1. Know your waste: volumes and composition
Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) characterisation studies will provide the municipality with comprehensive waste data on volumes and composition of the different waste streams generated in their municipality. The study will form the basis for analysing what treatment technologies (if any) will be viable to treat the identified priority waste stream(s). These studies provide further indication of:
- Quantity of material available for treatment
- Effectiveness of existing recycling programs
- Appropriate size of existing treatment and recycling facilities
Things to consider:
- Calorific value
- Distinguish between different settlement structures (urban, peri-urban and rural)
Mechanisms should be set in place to measure waste volumes continuously, e.g. installing weigh bridges at landfills. Weigh bridges will enable the calculation of daily incoming waste tonnages (volumes and litters). Systematic weighing of incoming waste further allows the estimation of seasonal variations.
2. Apply 3 Rs of waste management and raise awareness
Municipalities should implement initiatives to reduce, reuse and recycle waste. Only waste volumes resulting after these initiatives have taken effect will be available for alternative treatment.
Initiatives could include:
- Fostering recycling initiatives both at household and company / industry level
- Introducing waste separation at source
- Awareness raising campaigns on good waste management practices, e.g. in schools
- The setup of corporate or private projects to avoid, substitute, recover or reuse waste products