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Environmental Issues


Traditionally, municipalities have focused on providing solid waste management services. Provision of urban solid waste services, including waste collection, transfer, recycling, resource recovery and disposal, is separately discussed as a key urban service directly under Urban Development. That discussion includes key elements of institutional and financial arrangements, regulatory frameworks, economic instruments, privatization, technology choices and occupational health and safety of solid waste workers.

Increasingly, municipalities additionally address urban environment issues related to solid waste management. Public concern and sensitivity to environmental issues is driving this expanded agenda. These include:

Urban environmental management of solid waste responds to the local regulatory framework that is typically articulated within municipal ordinances and the national public health code. More recently, municipalities need also to address national environmental policies and regulations. There is opportunity for cities to motivate environmental improvements in solid waste management through economic instruments (pdf). Such instruments provide incentives and disincentives for polluters to reduce emissions and recycle wastes beyond regulatory requirements.

Clandestine solid waste accumulations and official solid waste dumping facilities raise public concerns because of potential smoke from open burning, odors, insects, rodents, gaseous emissions and water pollution that might result. To successfully develop new and improved solid waste disposal facilities under Bank projects requires strong commitment to public consultation (see toolkit on Social Assessment and Public Participation in Municipal Solid Waste Management, and presentation on Social Assessment in Municipal Solid Waste Management (pdf)) and consensus building. To a lesser extent, transfer and treatment facilities also trigger public concerns, often about truck traffic, and require public consultation as part of project development. There are numerous opportunities for community-based solid waste primary collection, recycling and composting systems through involvement of neighborhood and non-government organizations working closely with residents. Ultimately, successful cost-recovery for solid waste improvements relies on public consultations that enable local government to understand the public’s service preferences and willingness to pay.

Resources are provided to address urban environmental issues related to solid waste management, this is includes the one noted above on solid waste service delivery as part of urban development. The links are divided as follows:

  • urban solid waste management – This link includes guidance on strategic planning institutional and financial arrangements, technology assessment, privatization, community based initiatives, and occupational health and safety of solid waste workers.

  • urban environmental management – This link includes environmental toolkits and references on the environmental issues of various siting and technology options.

  • urban environmental regulatory and economic instruments framework – This link provides guidance on useful regulation and economic instruments that could motivate improved environmental outcomes during provision of solid waste services.

  • urban environmental consultation with communities – This link provides guidance on public participation in siting, facility design, operational aspects of solid waste service delivery, and addresses special issues related to waste picking and recycling communities.


Resources