Introduction: main driving forces for the initiation of a


With every year passing
by, the world takes huge steps towards urbanization. This increasing urban
lifestyle produces waste as a by-product. The current estimate of the world
cities waste generation is about 1.3 billion tonnes per year and this value is
said to increase to 2.2 billion tonnes by 2025. The projected values for each
of the countries depending on their income are shown in the graph below. The
expected value for waste generated in 2025 was calculated by the World Bank in
2012 by projecting the expected increase in population and their GDP. Consequently
the waste management costs would get doubled too. This would cause a huge blow
to the economy of the low income countries. A strong link exists between
urbanisation, solid waste produced and pollution. Hence a poor waste management
could not only affect the health but also the local and global environment and
finally the economy. Finding ways to dispose and manage this solid waste is a
growing concern for the nations, municipalities, corporations and individuals
around the world and the global community at large. This paper is a review of
the solid waste management techniques that were practiced in the past followed
by the current solid waste management techniques being practiced in low income,
developing and developed countries; the problems associated with them and the framework
of the integrated solid waste management approach. History of Solid Waste Management:It
said that as late as 10,000 B.C the first human societies were formed, this
automatically lead to the production of solid waste. Health concerns, scarcity
of resources and aesthetics were the main driving forces for the initiation of
a proper waste management system. The communities initially started burying the
waste in and around their settlements but as the population grew this method
wasn’t enough to prevent the spread of odour and diseases. This caused the
communities to come up with better and effective methods for disposing the waste.
By 2000 B.C, the Indus Valley Civilization was the first to have a well-functioning
drainage system i.e. the ancient city of Mohenjo-Daro. The Greeks came next in
finding solutions as they banned waste on the streets in 500 B.C and then
followed the Chinese; they had various waste officers appointed as early as 200
B.C. However there was no segregation of the waste and it was all being dumped all
together and this was one of the main reasons for the spread of various
diseases. The Black Death in Europe, which occurred in the early1300s, is said
to have been caused due to the dumping of waste on the streets. After this huge
outbreak many initiatives were put into place for the proper disposal of the
waste but these turned out to be ineffective because the poor were focused on
feeding themselves and the rich didn’t want to pay to clean up. However due to
insufficient resources people were forced to recycle and reuse items. When SWM
progress finally began, it was driven by five principal factors: public health,
the environment, resource scarcity and the value of waste, climate change, and
public awareness and participation. Solid Waste Management in
developing countries:The
rapid increasing population and its associated waste generation increase are
causing a lot of problems in most of the developing countries as they can’t
cope with this sudden increase. In
these countries, when the basic need of surviving is a great concern; it is
hard for waste management to make its way as a top priority. Although, this has
changed now. Providing a proper solid waste management is one of the most
import services the government has to provide to its citizens. It single handedly
takes up a huge portion in the budget list. Lack of technical skills among the
government and municipal authorities is one of the technical factors that
affect the system. And they fail to provide a better solid waste management
because they also lack financial means. One of the driving forces for developing
a better approach was the clean development program under the Kyoto protocol.
‘Carbon credits’ provided these developing countries the necessary economy
current solid waste management techniques used in most of the developing
countries are landfills and incineration. Open dumping of waste is still
practiced is some of these developing countries. The problem that arises with
incineration is that it is not cost effective and it requires high amounts of
energy. The burning of various components of the waste can also cause air
pollution. The ash produced from incineration has to be disposed well. When it
comes to landfills, it not only requires land availability but also causes
health hazards to the people living around the land. Open dumping creates a
breeding spot for a wide variety of disease causing insects. It does produce a
huge quantity of methane gas which is a deadly greenhouse gas.In
order to overcome these problems large number of studies were conducted from
2005 to 2011 to review the solid waste management techniques and the problems
associated with them in these countries. From these reviews, the Integrated
Sustainable Waste Management Model was introduced.  Integrated solid waste management
in developing countries and developed countries:This
majorly emerged from the increasing problems that were created from landfilling.
This system strives to develop an approach that is not only effective but
affordable and acceptable socially. It analyses the various problems involved
waste management by integrating each and every aspect. ‘Waste’ is often seen as
a negative concept whereas in ISWM the term waste is only used when it can’t be
used as resource.The
word integrated means to combine components that are separate into one process.
In the context of solid waste, integration means that various elements are
integrated into a single treatment process.  In
the early 1990s, when most of the conventional approaches to waste management
were failing in the developing and low-income countries; a workshop was held in
Switzerland. During this period, the Dutch government funded WASTE which
undertook a six-year Urban Waste Expertise Programme (UWEP). This further built
the concept of integrated sustainable waste management (ISWM). Along the year
2000s this concept got more refined. Furthermore the second phase of the UWEP
resulted in making sure that ISWM had to be used as a tool for a methodological

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approach focuses on the various physical and technical components of the waste
system. It further analyses the problems involved in planning and managing
sectors, which include strategies, active participation of the public and son
on. The three dimensional approach of ISWM is as shown in the figure.The
framework of ISWM:For
the ISWM to fulfil its tasks efficiently it should focus on two main
components, which are 1.      Physical
Public health: this is one of the main
drivers for a proper waste collection system. Comparing data about the waste
from different countries showed that irrespective of the income of the country
there was a high percentage of plastics in the waste.These
plastics clog up the drains which cause floods and this automatically leads to
water borne diseases. Such a situation has occurred in most of the cities in
the developing countries and low-income countries. This made the countries take
the decision to impose a ban on plastics.Statistically,
it has also been proven that children develop higher rates of diarrhoea and
acute respiratory infections when the waste is either dumped or burned close to
their homes when compared to the children who live in a household with a better
and regular waste collection system.Waste collection is
such an important factor that the law requires it to be provided for the entire
society, regardless of the interest of the market to supply it or the users’
ability (or willingness) to pay for it. The key to a good waste collection
system is the percentage of the population that has an access to it. In
principle this should be 100% however 30-60% of the solid waste in the
developing countries remains uncollected. But this percentage is slowly
reducing as cities and countries in general have come up with better and
efficient collection systems. To achieve maximum vehicle load for the local
roads, compaction is not required for the developing countries as their waste
is significantly wetter and denser because when compared to the developed
countries 67% of their waste consists of organic matter. The reasons for
failure in the developing countries in this sector are unavailability of spare
parts that are required for the vehicles used for collection. Most of these
developing countries import these vehicles. Weak infrastructure is another
cause for failure. ·        
Environmental protection: Every waste
management should have a proper engineered and controlled waste disposal system
and the driver for this is the protection of the environment. The waste
disposal techniques used in developing countries is thermal processing of the
waste followed by energy recovery whereas in the developing countries it is
landfills and incineration. The current scenario in most of the developing
countries is that they are facing a lot of problems with unstable waste slopes
in waste dumps which have cause a lot of deaths. Overfilling up of the dump
sites has caused some of the cities in the developing countries to shut down
these sites. The methane gas which is being released from these landfills is
damaging the environment and causing climate change. This brought about the
importance of waste reduction and waste recovery. An efficient waste disposal
system requires a high capital investment and a high operating cost, this is
one of the major factors for the failure of this sector in the low-income
countries. For these countries the high capital investment is sometimes funded
by aid agencies. However most of the aid agencies don’t provide funding for the
operation cost and this is causing a lot of problems. In Karachi, the Jam
Chakro landfill site was built with aid however it is failing now as the
government doesn’t have the funds to support the functioning of this landfill.
Regardless of this some of the cities in Brazil are using the
carbon-development mechanism. In this mechanism, the cities get funded for a
methane recovery provided that their landfill is an operating properly. This
can be one of the solutions and used more widely. The reason the developing
countries cannot opt for thermal processing is because the higher percentage of
their organic content in the waste, unless it is pre-treated. 

3Rs (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle): this
became a driver for waste management when the market value for the products
increased. As a result products were repaired, reused and recycled. When compared
to developing countries, developed countries have always invested heavily on
recycling materials as late as 1980s. Even though initially recycling became
popular due to the market value, however it grew greatly because it was
reducing the pressure on the landfills and other disposal techniques.1.      Governance:
Any sort of management
task automatically becomes an intense political task as well. Even in Solid
waste management system governance plays an important role. The system often
gets affected due to the conflicts between the central and local government,
this is a problem in low income countries as they cannot seem to find equilibrium
between policies, governance, and availability of resources. According to the Asian Development Bank, the four
principle elements of good governance are accountability, participation,
predictability, and transparency. Good governance can have a good influence on
the resource allocation and policy formation as well. However politics is often
the cause of the failure as well because the political parties often base their
decisions on their interest or gain. Some of the slums in India have not been
cleared up for the very reason that the local government will continue to get
grants for the development of these slums and upgrading these slums would stop
these grants. Implementation of ISWM approach in
developing country:(1)     Kathmandu
(Nepal): Kathmandu
is the capital of Nepal. Nepal is a developing country and the major issue it
was facing initially was with its waste management system. Most of the waste
generated in this city was organic in the past and it was mainly used to make
compost at the houses itself. But with urbanization and increase in population,
the city could no longer handle the waste that was being produced and hence they
used a landfill to dump all the waste being produced. A Solid Waste Management
and Resource Mobilization Centre was established to manage the working of the
landfill. However due to the increasing volume of waste, the waste being
scattered around the landfill and being dumped in the river as the landfill couldn’t
hold anymore of the waste. This lead to the shutting down of the landfill in
2000. Using the ISWM approach they came up with different scenarios that could
be implemented to solve the problem.Scenario1:
this is the current situation in Kathmandu. The waste is collected from both
the household as well as commercial sector and sent into the transfer section
and then to the landfill. Recycling is done informally by collection of recyclable
like paper, glass, plastic from door to door. The waste is collected once a
week and if the informal recycling isn’t done, the amount of waste going to the
landfill automatically increases.Scenario 2: this focuses on the
improvement of the landfill by collecting the methane being produced by the
landfill and burning it. The leachate being produced is also collected and
treated before it is discharge into the environment. The collection of waste is
done twice in a week and the initial recycling remains the same as scenario1.Scenario 3: here a particular day
is allocated for the public to place all their recyclables at the required spot
and this would be collected by the informal recyclers. Informal recyclers are
people who are appointed for collection of the recyclable material.  The paper, plastic and glass material form the
commercial sector are also recycled. The household sector could develop
in-house composting and the commercial sector could use their organic waste to
generate electricity for the city by using the process of bio-gasification. The
other waste would be collected thrice a week and sent into the landfills. The methane
from the landfill would also be burnt and the leachate treated before they are
sent into the environment.Results:

Scenario1 which is the current
situation of kathmandu produces about 228,410 tons per year. Scenario 3 reduced
these emission drastically to about 49,513tons per year. This is clearly
depicted in the fig5 below. The reduction in the emissions was because the
methane that was produced by the landfill was burnt before it was sent into the
atmosphere. The volume of waste dumped into the landfill in the scenario 1 and
2  is about 128,628 tons and 128,779 tons
per year respectively as shown in the fig 6. This is high when compared to the
scenario 3 because most of the waste is being recycled in the commercial and
household sector and that decreases the volume of waste going into the
landfills and this automatically increases the life of the landfill . This is
depicted in the fig 6 and 7 below. Since the organic waste was taken up buy the
biogasification plant in scenario 3 , the energy production was high as shown
in the fig 8. Using the ISWM model each of the sectors were evaluated and the
approach led to the formulation of scenario 3. This solved the issue of the
landfill. It was a successful solution as it provided not only environemtal
benefits but also socio-economic benefits. It was achieved by the constant
collaboration of all the stakeholders. Conclusions:

towards development, the world will always face problems. Solving these
problems often does introduce another one but execution of these solutions is
one of the major parameters as well. Because if it is not executed well, the
new problems can often be of greater cost and complexity. For a country to have
an efficient waste management it should address on both the technical and the
physical aspects and this is done via the ISWM approach. However in most of the
developed countries the ISWM is concentrated on the technical area this isn’t the
case in the developing countries. This concluded in the developing countries
obtaining some sort of financial stability. However there is no concrete right
or wrong approach, an approach which is successful in one country need not be
successful in another because of the diversities that exist however it can be
specifically tailored for that country. From the papers used for this review
all concluded on the same note that the waste management situation in most of the
developing countries are way better now that it was 10-20 years ago and it is
still improving. Regardless of the problems and failures of the waste systems,
the light at the tunnel here is that people are working to find a solution and
not letting things slide. The strategies or plans have to design in such a way
that they involve active and equal support of all the sectors.