibility of modeling municipal waste generation (MWG) for countries at different levels of development using artificial neural networks (ANN) and selected generic indicators of sustainability was investigated. The main goals of this research were to develop ANN-based models for predicting MWG, to overcome the problem of incomplete MWG data, which is notable in developing countries, and to provide a new method for the planning of municipal solid waste management systems as well as for the simulation of various other scenarios. Data from 26 European countries was used in this study as training, test and validation datasets for the developing of ANN models. Since this kind of modeling is particularly important for developing countries where MWG data is missing or incomplete, emphasis was placed on modeling of MWG for Bulgaria and Serbia. Based on a comparison of actual MWG data with predictions given by the model, we show that ANNs can be applied successfully to modeling and forecasting MWG on a national scale. Moreover, the scope for possible application of the model is broad, since it uses generic indicators of sustainability such as gross domestic product, domestic material consumption and resource productivity, and performs well for countries with highly diversified levels of economic development, industrial structure, productivity and output.


Waste generation Modeling Neural networks European Union Bulgaria Serbia 



The authors are grateful to the Ministry of Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia, Project Nos. 172007 and 13002 for financial support.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Davor Antanasijević
    • 1
  • Viktor Pocajt
    • 1
  • Ivanka Popović
    • 1
  • Nebojša Redžić
    • 2
  • Mirjana Ristić
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Technology and MetallurgyUniversity of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia
  2. 2.SEPA Serbian Environmental Protection AgencyBelgradeSerbia

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