Solid waste management in Developing Countries
In urban areas, especially in the rapid growing cities of the developing world, problems and issues of municipal solid waste management (MSWM) are of immediate importance. Wastes management is an essential task which has important consequences towards public health and well-being, quality and sustainability of the urban environment and efficiency and productivity of the urban economy. The correct management of municipal solid waste (MSW) is a topic that presents several problems even in industrialized Countries. It is known that difficulties are much greater in Developing Countries, due not only to the absence of adequate economical means.
Although in Developing Countries the quantity of solid waste production in urban areas is low compared to industrialized countries, the MSWM still remains inadequate. A significant part of the population usually does not have access to a waste collection service and typically one to two thirds of the solid waste generated is not collected. Moreover, systems for transfer, recycling and disposal of solid waste are almost always unsatisfactory from the environmental, economic and financial points of view. Unfortunately, this situation leads to heavy consequences for both environment and human health: indiscriminate dumping of wastes contaminates surface and ground water supplies; in urban areas, solid waste clogs drains, creating stagnant water for insect breeding and floods during rainy seasons; uncontrolled burning of wastes and improper incineration contributes significantly to urban air pollution, etc.
Developing and implementing an integrated solid waste management system, the most widely and practiced concept for the management of solid waste, involves the selection of proper mix of alternatives and technologies to meet the changing local waste management needs and should take into account economic, environmental, social and institutional aspects. In particular, the choice of appropriate technologies for low income realities is very complex, as demonstrated by several studies and a careful survey is necessary in order to define strategies and actions to be implemented.
Case study: Interventions to improve solid waste management in Somaliland >> .pdf format
Download the manual prepared by CeTAmb (University of Brescia) about Technical aspects of municipal solid waste management in Somaliland and Puntland >> .pdf format