The components of ISWM

An ISWM system is more than just the 3 Rs. It has three components: the waste system elements; the stakeholders; and the influencing factors. These three components are shown in Figure 11.3. The waste system elements are the stages in the waste management chain that have been discussed in previous study sessions. In ISWM, every stage in the chain should be guided by strategies to minimise the waste that reaches the disposal site, to protect the environment and where possible to generate income from waste. The stakeholders are the people and organisations involved and the influencing factors are other aspects that need to be considered when developing an ISWM system. Stakeholders and the influencing factors are described below.

Figure 11.3 The integrated solid waste management model. (Adapted from Van de Klundert and Anschütz, 2001)


The term stakeholder refers to any individual or organisation that has a stake or an interest in a programme or activity or is affected by the activity. When it comes to the management of a district’s waste, who are the stakeholders? Everybody who lives or works in the district is a stakeholder. So are people who visit the district for any reason (perhaps relations of residents). The organisations in the district are also stakeholders (businesses, commerce, government etc.). If a private sector organisation is involved in providing the service, it too is a stakeholder. The organisations that provide any funding for the ISWM (local and national government, NGOs, aid agencies) are also stakeholders. This is such a wide group because every person, institution, organisation and industry in the district generates waste and is affected by the way it is collected, treated and disposed of.

Waste management requires a concerted effort throughout the process of its management and the degree of involvement of stakeholders varies from place to place. So it is necessary to identify stakeholders and their areas of interest and degrees of involvement in waste management (e.g. funding, training, waste collection, recycling etc.).

List the stakeholders in waste management in your home village, town or city.

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Your list will depend on where you live but could include:

  • households, individuals, businesses and other waste producers
  • districts and municipalities
  • urban health bureaus
  • micro- and small enterprises
  • city greening, beautification and parks development agencies
  • private sector organisations engaged in waste collection, transfer and transport
  • waste pickers
  • dealers who buy and trade in recyclable wastes
  • end-user industries that buy recyclables
  • NGOs.

One of the main challenges of ISWM is coordinating the stakeholders and getting them to work together for a common goal. So those working in waste management need to be able to work with the various stakeholders and help them to agree the way forward. Participation by the community members in planning and decision making is especially important because their cooperation and a positive attitude to recycling and reuse will be essential.

Influencing factors

Several factors will influence the selection, operation and effectiveness of any waste management scheme and need to be considered when planning a successful ISWM programme. They include:

  • Technical factors – refer to the selection of technologies that are available and will function with the quantities and composition of the waste produced. For example, the technology designed to compost one ton of waste a day will not be suitable for processing 50 tons per day. The reliability of the technology needs to be taken into account; it must operate under local climate conditions and be repairable using locally available materials and people.
  • Financial factors – are aspects that deal with budgeting and costs of the waste management system. Some of the most important issues to consider are the effect of private sector involvement and recovering the cost of the system from residents, businesses and government. The impact of the market prices of recovered materials, the amount and source of any subsidy to cover collecting wastes from those who cannot pay, and any other income-generation schemes also need to be considered.
  • Environmental factors – focus on the effects of waste management on land, water and air, the need for conservation of non-renewable resources, pollution control, and public health concerns (Figure 11.4).

Figure 11.4 Open dumping causes environmental pollution and is a risk to health.

  • Political and legal factors – refer to the administrative context in which the waste management system exists; the goals and priorities that have been set; the determination of roles and responsibilities; the existing or planned legal and regulatory framework and the decision-making processes.
  • Socio-cultural factors – include the influence of culture on waste generation and management in the household and in businesses and institutions, the community and its involvement in waste management; the relations between people in the community of different age, sex and ethnicity; and the social conditions of waste workers.

Last modified: Tuesday, 23 August 2016, 9:12 PM