Efficient Management Practices in Disposal of Solid Waste in Asian Urban Environment

a regional review






october, 1998





1.1 Global Agenda for Urban Environment 1

1.1.1 Better environmental information and technical expertise 1

1.1.2 Better environmental strategies and decision-making 2

1.1.3 More effective implementation of environmental strategies 2

1.1.4 Enhanced institutional and participatory capacities 2

1.1.5 More effective use of scarce resources for capacity-building and change 2

1.2 International Support Programmes 2

1.3 Composition of Waste 3

1.3.1 International Differences in Solid Waste Parameters 3

1.3.2 Composition and quantities of solid wastes in select Asian cities. 5

1.4 Urban environment management dimensions 7

1.5 Solid Waste Management Cycle 8


2.1.1 Industrial waste 9

2.1.2 Domestic and vegetable market waste 9

2.1.3 Commercial market waste 9

2.1.4 Hospital waste 9

2.1.5 Miscellaneous sources 10

2.2 Type of waste 10

2.2.1 Liquid/solid 10

2.2.2 Degradable/non-degradable 10

2.2.3 Reusable/non-reusable 10

2.2.4 Recyclable or non recyclable 11

2.3 Monitoring disposal of waste 11


3.1.1 House to house collection 12

3.1.2 Block to Block or Kerbside collection 12

3.1.3 Garbage bins to dumping grounds 12

3.2 Salvage 14

3.2.1 Retrieval Systems 14

3.2.2 Recyclable materials collected by informal sector waste-pickers from garbage dumps 14

3.3 Resale/Reuse/Recycle 17

3.3.1 Recovery and Reuse 17 Benefits of recycling 17

3.3.2 Redemption Centres 18

3.3.3 Salvage Dealers 18


4.1 Disposal Methods 20

4.1.1 Land fill 20 Pit method 20 Area method 20 Ramp method 21

4.1.2 Incineration method of garbage disposal 21

4.1.3 Compaction or compression of refuse : Volume reduction process of disposal 22

4.1.4 Pyrolysis 22

4.1.5 Bio-gas 23 Thermophilic bio-digestion 23 Bio-methanation 23

4.1.6 Pelletisation 24

4.1.7 Composting 25 Windrow process 25 Close cell process 25

4.1.8 Uses of Compost 27

4.1.9 Vermiculture 28

4.1.10 Health impacts 28


5.1 Policy issues 29 Appropriate disposal method 29

5.1.2 Policies governing informal sector with a special consideration for poverty groups 33 Gender sensitisation 34

5.1.3 Legal and regulatory provisions 34

5.2 Planning issues 36

5.2.1 Decentralisation and micro-planning 36

5.2.2 Finance for Solid Waste Management 36

5.2.3 Marketing 37

5.3 Organisational issues 40

5.3.1 Efficiency in operations 40

5.3.2 Unionisation and Co-operativisation 43

5.4 Partnership issues 46

5.4.1 Privatisation and cost-sharing 46

5.4.2 Role of NGOs 49

5.4.3 Networking 49

5.4.4 Community education 53

5.5 Conclusion 55

References 56

Annexure I : Networks as Actors in Urban Environment Improvement in Asia 59



Case studies used in the document

Box 1 : Colombo Metropolitan area, Sri Lanka 30

Box 2 : Ayala Foundation, Manila, Philippines 32

Box 3 : SEWA, Ahmedabad, India 35

Box 4 : Surat Municipal Corporation, India 38

Box 5 : Din Daeng Mechanical Compost Plant, Bangkok, Thailand 39

Box 6 : Singapore city 41

Box 7 : Kuala Lumpur 42

Box 8 : GRASP, Pune, India 44

Box 9 : Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, India 47

Box 10 : Binh Hung Hoa Project, HCM city, Enda Vietnam - Preceup 50

Box 11: Orangi Pilot Project, Karachi, Pakistan 52

Box 12 : Metro Manila Women’s garbage recycling programme, Philippines 54


1. Introduction

The objectives of economic development and poverty alleviation, as they exist today, seem to be conflicting with environmental considerations, resulting in the absence of effective environmental management in the cities. Cities are full of contradictions for human development, resulting in centres of "growth and wealth" on the one hand and "need and poverty" on the other. Poverty to a large extent is linked with the degraded environment and the rapid population growth. But there is a tendency to overemphasise the second factor, thereby undermining the consequences of degraded environment, although the impact of local environments are both visible and dangerous.

Environmental degradation also has long term effects on resources and human potentials, thereby threatening the overall eco-system. On the information front, there is an absence of the most essential information for decision making and for execution of appropriate development programmes which would incorporate environment - security-poverty system. This would also have implications for the opportunity for participation of the poor in the general socio-political and economic system. A careful analysis of the living conditions of the poor and their perceptions on the daily environment, coupled with their creative responses, would contribute to our understanding the major source of progress.

Today’s cities are duel systems providing many spaces for self-management and planning on the one hand, and restraining popular initiatives on the other. In view of the inadequacies of bureaucratic planning and technocratic management models, the prospects of strengthening popular autonomy and self expression will have to be effectively re-enforced and integrated for economic independence and political democracy.

1.1 Global Agenda for Urban Environment

Global Agenda for Urban Environment of the United Nations Conference of Human Settlements (UNCHS), have underlined the principles governing the process of Urban Environment Planning and Management (EPM). These have been grouped under five main headings :

· Better environmental information and technical expertise

· Better environmental strategies and decision-making

· More effective implementation of environmental strategies

· Enhanced institutional and participatory capacities

· More effective use of scarce resources for capacity-building and change

1.1.1 Better environmental information and technical expertise

· Preparing basic environmental management information

· Involving stakeholders

· Setting priorities

· Clarifying priority issues


1.1.2 Better environmental strategies and decision-making

· Clarifying issue-specific policy options

· Considering implementation options and resources

· Building broad-based consensus on issue-specific objectives and strategies

· Coordinating environmental and urban development strategies

1.1.3 More effective implementation of environmental strategies

· Applying the full range of implementation capabilities

· Agreeing on action plans for implementation

· Developing packages of mutually supportive interventions

· Consolidating political support and mobilisation of resources

1.1.4 Enhanced institutional and participatory capacities

· Strengthening system- wide capacities for EPM

· Institutionalising broad-based participatory approaches to decision-making

· Strengthening cross-sectoral and inter-institutional coordination

· Monitoring, evaluating, and adjusting the EPM system

1.1.5 More effective use of scarce resources for capacity-building and change

· Utilising special opportunities

· Applying specific leveraging strategies

· Networking among cities

· Strategic use of external support

1.2 International Support Programmes

International support programmes of United Nations agencies, other multilateral organisations, bilateral institutions, NGOs, and of other international organisations illustrate strategies for co-operating with and supporting cities in implementing their urban environment agenda. These programmes include :

· Sustainable Cities Programme (SCP) - UNCHS (Habitat), UNEP, Nairobi

· Sustainable Cities Initiative - USAID, Washington

· Urban Environmental Training Programme - GTZ, Germany

· International Centre for Sustainable Cities (ICSC) - Canada

· Local Initiative Facility for the Urban Environment (LIFE) - UNDP

· Metropolitan Environmental Improvement Programme (MEIP) - WB, UNDP

· Urban Management Programme, Environment (UMP/E) - UNCHS, WB, UNDP

· Citynet - Yokohama, Japan

· Urban Management Programme, Latin America and Caribbean (UMP/LAC)

· Baltic Sustainable Cities Programme - Union of Baltic Cities (UBC)

· Awareness and Preparedness for Emergencies at Local Level (APELL) - UNEP, Paris

· Public, Private, Partnership Programme (PPPP) - UNDP, New York

· Healthy Cities Project - WHO, Geneva

· International Environmental Technology Centre - UNEP, Osaka

· Cities Feeding People - IDRC, Canada

· Integrity in Urban Governance Programme - Transparency International (TI), Berlin

· Global Environmental Monitoring System, Air (GEMS-air) - UNEP, Nairobi

· Capacity Building for the Urban Environment - IHS, Netherlands

· Peri-Urban Interface Research (PUI) - NRI, ODA, United Kingdom

· Local Agenda 21 - ICLEI

(Reference 17)

1.3 Composition of Waste

It is estimated that the global burden of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) amounted to 1.3 billion metric tonnes in 1990, or two-thirds of a kilogram of waste per person per day. It is widely accepted that industrialised countries account for a disproportionately high share of the world’s waste relative to their share of the world’s population. Analyses across countries and over time reveal that the generation of MSW per capita does not vary with population size among countries with comparable per capital income. In the more wasteful economics, there are higher expectations for waste services, but insufficient attention to waste reduction and recycling. Understanding of the dynamics and the costs of MSW management needs to be increased among the public and also among administration and politicians.

Studies on solid waste management have recorded the composition of solid waste in major Asian cities. SWM practices in Asia differ from those in the West, in that the waste produced in Asia is largely recycled owing to the fact that it is no ‘wegwerfgesellschaft’ or a society that believes in using and throwing.

1.3.1 International Differences in Solid Waste Parameters






Calcutta, India







Vegetables etc.

























Textiles, misc.








gm/cap. Day


1/cap. day










(Reference 5)






Paper and plastic contents are generally higher in cities like Tokyo and Singapore. In cities like Beijing and Shanghai, the ash/soil content is very high due to the burning of coal and space heating during the cold seasons whereas the proportion of papers, textiles, and the light materials is very low, due to recovery and recycling.

In general, the South Asian countries have high percentages of organic and inert matter in their disposed residues, whereas the northern and central Asian regions have more synthetic and combustible materials, metals, glass, and toxic goods such as batteries.

Most of the reports on MSW for cities in south Asia note waste generation rates ranging from less than 0.5 kg/capita/day to 0.8 kg/capita/day; the central area reports show a higher generation rate of more than 0.75 kg/capita/day. The composition of waste for select cities of Asia is given below.

1.3.2 Composition and quantities of solid wastes in select Asian cities.






Kuala Lumpur





Area (Km2)










Population (103)


586 (86)








Refuse Composition Moisture






























Physical composition Paper






































































Food waste




















Refuse density










L. Calorific value (Kcal/Kg)










Waste generation

103 ton/year



















Waste collection











(Reference 3)

Developing countries, especially in Asia, are being transformed into a world of cities and towns. Recent projections indicate that more than half the population in these developing countries will be living in urban areas by the year 2020. Urban population growth has been fueled by migration from rural areas for prospects of higher incomes that have largely been realised. Yet cities have not been able to provide a better quality of life despite the relatively higher incomes of urban populations. With respect to drinking water, population in the urban areas do not have direct access to potable water, and even those having access often are not sure about the quality. Very similar problems are encountered in other areas of basic urban services such as sanitation, collection and disposal of solid wastes, air and water quality, transport as well as education and health services.

The lifestyles in an urban environment are basically influenced by the level of urbanisation, industrialisation and degree of consumerism as well as the capacity of the communities as reflected through the culture, administrative and institutional capabilities and extent of mobilisation for a collective response. Today’s urban environment is characterised by the problems which have global characteristics on the one hand, and possibilities of local solutions on the other. The efficiency of these local solutions have been well established in the given context. However, the effectiveness of their global application or possibilities for scaling up of these applications, have yet to be established.

Although, one can list a number of environmental issues that need immediate attention, the concerns of Preceup, as reflected in the exercises undertaken during the last few years, both in terms of research and action, highlight four major dimensions. These major dimensions of urban environment, that is, air, water, solid waste, and sanitation, which affect the lifestyle, are influenced directly by the manner in which these dimensions are managed. For the purpose of analysis, these dimensions have been elaborated in terms of the source, the impacts, the management process, the technologies, and the actors involved highlighting certain common characteristics and distinctions. Since solid waste management represents a more complex and comprehensive dimension, this document tries to explore further details with regard to the various stages in the solid waste management cycle. A cursory glance at this cycle indicates the possibility of universal application to the other dimensions of urban environment.

1.4 Urban environment management dimensions




Management Processes




Industries, domestic fuel, automobiles

Health, flora and fauna, global warming

Cost-sharing, partnership, administrative control, penal actions, advocacy

Pollution control norms, scrubbers, absorbers, smokeless stoves,

Industries, administration, monitoring agencies, NGOs, community


Industries, domestic waste

Health, aqua-marine life, economic

Cost-sharing, partnership, administrative control, penal actions, co-operativisation, advocacy

Effluent treatment plants, chlorination, filteration, sedimentation

Industries, administration, monitoring agencies, NGOs, CBOs, community

Solid waste

Industries, markets, domestic waste, institutional

Land quality, health, economic environment,

Cost-sharing, community management, partnership, administrative control, penal actions, decentralised responsibility, advocacy, membership, unionisation, co-operativisation, privatisation, community participation

Land fill, incinerators, bio-gas, composting, reuse, recycling, vermiculture, pelletisation, pyrolisation

Industries, administration, NGOs, CBOs, informal sector, families and communities


Domestic, institutional

Health and environment

Cost-sharing, partnership, administrative control, penal actions, decentralised responsibility, co-operativisation, advocacy, privatisation, community participation

Underground sewer system, open drainage system, bio-gas, composting, septic tanks, aereated lagoons

Administration, NGOs, CBOs, families and communities

1.5 Solid Waste Management Cycle




industrialisation, consumerism



(Domestic, market, industries, institutional, etc)


(land reclamation, compost, energy, cooking gas, cheaper goods, etc)



(Salvage, sorting, collection methods, etc)


(composting, compacting, vermiculture, landfill, recycling, incinerators etc)



(dumpers, compactors, etc)


Sources of waste

2.1.1 Industrial waste

The waste generated by many industries, such as chemicals, waste water, oils etc., may have harmful components, which need to be handled/stored, transported and disposed through special treatments/processes. Such kind of solid waste needs institutionalised arrangements similar to that of hospital wastes.

2.1.2 Domestic and vegetable market waste

Domestic waste comes from households, canteens, hotels etc during cooking and cleaning. It could contain inorganic matters such as old paper, packing material, bottles, crockery, furnishing, foliage etc and the organic matters such as vegetable waste, food grains, edible oils etc.

2.1.3 Commercial market waste

This is produced at business premises, shops, offices, godowns, and departmental stores. It comprises of paper, packaging material, spoiled and discarded goods, organic and inorganic matter which could sometimes be chemically reactive and hazardous.

2.1.4 Hospital waste

Hospital wastes are often toxic and contain harmful and infectious materials. These are sub-divided, besides the general wastes (arising from the hospital kitchens), into infectious wastes, biological wastes and pointed and sharp objects. Careless and unscientific/multiple handling and transport of such wastes, their mixing with general municipal wastes and dumping into open grounds or insanitary landfills poses serious environmental hazards and health risks for the general population.

In a recent study undertaken by the All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health (AIIHPH), Calcutta at the instance of the West Bengal Pollution Control Board (September, 1997), the state of hospital waste management has come out graphically. Almost all the staff in the government as well as private hospitals of West Bengal showed ignorance abut the need for proper management of hospital wastes from the stage of their generation in the laboratories, clinics, wards and operation theatres upto the stage of their safe disposal. None of the government hospitals and very few private hospitals and nursing homes had facilities to store bio-medical wastes under covered conditions or for their on-site disinfection (by treatment with bleaching powder or otherwise), before their final disposal.

In another study conducted by a non-Governmental organisation (Vatavaran) in New Delhi, (Asian Age, 1st December 1997), it was found that in Ansari Nagar right behind the prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), there are families who are engaged in recycling the hospital wastes for re-sale. According to this study, Delhi has 27 big hospitals, 55 medium hospitals and about 2500 nursing homes, which together generate about 20 tonnes of hospital wastes per day. Of this, about 8.6 tonnes is infectious waste, 50 per cent of which is being recycled and sold once again in the markets of Delhi.

At present, New Delhi Municipal Council has set up three incineration plants with capacities of burning wastes of 30-50 kg per hour, but without any flue gas cleaning systems. The practice of individual hospitals installing their own incineration plants in the hospital premises itself in the midst of the city, without arrangements for curing of flue gasses, is not quite desirable, since it adds to atmospheric pollution. (Reference 1)

2.1.5 Miscellaneous sources

Miscellaneous sources of solid waste includes street sweepings comprising of public littering, road side plantation waste, debris (mud, brickbats, stones, logs etc) from cleaning, demolition, repairs and construction activity.

Seasonal variations can significantly affect the nature of MSW. In the rainy season, waste retains much moisture and is denser. In eastern and southern India and Sri Lanka, the "king coconuts" or green coconuts, which are sold on the street as a drink, contribute heavy and bulky items to the waste stream. In the same areas, during the summer months, melon rinds alone can increase the amount of waste in the commercial and market areas by 20 per cent or more. (Reference 4)

2.2 Type of waste

2.2.1 Liquid/solid

Waste material arising from domestic, vegetable markets, commercial, agricultural and industrial activities and public sources, comprises of solids such as vegetable/inorganic matter, inert matter like glass, metal, stones textiles etc., and liquids such as drain and sewer water, and industrial waste water etc. The composition of waste has implications for the transportation to disposal sites.

2.2.2 Degradable/non-degradable

Bio-mass component in the MSW is the degradable component whereas plastics and such other materials would be the non-degradable components. This aspect has particular significance in the waste management practices particularly when technologies used for converting the waste into manure or energy are introduced.

2.2.3 Reusable/non-reusable

Asian study which estimated that 52 per cent of Indian households nationwide burn animal dung for heating, cooking and lighting. In one state, as many as 65 per cent of urban households used dung (Barnard and Kristoferson 1985). The slum-dwellers in Asian cities demonstrate how waste materials of all kinds (wood scraps, plastics, paper, gunny bags, tins and iron scrap) are used as construction materials and for repairs. Most of these households use bottles, containers salvaged from the waste.





The case of retrieval of old clothes from garbage is reported by Salleh (1988). It is customary for some hotels and institutions in India to give away leftover food to beggars at the end of the day. Given the opportunity, many poor people raise animals on food wastes. Among the many examples of the close relationship between waste work and animal scavenging is the case of "sweepers" in Varanasi. (Reference 3)

2.2.4 Recyclable or non recyclable

Recyclable materials include clothes and rags, small goods, bottles, plastics of all kinds (especially milk pouches), metals, toys, cinders from coal fires and food wastes.

Some typical examples of the informal recycling industries are those which recycle broken glass into bottles, plastics to toys and shoes, and paper to paper board. The activities are mainly driven by the scarcity of products and low-cost of these raw materials. (Reference 6)

2.3 Monitoring disposal of waste

With regard to monitoring, in contrast to cities of industrialised countries where MSW management authorities have well-structured programmes to monitor waste management operation including leachate and gas migration at landfills, the monitoring programmes in the developing nations are in general not satisfactory. In most developing nations, recycling laws, if they exist, are not enforced (China being the main exception). Although there are community initiatives to separate and collect waste for sale and reuse, these activities are "informal" and not supported by the municipal authorities, except in China, North Korea and Vietnam. The decision making process is slow and complicated due to unnecessary paper work and bureaucracy, and this is a factor in illegal dumping of hazardous substances on lands and into the waterways.

Formal sector solid waste management in the Asian cities is poor, in many cases serving only 30 per cent of demand. The cities do not suffocate on their solid wastes because of the informal system that collects and recycles all recyclable materials at very low cost. This activity also generates jobs and provides economic benefits to waste collectors on the one hand and to households who can sell part of their solid waste to waste collectors rather than throw it away. Thus, glass, plastic, paper and metal are all recycled. Rags are turned into fluff by rag-pulling machines for the upholstery business or woven into coarse cloth. However, the recycling processes used are primitive and environmentally damaging. Thus, many city governments have tried to restrict them rather than taking a more positive view and helping to improve the processes through research, credit and technical advice. In some cases, state agencies have formalised the process through contractual arrangement for disposal of recyclable material.







Collection and Transfer of waste

In most Asian cities, different methods of domestic waste collection are observed. These are essentially linked with the type of technology used, readiness of citizens for participation and capacity of local administration for capital investment. The collection systems can be grouped into the following three categories, although, a lot of regional variation can be seen. (Reference 4)

1. House to house collection

2. Block to block or kerbside collection

3. Garbage bins to dumping grounds

The system of garbage collection gets simplified once community awareness and participation is ensured.

3.1.1 House to house collection

The number of premises, the capacity of vehicle and timings involved in loading, travel and unloading decide the feasibility of house to house collection programme. The practice has been modified in some of the cities where instead of going from house to house, a small number of households are grouped and are expected to deposit the waste in the municipal vehicles or non-movable/movable garbage bins. Alternatively, co-operative housing societies and flat owners associations, have engaged private persons for house to house collection.

Barrows or carts are a very efficient means of collecting refuse, and are almost essential for street sweepers. They are particularly suitable where roads are fairly level, and in dense housing areas where the area served by a cart has a radius of little more than a kilometre from the transfer area.

3.1.2 Block to Block or Kerbside collection

In this system, the households are expected to bring their garbage cans near the kerbside when the garbage van comes for collection. The arrival of garbage van is announced by ringing a bell. There are also non-movable bins in which garbage from households gets deposited and subsequently transferred by municipal authorities.

3.1.3 Garbage bins to dumping grounds

In this system, instead of non-movable garbage bins, movable containers are placed at different points which could be hauled by skip loading system or conveyance system or roll-on-system. The skip loading system comprise of a vehicle without built up body but with sling lifting tackles and a sling type container. The sling lifting tackle is operated to take off or lift off the bin to and from the vehicle for loading and emptying.

The container conveyor system comprise of suitable capacity tapered containers with sides having longitudinal lugs. The tractor with a carrier is used to lift off or replace these containers and carry to dumping site.

In the roll-on system, arrangement is slightly different from skip type. The vehicle has a pulley tackle which would slide the container on or off the vehicle.

In small towns, animal carts are used to transfer garbage to the dumping sites. They have an economic range of about three kilometers.

The appropriateness of methods of collection and disposal depends on:

a) Availability of spare parts of transport vehicles (often made worse by a wide variety of models), and skilled mechanics

b) Nature of the waste - density, compressibility, abrasiveness and moisture content.

c) Access to point of collection (width and condition of roads, traffic speed and density).

d) Required frequency of collection (according to fly breeding, public expectation, acceptability of storage of refuse).

e) Relative costs of labour-intensive and capital-intensive methods.

f) Availability of labour.

In Shanghai, China, there are separate collection systems for residential and commercial/industrial wastes. This minimises the content of potentially hazardous substances in wastes targeted for composting and subsequent application to cropland. A separate collection system for commercial/industrial wastes guarantees purity of substance entering the materials processing and exchange network.






3.2.1 Retrieval Systems

The scarcity and cost of basic necessities account for the retrieval of items in some cities that would be regarded as valueless in a better-off society. In Calcutta, for instance, the bulk of material removed by pickers from the garbage dump are green coconut shells, coal cinders and fragments of wood, which are used for domestic fuel.

Money is not the only means of motivating people to recycle. Sometimes, goodwill towards one’s neighbour is enough of an incentive. In Sri Lanka, for example, wealthier residents actively separate coconut shells from their other wastes in order to donate these shells to their launderers who use them for heating the irons.

The table shows the nature of recyclable materials collected in different cities of Asia.

3.2.2 Recyclable materials collected by informal sector waste-pickers from garbage dumps

Type of garbage collected per day




Kuala Lumpur
































Other paper/cards































Estimated total daily tonnage collected by the city



Not available



Recyclable waste as a per cent of total



Not available



(Reference 7)

There are sharp contrasts in the extent to which synthetic and natural materials are removed from waste streams before they reach the disposal sites in different parts of Asia. Indian, Nepalese, Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Chinese dumps, for instance, have minimal quantities of bottles, tins, plastics, rubber and the like compared with what is deposited at dumps in South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia. Nevertheless, poverty and scarcity in Asia compel large numbers of people to seek whatever recyclable remnants they can find at the dump sites.





There is no formal recycling in any of the countries in the region. However, there is extensive recycling going on, once again for economic reasons. Source separation of wastes have been practiced in countries in the South Asian region long before it was introduced in the west. Separation of bottles and newspapers at the household level for sale to vendors has been a feature of South Asian life for decades. Additional waste separation and recycling takes place from the time waste is collected at the household level or disposed of in a community bin, which ever the case may be. Rag-pickers or collectors are involved in separating recyclable material from the waste stream right from the point of collection.

Recyclable/reusable waste can be retrieved from

· the source, that is, the place of waste generation and initial ownership.

· designated place of waste pickup, such as along the kerb.

· within the refuse collection and transport vehicle.

· at an interim transfer station or waste processing facility.

· at the ultimate disposal site.

At the source, the owner of the waste has three options: (a) to deliver it to a redemption or purchasing center against payment (b) to allow others to retrieve the waste by selling it to a salvage dealer who is then responsible for recycling/reusing it or (c) to discard it in the garbage which subsequently may get collected.

For instance, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, the National Paper Corporation publishes a price list for waste paper. The list tells residents how much compensation they will receive if they bring their waste paper directly to the Corporation’s redemption centers, and indicates fair buying prices they can expect to receive from neighbourhood agents collecting door-to-door.

Wastes may be retrieved for recycling, by rag-pickers at the designated place of waste pickup (collection bins) and sold to the salvage dealers.

In some cases, collection crews of municipalities in developing countries often supplement their income by recovering materials from refuse and selling it to agents buying for various end-users. Sorting of waste by collection crews has resulted in significant delays and inefficiencies to the collection system. For example, in Bangkok, Thailand, collection crews spend up to 40 per cent of the time while on their service routes recovering and sorting paper, bottles, cans and plastics. Studies done in Songhkla, Thailand have shown that between 30-40 percent of collection time is spent by crews sorting waste at kerbside (Reference 2). In addition to reducing the collection efficiency, this creates major traffic congestion problems in Songhkla which is a city with narrow streets. Reportedly, they earn an income from recycling which is comparable to their official salary.

The introduction of compactor trucks has resulted in slowing down the waste collection process when collectors are involved in scavenging as well. Metro Manila in the Philippines uses a mix of large open trucks and compactors for primary waste collection. It has been observed that collection efficiency has been greater in regular covered trucks than in compactors since collection crews scavenge the waste during transport rather that at kerbside. In Mumbai, the Municipal Corporation force the contractors to cover all the vehicles carrying waste with tarpaulin to ensure that collection crew does not sort the waste during transport, thereby ensuring efficiency in transport and preventing spillages on the road. The Corporation’s transport vehicles which were open-top have been replaced by container types.

At the very end of the retrieval system, are the scavengers who collect the recyclable waste from the dump sites and typically live on its perimeter in shanty-towns. There are scavengers at dump sites in most major cities of developing countries. Estimated numbers of scavengers at dump sites are as high as 5,000 in Metro Manila, a metropolis of about 8 million; 10,000 for Mexico City’s 10 million people; 1,000 for Lima Metropolitana’s 4 million people; and 400 for Cali, Colombia, with its 1-1/2 million population.

Various informal networks emerge in salvaging operations. These can be operating within the neighbourhoods involving rag-pickers or at the dumping sites with strong informal networks of agents and buyers. For example, only certain scavengers are allowed access to the main dump site in Manila. All materials retrieved at this site reportedly must be sold to one of the approved agents. Any scavenger discovered removing found materials from the site, is likely to have his access privileges revoked.

Generally scavengers at dumps work independently and are paid by the piece. The direct link between work efforts and daily wages is a key motivator for scavengers. However, this system can also lead to fierce competition among them. Conflicts in Calcutta or Mumbai dumps over certain choice materials have resulted in arguments and have led to killings. In Manila, several years ago, such conflicts reportedly led to a large fight at the dump, which resulted in 28 scavengers being killed.

Scavenging practices can determine the success of innovation in collection and disposal. In Jakarta, hand-operated baling equipment was introduced to increase the capacities of the open-top collection vehicles. The scheme was sabotaged when scavengers went for the bales with cutters to remove and salvage the baling wire. This response to technical intervention was not predicted, and indicates the need for carefully designed demonstration projects as precursors to full-scale implementation, taking into consideration the various actors involved and their survival needs.

Sri Lanka had a newspaper recycling system that resulted in over 90 percent of waste newspaper being separated at the source since there was a lucrative market as packaging and as feedstock for paper manufacture. A policy decision was made by the government a few years ago to import waste newspaper from Singapore to serve as feedstock for paper manufacture. Unfortunately, this resulted in the local market being flooded with waste newsprint and the local recycling market collapsed, resulting in large volumes of newsprint being disposed of in the landfills.

In order to find metal from insulated materials such as electric cables or cans, scavengers sometimes burn the refuse leading to accidental fires. This greatly adds to the air pollution from dumps seen especially in cities like Karachi and Tehran.

One area of research of the UNDP Resource Recovery Project is to study the effects of eliminating dump-site scavenging on the overall recovery and reuse of waste materials, and the relative costs and benefits to different sectors of the population.


3.3 Resale/Reuse/Recycle

3.3.1 Recovery and Reuse

Recovery and reuse processes basically operate at different levels. To illustrate, tyres can be reused or recycled at three levels. Tyre retreading, whereby the worn treads are removed and replaced with new uncured rubber, is one level. At another level, tyres can be spilt into strips and woven into doormates, and lastly used tyres may be pyrolised into fuel oil.

Recovery and reuse activities use less mechanical energy for sorting, processing, transporting, etc. It also requires wastes to be separated before its potential degradation.

Direct reuse of a product or material without changing its basic form and/or function is a common example of reuse. For example, packaging containers such as a cans, bottles or boxes can be directly reused.. Standardisation of bottles in Germany has facilitated this level of reuse. Another common example is when used clothes is sold to the poor for reuse.

Deposits on bottles have been very successful in countries in South Asia due to the deposit being almost as high as the cost of the product, thus ensuring no bottles are discarded unless they are damaged.

Remanufacturing involves disassembling similar products at a central facility, with the parts subsequently cleaned, inspected, replaced or refurbished, reassembled, tested and distributed. Examples of remanufactured products are : automotive engines, water pumps, refrigeration and air conditioning compressors and stoves. Benefits of recycling

Recycling both conserves and uses energy, materials and products. If it conserves more than it uses, it may save material, money, and environmental degradation. In the process, it may also reduce dependence on foreign imports, create employment and small scale enterprises, and build up skills of industrialisation through repair and re-manufacturing. Examples of these can be seen in many countries like India, Thailand, Vietnam and China.

Energy savings occur from the recycling of metals,. For example, producing copper from already segregated scrap metal requires only about one-tenth the energy required for production from virgin copper ore. Recycling magnesium results in a 97 percent energy savings, and recycling aluminum results in a 96 percent energy savings. Using scrap instead of iron ore to make new steel means a 74 percent energy savings. (Reference 2)

Similarly, energy is saved when paper, glass and rubber are recycled. Recycling of office-grade paper, for example, has been shown to result in an energy savings over production from virgin wood materials.






The benefits of reuse and recycling can be summarised as :

1. it conserves resources

2. it saves energy in production and transport

3. it reduces risk of pollution as well as saves costs in waste monitoring, treatment and disposal

4. it reduces demand for waste disposal facilities and landfill space

Once wastes are separated, they either may be sent directly to the recycling units, or to the intermediary. The intermediaries sort and accumulate the wastes. Small lots obtained from various sources are aggregated and graded to meet the needs of individual buyers. To the extent that there is available space and cash flow, materials are stored. This allows the intermediate handler to have supply better match demand, and thereby obtain a better price.

Intermediate handling is done by community redemption centers (as in China), salvage dealers (as in India), secondary materials processors, and special interest groups. Each of these is briefly discussed below.

3.3.2 Redemption Centres

There are municipal redemption/purchasing centers in Shanghai, China. Individual scavengers and residents bring their recyclable to these centers and are paid according to posted prices. Materials are sorted and graded to meet the users’ needs. These post-consumer wastes are sent, along with industrial scrap, to central factories for processing and are paid for. These factories are under municipal management, which is also responsible for street cleaning, sewerage, and refuse and night soil collection.

One difficulty in materials recycling is balancing of supply, storage and demand. Since 1957, the Shanghai Materials Recovery and Utilisation company has set up 502 centers to purchase, store and balance the flow of materials. Over 1,000 agencies in the surrounding rural areas work on a commission basis with the Company. Twenty-six agencies (each with about 300 workers) are set up to separately retrieve materials from industrial wastes. To complete the system, there are an additional 15 processing factories, 59 specialised business centers and 121 waste materials sales departments.

In Manila, a pilot project implemented by the Technology Resource Center involved forming a co-operative of low-income women to collect high-grade paper from office buildings and (using a simple labor-intensive process) wash, bleach, and pulp it into a high-quality stationery. In Colombia, an estimated 46 percent of the total material requirements of the paper mills is waste paper.

3.3.3 Salvage Dealers

Salvage dealers do essentially the same things as municipal redemption centers. Both are likely to handle a variety of recyclable waste, including metal, paper, textile and plastic. The key difference is that these are run by private entrepreneurs and are essentially in the informal sector. Their position in the system depends on their network with scavengers, rag-pickers and agents retrieving recyclable waste and with the buyers. Cities such as Ho Chi Min, Bangkok, Thailand and Colombo, appear to have a well-run system of salvage dealers who interact largely with municipal collection crews as against dealers in Mumbai, who depend on rag-pickers, as their source of recyclable waste.

In most Asian cities such as Ho Chi Min, Mumbai, Songhkla and Manila, the approach road to the landfill site is populated by shops purchasing waste products for reuse and recycling. It was observed that most of the dealers are specialist junk collectors. Items such as hard plastics, metals, waste paper, cardboard, glass and even things such as food and bones are purchased by these dealers. Food and bones are used as animal feed in Songhkla, Mumbai and in the suburbs of Jakarta, Indonesia. In countries like Nepal, India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan junk dealerships are not only located on route to the landfill but elsewhere in the cities, contributing to a thriving recycling business.


Disposal of waste

Open dumping is the most common method of waste disposal throughout the Asian region. In the Indian subcontinent, especially in smaller cities and towns, there is direct dumping of waste, sometimes with sparse cover and sometimes combined with partial burning in the dry season.

Frequently, municipalities dump wastes in low-lying land, rather than at designated dump sites, on the request of private landowners who wish to have depressions filled. Filling of wetlands with wastes has been a common practice for land reclamation in Calcutta, Bombay, Madras, and Colombo.

In the Indian subcontinent, many dumps are inadequately maintained due to lack of equipment.

Wastes are illegally dumped in water bodies of all kinds, when settlements are denied municipal collection services. More solid waste reaches the sea after being dumped illegally in rivers and canals.

Crude tipping or uncontrolled dumping is unsatisfactory because of fly, mosquito and rodent breeding, water pollution, air pollution from smells and smoke, and degradation of land. It gives the public the impression that all land disposal is offensive and so expensive alternatives like incineration are sought.

4.1 Disposal Methods

Various methods of disposal which have been practiced in developed countries and in developing towns are :

4.1.1 Land fill

Land fill is a scientific method of disposing solid wastes on land by spreading them in thin layers, compacting them to the smallest practical volume and covering them with soil at the end of each working day in a manner that protects the environment. Pit method

As the name suggests, the pit method is done by excavating a trench and placing garbage in it in layers. The excavated earth is then used as cover and heavy compaction machinery is used to consolidate the waste. This method is useful on level topography. Area method

Area method is used on uneven land profile where garbage is put on layers above ground level, compacted and then covered by earth.
 Ramp method

The ramp method, takes advantage of uneven land profile. Garbage is laid in layers in slopes and covered with earth. The final profile is in the form of a ramp.

Land fill is one of the cheapest and practical method of disposal and further has the following advantages:

· Highly skilled staff are not involved

· There are no overload dangers.

· Sanitary method of land reclamation can be introduced.

· Methane gas tapping is possible in well controlled sites.

Land fill method, however, has the following disadvantages :

· A large area of land is required

· Regular monitoring of leachate and gas is needed.

· Heavy dozing and consolidating machinery are required.

4.1.2 Incineration method of garbage disposal

Incineration is a controlled combustion process for burning all combustible wastes and to reduce it to a residue containing no combustible material. Incinerated material are converted into gases and liquid and released to air. Incineration method has an advantage over land fill method in conserving land resources.

Incineration plants are tailor made to suit the type of garbage and quantities required to be handled. They could be with fixed refractory hearth or moving grates. The air could be supplied either by an air blower or by providing an air exhaust. Oil firing equipment is also required to be fitted to maintain a desired temperature Sophisticated equipments are provided to keep the flue gases free of pollutants. The smoke is cleansed by cyclonic or spray system or electro precipitators. The boiler system utilises flue heat and furnace heat to convert water into steam. Steam turbine run generators and produce electricity.

Garbage vans empty their contents into a receiving bunker. Hydraulic cranes lift up garbage and deposit this into incinerator furnace hoppers. In some designs, garbage is processed before transferring it to the furnace, to remove non-combustible material.

In the incineration method the advantages are :

1. Volume reduction is 90 per cent.

2. Very small area of land is required as compared to land fill method

3. Can be located in the vicinity of garbage generation area to reduce transportation cost.

4. It is most hygienic method of disposal allowing for control of air, temperature and smoke cleansing arrangement.



Energy recovery from refuse incinerators is not ordinarily applicable to developing countries, where kitchen wastes make up a much higher portion of refuse. Therefore, moisture contents are markedly higher. The moisture content of refuse in developing countries tends to range between 40 and 70 percent, compared to the 20 to 40 percent moisture content of refuse in industrialised countries. As a result, incineration would require supplementary fuel and result in a net energy deficit. Even Japan, which has more incineration plants than any other country, is reported as recovering little useful energy for sale because of the high moisture content of its refuse. Nevertheless, recent developments in separation technology, if practiced, may eventually offer an economic way to separate the dryer combustible portions from the rest of the waste. (Reference 2)

A refuse incineration-cum-power generation plant, for pilot research and development and demonstration was installed in 1987 at Timarpur, Delhi. This project aimed at disposal of 300 metric tonnes of garbage from Delhi and generation of 3.75 MW power. The plant could not succeed mainly due to mismatch between the plant design and quality of garbage available. However, the Delhi government has of late, shown keen interest to operate the plant by suitably organising waste management/segregation and pre-processing.

4.1.3 Compaction or compression of refuse : Volume reduction process of disposal

This technique is utilised as a volume reduction method. It is applied in transportation system as well as in disposal system.

The standard load bodies of commercial vehicles do not carry load as per the designed payload capacity since the municipal waste is of very low density. A low pressure mechanism is therefore utilised which packs garbage under pressure thus increasing the density and in the same volume increasing the weight load. Stationary compactors and compactors vehicles are provided with such compacting mechanism.

This process is also utilised to form bales of very light material such as grass, paper etc. The bales are formed under a press machine and to retain the bale formed it is wrapped in wire binding or wire net casing. This type of binding is integrated in the baling machine.

Compaction system is also used to make large boulders or small brickets by subjecting garbage to very high pressure. For boulders the waste could be used as received but for brickets the waste has to be shredded before putting into the bracket machine. The boulders or bricks formed in this process could be used as construction material for building sea walls or paving roads or constructing low height walled structures of ground floor level. These systems are used in UK, USA and Japan.

4.1.4 Pyrolysis

In the pyrolysis process, waste is heated indirectly from external heat source and is charred in absence of air. This is a very recent modern method utilised as energy recovery process from waste.

The process incorporates a system of decomposing organic compounds in waste through application of heat. It is a process of destructive distillation carried out in a closed vessel in an oxygen free environment. Through pyrolysis, organic matter is converted into gases, liquid and inert char.

Pyrolysis is a proven method for homogenous organic matter like wood, pulp etc. But as municipal waste is heterogeneous by nature only about 50 per cent of the input gets processed leaving 50 per cent discards needing alternate disposal.

4.1.5 Bio-gas

Slaughter houses, food packaging industries and cold storages produce organic garbage which can be converted into bio-gas. The Bajaj Committee, which was constituted by the Planning Commission, India (in October, 1994), had recommended that in all centralised large slaughterhouses, waste should be bio-digested near the slaughterhouse. Thermophilic bio-digestion

Thermophilic bio-digestion kills the pathogens which may be present in the waste. Bio-gas produced in the process can be used directly in the slaughterhouse for heating water and for electricity generation. Electricity so generated can be used for refrigeration. For smaller slaughterhouses, the wastes could be collected everyday and dumped in special areas through controlled sanitary land filling with or without the generation of landfill gases. Bio-methanation

Bio-methanation involves segregation of organic matter present in solid waste. This is then fed into a bio-reactor. The organic matter ferments due to the presence of the methanogenic bacteria. The bio-gas so derived is used to generate power.

Over the past 8 years, India has made a major commitment to its All-India Co-ordinated Bio-gas Programme. About 62,000 bio-gas units have been installed since the programme started in 1975. Eight research institutes and a number of universities have been actively involved in research and development of bio-gas technology. However, it appears that implementation has not been as wide-spread as in China. Research and development have not been as closely linked to implementation, resulting in limited feedback from users to enable technology upgradation. Also, there has apparently been less effective dissemination of information to the target population.

From several decades, tremendous progress has been made in converting animal waste into bio-gas and many community plants have gone into operation in rural areas of India. Khadi and Village Industries Commission have been marketing conventional plants. Gobar Gas Research Station set up in Lucknow, India has been working on economical community plants. A similar research centre exists at Mumbai under the management of Kora Kendra.

Laboratory studies are being conducted to tap bio-gas by treating municipal waste with some modifications in the technique. National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) at Nagpur has been successful in designing new processing plants.



4.1.6 Pelletisation

Pelletisation is the production of fuel pellets from solid waste. Pellets can be used for heating plant boilers and for the generation of electricity. They also act as a perfect substitute for coal/wood used in home/industry. Pelletisation offers the possibility of decentralised garbage treatment facilities.

The Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, in collaboration with CMC Ltd., initiated a pilot project on Integrated Waste Management (IWM) in Mumbai, in 1989, to offer a technological solution for disposal of city garbage and provide options for making metropolitan cities of the country cleaner environmentally.

Besides setting up a pilot plant for pelletisation, the programme aimed at development of different special purpose equipment, process systems and standardisation of various operational parameters for efficient working. Technology packaging as a commercial enterprise was to be taken up by private entrepreneurs.

A prototype pelletisation plant, of 1.52 to 2.00 tonnes per hour per stream in two parallel streams, was designed and commissioned. Solid waste, after segregation of undesirable ingredients, was used for processing. Addition of bio-mass to the extent of 50 per cent of plant output was ensured to enhance the calorific value of the fuel pellets. A three shift operation with average 20 hours per day and 250 days operation in a year was resorted to. Various sub-system components and process parameters were concurrently improvised during its commissioning and trial periods to perfect the technology package.

The pilot plant has proved its technical efficacy to produce fuel pellets out of garbage combustible at the rate of 1-5 tonnes per hour in a single stream. The plant economy shows that it can generate slightly less than the overall expenditure of the plant, that is, both the operational and financial expenditure. The viability of the plant would improve if the second stream of production is simultaneously operated upon (it involves an additional expenditure of Rs. 5 million). The viability consideration do not include land costs and assume garbage at zero cost. The production capacity of around 80 tonnes of fuel pellets per day is shown to be a viable size. The fuel pellets are found to have tremendous market potential and can be used in all kinds of boiler application besides as cooking fuel. Efforts are being made to improve upon viability of the entire project by additional streams of production to reach an optimum capacity of 100 tonnes per day.

Pelletisation technology has the following advantages :

· Calorific value of product is close to that of coal and can substitute coal/wood in home/industry

· Decentralised garbage treatment is possible.

· Market exists for pellets.

· Revenue/profitability is relatively high

· Technology is indigenously available.




4.1.7 Composting

Composting can be defined as the biological decomposition of the organic constituents of wastes under controlled conditions. This process can take place in the presence or absence of oxygen, that is, aerobic or anaerobic composting. Aerobic composting, if efficiently carried out, can rapidly produce a pathogen free product; anaerobic composting requires more time and is seldom free of pathogen or odour problems. There are two main types of mechanical composting processes, windrow process and close cell process. Windrow process

In the windrow process garbage is laid in long heaps above ground and oxidation and fermentation is carried out by regular turning thereby keeping air, moisture and temperature under control till it gets stabilised. Close cell process

In the close cell process, garbage is fed through a close rotating drum where air, moisture and temperature is controlled and compost comes out at the end which get matured in stock piles.

Following aspects need to be taken into consideration while deciding on setting up such plants:

a) Location of composting sites should be near the source to keep haulage cost to minimum.

b) Mechanisation should be to a bare minimum

c) Technology is orientated to use labour potential.

d) Low operating cost and ensuring easy repairs by keeping spares.

e) Careful monitoring.

f) Trained staff and proper controlling system.

The mechanisation aspects in the windrow system are in handling and feeding of garbage, shredding of large particles and turning mechanism. The compost which is obtained, when added to soil, can increase the water retaining and ion exchange capacity to recondition the soil and provide the ‘humus’ property to the soil. Enriching of compost could be achieved by adding treated sewage or sludge under proper hygienic controls.

Almost all the large cities of the developing countries in the region in the past installed imported mechanical composting plants (for instance, Thailand built six). Most are now defunct and the remaining ones are not operating at full capacity (for example, Bangkok, Hanoi, Shanghai, and Tokyo).


The reasons, for non-functioning, underutilisaion, or closure of centralised mechanical MSW composting plants, include :

· high operating and maintenance costs compared to open land filling (including foreign exchange component for replacement of imported parts)

· the cost of compost is higher than commercial fertilisers

· incomplete separation of materials such as plastic and glass, making the compost unsuitable for agriculture application

· poor operation and maintenance of the facilities.

The forced air plant in Hanoi is a typical embodiment of these problems, operating at only 20 per cent capacity. The city has not even been able to persuade farmers to take the product free, as it is too contaminated with plastics. Therefore, the compost is being used in city parks.

Also in New Delhi, one plant has been closed, but another is still operating. The compost is used by the city’s parks department. In Kathmandu, the compost from a municipal plant was in high demand from local farmers in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and the plant continued with a simple windrow system after the machinery broke down. It was forced to close recently when residents of new housing estates protested.

Recently, however, private firms, alone or in public-private partnership, have revived centralised composting in a few places. Bangalore’s windrow compost plant is reported to have become cost-effective after privatisation, although there are now NIMBY ("Not in My Back Yard") pressures at the site. There are experiments with new techniques for producing compost by processing partly decomposed wastes at dump sites (being done by a private company subsidised by the Mumbai and Ahmedabad municipal corporations).

Backyard composting is casually practiced in areas where there are home gardens, the bulk of the input material being yard waste. This practice has been strongly discouraged by city health officers (for instance in Bangalore) after complaints about rodents. Consequently, backyard composting has declined over the last two decades.

In the last decade, several projects have been initiated for small-scale and neighbourhood-level composting. In Bangalore, the Waste Wise Project of the Mythri Foundation and the Centre for Environmental Education are both combining worm culture with composting on a small piece of land provided in local parks by the administration. Bangalore University offers consultancy on worm culture. Pilot research and development projects for the region are included in the current UNCHS project on small-scale digestion and composting of MSW.

The natural process of decomposition at waste disposal sites is commonly exploited by farmers and sometimes by the municipal corporations in cities and towns in the Asian region. Farmers go to dumps to remove compost, thus extending the life of the dumps. The corporation of Calcutta leases out dump land at the city’s main dump for vegetable farms. Small dumps near squatter settlements are regularly farmed. There are no studies of possible health risks from these practices.



The advantages and disadvantages of composting when compared with other methods of disposal are :

Advantages :

· Conversion of available bio-mass into compost providing economic returns

· Cost saving on transportation

· Possibilities of community participation

· Low energy consumption

· Possibilities of decentralised operation

· Reduced cost of disposal.

· The waste gets recycled.

The problems involved in composting system are :

· Waste needs separation into degradable and non-degradable. Some wastes are not suitable for composting because they contain significant quantities of heavy metals, paper, and plastics.

· Some plants are complex and difficult to maintain. If mechanised, then involves relatively high capital investment and recurring maintenance and operating costs.

· In some cases, the market for compost is inadequate in the immediately vicinity, thereby increasing transportation cost.

4.1.8 Uses of Compost

Compost is mainly used as a soil conditioner, to increase the organic content of soils and so improve the soil structure. Compost is also used as a filter medium, to remove odours. Sewage sludge or refuse compost can be fed to piglets. Compost from night soil and vegetable matter has been used in fish farming experiments, where compost have acted not only as nutrient for the growth of algae but also as fish feed. Compost have also been used to make bricks porous.

Studies on refuse-derived compost indicate other potential resource conservation benefits : erosion control, soil moisture retention, soil density improvements, increased ion-exchange capacity, and trace mineral availability. Field experiments throughout China demonstrate that application of 500 kg/ha of refuse-derived compost increases rice grain production by 25 to 50 kg/ha.

India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, China and the Philippines are some countries in the Asian region who are actively promoting composting. Most of these small scale plants are managed either by NGOs or the private sector. The main reason for success of these plants as opposed to the plants that were built in the 1940-1960’s, are that they are simple technology with low costs that are reasonably small scale and requires labour with basic skills rather than technical knowledge.




4.1.9 Vermiculture

Vermicomposting uses earthworms to decompose organic wastes, and has been demonstrated in small-scale projects. For example, in Manila, vermicomposting is being promoted as a means of recycling-at-the-source and thereby reducing the overall costs of municipal garbage collection. Garbage segregation is done at the household in separate containers provided at cost by the Metro Manila Municipal Government to project participants. The earthworms, Eisenia foetida, reduce the waste volume by up to 50 percent, and their castings consolidate the nutrients originally found in the waste. The earthworms are harvested every 40 to 45 days and recycled to new pots of garbage. The castings can be either marketed as soil enhancers or used in the soil pots to raise selected vegetables and herbs.

4.1.10 Health impacts

Environmental problem faced by communities living near garbage dumps and marshy lands include air pollution, fires, smoke, flooding etc. Sant Nirankari Colony, a community located on the BMC land adjacent to the Govandi dumping ground in Mumbai city, is a case in point. The squalor and filth of the dumping ground permeates into the community with the overflow of the creek particularly during high tides of monsoon. Nearly 80 communities regularly face flooding, and suffer from air pollution and smoke. A couple of them also face electric shocks and fires.(Reference 8)

Among health problems, accentuated by flies, vectors and rodents, dehydration, diarrhea, dysentery and worms are common among adults as well as children. Other problems that are not directly treated include scabies, dental problems, earaches, eye infections and gynecological problems colds, coughs, flu and boils abscesses and sores to cannot be ruled out.

Long term health problems like asthma, bronchitis, hepatitis, jaundice, malaria, elephantiasis and typhoid too have been faced by communities. Maximum number suffers from anemia, women being the worst affected.

Secondary health hazards of solid waste are fire and explosions when dry waste such as paper, wood or plastics catch fire.
















5. issues and observations

Solid waste management has now become a global issue. Various technological options have been tried and experimented by different actors to find viable alternatives for appropriate disposal of waste. These experiments have significantly established the fact that solid waste management is not just a technical issue, nor a purely financial outlook. Basically, it has socio-political and cultural dimensions which need solutions through imaginative policies, administrative re-orientation, institutional and organisational arrangements and informed population. It is therefore imperative to review the experiences in solid waste management in the region from various dimensions. At each stage of the cycle, four major issues come into pre-dominance. These can be grouped under policy issues, planning issues, organisational issues and partnership issues.

5.1 Policy issues

The policy issues revolve round identification of appropriate disposal method, more specifically with regard to land fill, policies governing informal sector with a special consideration for poverty groups, and issues relating to legalising and licensing of workers in marginalised activities such as rag-picking. Appropriate disposal method

Land fill being the most common method of disposal of waste, certain policy issues governing the location of the land fill, and the size of the land fill, need to be addressed. Selection of site for land fill method of disposal should take into account the following :

· The site is sufficiently away from the habitation

· The site has roads and internal road facilities for efficient access

· The site is large enough to last for long term operation

Also, other considerations, such as whether land fill site can be located within agriculture zone and what are the implications of such a land fill site for the productivity of agriculture land or the nuisance of rodents and pests for the crops, are important. This issue becomes more complex if hazardous waste is allowed to be disposed off on such sites.

It is essential that the transportation system should be standardised for all areas as also made complementary to the disposal system. The Sri Lankan experience highlights the need for careful study of the impact of landfill on agriculture land quality in the surrounding areas. (Box 1)



Box 1 : Colombo Metropolitan area, Sri Lanka

The Colombo metropolitan area has a resident population of 600,000 and a daily migrant labour influx from the surrounding countryside that adds another 40,000. The city Municipal Engineer has the city divided into two sections: north and south which are further sub-divided into districts. Each section is headed by a Superintending Engineer assisted by District Engineers who are responsible for all municipal functions. Drainage is handled by a separate board.

Under each District Engineer, a Cleansing Superintendent with two Cleansing Inspectors to assist him. The wards (47 of them) are the basic unit of cleansing management, each with a Cleansing Supervisor controlling about 100 labourers. An unique feature of the administration is the presence of women engineers and managers. Solid wastes account for 6.9 per cent of the revenue figure and health services and inspection take up 9 per cent.

Refuse generation rates are the order of 0.5 kg/person/day with a daily total of 400 tonnes for the city. Refuse is highly organic and wet with low levels of paper, plastics, metals, and glass. No more than 20 per cent of daily waste are handled by enclosed compaction vehicles which is mainly in down-town Colombo. In the rest of the city, one is back to the familiar and simple adaptation of agricultural prime movers and trailers. Some older side-loaders are also in use. These are able to get into the most inaccessible shanty towns and ‘bustee’ areas.

Market wastes are handled by a fleet of side-loader refuse vehicles. These operate on early and late night shifts. There is no on site disposal of hospital wastes. These are double bagged and buried at the base of the landfill site. The Colombo Municipal Council provides the hospitals with a shuttle tractor and trailer for this purpose. Local bye-laws have been amended to allow fines for litter offences.

A total of 4,000 labourers give a daily house-to-house service in all the areas outside those served by the compactor vehicles. Each person is expected to collect waste from approximately 70 families. When they have finished their collection, these labourers are then expected to engage in street sweeping, litter picking, drain cleaning, weed clearance, and similar tasks. Wages are low, no more than 600-700 rupees per month for a labourer. Disposal is by several small landfills chosen on sites close to the urban areas on low lying or swampy land.

The experience in Colombo highlights the importance of both the collection and the disposal systems. A comprehensive administrative machinery for the collection by itself is not adequate. One finds a mix of technology support for transportation. Very clearly, one can observe a marked difference in the higher quality of cleaning and transportation in areas where compactors are used. Similarly, with regard to disposal, the size of disposal sites brings out the dangers of landfill, particularly when small plots on low-lying and swampy lands surrounded by agriculture, are selected as landfill sites. One can see the harmful degradation of good agriculture land when such small landfills are used for dumping of chemical waste.

(Reference 18)




Urban planning should require that all urban development projects and new townships/ housing estates should have adequate provision for solid waste management, linked with long-term land use policies for setting up waste management and recycling centres and sanitary landfill sites at proper locations on different sides of the cities/towns.

The policy concerning use of plastic has been strongly debated due to the non-degradable nature of plastic. The recent floods in Mumbai were attributed to the clogging of storm water drains with plastic bags, leading to a public outburst and a pressure on civic authorities to ban use of plastic bags.

The private sector needs to set a precedent where plastic need not be ‘the’ commodity. As such, the paper bags are definitely vogue. The experience of Levi Strauss in Philippines in promoting alternate values and materials, is a good example in this regard. (Box 2)

The use of natural materials such as cloth and jute etc., needs to be propagated. These bags as opposed to thin plastic bags which have practically no resale value making them difficult to get rid of are more durable and "eco-friendly".



Box 2 : Ayala Foundation, Manila, Philippines

The Ayala Group of Companies, one of the larger business conglomerates in the Philippines, is implementing the Barangay Integrated Development Program through its Ayala Foundation. This foundation provides funding and technical assistance to communities for environmental improvements.

In 1994, the Foundation provided training programmes on zero waste management to leaders of eighteen barangays (neighbourhoods), followed by training on the financial viability of recycling in collaboration with Recycling Technologies Inc. (RTI), focusing on the recycling of denim wastes into paper. Following this, the Ayala Foundation, RTI, Levi Strauss/Philippines, and two barangays established a successful recycling project.

Levi Strauss turns over scrap denim materials from its clothes manufacturing plant to RTI, which then processes these scraps into good-quality recycled paper. The Ayala Foundation has trained residents of participating communities in how to produce paper bags and other paper products using the recycled paper produced by RTI. These products are bought back by Levi Strauss and used as packaging materials in retail outlets that sell Levis apparel.

Given the initial success of the project, the Ayala Foundation plans to include other barangays whose leaders have received training in zero waste management.

(Reference 10)


Policies governing informal sector with a special consideration for poverty groups

An extensive waste recovery and recycling is mostly managed through poverty groups in the slums and around garbage dumps. Millions of urban-dwellers rely on waste for their livelihood as collectors, unorganised labour in recycling units and as petty hawkers in the market network. In most cities, informal activities are responsible for more waste recovery and recycling than any of the formally-sanctioned activities like compost making in a municipal plant.

In the city of Mumbai, it is estimated that almost 100,000 people are involved in the recovery and recycling of large quantities of waste. The city authorities find it difficult even to manage the disposal of the remaining solid waste. This highlights the positive contribution of the poor to one of the major urban environmental issues namely disposal and management of solid waste, in spite of the fact that labour is over exploited and working conditions tough.

It has been estimated for Indonesian cities that pickers reduce refuse quantities by a third (not counting source-separated items). Furthermore, the activities may be highly organised, in spite of the appearance of individual, casual work. For instance, industries needing wastes as raw materials may initiate and control systems of collection, transportation, and partial processing. The first such system for modern industry in India was the organisation of rag pickers to supply rags to the paper mills of Calcutta in the mid 19th century.

Various efforts to organise and regularise rag-pickers by administration have been opposed by certain NGOs working with such groups. On the other hand, there have also been requests to the administration from some of the NGOs to recognise these rag-pickers through protective and promotive policies of licensing and easy accessibility to credit. The dilemma as to how much of formalisation can be introduced in an informal sector continues.

However, it is necessary that, some steps are taken to protect these groups, who are essentially the most deprived and exploited in the system, and help them organise themselves to protect their minimum rights and survival requirements. Efforts to organise and unionise have shown certain positive results and at the same time exposed the vulnerability of such groups in the present market mechanisms (see Box 8). This calls for a definite policy statement with respect to such vulnerable groups.

Any intervention, therefore, in this specific area, and possibly in others cannot be absolutely technocratic, but will have to have a major human considerations. Three kinds of failures on the part of the authority that contribute to environmental problems include lack of appreciation of actions of the people based on inadequate information, existence of faulty incentives from institutional arrangements and inappropriate choice of activity thereby further marginalising the poverty groups.

When citizens perceive wastes as recyclable materials, attitudes toward scavengers could change. In Manila, Philippines, a pilot recycling programme was established and supported by a wide-spread public information campaign. The programme trained workers (called ECO-AIDES) and provided them with clean attractive uniforms emblazoned with the message; "pera sa basura" (money from refuse). To some extent, the social stigma toward house-to house scavengers appears to have lessened. (Reference 2)

Recognising the contributions that informal sector scavengers make to recover materials for recycling, reduce dependence on foreign imports, and lessen the volume of wastes requiring land disposal, the Ministry of Environment in Indonesia is developing strategies aimed at supporting scavenging. Together with the Informal Sector Project, the Ministry, is planning a pilot effort to form a local co-operative of scavengers at one municipal landfill. The co-operative is viewed as one means of strengthening the individual scavenger’s bargaining position in obtaining fair market value for recovered materials, easing access to credit, and providing education on basic rights and resources available for greater self-reliance. Also, some communities are being encouraged to provide scavengers with water supply and sanitation facilities at the main refuse handling and disposal sites, and to provide them with access to health care services. Gender sensitisation

There are specific relationships between women’s work and wastes that have been investigated by sociologists. Amongst the urban poor, women (with the help of children) are usually the main providers or organisers of daily household needs; they collect fuel as well as prepare food and fetch water. They often take responsibility for repairing shelter interiors. Thus, when household survival strategies depend to some extent upon waste collecting and reuse, women’s work is closely linked to the nature and availability of wastes. When wastes are diverted to new uses, or competition for wastes increases, the energy and time spent by women on household needs increases. In periods of economic recession, women are likely to increase waste reuse as financial resources shrink.

A higher status and a better income for waste pickers could lead to a flow of new waste pickers, mostly men and members of higher castes. Research in other fields has shown that all too often, men push women out of employment or income opportunities if conditions improve. A gender differentiation and attention for women in this occupational group is therefore necessary. When the government wants to improve the position of waste pickers, it is very important that it recognises that women form a special group of workers, also in the recovery and recycling sector. Acknowledging this differentiation in practice can have important implications for analyzing existing conditions as well as for formulating suitable policies. (Box 3)

5.1.3 Legal and regulatory provisions

A policy on legal and regulatory provisions for solid waste management, should incorporate the responsibilities of those generating the waste, financial obligations, and mechanisms for regulating.

Arrangements do not exist in most cities and towns for proper management of solid wastes arising from shopping areas, hotels, debris from construction activities, etc. Suitable provisions, therefore, can be incorporated in the solid waste management bye-laws to require the owners of shops, hotels and other commercial establishments to keep the daily wastes generated by them within their own premises until their collection. The collection charges to be prescribed in the relevant bye-laws could be paid by the concerned owners of the commercial establishments to the urban local body concerned in the form of solid waste management tax or cess on the property tax.



Box 3 : SEWA, Ahmedabad, India

A concrete experience with organising women waste pickers to improve their access to resources and their incomes comes from Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), Ahmedabad, India. SEWA, which was part of the Textile Labour Association, became involved in understanding and assisting women who picked paper from streets in the mid 1970s. Many of these women were the wives of textile workers, or had lost their work in the mills as a result of discrimination during retrenchment.

Groups of women met to discuss their employment needs and a series of co-operatives were formed, some of which sought to develop alternative skills to waste gathering and sorting. SEWA helped some women gain access to low grade papers that were not being well handled in the system of paper trading of mills and factories. One group concentrated on learning how to operate more effectively in the waste paper trade. This effort led to the formation of Sujata Co-operative, followed by another organisation, the Pethapur Co-operative.

These co-operatives have had to face stiff resistance from contractors in league with government offices. The members have developed a variety of organisational skills as a result. Their determination to make a success of dealing with clean waste paper rather than merely picking the scraps that get into waste streams attracted media attention and an item on television gained them public support. The women are concentrating on being independent of paper contractors, agents and mills as they were paid only 10 per cent of the price that contractors were able to command, in the resale of paper to the mills. As a step towards this, the co-operatives acquired a warehouse and by-pass the middlemen. The eventual plan was to set up their own paper processing plant.

(Reference 3)


Planning issues

5.2.1 Decentralisation and micro-planning

Urban local self government or the city authorities, are used to working in a highly centralised system of administration. Planning process under such a system gets totally alienated from the field realities and accountability gets defined within the framework of compartmentalisation of various services.

The city plans and the delivery of services from macro-perspective creates major gaps between expectations and achievements. Most of the local self governments starved of resources have found it difficult to bridge this gap. An awareness of this phenomena, has encouraged administrators to take initiative to rectify this situation. (Box 4)

5.2.2 Finance for Solid Waste Management

In the Indian subcontinent (excluding Nepal and Bhutan), municipal corporations allocate money for waste management activities. Usually, urban local bodies are expected to raise revenue, mainly in the form of property and other taxes, from local population for routine operations of waste disposal. There is no special tax, but hotels, and commercial establishments may be required to pay for collection, either to the municipality or to a private agency. Co-operative housing societies in India charge households special fees since the municipal services are not provided within the private premises.

In the 1970s, the Indian government gave grants to identified cities for the purchase of mechanical compost plants and other infrastructure items. Since then, there have been special-purpose grants from time to time. For instance, solid waste management is often a component of grants for environmental improvement of urban slums,. Sometimes, neighbourhoods or private sector contribute voluntarily to local infrastructure in the form of street bins.

However, a wide-spread problem is the low rate of collection of taxes and special fees. The property tax base for municipal services has had implications for equitable coverage: illegal settlers, such as squatters, are not deemed eligible for collection services in most cities. In many cities, only 50 per cent of the population is registered on the property tax assessments and, of course, some of the taxpayers are delinquent. Taxpayers have resisted suggestions for a direct tax for waste services or an increase in the property taxes.

Solid waste management consumes 20-40 per cent of the total municipal funding for services and within this, the salaries and wages components usually account for over 75 per cent of the annual expenditure on MSW management. Funds for capital investment are inadequate. Cities often have difficulty raising loans for infrastructure needs and must rely on multi-lateral agencies, or national agencies such as the Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) in India.


5.2.3 Marketing

One of the important planning considerations is identifying markets for the products obtained from recycling or other waste disposal methods like composting, bio-gas etc. This essentially means identifying partners and defining responsibilities in partnership. Quite often, one finds technologies which rely heavily on market for their viability and effective rate of return. Box 5 brings out this aspect of identifying consumers or marketing which is key to composting technology. Since the initiative came from the city administration, with no commitments from any other group for compost, the experiment got a set-back. On the other hand, the requirements of market for compost is eliminated as the company itself is a major consumer (Box 9).


Box 4 : Surat Municipal Corporation, India

The decentralisation of the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) by creating six zones took place in 1993 and this was strengthened. Under section 88(2) of the BPMC Act, the Commissioner may with the approval of the standing committee empower any municipal officer to exercise, perform or discharge any powers which are his. By using this provision of the Act, he can delegate all his financial and administrative powers. The administrative and financial powers of the commissioner were delegated to all heads of divisions such as Deputy and Assistant Commissioners; Chief Engineers of departments of sewerage, water supply, roads and Director of Planning, about ten of them. All policy decisions were to be jointly made by all the eleven commissioners. All the powers are delegated and decentralised. Without permission of the municipal commissioner, the zonal commissioner could sanction any work upto Rs. 0.2 million.

Responsibility was thus no longer individual oriented. For the first time in SMC’s 146 year history there was a commissioner who shared responsibility but had no unique financial or administrative powers. As a sine qua non, empowerment entailed bringing down departmental barriers, both physical and mental. All senior officers meet everyday and discuss the performance of the previous day and plan for the following day. Apart from policy decisions, common problems faced by officers and sharing of experiences are discussed. These decisions taken in these meetings were then passed on by the respective zonal officers to their subordinates before the start of the next days work.

Repeated emphasis was laid on the senior officers visiting the field along with ward level Sanitary Inspectors and Sanitary Sub-Inspectors. All senior officers, including the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioners were asked to be in the field in the morning from 7:30 to 12:30 or even for longer periods, even on holidays. Half of this time was to be spent supervising the slums. This meant supervising the work, understanding the problems of the citizens and also of their staff. Their visits were unannounced.

Another strategy was micro-planning. Under the present administrative system, any subordinate officer, who can manipulate administratively or politically, gains most by way of more facilities of men, materials and finance. The field visits effectively brought out this tremendous mismatch of crucial resources in all the 52 sanitary wards of Surat. These resources are crucial for the sustainability of municipal services as all municipal bodies are perpetually in overdraft. A conjunction of work-motion study and process re-engineering led to scientific and equitable allocation of resources to these wards leading to optimisation of resources. Pre-May 1995, the level of sanitation was about 35 per cent while solid waste removal was about 40 per cent. With micro-planning and an additional ten per cent investment of money, the results today are that 95 per cent of the area is covered by daily sanitation and 97 per cent of the solid waste is lifted every day.

Each ward office has an area plan or the site plan of his locality and the nature of activities in his area. Powers have been allocated to the Sanitary Inspector under the Indian Penal Code to impose a fine. The emphasis is on resolving the grievance at the local ward level itself, and that no complaint should reach the head office. This also saves the complainer from unnecessary trips to the Head Office.

The role of doctors, engineers and other sanitary workers was integrated and they were not compartmentalised, each person having integrated responsibilities. There was decentralisation of power. Engineers were trained for maintenance from point of view of health related activities (like control of malaria).

And though watertight divisions among the departments were reduced, each officer - from the zonal officer to the mukadam-is made solely responsible for a particular area and the related work. Hence, nobody can shirk responsibility.

(Reference 19)


Box 5 : Din Daeng Mechanical Compost Plant, Bangkok, Thailand

The Mechanical Compost Plant at Din Daeng (Bangkok) is reported to be the world’s largest plant. The plant set up in 1961 by city authorities, at a cost of Rs. 15 million, to treat more than 20 per cent of the garbage generated in Bangkok, has the capacity to handle approximately 400 tonnes of refuse per day. Annually, the plant produces approximately 60,000 tonnes of compost.

From the experience of the working of this plant, the authorities established three more mechanical composting plants in different parts of the city. One of these is located at Nuj. This plant is situated at the periphery of the city and quite near to the farms. It also has an incinerator unit attached to it. The location, was planned with a view to ensure easy disposal of the compost. Sufficient land is available near the compost plant for dumping the garbage in case it cannot be composted or for storing the compost should it not find buyers.

The incinerator is meant to dispose of non-compostable waste. In the event of the compost not finding buyers, it was expected that most of the waste would be incinerated. None of these new plants were being operated since the Bangkok Metropolis found it less expensive to keep the plants closed than to operate the plants and produce compost which had no buyers. The result is that almost the entire city waste is being disposed of by land-filling and dumping.

The only users for the compost are the city administration for its horticulture and some use is found on the King’s estates. The farmers have largely taken to the chemical fertilisers for a single crop or sticking to green manure produced locally.

(Reference 6)





Organisational issues

5.3.1 Efficiency in operations

The entire process of improving the solid waste management practices in the urban areas would need close monitoring and supervision on the part of the higher level officers in the municipalities, besides imparting of training to the frontline officials. Better supervision and control has been achieved in municipal corporations like Cochin by providing pagers to the supervisory Health Inspectors, which enables the individual householders to lodge complaints of insanitary conditions in their neighborhood with the Health Inspectors at any time. The Inspectors have been made responsible to ensure redressal of such complaints within a maximum period of 24 hours. In Surat, we find a two-tier system of redressal; certain complaints have to be redressed within 24 hours, while others can be redressed within 48 hours. The system seems to be working effectively, highlighting thereby the need to initiate procedures and discipline within the organisation.

In Singapore, a strong political will coupled with strict administrative discipline and regulatory mechanisms have oriented communities towards definite response patterns. This has made Singapore a very clean city under an alert management. (Box 6)

Similarly, even in Kuala Lumpur, a good monitoring and recording system has been developed by the municipal administration for the collection and disposal services. (Box 7)


Box 6 : Singapore city

In Singapore city, the Supremo has been given the status of Commissioner for Public Health with all the power and resources, to ensure a clean city. The city is split into seven urban districts each controlled by a Deputy Commissioner, a fleet of 260 refuse vehicles, 60 mechanised street-sweeping machines, a total refuse crew strength of 600, in addition to 2000 manual sweepers. Add to this a caring central government with the Prime Minister’s personal Pollution Control Unit keeping civil servants on their toes, a draconian 500 Singapore dollars fine for dumping and littering, and the resulting cocktail, makes for a spotless city.

Each urban district is responsible for the following range of duties in addition to refuse collection and street sweeping.

a. public health vector control;

b. licensing of food establishments;

c. prevention and abatement of public health nuisances;

d. enforcement of public health laws; and

d. planning consultations on new developments.

Waste generation rates are high, with 2,550,000 population producing 2,189 tonnes of domestic and commercial wastes each day - a per capita rate of 0.82 kg/day. Industrial and privately collected commercial wastes bring this daily tonnage upto 3,476. Refuse density is 200 kg/m3 with a high moisture content.

Singapore does not permit vegetable waste to be discarded at the markets. The vendors are responsible for removing it from the city limits. This has resulted in relatively clean vegetables being brought into the city markets. The city authorities have a monopoly of disposal systems. There are no private-sector landfills. The two major landfills in the city are run by the Public Health Department. There is a thriving private sector mainly collecting commercial wastes and these contractors have paid-access to the state’s landfills.

Charges for waste collection and disposal services are directly charged to the public via a Public Utilities Board. This board bills a combined account to each household that takes account of electricity, water, sewerage, gas and waste services.

Hotels, offices, and commercial complexes are not obliged to use the municipal service. They may make their own arrangements if they wish but they must use the official landfill sites and treatment plants.

Refuse collection and disposal is not the whole story. All other environmental health functions are also controlled by the Commissioner. These include food inspection, licensing of restaurants and food halls, mosquito prevention and rodent infestation. Training of Environmental Health Officers [EHOs] is given a high priority. Officers are regularly sent on training and experience detachments to update their knowledge.

(Reference 20)



Box 7 : Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur, the federal capital of Malaysia, has an estimated population of 1,200,000. The refuse generation rate is about 8 kg/person/day and the daily tonnage is about 1,000 tonnes. City centres and market areas can have up to three collections a day. Residential areas can have an alternate day collection.

The types of collection services are:

[a] high income residential - house-to-house collection service

[b] commercial district and flats - communal bulk bins; and

[c] low income areas - collection point transfer by shovel and coir basket to vehicles.

Each household is required to own a 60-litre dustbin. Other bulk containers are provided by private waste contractors and plastic sacks are also available. Hand made coir baskets are also used for waste storage and are sometimes carried on refuse vehicles to help clear loose loads. Householders are required to place their containers at the kerbside for alternate day collections. Where bulk bins are used, these are placed at about 100 m distance on the roadside. Office blocks and multiple dwellings have refuse chutes and paladin bin chambers. These are however, often badly designed and unable to cope with the rising waste generation. Serious overspills commonly occur and force the collection authority to make frequent visits.

There is an active private sector in waste collection. All such companies have to be registered with the municipal authority and the authority has the power to strike off miscreants. The commercial companies offer their services to hotels, commercial complexes, hospitals and industrial firms. The private companies have free access to the municipal landfill sites.

(Reference 18)


5.3.2 Unionisation and Co-operativisation

There has to be an emphasis on self-reliant community development. Rag-pickers or scavengers involved in road-side waste collection should be enabled to form genuinely participatory co-operatives to allow them to gain access to financial and other services and to resolve problems arising from their work. The co-operatives would seek to obtain better conditions of trade with the middlemen and recycling factories. The key to this approach is to build up co-operation among the various constituents having a role in waste generation, disposal and reuse.

Co-operativisation includes the integration of groups of waste pickers into small scale, community based solid waste management schemes such as door-to-door waste collecting which deserves much more attention and experimental space than has been given to date. Training women in marketing and bulk selling, together with more public awareness about the role of waste pickers would allow them to operate their co-operatives and other forms of organisation. A more responsive government initiative is necessary to make this effective at city level. (Box 8)



Box 8 : GRASP, Pune, India

GRASP was started by the Centre for Adult Education and Extension Programmes of SNDT Women’s University in Pune in 1991 for girl rag-pickers. To improve conditions for the girl child, the project staff decided to organise the mothers by trying to increase their income, reduce their work burden and improve their work circumstances. Given the unhealthy and insecure nature of the work, the immediate need was to develop alternative work patterns that would ensure safe and secure access to waste. If waste pickers could obtain direct access to waste that had been segregated at source, these would be cleaner and would involve less effort.

To obtain pre-sorted waste, a pilot project was developed in a newly developed residential area, Kalyani Nagar, in Pune. First, contacts were made with the women waste pickers through the Centre’s existing literacy programme. A workshop in 1991 presented the waste pickers with information on the dangers of their present working patterns and on the concept of source separation and recycling. was selected for the pilot project.

Households were advised to separate glass, plastics and paper that was then collected by the waste pickers. Many households objected to this scheme since they felt that such waste segregation was dirty and time consuming and because they considered waste pickers to be dirty thieves who should not be allowed into their homes. This problem was addressed by asking the Municipal Corporation to issue a letter of authority and identity cards for waste pickers, and by using volunteers who helped to motivate their fellow residents.

Another problem arose when the servants and watchmen in Kalyani Nagar began competing with the waste pickers for the sale of the materials recovered from the wastes. An interim evaluation after one year found that the waste pickers had not had an appreciable increase in their income.

To create a larger and more positive effect, the programme was expanded to four more areas. In 1992, a collective of waste pickers was registered. Campaigns were organised to promote the programme and members of the collective were given identity badges, signed by GRASP. Contacts were also established with women waste pickers in other areas and women who became members of the collective were organised into collecting the wastes from the five neighbourhoods. After a further 18 months, waste pickers had registered an increase in their income and had achieved shorter working days.




Box 8 contd

The collective had to face the following problems:

· Some entrepreneurs with access to new technologies such as vermicomposting tried to drive the waste pickers away. They promised the residents that they would get rid of the waste pickers and would collect the mixed wastes so that households no longer had to pre-sort them. Attempts to convince the entrepreneurs to integrate waste pickers into their scheme failed.

· In some areas, the Municipal Corporation had privatised the collection and transport of household wastes. Since the contractors were paid according to the weight of wastes collected, they prevented pickers from collecting wastes.

GRASP staff tried to protect the interests of the waste pickers through discussions with Corporation officials. While the Corporation talked of the need to rehabilitate the pickers, it was not willing to oppose private entrepreneurs and the private firms who were collecting waste. Its position was that in a free market, it cannot show special concessions to any group. Women waste pickers organised a protest against the appropriation of municipal waste by private entrepreneurs, while project staff sought to convince households to hand their wastes to waste pickers.

A union was formed (the waste paper people’s panchayat) to help tap the end-use market, and its members included many small waste buyers who, having the same social background as the women waste pickers, were in favour of unionisation. Most of the waste wholesalers resented the union and refused to advance working capital to small buyers.

Union membership grew to include 2,000 waste pickers from 44 different settlements. It meets every two weeks to discuss issues such as the right of access to waste, identity cards, fair prices for segregated wastes, protection from police, and integration into civic garbage disposal programmes. Other issues such as domestic violence, children's problems, literacy, savings and diversifying the union's economic activities are also discussed. The union has also taken up several cases of police harassment, the physical abuse of members by watchmen, and domestic violence. A mobile van is also used for providing health services.

Plans for the future include non-formal education classes for the children of waste pickers, health services, and the provision of short-term credit. GRASP plans to develop a relevant and self-sustainable economic system for waste pickers by establishing a series of co-operatives in waste materials, credit, production and marketing. The production of paper bags is also planned, along with an extension of home based work for women waste pickers whose mobility is affected by injury or illness. There are also plans to make school exercise books and writing pads out of waste from computer print-outs and to make use of organic wastes. With the help of the Municipal Corporation, there are plans to develop plots in certain areas for vermicomposting, with the compost sold back to the Corporation to maintain its parks and gardens.

(Reference 12)

5.4 Partnership issues

5.4.1 Privatisation and cost-sharing

Decentralised modes of payment for services have developed in an ad hoc fashion. In a few cities in India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, a portion of municipal salaries designated for conservancy workers in an area is paid by the community directly to the workers; an institutionalisation of earlier informal arrangements. There are cases where residents have financed construction of communal bins.

In recent years, an important trend affecting financial and other aspects of solid waste services is privatisation, which takes several forms, including contracting out, franchises, and partnership arrangement. In some cases, private arrangements for collection are in existence for a long time, since the authorities have been unable to provide services to peripheral areas, or have not had sufficient vehicles. In Mumbai, more than 50 per cent of vehicles for waste transportation are hired from private contractors. Municipalities have also sought to contract out to save expenditure on capital equipment and to improve efficiency. (Box 9)

Buy-back guarantees, and environmental protection through recycling of waste can go a long way towards established commitment to community support,. There is also the possibility of direct partnership between business enterprises and communities towards waste management. (Box 2)



Box 9 : Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, India

The Pimrpi Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) area generates 300 tonnes of garbage daily which is being transported though trucks owned by PCMC as well as contract vehicles.

A system of ringing bells (Ghanta Gadi System) for house-to-house collection has been introduced on an experimental basis in some of the wards of PCMC. There is a good response from the residents to this system. With the help of Rag Pickers Association, a system of segregating garbage at source, that is from house to house has been introduced. Identification badges have been given to the rag pickers and specific areas have been demarcated for each rag picker.

Market and vegetable waste is being collected with private and NGO partnership and used to produce vermiculture compost. A vermiculture project has been initiated by the Pravin Pickles Ltd., a private sector company. It was initially started to take care of their own organic waste but later expanded to treat municipal solid waste as well.

Vermiculture is used to treat the garbage aerobically. While no sorting takes place (that is, there is no separation of organic and inorganic waste), the inorganic matter is superficially removed, the rest being separated out after the end of the treatment. The company treats about 15 metric tonnes of city garbage daily. The PCMC is expected to transport the garbage to their composting site at Akurdi.

The compost is used internally by the company for all their farm requirements in Maharashtra state. This is a case of administration partnership with private sector where the administration gets the advantage of private sector resources, that is, a composting site and as a result the pressure on land fill sites is reduced. The private sector gets the benefit of easy availability of raw waste for processing at the door-step. The process has led to a tremendous cost reduction for the municipal administration as the costs on land fill operations is reduced.

Another such vermicomposting project has been taken up by an NGO, NRG Technical Consultants to take care of nearly 2-3 tonnes of hotel waste generated in the corporation area daily. The organic matter is aerobically treated to yield about 110 tonnes of fertiliser per year.

The PCMC co-operates in the project, in that it helps collect the hotel waste and deposits it at the vermiculture site opposite the Municipal commissioner’s bungalow. The waste is checked and any non-compostable material is separated. While the PCMC bears the transport costs, NRG Technical Consultants is responsible for operational costs of vermicomposting.



Box 9 contd

Also, the Institute of Natural Organic Agriculture (INORA) operates two vermicomposting sites, one for hotel waste and one for market waste. Both kinds of waste are treated aerobically, taking care of about 7-8 tonnes of vegetable waste daily.

As a part of privatisation of processing of solid waste, INORA and the PCMC have signed an agreement for 3 years. The daily production of vermicompost is about 2-3 tonnes which is about 35 per cent of the waste being processed.

While INORA faces a huge demand for its vermicompost, its able to market it rather well. The PCMC bears the transport costs for dumping the waste at the site at M.I.W.I. Bhosari, it takes away 40 per cent of the total produce of INORA and uses it for its parks, nurseries and afforestation projects. The land water, electricity one provided by PCMC.

The government of Maharashtra and Central Government have announced incentive scheme for projects to generate energy from waste. A project is being finalised to produce 3-4 M.W. of energy per day. The PCMC will provide land, water and free garbage at site, to the company. The government of Maharashtra has also undertaken the responsibility of buying energy produced from such project.

With respect to both the sources, that is domestic waste as well as market and hotel waste, a system of collection is evolved through appropriate organisational arrangements involving the existing rag-pickers. The disposal mechanisms, through partnership with private sector and NGOs, has been attempted in an effort towards a self-sustaining institutional arrangement.

(Reference 21)

5.4.2 Role of NGOs

Various institutions in the region have developed with expertise in solid waste management. The Municipal Training and Research Institute in Karachi has a mandate to provide such services. In Kathmandu, during the period of German technical assistance (1984-1994), the Solid Waste Management and Resource Mobilisation Centre undertook training. The oldest institutions involved with solid waste management are the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute and the All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health in India. They, however, lack the resources to have a substantial impact in this field for a country as large as India.

Citizen’s environmental organisations are on the increase in the Asian region. In India, especially since the plague cases in 1994, NGOs have been turning their attention to MSW management. The current watch dog function performed by these NGOs should be appropriately appreciated by the governments and local authorities. The technical inputs made available through such NGO functions makes an additional resource available to the authorities. (Box 10). Similarly, some of the NGOs are encouraging self-planning at the community level and evolving appropriate support mechanisms for technical and administrative back-up. Orangi Pilot Project has succeeded in creating an arrangement between qualified professionals and research institutions on the one hand, and the informal sector and low income communities on the other to enable effective interaction. (Box 11)

In general, the role of NGOs and local communities can be extremely helpful in checking on performance, and in experimenting with waste reduction through neighbourhood composting and the promotion of recycling. Local groups are organising communities to improve street cleanliness and to facilitate more efficient waste collection (for example, the Civic Exnora street groups in India). Concern about the siting of, and conditions at garbage dumps is developing in some large cities, such as Mumbai, Bangalore and Calcutta. Facilities such as clinics to ensure regular medical check-ups, clean water, washing places and safe storage places for collected materials can be provided through NGOs working with waste pickers.

NGOs should examine their manpower and capabilities for required technical back up to CBOs based on the dimensions of affordability, sustainability and replicability. Proper appreciation and incorporation of front-line technologies existing at the local level will have to be matched with the technological alternatives provided by NGOs.

5.4.3 Networking

There is a scope for exchange of information and collaboration among city departments and NGOs on the subject of community awareness and participation in solid waste management. NGOs should be given access to critical information so as to reduce their pressure of intelligence gathering and promote their role more in terms of education and awareness building at the community level to maximise community participation. Financial support from the Government and partnership with NGOs will provide for more effective execution of the educational role. While there are limitations to city-twinning arrangements, the exchange of ideas among similar cities and towns is developing. CITYNET is supporting such exchanges in Asia. The types of networks working on urban environmental issues can be grouped into : Asian networks, European networks working in Asia, National NGO networks working in cities and Research and training institutions. These have been listed in Annexure I.


Box 10 : Binh Hung Hoa Project, HCM city, Enda Vietnam - Preceup

With the annual average population growth rate of 5 per cent and GDP per capita of 10 to 12 per cent, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) is now experiencing a dramatic increase in solid waste. The volume of solid waste generated by different sources is estimated to raise up to the level of 25 per cent per year. It is worth noting that recycling industries are sectors that have been strongly developed during the closed economy phase. On the other hand, high-tech recycling sectors require substantial capital investment and sophisticated technology that go beyond the capacity of governmental organisations and NGOs.

In 1994. Preceup suggested several activities oriented towards Viet Nam. In the end of 1994, with reference to the HCMC Construction Department recommendation, Enda selected The City Women Union as a counter partner for the project with the cooperation of the City Public Sanitation Services.

Initially, this was considered as an integrated community development project for waste pickers, mainly the women who were living in Village no 7, Binh Hung Hoa commune. There were around 70 households living on waste collected from the nearby dumpsite for HCM city. The project went through several risks such as sudden decisions of local authority related to planning, closure of the nearby dumpsite and its relocation.

In the one year preparatory phase, Enda conducted research and worked with various Vietnamese partners. Enda facilitators worked closely with the community through the Village Development Committee and local partners through the Executive Board in order to facilitate the process of planning, activity and initiative formulating as well as the implementation of these activities once they were approved. The methodology used by the team was based upon the participatory and community development approach and principles. They also worked with concerned technical partners to provide technical support corresponding to the community requirement.

Environment Committee, Public Sanitation Department and Agriculture Department co-operated and gave technical support to the project in accordance with their specialisation. The People Committee of Binh Hung Hoa commune assigned four persons towards hygiene and environmental education activities.

In village 7, a committee was formed which included the village leader, the village communist party chairman, the chief of the village fatherland front and two teachers. The purpose was to stimulate high level of people participation in the project.

During three year implementation of the project, several active groups were established within the community such as the puppet group, the communication group, the savings and credit groups for women, etc. They played the pivotal role of mobilising and encouraging the community to discuss possible alternatives and initiatives to respond to community needs and problems, execute activities and promote awareness on different aspects.



Box 10 : Contd

The project activities included :

· Plastic recycling activity

· Incense and rope production

· Small saving credit scheme for women

· Waste water treatment

· Credits for sanitation improvement (latrine and well)

· Community awareness on environment

· Environmental education in schools

· Training and experience exchanges

The establishment of partnership among Enda, The City Women Union and The Local Executive Board (with representatives of local mass-based organisations as members) has created favourable conditions for the community to voice their aspirations and mobilise their initiatives. This has encouraged people’s participation in formulating plans and activities. It would have been more effective if the Board had included community representatives but this was not easy in the political context of Vietnam.

The positive community participation was illustrated through concrete activities. Nevertheless, more consideration needs to be given to the creation of a communication channel for the community and feedback to the authorities.

The integration of environmental issues into saving-credit groups, regular meetings and environmental education activities targeting different community groups especially children and teenagers, has proved to be effective in raising environmental awareness. This has stimulated people to embark on concrete activities to improve their sanitation and hygienic conditions such as latrine building, boiling water before drinking, use of garbage bins etc.

Activities that linked environmental education in schools and special groups in the community have had productive outputs. The creation of "The Environmental Protection Youth Pioneers" group and their active role in environmental activities were a source of pride for the whole community. Some environment education activities however, could not be integrated into formal schools.

The project shows that the establishment of partnership with complementary and relevant actors is essential for the development of specific objectives.

Reference (22)



Box 11: Orangi Pilot Project, Karachi, Pakistan

Orangi Township, Karachi’s largest squatter settlement (9,000 ha) is situated in the Orangi hills. The population of about 900,000 live in 94,122 houses that people have constructed themselves with help from the informal sector. The township was created through the illegal occupation subdivision of state land. Piped water has been available for most of the settlement since 1984. Before the Orangi Pilot Project (OPP) was established in the township, there was no proper sanitation system.

Many government-sponsored initiatives to regularise squatter settlements have failed because of opposition by administrators and land owners. Frustrated by the lack of progress, a local NGO launched the Orangi Pilot Project in 1980. The community of Orangi decided that the installation of sewerage was their highest priority. The community rallied to design an innovative low-cost sewerage system that is financed and constructed completely by the community. As a result, more than 72,000 sanitary latrines were installed and 1.3 million feet of sewer lines were laid. Unfortunately, the OPP sewer system could not be connected to existing city pines because of its unauthorised status.

The OPP project, however, attracts the attention of international donors and similar sewer projects were set up in three squatter settlements in the Sukker Municipality, Province of Sindh. This project began in July 1990 and has resulted in improvement of the sanitary conditions of all three settlements with the help of the experience gained in the OPP, Karachi.

Survey carried out by the Aga Khan Medical University shows that health conditions in Orangi have improved immensely and real estate prices have shot up. In addition, the OPP now has technical manpower and social organisers, who understand sanitation related problems of low income settlement and also have the skills to train communities in solving them. The OPP has designed and developed tools and equipment to train people and to deliver its sanitation model. The OPP has managed to mobilise the people to complete Low Cost Housing Programme, the Basic Health and Family Planning Programme, the Women’s Work Centres Programme, Private School Programme etc.

The high participation of the community lead to a major modification to conventional sanitation technology and procedures and made them compatible with the concept of a community financed and built system. It also reduced costs substantially and resulted in major technical innovations.

(Reference 23)

5.4.4 Community education

Public knowledge, awareness, and the willingness to devote time and energy to cleanliness and waste reduction, vary along the full range of motivation, both within societies and across societies in the Asian region. In the countries with low levels of literacy and poverty, habits of frugality and recovery/recycling are strong. Public awareness of modern solid waste management is very low and there are many problems of collection and disposal in these countries. Anti-littler campaigns, a popular approach to public education, do not have lasting effect unless they are part of a more comprehensive strategy. Simple litter campaigns are, in effect, "end of the pipe" approaches, since they do not address issues of waste generation and disposal. Environment education, being a fairly recent development, provides ample scope and challenge to NGOs to evolve training materials directed to community level intervention. Potentials of media like posters, folk songs, street plays and use of cultural and religious occasions need to be exploited. NGOs should explore the possibilities of net-working of CBOs around specific environmental issues thereby smoothening the interface between the authorities and CBOs. Some country campaigns are arranged as annual cleanliness weeks and information dissemination. Information leaflets are also distributed before major festivals to inform the public about special arrangements during such occasions. The most outstanding example is during the Haj at Mecca.

The German-aided solid waste project in Kathmandu included public education that was developed by social workers familiar with the local cultures. Community education is a component of the solid waste management programme in Karachi funded by the Asian Development Bank. The campaigns run by the Water and Sewage Authority of Lahore against solid waste dumping in sewers and streams, would be beneficial for any city or town in the region. Most public awareness efforts are directed to children, since they are responsive and easily accessible, and it is believed that they can influence adult attitudes. In Karachi an NGO (Gul Bahoo) has devised school recycling projects. In a few schools, dry and wet waste is being separated and the NGO comes once a week to collect the waste in exchange for toys. In Mumbai, child-to-child and child-to-community programmes in the municipal schools, attempted to transmit waste management messages through school children. International workshops, bilateral action research projects, and the work of individual scholars and some entrepreneurs are beginning to fill the gaps in public education programmes. For instance, expertise and funds from the Netherlands, the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements, and foreign advisors (from Canada, the Netherlands, and Switzerland) have supported a small core of local experts and concerned citizens in Bangalore since 1989.

The Centre for Environmental Education, Mythri Foundation (Waste Wise project), and Swabhimana (self-respect) are all active in keeping waste issues before the public and in lobbying the city administration. A point emphasised by a 1994 workshop on "Linkages in solid waste management" was that education has to reach politicians and bureaucrats, as well as residents. Solid waste Management need no longer be a daunting either at the macro level of the family or the macro level of the nation - all it takes is awareness and an attitude to reduce waste at its source. Recycling/Reuse/Reduce, the three R’s, of waste management would go a long way in dealing with Solid Waste in developing as well as industrialised nations thereby bringing with it a whole new attitude to waste. This attitude needs to be cultivated at all levels starting with children who can be convinced into tackling solid waste in their families and schools as seen in the Metro Manila case study. (Box 12)


Box 12 : Metro Manila Women’s garbage recycling programme, Philippines

An experimental scheme was started by Metro Manila Women’s Group, in 1975 in a small village in Mandaluyong, a suburb of Metro Manila for recycling of waste. Garbage recycling in San Juan town was restricted to old newspapers, selected bottles and heavy metals by the 8 junk collectors in town. The junk collectors were encouraged by the Group, to collect all kinds of waste paper as well as plastic and non-traditional items for which the local market could be explored. Pushcart boys were given uniforms and called eco-aides. 21 villages of San Juan were divided into 7 days of the week and garbage collected from each house once a week

Paper mills, plastic factories, steel mills and bottle factories were willing to buy clean waste paper and other waste materials. Awareness was created among the community, so that they could separate their garbage. The movement enlisted the help of the local officials which was their only connection with the government. The community too was paid to separate their garbage.

Children and women formed a major part of this partnership with the Group. School children were encouraged to sort out the garbage into cans. The Group also took care of biodegradable waste by converting it into compost. Not just school waste, but the house waste was also collected till the Group was able to sell about 1500 kilos for the whole year.

(Reference 7)

5.5 Conclusion

In all Third World cities, the ingenuity and creativity of millions of people have woven extremely intricate systems of social relations and regulations and led to the invention of technologies adapted to their environment and their economic and social positions. These popular ecologists have invented income-generating mechanisms and activities which, at the same time, enable them to introduce environmental systems without doing ecological damage to the urban niches in which they have settled, thereby maintaining a dynamic balance between development and the environment.

In the context of poverty groups the need is to develop long-term strategies for urban environment bringing in the Government, Corporate and Public Sector and NGOs in effective coordination. The present isolated project models will have to give way to a more cohesive strategy, providing for increased area of community autonomy on the one hand and appropriate infrastructural support on the other.

The environmental culture and awareness is already born and new models of society which are socially equitable, economically viable, politically democratic and ecologically sustainable need to be explored. Sustainable Development needs to be the goal. Only a change in attitude and a commitment to the course that make that happen. Case studies in Asia show these countries are not far from the goal through more such examples have to be followed. Efficient Solid Waste Management practices need to be a rule and not an exception.





Title and Publication


Department of Urban Development, Ministry of Urban Affairs and Employment, Government of India


National Clean City Campaign. Delhi. 1997


Johnson Cointreau, Sandra; Gunnerson, Charles G; Huls M; John, Seldman N Neil


"Integrated Resource Recovery - Recycling from Municipal Refuse", A state of the art review and annotated bibliography, UNDP Project Management Report # 1. 1984


Furedy Christine


Environmental Sanitation Reviews - Social aspects of solid waste recovery in Asian cities, Environmental Sanitation Information Centre, Thailand. 1990.


Attarwala, F. A.


Solid Waste Management - a Manual. All India Institute of Local Self Government, Mumbai. 1993


All India Institute of Local Self Government, Mumbai


Solid Waste Management - Reading Material in collaboration with Water Engineering Development Centre, Loughborough University of Technology, United Kingdom.


International Environment Technology Centre


International source book on environmentally sound Technologies for Solid Waste Management. Technical Publication Series 6. Shiga. 1996.


Asia Pacific Urban Forum, United Nations


Living in Asian cities, New York. 1996



Panwalkar V. G., Panwalkar P. V., Soares M., Vyas M., Bhide


A study of urban environmental management through community and non-governmental organisation. Department of Urban and Rural Community Development Tata Institute of Social Sciences. 1994




Indian Best Practices. Habitat-II, Istanbul. 1996.


Serageldin, Ismail, Cohen A., Michael, and Leitmann, Josef


"Enabling Sustainable community Development", Environmentally sustainable Development Proceedings Series No. 8, The World Bank, Washington, D.C. 1994


Prasad, Raj Mangal, Furedy, Christine


"Case Study 2: Small businesses from urban wastes-shoe renovation in Delhi", Environment and Urbanization, London. 1992


Marijk Huysman


"Waste picking as a survival strategy for women in Indian cities", Environment and Urbanization, 1994




Man and waste popular recycling activities in the Third World. 1991


Stephen Stern, Asten


Community Participation in Waste Management and Sanitation in three Kathmandu wards, Metropolitan Environment Integrated Program, World Bank, 1995


Rossi A., Basil


"Solid Waste in Asia - asset or liability", Managing Solid Wastes in Developing Countries Ed. By John R. Holmes Chichester, John Wiley and Sons, 1984


Tabasaran O


"The reorganization of solid waste disposal in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal", Managing Solid Wastes in Developing Countries ed. John R. Holmes, Chichester, John Wiley and Sons. 1984






Implementing the Urban Environment Agenda, Habitat II. 1996


Holmes, John R


"A review of municipal waste management practices", Managing Solid Wastes in Developing Countries Edited by John R. Holmes. 1984.




Cleanliness campaign in Surat : A case study on administrative initiatives, Preceup, 1998



Holmes, John R


"A review of municipal waste management practices in three South-Asian cities", Managing Solid Wastes in Developing Countries Edited by John R. Holmes. 1984




Solid waste management in Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, 1998




Case Study : Binh Hung Hoa Project, HCM city, 1998




"Some urban environmental community initiatives in Asia", (Reading material) 1998



Annexure I : Networks as Actors in Urban Environment Improvement in Asia

A. Asian networks in urban environment improvement

1. water watch asia

Water watch Asia is an action oriented participatory network that aims to raise the level of advocacy and information exchange among civil society groups concerned about water resources management.

The secretariat for Water Watch Asia is APPEN which is hosted by Sabahar Alam Malaysia (SAM) and which has linkages with over 100 NGOs working on development and environment issues in the region.


Mr. Abdul Razak Lubis, Coordinator

Water Watch Asia - APPEN

C/o Sahabat alam Malaysin (SAM)

27 Lorong Maktab - 10250,

Penang Malaysia.

Tel : 6042620123

Fax : 604 2633970/2275705

E-mail : lubisksn@tm.net.my

2. south and southeast asian network for environmental education (saseanee)

SASEANEE is a network of all those involved in and interested in environmental education in the region. Through its activities, SASEANEE hopes to improve the quality and reach of Environmental Education and Communication in the region.

The secretariat of this network is located at CEE-India. The Centre for Environment Education is a National institution established in 1984 and supported by the government of India, Ministry of Environment and Forests.


SASEANEE Secretariat

Mr. Kartikeya V. Sarabhai, Director

Mrs. Sunita Narain, Programme Coordinator

Centre for Environment Education

Thaltej Tekra

Ahmedabad 380054 - India

Email : cee@adl.vsnl.net.in


3. waste wise

Waste Wise Asia Pacific is an informal, interactive network dedicated to advocating solid waste management policies that are environmentally sound, socially responsible and energy efficient. This network includes NGOs, government officials, individuals, business/industry, researchers, community based organisations concerned by urban and waste issues.

Waste Wise, Bangalore, has long experiences in issues related to urban poverty, solid waste and its consequent environmental and social problems.


Mr. Anselm Rosario, Coordinator

Waste Wise Asia Pacific,

373, 100 Ft Road, HAL 2nd Stage,

Indiranagar, Bangalore - 560 008, India

Tel. Fax : (19-80) 5255543

Email : Mythri@giasbg01.vsnl.net.in

4. united nations development programs

· Urban Management Program - UMPAP

The Urban Management Programme for Asia and the Pacific is one of the responses from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to address the urban challenge. It is an inter agency coalition which aims to strengthen urban management capacity, encourage urban networking, generate sustainable urban development policies and practices and ensure the involvement of non governmental organisations (NGOs) and community based organisations (CBOs) in all aspects of urban management programmes. Four agencies are involved in UMPAP, each coordinating a component which addresses urban management issues at different levels: ESCAP for the Intra regional participatory Urban Management component, UMP Asia for strengthening urban management capacity component; Asia Pacific 2000 for the civil society supports components.


Mr. Anwar Fazal

Regional Coordinator UMPAP

Mrs. Sri Husnaini Sofjan

General Secretary

PO Box 12 544

50 782 Kuala Lumpur

Tel : 6032559122

Fax : 60 3 253 23 61 / 60 3 255 28 70





· Asian Coalition of Housing Rights - ACHR

ACHR is a collaboration of non governmental organisations (NGOs) who are deeply committed to supporting and strengthening the capacities of communities to participate in their own development. It is most active in coordinating local and international exchanges which motivate communities and increase awareness of replication potential, and facilitate the establishment of vital support systems. It serves as the Asia regional office of Habitat International coalition (HIC) and is managing the Tap Program. A new programme is undertaken focusing on waste management in Asian cities.


Ms. Somsook Boonyabancha

Secretary General


73 Soi sonthiwattana 4 - Ladprao Road

Bangkok 10 310 Thailand

Tel : 66 2 53 80 919

Fax : 66 2 53 999 50

· Training and Advisory Program - TAP

TAP is a three year programme of the Asian Coalition of Housing Rights (ACHR) aimed at supporting and strengthening community based processes in Asian Cities by drawing on a network of experiences and knowledge of successful Asian projects and processes. TAP’s activities are focused on the Skills and Project workshop, community organisation support and community based activities initiatives, relationship promotion, decision makers influences, and develop accessible information.


Mr. Maurice Leonhardt

Programme Coordinator

Training and advisory programme (TAP)

ACHR 73 Soi Sonthiwattana 4

Ladprao Road - Bangkok

10310 Thailand

Tel : 66 2 53 80 919

Fax : 66 2 53 999 50


· Asia Pacific 2000

This initiative aims to support non governmental organisations to address the urban environment challenge. It is a programme that seeks to accelerate the transfer, adaptation and expansion of NGO initiatives which demonstrates how urban communities can organise themselves to get access to basic environmental services. AP- 2000 provides financial, technical and administrative support to Asia Pacific Urban NGOs and NGO coalitions working to provide the poor with basic affordable environmental services. It currently has national programmes in India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand. AP- 2000 is the implementing agency for the support to Civil society component of UMPAP.


Mr. Anwar Fazal

Regional coordinator

Asia Pacific 2000

P.O. Box 12544

50782 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Tel : 60 3 255 91 22

Fax : 60 3 253 23 61 / 255 28 27

Email : ap2000@umpap.po.my


· The Metropolitan Environmental Improvement Program

The MEIP was initiated in 1989 to help Asian urban areas tackle their rapidly growing environmental problems. MEIP achievements are based in institutions and action in its six cities with back up and guidance from its central office (established at the World Bank). MEIP is not a stand alone environmental project, but rather uses its relationships and activities with governments, communities, industries and organisations to catalyse action on the urban environment. The program simultaneous "top-down / bottom-up" framework for consultations, workshops and field activities yields a strong sense of local ownership of MEIP.

MEIP works in each metropolitan region and is guided by a steering committee composed mainly of representatives from central and local government agencies responsible for environmental quality, budgeting and finance, sector development, urban planning and land use.


Mr. Suhadi Hadiwinoto

Ms. Ade Christina

World Bank Resident Mission

J 1 Resuna Said B 10, Kuningan

Lippolife Building 3rd floor-

Jakarta - Indonesia

Tel : 252 03 16

Fax : 2522438


· United Nations Center Human Settlements (UNCHS)

UNCHS is the agency of the UN responsible for addressing issues of urbanization and shelter, a subject gaining an importance in a rapidly urbanizing world. The goals are to :

· address global issues through a comprehensive research and information programme and

· assist countries in their efforts to meet shelter and human settlements challenges.

This agency focuses on Housing and Social Services, Urban development, Infrastructures and Environment; Monitoring and Assessment working in the Asia and Pacific region form the strategic base of Jukuoka, this agency have enhances opportunities to continue dialogue will all the partners in the region, to response to requests from countries, to collaborate, disseminate information and active monitoring between countries.



Across Fukuoka

8th floor

1-1-1 Tenjin Chuo Ku,

Fukuoka 810 0001

5. takataka

TAKATAKA is an international network of initiatives on waste which has been set up in collaboration with Sterling Tree Magnum and Excel Industries Ltd. The aim of this network is to disseminate knowledge on waste management, in order to raise awareness. The network connects organisations in India, Columbia, Egypt, Indonesia, Kenya, Holland, and the Philippines.


Capt Velu

EXCEL industries Ltd

184-87 Swami Vivekannd road

Jogeshwari (w) Mumabi 400 102

Sterling Tree Magnum Ltd.

Tel : 4323 323/24/25

Fax : 44 4322162


6. regional network for management and utilisation of waste

This network is working on waste issues in the south Asian region. This network is operating projects in solid waste management and waste reduction and beside organise training and educational activities in the same field.


Prof. F. Gunarwan Suratmo

Executive secretary UNESCO

IPB Darmaga campus

P.O.Box 69 Bogor

16001 Indonesia

Tel : 6221581665

Fax : 6221583127



B. International Network Based in europe and Active in Environment Improvement in Asian Cities

1. garnet

Garnet is an informal, decentralized and low cost network of researchers, field workers and other professionals. It stands for the Global Applied Research Network in Water Supply and Sanitation, and forms one of the fourteen current activities of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council. Garnet’s objective is to facilitate the sharing of ideas, experience and research between professionals in different countries working in the water supply and sanitation sector.


South Asia Network Centres

Dr.Bilqis Amin Hoque

Environmental Health Programme

International Center for Diarrhoeal Desease Research

GPO Box 128, Dhaka 1000 Bangladesh

Tel : 880 2 600171, Fax : 880 2 883116

Email : bilqis%cholera@external.ait.ac.th

2. eawag sandec

This institute is involved in research action programs on urban management issues (solid waste management) and in pilot projects in Indonesia and Pakistan.


Water and Sanitation in developing countries

Mr. Serge Abramowski

Ueberlandstrasse 133 - CH 8600

Duebendorf / Switzerland

Tel : 41 1 823 55 11

Fax : 41 4 823 53 99

3. waste consultant

Urban Waste Expertise Programme - UWEP - aims to enable organisations from the south to develop and initiate activities to improve waste management. UWEP aims to support the local pilot projects in urban low income areas.

Contact :

Waste Consultants Crabethstraat

38Fn 2801 AN Gouda

The Netherlands

Tel : 31 182022 625

Fax : 31 182084 885

C. Networks of National NGOs in Asian Countries

1. urban resources centre - sevanatha

The Urban Resources Centre is a coalition formed by community based organisation (CBOs) in and around Colombo and about 30 small non governmental organisations (NGOs) in selected urban centres (Kandy, Matale and Galle) in Sri Lanka. Many of these CBOs and NGOs have come together as a result of an Asia Pacific 200 consultative process and have decided to continue networking towards their common goals.

Presently, most of their organising efforts comes from Sevanatha, a Colombo based organisation, that does work in community development with the urban poor and set up an urban resource centre to better serve this constituency.



President Sevanatha

Urban Resource Centre

220/3 Nawala Road, Rajagirya,

Sri Lanka

Tel : (941) 562 148

Fax : (941) 850 223

2. green forum

This network includes the NGOs active in urban environment in Philippines. They also follow up on some urban community development projects.


Mrs. Elizabeth Roxax


3rd floor, Liberty Building

835 Pasay Road, Makati,

1200 Metro Mania Philippines

Fax : 632 818 32 07












3. community organisation training and advocacy institute - (cotrain)

Cotrain is working with communities to participate in the Bantay Llog (Riverwatch) Programme and designed to involve communities in protecting the Pasig River by monitoring pollution from factories in their neighborhoods.


Co train

Mrs. Jane Austria

14 A Manhattan, Cubao, Quezon

City Philippines

Tel/Fax : 632 98 70001

Email : sanya@mnl.sequel.net

4. participatory development forum

Participatory development Forum is an informal network which links local NGOs in their efforts to improve environment and local development. The main focus of this network is to support their initiatives on environment issues (water treatment, industrialization, gender issues, solid waste management) Participatory Development Forum is straightly liked to Asia Pacific 2000.


Mr. Tri Munpuni Iskandar

J1 Gatat Subroto Kav 96

(Gedung MB-PM)

Jakarta 12 790 Indonesia

Tel : 622178923 64

Fax : 62217995188

5. the indonesia forum for environment - walthi


Ms. Emmy Hafiz, Director

Mampang Prapatan

JL K NO 37 Jakarta Indonesia

Tel : 62 21 794 16 72

Fax : 62 21 794 16 93



D. Research and Training Regional Network and Institute

1. the network of research and training institutes in human settlements - trishnet

Trishnet was established on 29th September 1993 in New Delhi at a meeting attended by delegates from fifty institutions and organisations from thirteen countries of the region.


Mr. K. Bhatanagar

TRISHNET Steering Committee

c/o Housing and Urban Development Corporation, HUDCO

House, Lodhi Road,

New Delhi 110 003 India

Tel : 91 11 649 3445

Fax : 91 11 649 3726


2. ait-ensic


Environmental System Information Center

Asian Institute of Technology

P.O. Box 4, Klong Luang

Ppathumthani 12120, Thailand

Tel : 66 2 5245863

Fax : 66 2 5245870, 5875

Email : enreric@ait.ac.th

3. asian institute of technology - AIT center in vietnam

This institute organise 19 management training courses. All the topics are focusing on development. These training programs are relevant to the professional needs of managers at top and medium levels in business, industries, development agencies as well as government and public institutions.


Mr. Le Thi Huong

Program Associate

21 Le Thanh Tong St.,

GPO Box 136 - Hanoi

Tel : 84 4 8253493

Fax : 84 4 8253658

Email : system@ait.ac.vn


4. asian institute of management

The Asian Institute of Management is an international, privately supported graduate school of advanced management education. AIM use the case method as its principal teaching methodology, workshop, field immersion activities, and integrated application projects.


Mr. Junlizardo

Development Executive Programs (AIM)

Col.Joseph R. Mcmicking Campus

123 Paseo de Roxas, 1260 Makati City,

Metro Manila Philippines

Tel : 632 892 40 11

Fax : 632 817 9240


5. international course on development communication

The International Course on Development Communication is designed to assist program managers who wish to better integrate communication into their field programs and training activities. Since this is a basic course, it is not intended for people with degrees or extensive experience in development communication Experience required of 3 years.


Ilya Moeliano

Stuidio Driya Media

J 1 Makmur 16, Bandung 40161

Indonesia International Institute of Rural Construction

Tel : 6222234614

Fax : 6222211282


6. institute for housing and urban development studies - his


Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies

Attn. Course bureau

P.O.Box 1935, 3000 Bx Rotterdam,

The Netherlands.








7. asian social institute

The Asian Social Institute was established in 1962 to work for socio-cultural transformation. This social science institute follows the concept of being an alternative academe, the thrust of which is theorizing from experience. Three departments interact to develop leaders who are equipped with inter disciplinary social sciences skills. The academe integrates theory and practice, while the Action Research Department grounds the students learning in marginal communities through ASI’s Action subsidiaries and NGO network.


Dr. Mina M. Rmire


Asian social Institute

Graduate School of Economics,

General Sociology

Social work, pastoral sociology and

Applied Cosmic Anthropology

1518 Leon Guinto St. Malate, Manila,


Tel : 632595613

Fax : 6325221095