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Solid Waste Management Strategic Planning

Strategy in Perspective

Large municipalities and metropolitan regions are encouraged by the Bank to routinely undertake city-wide strategic planning to design and implement integrated solid waste systems that are responsive to dynamic demographic and industrial growth, and numerous Bank projects have financed strategic plan development. Strategic planning starts with the formulation of long-term goals based on the local urban needs, followed by a medium- and short-term action plan to meet the goals. The strategy and action plan should identify a clear set of integrated actions, responsible parties and needed human, physical and financial resources. Opportunities and concepts for private sector involvement are commonly included among the examined options, as the private sector’s costs and productivity output require special consideration. The city-wide strategic plan should match service levels to user demand and affordability especially for the urban poor (see toolkit on Social Assessment and Public Participation in Municipal Solid Waste Management (pdf), and presentation on Social Assessment in Municipal Solid Waste Management (pdf)) . It should also integrate all components of the service-minimization, collection, transfer and transport, recycling, treatment and final disposal.

Implement a Comprehensive Framework

A comprehensive policy framework is needed at the national and provincial level to link public health, environmental, privatization, decentralization and economic instrument policies to the needs of the solid waste sector so that they are mutually supportive. This framework should include incentives to municipal authorities to deliver better services, recover more costs from users, and cooperate with neighboring municipalities. For smaller or weaker municipalities, a focus on technical and financial assistance is critical. Regional landfill and waste treatment approaches should be strongly considered since the economies-of-scale resulting from grouping smaller municipalities and sharing facilities significantly affect the affordability of services.

At the Bank

For more than a decade the World Bank has been concerned with environmental planning and management of solid waste services and has supported the development of two strategic planning guides:

The Bank has also been involved in an inter-agency collaborative working group that developed a broad conceptual framework for solid waste planning and management. The working group also articulated a wide array of principles for sustainable solid waste management (pdf), each of which should be included in the strategic planning exercise.