The rapid increasing population and its associated waste

The rapid increasing population and its
associated waste generation increase are causing a lot of problems in most of
the developing countries as they can’t cope with this sudden increase.

In these countries, when the basic need
of surviving is a great concern; it is hard for waste management to make its
way as a top priority. Although, this has changed now. Providing a proper solid
waste management is one of the most import services the government has to
provide to its citizens. It single handedly takes up a huge portion in the
budget list. Lack of technical skills among the government and municipal
authorities is one of the technical factors that affect the system. And they
fail to provide a better solid waste management because they also lack
financial means. One of the driving forces for developing a better approach was
the clean development program under the Kyoto protocol. ‘Carbon credits’
provided these developing countries the necessary economy required.

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The current solid waste management
techniques used in most of the developing countries are landfills and
incineration. Open dumping of waste is still practiced is some of these
developing countries. The problem that arises with incineration is that it is
not cost effective and it requires high amounts of energy. The burning of
various components of the waste can also cause air pollution. The ash produced
from incineration has to be disposed well. When it comes to landfills, it not
only requires land availability but also causes health hazards to the people
living around the land. Open dumping creates a breeding spot for a wide variety
of disease causing insects. It does produce a huge quantity of methane gas
which is a deadly greenhouse gas.

In order to
overcome these problems large number of studies were conducted from 2005 to
2011 to review the solid waste management techniques and the problems
associated with them in these countries. From these reviews, the Integrated
Sustainable Waste Management Model was introducedThis majorly emerged from the increasing
problems that were created from landfilling. This system strives to develop an
approach that is not only effective but affordable and acceptable socially. It
analyses the various problems involved waste management by integrating each and
every aspect. ‘Waste’ is often seen as a negative concept whereas in ISWM the
term waste is only used when it can’t be used as resource.The word integrated means to combine
components that are separate into one process. In the context of solid waste,
integration means that various elements are integrated into a single treatment
process.  In the early 1990s, when most of the
conventional approaches to waste management were failing in the developing and
low-income countries; a workshop was held in Switzerland. During this period,
the Dutch government funded WASTE which undertook a six-year Urban Waste
Expertise Programme (UWEP). This further built the concept of integrated
sustainable waste management (ISWM). Along the year 2000s this concept got more
refined. Furthermore the second phase of the UWEP resulted in making sure that
ISWM had to be used as a tool for a methodological assessment.

This approach focuses on the various
physical and technical components of the waste system. It further analyses the
problems involved in planning and managing sectors, which include strategies,
active participation of the public and son on. The three dimensional approach
of ISWM is as shown in the figure.The framework of
ISWM:For the ISWM to
fulfil its tasks efficiently it should focus on two main components, which are 1.     
Physical components:·        
Public health: this is one of the main
drivers for a proper waste collection system. Comparing data about the waste
from different countries showed that irrespective of the income of the country
there was a high percentage of plastics in the waste.These
plastics clog up the drains which cause floods and this automatically leads to
water borne diseases. Such a situation has occurred in most of the cities in
the developing countries and low-income countries. This made the countries take
the decision to impose a ban on plastics.Statistically,
it has also been proven that children develop higher rates of diarrhoea and
acute respiratory infections when the waste is either dumped or burned close to
their homes when compared to the children who live in a household with a better
and regular waste collection system.Waste collection is such an important
factor that the law requires it to be provided for the entire society,
regardless of the interest of the market to supply it or the users’ ability (or
willingness) to pay for it. The key to a good waste collection system is the
percentage of the population that has an access to it. In principle this should
be 100% however 30-60% of the solid waste in the developing countries remains
uncollected. But this percentage is slowly reducing as cities and countries in
general have come up with better and efficient collection systems. To achieve
maximum vehicle load for the local roads, compaction is not required for the
developing countries as their waste is significantly wetter and denser because
when compared to the developed countries 67% of their waste consists of organic
matter. The reasons for failure in the developing countries in this sector are
unavailability of spare parts that are required for the vehicles used for
collection. Most of these developing countries import these vehicles. Weak infrastructure
is another cause for failure. ·        
Environmental protection: Every waste
management should have a proper engineered and controlled waste disposal system
and the driver for this is the protection of the environment. The waste
disposal techniques used in developing countries is thermal processing of the
waste followed by energy recovery whereas in the developing countries it is
landfills and incineration. The current scenario in most of the developing
countries is that they are facing a lot of problems with unstable waste slopes
in waste dumps which have cause a lot of deaths. Overfilling up of the dump
sites has caused some of the cities in the developing countries to shut down
these sites. The methane gas which is being released from these landfills is
damaging the environment and causing climate change. This brought about the
importance of waste reduction and waste recovery. An efficient waste disposal
system requires a high capital investment and a high operating cost, this is
one of the major factors for the failure of this sector in the low-income
countries. For these countries the high capital investment is sometimes funded
by aid agencies. However most of the aid agencies don’t provide funding for the
operation cost and this is causing a lot of problems. In Karachi, the Jam
Chakro landfill site was built with aid however it is failing now as the
government doesn’t have the funds to support the functioning of this landfill.
Regardless of this some of the cities in Brazil are using the
carbon-development mechanism. In this mechanism, the cities get funded for a
methane recovery provided that their landfill is an operating properly. This
can be one of the solutions and used more widely. The reason the developing
countries cannot opt for thermal processing is because the higher percentage of
their organic content in the waste, unless it is pre-treated. 

3Rs (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle): this
became a driver for waste management when the market value for the products
increased. As a result products were repaired, reused and recycled. When compared
to developing countries, developed countries have always invested heavily on
recycling materials as late as 1980s. Even though initially recycling became
popular due to the market value, however it grew greatly because it was
reducing the pressure on the landfills and other disposal techniques.