Solid waste is a major problem for cities in developing countries. It is considered to be a big challenge because it needs commitment, time and effort from businesses and householders to practise reduction, reuse and recycling. It also requires major financial investment as well as infrastructure development. A well-planned collection and transfer process can lead to significant reductions in the overall cost of waste management.
You read about some of the negative effects of poor solid waste management in Study Session 2. Make a list of the benefits to everyone of having a good waste collection system.
Your list will probably include the following. A good waste collection system can:
- reduce the number of flies, rodents and other scavenging animals that can spread diseases
- keep drains clear avoiding flooding and contamination of watercourses
- make the area more pleasant
- encourage people to look after their area
- encourage businesses to stay in the area or others to move there
- help to build a healthier society where people can earn more money and children can gain more from their schooling.
In many developing countries, collection is the most expensive stage of the waste management process chain – one estimate suggests that it demands 50–70% of the total budget (Tchobanogous and Kreith, 2002). So it is important that an effective collection system is in place.