Understanding Solid Waste Management

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Sandec: Department of Water and Sanitation in Developing Countries

Sandec Training Tool 1.0 – Module 6

Solid Waste Management

Summary

Summary
With progressing urbanisation, solid
waste management is becoming a ma jor public health and environmental con cern in urban areas of many developing countries. The overall goal of urban sol id waste management is to collect, treat and dispose of solid waste generated by

all urban population groups in an environ mentally and socially satisfactory man ner using the most economical means available.
However, a typical solid waste man agement system in a developing country displays an array of problems, including
low collection coverage, irregular collec tion services, indiscriminate open dump ing and burning without air and water pollution control, breeding of flies and

vermin, as well as handling and lack of
control of informal waste picking or scav enging. These public health, as well as environmental and management prob lems are caused by various factors con straining the development of effective solid waste management systems. (The

World Bank, 2008)
This document provides an overview
of the present state-of-the-art of solid
waste production and management. It
contains the characteristics of municipal
solid waste and describes current waste
treatment systems and technologies, as
well as non-technical aspects like private
sector involvement and financial arrange ments.

Figure 1: Solid waste management in the
context of environmental sanitation.

Not included in Module 6
Industrial hazardous waste
Technical details for recycling and
disposal
Ñ Transboundary waste movements
Ñ
Ñ

Impressum
Publisher: Eawag/Sandec (Department of
Water and Sanitation in Developing
Countries), P.O. 611, 8600 Dübendorf,
Switzerland. Phone +41 (0)44 823 52 86,
Fax +41 (0)44 823 53 99
Editors: Yvonne Vögeli and Sylvie Peter
Concept and Content:
Benjamin Hemkendreis and Karin Güdel
Layout: Melanie Savi and Yvonne Lehnhard
Copyright: Eawag/Sandec 2008
Eawag/Sandec compiled this material,
however much of the text and figures are
not Eawag/Sandec property and can be obtained from the internet. The modules of the Sandec Training Tool are not commercial products and may only be reproduced freely for non-commercial purposes. The

user must always give credit in citations to
the original author, source and copyright
holder.
These lecture notes and matching
PowerPoint presentations are available on
the CD of Sandec’s Training Tool. They can
be ordered from: info@sandec.ch
Cover photo: Pammal collection vehicle in
India. (Source: Eawag/Sandec)

Sandec Training Tool: Module 6



Content

Content

1 – Definitions & Objectives

4

1.1 How is municipal solid waste (MSW) characterised?
1.2 What are the objectives and main elements of an integrated solid waste management?

4

2 – Introduction

7

2.1 What are the problems related to insufficient solid waste management? 2.2 What are the municipal solid waste categories and how much waste is produced?
2.3 How is solid waste management related to rapid urbanisation? 2.4 What is the present state in SWM?
2.5 What role does organic waste play in the context of SWM?

7
8
10
10
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3 – Technical Aspects

13

3.1 What are the main storage, collection and transport options? Ñ Primary storage and transport
Ñ Secondary storage (transfer point) and collection
3.2 What are the major organic waste treatment options?
Ñ Composting
Ñ Vermicomposting
Ñ Biogasification
3.3 What are the recycling options for non-organic waste?
3.4 What are the final disposal options and how are they characterised? Ñ Incineration
Ñ Landfills
Ñ Non-landfill disposal

13
13
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24
25
25
26
27

4 – Hazardous Household Waste

28

4.1 What is hazardous household waste?
4.2 What are the dangers of hazardous waste?
4.3 What is e-waste?

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29

5 – Non-technical Aspects...
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