Technical Aspects of Municipal Solid Waste Collection: Case Studies from East Africa

Authors:

Mentore Vaccari, assistant professor, CeTAmb LAB - Research Laboratory on Appropriate Technologies for Environmental Management in resource-limited Countries, DICATAM, University of Brescia, via Branze 43, 25123, Brescia (Italy).
Francesco Vitali, research fellowship, CeTAmb LAB - Research Laboratory on Appropriate Technologies for Environmental Management in resource-limited Countries, DICATAM, University of Brescia, via Branze 43, 25123, Brescia (Italy).The present case study aims at presenting alternatives to improve the solid waste collection services in resource limited Countries. The contents of the case study were elaborated within the following projects in East Africa, implemented by the Italian NGO CESVI with the technical support of CeTAmb LAB - Research Laboratory on Appropriate Technologies for Environmental Management in resource-limited Countries of the University of Brescia: • “Somalia Urban Development Programme (SUDP)” (2005-2008);

  • “Support to Improved Service Delivery in Somali Cities (SISDISC)” (2009-2010) 
  • “Environmental protection and sustainable development: building local capacities on solid waste management in South Sudan” (2010-2012).

The approach and activities carried out by Cesvi and CeTAmb LAB - University of Brescia were aimed at priority basic services in the Solid Waste Management sector (Collivignarelli et al., 2011a, Collivignarelli et al., 2011b, Di Bella and Vaccari, 2014). In particular, the activities of CeTAmb LAB dealt with the technical aspects relating to appropriate technologies to be adopted in the collection, treatment, recycling and disposal of municipal solid waste.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

The teaching material will present how to assess different solid waste management systems on the basis of data collected in the field or through experimental measuring activities. As a result of this case study, students are expected to be able to:

  • evaluate production and composition analysis as a basis to choose the most appropriate system; 
  • assess different solid waste (primary and secondary) collection systems in terms of vehicles and staff.

ACTIVITIES

The design of a municipal solid waste collection system is a complex task that needs a deep knowledge of the local context not only under a technical point of view but also under a social and cultural perspective. Local daily practice, habits, preferences and eventual taboos related to solid waste handling needs to be taken into account as well as institutional and geographical constraints and local regulation sectorial guidelines.

In the first activity (in classroom) the trainer will give the technical background, introducing the basics on solid waste (definitions, effects of inadequate management, main characteristics) and present the different solutions for collection with the numerical solution for one of them (2 hours). This activity may come with a field assessment with practical data collection for waste characterization (for example waste weighting in the school or waste density or composition assessment) (4 hours in groups).

Finally, students will be divided in groups (2-4 students per group) and a data set will be assigned to each group: in this activity (to be carried out at home) each group will study and propose an appropriate solution for the solid waste collection according to data and information given. A final report will be produced by each group for evaluation.