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Overview

The overall goal of urban solid waste management is to collect, treat and dispose of solid wastes generated by all urban population groups in an environmentally and socially satisfactory manner using the most economical means available. Local governments are usually authorized to have responsibility for providing solid waste management services, and most local government laws give them exclusive ownership over waste once it has been placed outside a home or establishment for collection. As cities grow economically, business activity and consumption patterns drive up solid waste quantities. At the same time, increased traffic congestion adversely affects the productivity of the solid waste fleet. Productivity loss is exacerbated by longer hauls required of the fleet, as open lands for disposal are further and further away from urban centers. The challenge is to rationalize worker and vehicle performance, while expanding services to a growing urban population.

Key Obstacles

In developing countries, it is common for municipalities to spend 20-50 percent of their available recurrent budget on solid waste management. Yet, it is also common that 30-60 percent of all the urban solid waste in developing countries is uncollected and less than 50 percent of the population is served. In some cases, as much as 80 percent of the collection and transport equipment is out of service, in need of repair or maintenance. In most developing countries, open dumping with open burning is the norm.

What you will find in this web site

Sustainability of waste management is key to providing an effective service that satisfies the needs of the end users. One pillar of sustainable solid waste management is strategic planning, and links to guidance are provided. Another pillar is cost analysis of solid waste options, and links to useful analytical tools are also provided. For financing, private sector involvement is a growing trend in solid waste management. Also, there are new funds for emissions reductions that support global needs (such as the Prototype Carbon Fund, the Global Environmental Facility, and several for which the World Bank is trustee), and sample calculations for how to achieve and thus market such emission reductions are also provided under the topic of economic instruments. For successful development of any solid waste project, community participation in collection, community consultation on cost recovery, and public participation in siting and design of facilities is inherently essential to sustainability. The needs of sustainable solid waste management project development are elaborated further on the following web pages:

Green Arrow Solid Waste Management Strategic Planning 

Green Arrow Institutional Capacity Building

Green Arrow Financial Capacity Building

Green Arrow Analysis of Technology Choices

Green Arrow Private Sector Involvement 

Green Arrow Community Initiatives

Green Arrow Environmental Issues