Two-Level Comparison of Waste Management Systems in Low-, Middle-, and High-Income Cities

Ghanimeh S, Gomez Sanabria A, Tsydenova N, Štrbová K, Iossifidou M, & Kumar A (2019). Two-Level Comparison of Waste Management Systems in Low-, Middle-, and High-Income Cities. Environmental Engineering Science 36 (10): 1281-1295. DOI:10.1089/ees.2019.0047.

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Abstract

Despite the large body of literature comparing prevailing waste management practices at different locations in the world, this article adopts a novel approach of two-level comparison: baseline and strategic plans. It analyses the state of municipal solid waste (MSW) management in six selected cities with different geographic locations and socioeconomic setups. As a first comparison, the current MSW profiles are analyzed to pinpoint the prevailing challenges. From the perspective of governmental institutions, the main obstacles in low- and middle-income cities seem to be the lack of regulations and, most noticeably, the inefficient structure of the waste management sector. Technically, the main challenges are low collection rates, land scarcity, and high transportation costs, as well as the lack of diversified management options. The latter renders the waste sector vulnerable and increases its instability. The second-level comparison addresses the strategic development plans of the studied cities. While cities are planning for various upgrading methods, incineration is perceived by authorities as a practical approach to limit transportation cost and reduce space requirements of landfills. However, special attention should be paid to the environmental impacts of thermal methods in absence of elaborated regulations and strict supervision in lowand middle-income cities. Thus, solutions for high-income cities might not be suitable for developing cities. Methods with lower environmental and socioeconomic impacts, such as anaerobic digestion, were seldom considered in the future plans of the studied cities; yet they can provide economically feasible solutions considering the high organic and high moisture contents of waste in low- and middle-income cities.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: material flow analysis; waste collection; waste generation; waste management; waste treatment
Research Programs: Air Quality & Greenhouse Gases (AIR)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2019 08:13
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2019 07:04
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/16073

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