Solid waste management in developing countries

Solid Waste Management; Hazardous waste management

Management of solid waste is a crucial public health and environmental concern in urban areas in less developed countries. It's of serious concern, especially in the capital cities. Capital cities are the stepping stones to the out side world hence they must be made in such a way to portray a positive image of the country.This enhances official and tourist visits as well as foreign investments. Solid waste management involves the process of control of waste formulation, collection and storage of waste, waste separation, treatment as well as the disposal of solid waste. Community is the end user of the environment thus must take responsibility in different capacities.This may range from material and labor contribution, change of behaviour, administration, management and decision making. The following are ways in which community initiatives which may aid in waste management.

Communities may form micro-enterprises to raise the required funds before they are able to partner with the government. They may provide door to door waste collection, form youth groups for collection or contract micro-enterprises. This may also be done through encouraging community participation in waste minimization and collection .This is feasible by establishing communal collection containers in an open ground where its readily emptied and motivates the city to empty it. Basically waste pickers are the poorest individuals in a country; they live in the most polluted of the areas. An effort to uplift the living standards of this people is another way of improving waste disposal as well as the conditions.

Community members may also partake in solid waste management by acting as leading examples of proper sanitation behaviour, others will follow. They may also act as a guide by making contributions in cash, material or labour as well as partipatory consultations in administration. Participation administration involves taking positions in the steering committees and participating in decision making during meetings.

Municipalities and metropolitans ought to undertake a comprehensive strategic plan while designing the urban areas. The framework will outline the whole picture of the cities dumping sites inclusive it also ensures that the recycling activities are also conveniently placed to ease the process waste collection ,transportation ,storage as well as treatment and recycling . The strategic plan clearly identifies all the responsible parties, procedures of delegation where necessary. Strategic plan is the plan of action hence it highlights physical and human resources required. This helps to curb future shortcomings of resources, if inevitable it provides an alternative solution. Thus a strategic plan is crucial.

Private sector is another key player in the management of solid wastes. They are the people who own private industries and the people who physically reside in these areas. Private sector participation is a possible way of covering solid waste needs. Since most industries are owned by the private sector there is need of the governments in less developed countries to entire them to proper environmental preservations this helps the publics sector to cut down on cost. The government can ensure compliance of the private sector through laws and by-laws in these sectors.

In conclusion, sustained waste management is paramount in providing efficient and effective services to the end users both in the developed and in developing countries. Hence all participants should strive to achieve proper ways of solid waste disposal waste and treatment to ensure good sanitation. This provides conducive environs for economic and social activities hence fostering development.


  • Bhide and Sundersan,( 1983 ) Solid Waste Management in Developing Countries, India
  • John D gunter (1973) Solid waste management: economics and operation, university of Michigan

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