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The collection, transport, treatment, and disposal of solid wastes, particularly wastes
generated in medium and large urban centers, have become a relatively difficult problem to solve
for those responsible for their management. The problem is even more acute in economically
developing countries, where financial, human, and other critical resources generally are scarce.

The organic fraction of municipal solid waste (MSW) is an important component, not only
because it constitutes a sizable fraction of the solid waste stream in a developing country, but also
because of its potentially adverse impact upon public health and environmental quality. A major
adverse impact is its attraction of rodents and vector insects for which it provides food and shelter.
Impact on environmental quality takes the form of foul odors and unsightliness. These impacts
are not confined merely to the disposal site. On the contrary, they pervade the area surrounding
the site and wherever the wastes are generated, spread, or accumulated.

Unless an organic waste is appropriately managed, its adverse impact will continue until it
has fully decomposed or otherwise stabilized. Uncontrolled or poorly managed intermediate
decomposition products can contaminate air, water, and soil resources.

Studies have shown that a high percentage of workers who handle refuse, and of
individuals who live near or on disposal sites, are infected with gastrointestinal parasites, worms,
and related organisms. Contamination of this kind is likely at all points where waste is handled.
Although it is certain that vector insects and rodents can transmit various pathogenic agents
(amoebic and bacillary dysenteries, typhoid fever, salmonellosis, various parasitoses, cholera,
yellow fever, plague, and others), it often is difficult to trace the effects of such transmission to a
specific population.

Due to the implementation of modern solid waste management practices, both the public
health and the quality of the environment are benefited directly and substantially. A modern solid
waste management program can be implemented for a reasonable cost. This is an important fact
because there are ample known situations where solid waste management costs in developing
countries are high and the level of service low. But, if the underlying reasons for these situations
are analyzed, then one can see in many cases that cost-effective waste management systems
would result if the identified deficiencies in the systems were remedied.
For example, in some developing countries, municipalities spend a disproportionate
amount of financial resources on certain solid waste services, in particular waste collection and
sweeping. In the past, a common approach to curing poor service provision was to simply expend
more capital (e.g., the acquisition of additional equipment, design and construction of facilities,
etc.) without also addressing and remedying inefficiencies inherent in the system. Unfortunately,
high capital investment in the solid waste management sector in many developing countries does
not necessarily lead to improvements in the quality of service. On the other hand, substantial
improvements can be achieved in many cases by making low-cost, or sometimes no-cost,
modifications in the existing system, with the focus being on increasing system efficiencies.
Examples of such improvements are the efficient design of collection routes, modifications in the
collection vehicles, reductions in equipment downtime, and public education, (e.g., education and
communication leading to the production of less waste and the reduction of litter).

Nations are leaning towards sustainable

development, of which, integrated solid
waste management is included. At the United
Nations Sustainable Development Summit
held last 25th of September 2015, world
leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for
Sustainable Development, which includes a
set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and
tackle climate change by 2030. With proper implementation of SWM, this can contribute to the
overall improvement of the economic stability of nations and attaining the set of global goals.

Municipal solid waste (MSW) is a term usually applied to a heterogeneous collection of wastes
produced in urban areas, the nature of which varies from region to region. The characteristics and
quantity of the solid waste generated in a region is not only a function of the living standard and
lifestyle of the region's inhabitants, but also of the abundance and type of the region's natural
resources. Urban wastes can be subdivided into two major components -- organic and inorganic.
In general, the organic components of urban solid waste can be classified into three broad
categories: putrescible, fermentable, and non-fermentable.

Putrescible wastes tend to decompose rapidly and unless carefully controlled,

decompose with the production of objectionable odors and visual unpleasantness. A
major source of putrescible waste is food preparation and consumption. As such, its nature
varies with lifestyle, standard of living, and seasonality of foods.

Fermentable wastes tend to decompose rapidly, but without the unpleasant

accompaniments of putrefaction. These wastes are typified by crop and market debris.

Non-fermentable wastes tend to resist decomposition and, therefore, break down very

Definitions of Municipal Solid Waste

By OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development : Municipal waste is

collected and treated by, or for municipalities. It covers waste from households, including bulky
waste, similar waste from commerce and trade, office buildings, institutions and small businesses,
yard and garden, street sweepings, contents of litter containers, and market cleansing. Waste from
municipal sewage networks and treatment, as well as municipal construction and demolition is

By PAHO (Pan-American Health Organization): Solid or semi-solid waste generated in

population centers including domestic and, commercial wastes, as well as those originated by the
small-scale industries and institutions (including hospital and clinics); market street sweeping, and
from public cleansing.
By IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change): The IPCC includes the following in
MSW: food waste; garden (yard) and park waste; paper and cardboard; wood; textiles; nappies
(disposable diapers); rubber and leather; plastics; metal; glass (and pottery and china); and other
(e.g., ash, dirt, dust, soil, electronic waste).

Biodegradable wastes are materials that can be easily decomposed by natural agents like water,
oxygen, ultraviolet rays of the sun, and microorganisms. One can notice that when a dead leaf or
a banana peel is thrown outside, it is acted upon by several micro-organisms like bacteria, fungi
or small insects in a time period. The natural elements like oxygen, water, moisture and heat
facilitates the decomposition thereby breaking the complex organic forms to simpler units. The
decomposed matter eventually mixes or returns back to the soil and thus the soil is once again
nourished with various nutrients and minerals.

Non-biodegradable wastes are materials which cannot be broken down or decomposed into the
soil by natural agents are labelled as non-biodegradable. These substances consists of plastic
materials, metal scraps, aluminum cans and bottles, hazardous chemicals etc. These things are
practically immune to the natural processes and thus cannot be fed upon or broken down even
after thousands of years. Therefore, these waste rather than returning back, contribute to solid
waste which is very hazardous for the environment. The ever increasing load of non-
biodegradable trash is a growing concern all over the world and several countries are therefore,
looking for eco-friendly alternatives that can minimize the threat on several land and aquatic life

Recyclable materials are any waste material retrieved from the waste stream and free from
contamination that can still be converted into suitable beneficial use or for other purposes,
including, but not limited to, newspaper, ferrous scrap metal, non-ferrous scrap metal, used oil,
corrugated cardboard, aluminum, glass, office paper, tin cans and other materials
Sources of Solid Waste

Sources of solid wastes in a community are, in general, related to land use and zoning.
Although any number of source classications can be developed, the following categories have
been found useful: (1) residential, (2) industrial, (3) commercial, (4) institutional, (5) construction
and demolition, (6) municipal services, (6) process, (7) medical waste, and (8) agricultural.

Table 1: Generators and Types of Solid Waste (adapted from What a Waste 1999)

Waste Composition
In the municipal solid waste stream, waste is broadly classified into organic and inorganic.
Waste composition is categorized as organic, paper, plastic, glass, metals, and other. These
categories can be further refined, however, these six categories are usually sufficient for general
solid waste planning purposes.

Table 2: Types of Waste and their Sources

Figure 1. Global Solid Waste Composition (2009)

Waste composition is influenced by many factors, such as level of economic development,

cultural norms, geographical location, energy sources, and climate. As a country urbanizes and
populations become wealthier, consumption of inorganic materials (such as plastics, paper, and
aluminum) increases, while the relative organic fraction decreases. Generally, low- and middle-
income countries have a high percentage of organic matter in the urban waste stream, ranging
from 40 to 85% of the total. Paper, plastic, glass, and metal fractions increase in the waste stream
of middle- and high-income countries.
Waste Composition by Income

As Figures 2 a-d show, the organic fraction tends to be highest in low-income countries
and lowest in high-income countries. Total amount of organic waste tends to increase steadily as
affluence increases at a slower rate than the non-organic fraction. Low-income countries have an
organic fraction of 64% compared to 28% in high-income countries. The data presented in Figure
4 illustrates solid waste composition by income as compared between current values and values
projected for 2025.

Figure 2. Waste Composition by Income Level

Tables 3a and 3b represents a compilation of composition values of current day data

presented in Annex M of What A Waste: A Global Review of Solid Waste Management, and
specific reports for larger countries such as China and India. Estimates for waste composition in
2025 are based on trends observed in OECD countries and authors projections.

Table 3a: Summary of Waste Composition by Income Level (as of 2012)

Table 3b: Summary of Waste Composition by Income Level (2025 Estimates)

Waste Composition by Region

Geography influences waste composition by determining building materials (e.g. wood

versus steel), ash content (often from household heating) , amount of street sweepings (can be as
much as 10% of a citys waste stream in dry locations) , and horticultural waste. The type of energy
source in a location can have an impact on the composition of MSW generated. This is especially
true in low-income countries or regions where energy for cooking, heating, and lighting might
not come from district heating systems or the electricity grid.

For example, Figure 3 shows the difference in waste composition in China between a
section of the population that uses coal and another that uses natural gas for space heating. The
other category is clearly higher: 47% when coal is used, and an ash residue is included, as
opposed to 10% when natural gas is used for home heating.
Figure 3. Waste Composition in China

Climate can also influence waste generation in a city, country, or region. For example, in
Ulan Bator, Mongolia, ash makes up 60% of the MSW generated in the winter, but only 20% in
the summer (UNEP/GRID-Arendal 2004) . Precipitation is also important in waste composition,
particularly when measured by mass, as un-containerized waste can absorb significant amounts
of water from rain and snow. Humidity also influences waste composition by influencing moisture

MSW composition by region is shown in Figures 5 a-g. The East Asia and the Pacific Region
has the highest fraction of organic waste (62%) compared to OECD countries, which have the least
(27%). The amount of paper, glass, and metals found in the MSW stream are the highest in OECD
countries (32%, 7%, and 6%, respectively) and lowest in the South Asia Region (4% for paper and
1% for both glass and metals). Annex J provides data for MSW projections for 2025 by region.

AFR Africa Region SAR South Asia Region

EAP East Asia and Pacific Region MENA Middle East and North Africa Region

ECA Europe and Central Asia Region LCR Latin America and Caribbean Region

OECD Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development

Figure 4.
Solid Waste
by Income
and Year
Figure 5.
by Region

The type of solid waste to be disposed is an important consideration in the design of a

sanitary landfill. Generally, sanitary landfills are considered to be land disposal facilities that
receive solid wastes from residential, commercial, and industrial sources. The quantities and
characteristics (e.g., composition, etc.) of the solid waste define the general procedures to be
employed in the landfill operation. Furthermore, the type and composition of the wastes buried
in the fill affect the quantity and composition of leachate generated and of the gases generated
within the fill. Other considerations related to types of solid waste that affect the design and
operation of landfills include the risks and hazards to personnel arising from the corrosivity, severe
toxicity, or other dangerous property had by a particular waste.

Solid wastes can be categorized into three types. These are acceptable wastes, unacceptable
wastes, and special wastes.


Most solid wastes generated by residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural sources
may be disposed in a sanitary landfill of modern design without necessarily directly or indirectly
endangering the well-being of the public and the quality of the environment. For convenience of
reference, such wastes are referred to as acceptable wastes.

In contrast, many types of industrial process wastes (as opposed to the wastes generated
in the offices of industrial facilities) should not be disposed in sanitary landfills but should be
handled in specially designed landfills. These wastes are referred to as unacceptable wastes.
Wastes that are unacceptable should receive special evaluation to assess the particular risks
associated with their disposal. With very few exceptions, only those wastes for which a given
facility has been specifically designed should be accepted by that facility. An exception might be
a waste that has been shown to fit within the existing or appropriately modified design capacity
of the facility and that has the appropriate biochemical characteristics.

Unfortunately, in many of the poorer developing nations, separation of wastes into

acceptable and unacceptable categories is not practiced, nor is separation feasible in the
foreseeable future. In many developing countries, circumstances are likely to be such that the only
feasible course of action to gain some degree of control over land disposal is to accept all solid
wastes without exception. The very act of removing the wastes from the open environment and
placing them in a controlled land disposal facility would represent an advancement over the
indiscriminate disposal practices currently in existence.
Dewatered solids (i.e., sludges or, synonymously, biosolids) from municipal wastewater
treatment plants and water supply treatment plants (excepting raw sludge) can be regarded as
being acceptable wastes.


Ideally, the decision as to which wastes are to be deemed unacceptable should be made
during the planning process, should be made jointly by the responsible governmental agency and
the disposal site designer and operator, and should take into account the results of surveying
large waste generators (in particular, industrial waste generators) in terms of the quantities and
characteristics of their wastes. The wastes should be identified in the landfill development plans
and frequent users of the disposal facility should be provided with a list of such wastes. Criteria
recommended for use in decisions regarding acceptability should include the hydrogeology of
the site; the chemical and biological characteristics of the waste; availability of alternative methods
for disposal, reuse, or recycling; environmental risks; and the risks to the health and safety of the
operating personnel and to the public.

Wastes that should require specific approval of the responsible government agency for
acceptance at the disposal site should include those that are legally defined as hazardous waste
or wastes that contain materials that are defined as hazardous materials -- medical wastes, bulk
liquids and semi-liquids, sludges containing free moisture, highly flammable or volatile
substances, raw animal manures, septic tank pumpings and raw sludge, and industrial process
wastes. It should be noted that some animal wastes may be infectious because they contain animal
disease organisms that can be transmitted to humans.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgated a definition of

hazardous waste that is appropriate for industrialized and developing nations. According to the
definition, a waste is hazardous if it poses a substantial present or potential hazard to human
health or living organisms because: the waste is non-degradable or persistent in nature, it can be
biologically magnified, it can be lethal, or it may otherwise cause or tend to cause detrimental
cumulative effects.


There are several types of wastes that are commonly termed special wastes. Of these,
medical (infectious) wastes and various types of sludge are commonly generated and disposed
on the land in developing nations, and therefore, should receive special attention. Quantities of
other types of special wastes will be considerably reduced through extensive scavenging and
recycling activities characteristic of developing nations. Some of these wastes include institutional
wastes, construction and demolition debris, animal manures, and animal carcasses.

Special wastes are those types of solid waste that require special handling, treatment,
and/or disposal. The reasons for separate consideration include: 1) their characteristics and
quantities (either or both may render them difficult to manage if they are combined with typical
municipal solid waste); or 2) their presence will or may pose a significant danger to the health and
safety of workers and/or the public, to the environment, or both.

These wastes are very different from each other, so they should be managed and handled
separately if feasible. Typically, in developing countries, special wastes are set out for collection,
collected, and/or disposed along with wastes from commercial businesses and residential
generators. Ideally, these wastes should not enter the municipal solid waste stream, but quite
frequently they do, particularly in developing countries.

Some examples of special types of wastes are given below.

Special wastes can cause significant health and environmental impacts when managed
inadequately. Persons that may come into direct contact with the wastes, such as waste collectors
and scavengers, may be subject to significant health and safety risks when exposed to some types
of special wastes, e.g., industrial hazardous waste. Toxic components of these wastes can enter
the environment, for example, poisoning surface and groundwater bodies. Hazardous wastes can
also degrade MSW equipment used to manage solid waste (e.g., collection vehicles), or the
performance of the equipment.
Proper management of special wastes is quite difficult in most developing countries,
particularly in those countries where regular MSW is not managed adequately. Three issues are
usually always relevant: 1) the party or organization responsible for managing special wastes is
seldom clearly identified and the necessary entity may not even be in existence; 2) available
resources to manage solid waste are scant and priorities have to be set; and 3) the technology
and trained personnel needed to manage special wastes are seldom available. In the absence of
countervailing reasons, the development of sound practices in the management of special wastes
should follow the integrated waste management hierarchy applied in other areas of MSWM, i.e.,
waste reduction, minimization, resource recovery, recycling, treatment (including incineration),
and final disposal. As with the management of other types of MSW, the proper application and
programmatic emphasis of this hierarchy to special wastes depends on local circumstances (e.g.,
available technologies, waste quantities and properties, and available human and financial

A. Medical Waste

Medical waste is one of the most problematic

types of wastes for a municipality or a solid waste
authority. When such wastes enter the MSW
stream, pathogens in the wastes pose a great
hazard to the environment and to those who
come in contact with the wastes. Wastes
generated within health care facilities have three
main components: 1) common (general) wastes
(for example, administrative office waste, garden waste and kitchen waste); 2) pathogenic or
infectious wastes (these types also include sharps); and 3) hazardous wastes (mainly those
originating in the laboratories containing toxic substances). The quantity of the first type of
general wastes tends to be much larger than that for the second and third types.
Segregation of medical waste types is recommended as a basic waste management
practice, as indicated in the table below. However, thorough separation is possible only when
there is significant management commitment, in-depth and continuous training of personnel, and
permanent supervision to ensure that the prescribed practices are being followed. Otherwise,
there is always a risk that infectious and hazardous materials will enter the general MSW stream.

Recommended Methods for Managing Medical Waste

B. Household Hazardous Waste

Households generate small quantities of

hazardous wastes such as oil-based paints, paint
thinners, wood preservatives, pesticides, insecticides,
household cleaners, used motor oil, antifreeze, and
batteries. It has been estimated that household
hazardous waste in industrialized countries such as
the United States accounts for a total of about 0.5%
(by weight) of all waste generated at home. In most
developing countries, the percentage probably is
even lower.
There are no specific, cost-effective, sound practices that can be recommended for the
management of household hazardous wastes in developing countries. Rather, since concentrated
hazardous wastes tend to create more of a hazard, it is best to dispose of household hazardous
wastes jointly with the MSW stream in a landfill, where the biological processes tend to exert a
fixating effect on small amounts of toxic metals, while other toxic substances are diluted by the
presence of MSW or are broken down into less toxic intermediates during the process of
decomposition in the fill. When resources are available (typically in industrialized countries),
appropriate methods and necessary conditions for separation of household hazardous wastes
from the rest of the MSW stream include those stated below.

Methods and Conditions for Promoting Separation of Household Hazardous Wastes

(HHW) in Industrialized Countries.
C. Used Tires

The management of used tires poses a

potential problem for even the more modern
MSWM systems, for reasons related both to the
tires physical properties and their shape. Tires
are composed primarily of complex natural and
synthetic rubber compounds, both of which
have substantial heating value, and various
other materials. The recovery of rubber from
used tires can be very energy-intensive, and
such processing may generate hazardous
substances and other types of process residues. Illegal stockpiles of used tires can create
substantial land use problems, harm the environment, and serve as breeding grounds for insects
and other small animals that harbor pathogens that are detrimental to human health. Stockpiles
can self-ignite and cause fires that are very difficult to control, resulting in negative human health
and environmental impacts.
When whole tires are disposed in a landfill, they often rise to the top and make it difficult
to maintain the soil cover over the wastes. When dumped illegally, tires can become breeding
grounds for mosquitoes and other forms of life that can spread disease, such as dengue. Some
appropriate methods of managing used tires are described below. The informal sector oftentimes
serves as a means to reuse or recycle used tires.

Appropriate Methods for Managing Used Tires

D. Used Oil

Used oils are generated primarily in gas

stations and in mechanics shops. These oils
generally are discharged in the most convenient
location and frequently enter the sewage
system, causing problems in the treatment
plants or in the receiving bodies of water. When
oil is collected haphazardly as part of the MSW
stream, it causes problems at the landfill and often becomes part of the landfill leachate.

Some Recommended Methods of Managing Used Oils

E. Electronic Waste (e-waste)

During the last few years, there has been a substantial reduction in the cost and a
commensurate increase in the availability and usage of a variety of electronic products. Although
the list of relatively new products is long, some of the most common products include personal
computers, printers, monitors, television sets, and cellular telephones. As the usage of these and
similar products increases, a large number of them
are replaced and disposed each year. Improper
treatment and unsafe final disposition of these
materials has resulted in several problems, which
have far reaching implications. One key problem is
that related to the fact that most electronic
products contain several types of hazardous
materials, such as mercury, arsenic, lead, cadmium,
and others. If the electronic products are
improperly treated or discarded along with the general municipal solid waste, the hazardous
materials in the products can be released and result in negative impacts to the public health and
to the environment.

One practical solution to the management of e-waste involves the implementation of

segregated collection and adequate processing. Current methods for the treatment of e-products
include mechanical and chemical processing of the products for the recovery of valuable materials
and the removal and/or reduction of the toxicity of the residue.

F. Wet Batteries

Used wet batteries are typically generated by car

maintenance facilities and vehicle battery suppliers. This
type of battery contains acid and lead, both of which are
hazardous to humans and to the environment if not
properly managed. Environmentally acceptable
processing of wet batteries for materials recovery
requires trained and experienced facility personnel.
Recycling of batteries typically involves draining and
neutralization of the acidic liquid, and recovery of the lead in a non-ferrous foundry.

G. Construction and Demolition Debris

Construction and demolition (C&D) debris are generated regularly in urban areas as a result of
new construction, demolition of old structures and roadways, and regular maintenance of
buildings. These wastes contain cement, bricks, asphalt, wood, metals, and other construction
materials that are typically inert. In many cases, the biological inertness of C&D debris means that
it can be disposed in landfills with lesser restrictions than those required for MSW, which has
substantially higher biodegradable content and
potential for polluting the environment.
However, it must be pointed out that C&D
debris may contain some hazardous materials,
such as asbestos and PCBs, although this
circumstance is most probable in the case of
industrialized countries.

Very large volumes of demolition waste are

generated during natural disasters
(earthquakes, floods, typhoons, and others) and during wars. City authorities need to protect
against disposal of these wastes in the streets and on vacant lands, since these locations can
become illegal, uncontrolled dumps with their attendant negative consequences. On the other
hand, disposal of C&D debris in MSW landfills can be costly and a poor use of landfill capacity.
Thus, other alternatives to disposal of C&D may be warranted and should be considered in any
event. Processing and recycling are alternatives.

Sound practices for the management

of C&D wastes are based on the concept of
prevention, reuse, and recycling of waste.
When these practices cannot be implemented,
proper disposal must be considered. Since
these wastes are primarily inert or they can be
processed to be so in some cases, they can be
used for fill, for example in former quarries, as
road base, or in coastal cities, to gain land at
the ocean front or for the construction of

Special landfill sites for the final disposition of construction and demolition landfill sites
are also an option. Siting of these landfills is less difficult than for regular MSW landfills since the
potential environmental impact in the majority of cases is relatively small.
Sound Practices for Diverting Construction and Demolition Debris from Landfill Disposal

H. Bulky Metallic Waste

Bulky metallic waste is composed of metallic

objects that occupy large volumes (e.g.,
greater than 1 or 2 m3) and are composed of
high-density material, either when
encountered singularly or in combination.
Examples of bulky metallic waste are old
vehicle bodies, structural steel, large metallic
appliances, and discarded fabricating
equipment. The most prevalent material of
construction for bulky metallic waste is steel,
although other types, such as aluminum, are also encountered to a lesser extent.

This type of waste is considered a special waste because it is difficult to handle, process,
and dispose using the more common and conventional municipal solid waste management
equipment. Special, large-capacity equipment is normally required to collect, process, and dispose
of bulky metallic waste. Also, much of bulky metallic waste is potentially recyclable. However, the
feasibility of recycling is a function of the costs of processing, availability of markets,
transportation costs, etc.

Management of bulky metallic waste is a particularly difficult problem for rural and isolated
communities (e.g., remote islands) because of limited space for storage and/or disposal, limited
financial resources, and long distances to recycling markets.
I. Municipal Wastewater Treatment (sewage) sludge, Septage, and Slaughterhouse

Municipal wastewater treatment (MWWT) sewage sludge (biosolids) is generated as

a consequence of processing municipal wastewater for safe discharge to the environment. The
sludge is composed of the semi-solid or solid residues remaining after processing of wastewater.
Septage, on the other hand, is the material pumped from septic tanks serving residences. Both
MWWT sludges and septage contain large quantities of pathogenic organisms, and they often
contain chemical contaminants, as well, if liquid discharges at the source are not pre-treated
before disposal into the sewer. These materials, therefore, require proper treatment and disposal.

Slaughterhouse wastes can be used to produce ingredients in the manufacture of soil

amendment, animal feed, and glues. The traditional methods of sun-drying, breaking up bones
manually, composting in pits (sometimes with the addition of household organics), and steam
digestion carry various types of health risks, and cannot be considered acceptable practices.
Small-scale aerobic composting of animal wastes, including manures, hide scrapings, and tannery
and slaughterhouse wastes, can also produce a soil amendment, but carries some risks in terms
of spreading pathogens if the wastes are not properly sterilized. All of these activities generate
leachate and the associated unpleasant odors, and are typically associated with poor working
conditions and risks to worker health, but may be profitable and provide subsistence income.

Appropriate methods of management of these types of materials could involve

introducing technical and health improvements, rather than entirely eliminating the activities

Practices for Reducing and Handling Sewage Sludge and Septage

J. Industrial Waste

The collection of industrial waste typically is not under the jurisdiction of municipal
authorities in industrialized countries. However, in developing countries, where proper industrial
waste management systems are not in place, such waste often enters the MSW municipal solid
waste stream.

Waste generated from industrial sources can have non-hazardous and hazardous
components, with non-hazardous waste usually representing the greater part of the volume. The
hazardous component of this waste, while generally being relatively small in volume, can pose
significant environmental and public health problems.

Appropriate methods for the proper management of hazardous industrial wastes vary
substantially, depending on the specific quantities and characteristics of the waste, cost of
management, local regulations, and other factors. The planning and design of methods and
facilities for managing industrial hazardous waste are beyond the scope of this publication. In any
case, best waste management practices incorporate separation of hazardous industrial waste from
MSW. In those cases where municipal authorities are forced to provide a temporary solution for
the disposal of hazardous waste, specially designed cells should be provided within the municipal
landfill. These cells must be isolated so that scavengers cannot come into contact with the
hazardous waste.

Types of Street Wastes

For purposes of solid waste management, street wastes can be classified into three main
categories, depending upon the type of generator. The classification is as follows: 1) wastes
generated by natural causes, 2) wastes generated by road traffic, and 3) wastes generated by the
public (behavioral wastes). A discussion of each type follows.

A. Wastes generated by natural causes

As the name implies, these wastes are generated by natural phenomena and are difficult
to avoid. They include dusts blown from unpaved areas, and leaves and flowers that fall from trees
and plants in the community. Since wastes produced by natural events cannot be avoided, the
method of management must be control, for example, the use of such measures as planting of
vegetation and other artificial methods to prevent erosion in empty lots, planting of adequate
trees and vegetation as wind breakers, and careful selection and regular maintenance (e.g.,
pruning) of the trees planted in the city.

B. Wastes generated by traffic

Motor vehicles can generate a relatively high proportion of street wastes. Motor vehicles
deposit dirt and mud, as well as oil and rubber on the roads. Particulate matter from diesel
emissions also accumulates on streets, trees, and building surfaces, creating a public nuisance. In
addition, in developing countries, it is common to transport materials in vehicles that are
uncovered, and there can be accidental spillage of a vehicles load. Additionally, animals drawing
vehicles can deposit excrement on the road surface. Mud is often carried out of construction sites,
adhered to the tires of motor vehicles, and subsequently deposited on adjacent roads. In general,
traffic wastes are unavoidable; however, it is possible to control them through public education
and the promulgation of appropriate rules and regulations. Regulations requiring that loads be
covered to reduce spillage and that vehicles be properly cleaned before leaving muddy
construction sites can positively contribute toward the reduction of wastes generated by traffic.

C. Wastes generated by the public

There are two major sources of wastes generated by the public: 1) litter thrown onto the
streets by pedestrians, and 2) residential and commercial wastes swept or discarded from private
premises. As previously indicated, a large fraction of these wastes can be controlled, provided that
an efficient and reliable refuse collection service is in operation and that litter bins are provided
for use by pedestrians. These two conditions should be complemented by a continuous program
of public education, combined with strong legislation and enforcement procedures. Another
potential solution to reducing the amount of litter is to offer a free or relatively inexpensive
program to collect non-conventional wastes such as construction and demolition debris, tree
trimmings, and others.

Yard waste and Food Waste Processing

A waste processing facility can include an accommodation to receive and process

segregated yard and food wastes.

Yard Waste

Yard waste is taken cumulatively to mean the variety of wastes of plant origin that are
produced during the course of gardening, landscaping, and general maintenance of grounds.
Sources of yard waste may be residential, commercial, institutional, and industrial sectors.
Institutional sources include parks, public gardens, and landscaping (initiation and maintenance)
of public properties.

The composition and quantities of yard waste are influenced predominantly by

geographical location, population density, and seasonality. Residential sources include single
family residences and multi-family units (e.g., apartments) Residential units in rural settings can
be expected to generate more varied and larger amounts of yard waste than those in suburban
areas-- and far more than those in densely populated urban cities. Volumes and types generated
in institutional and commercial park settings are fairly similar. Not to be overlooked is kerbside
landscaping, of which trees are major constituents. Although the generation of yard waste may
be relatively small in small municipalities in economically developing countries, the quantity of
yard wastes generated in large metropolitan areas is substantial.

The principal types of yard waste of concern in solid waste management are: 1) fallen
leaves (especially from deciduous shrubs and trees); 2) discarded herbaceous plants or plant
trimmings; 3) trimmings from large shrubs, ornamentals, and trees; and 4) grass clippings. These
types of yard waste differ one from the other with respect to physical and chemical properties and
to biodegradability. For example, the fallen leaves collected in autumn contain large
concentrations of carbon and very little nitrogen. The structure and the carbon-to-nitrogen ratio
of freshly discarded green herbaceous plants and their trimmings are conducive to rapid
decomposition, whereas those of mature ones are not; for example, the higher lignin content of
large tree branches compared to that of growing twigs.

Food Waste

The term food waste refers to the putrescible waste generated in the preparation and
consumption of food and that remaining after consumption (i.e., kitchen and restaurant wastes);
discarded comestibles (e.g., spoiled or partially eaten fruit, stale bakery goods, etc.); and vegetable
trimmings generated in produce markets. A relatively recent development in the United States
and Western Europe is the expanding advocacy for composting a mixture of yard waste and food
waste. The concept has much in its favor. Food waste decomposes readily and under proper
conditions enhances the compostability of yard wastes, especially of shrub and tree trimmings
and leaves by serving as a readily available microbial energy source and to a limited extent as a
nitrogen source for the microbial populations.


Date: July 24, 2000

Date Approved: January 26, 2001

Approved by: Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

Ch. 1 Art. 1 Sec. 2: Declaration of Policies

It is hereby declared the policy of the State to adopt a systematic, comprehensive and
ecological solid waste management program which shall:

a. Ensure the protection of public health and environment;

b. Utilize environmentally-sound methods that maximize the utilization of valuable resources
and encourage resources conservation and recovery;
c. Set guidelines and targets for solid waste avoidance and volume reduction through source
reduction and waste minimization measures, including composing, recycling, re-use,
recovery, green charcoal process, and others, before collection, treatment and disposal in
appropriate and environmentally sound solid waste management facilities in accordance
with ecologically sustainable development principles;
d. Ensure the proper segregation, collection, transport, storage, treatment and disposal of
solid waste through the formulation and adoption of the best environmental practices in
ecological waste management excluding incineration;
e. Promote national research and development programs for improved solid waste
management and resource conservation techniques, more effective institutional
arrangement and indigenous and improved methods of waste reduction, collection,
separation and recovery.
f. Encourage greater private sector participation in solid waste management;
g. Retain primary enforcement and responsibility of solid waste management with local
government units while establishing a cooperative effort among the national government,
other local government units, non-government organizations, and the private sector;
h. Encourage cooperation and self-regulation among waste generators through the
application of market-based instruments;
i. Institutionalize public participation in the development and implementation of national
and local integrated, comprehensive and ecological waste management programs; and
j. Strengthen the integration of ecological solid waste management and resource
conservation and recovery topics into the academic curricula of formal and non-formal
education in order to promote environmental awareness and action among the citizenry.

Ch. 1 Art. 2 Sec. 3 Definition of Terms

Agricultural waste shall refer to waste generated from planting or harvesting of crops, trimming
or pruning of plants and wastes or run-off materials from farms or fields.

Bulky wastes shall refer to waste materials which cannot be appropriately placed in separate
containers because of either its bulky size, shape or other physical attributes. These include large
worn-out or broken household, commercial, and industrial items such as furniture, lamps,
bookcases, filing cabinets, and other similar items.

Buy-back center shall refer to a recycling center that purchases or otherwise accepts recyclable
materials from the public for the purpose of recycling such materials.

Collection shall refer to the act of removing solid waste from the source or from a communal
storage point.

Composting shall refer to the controlled decomposition of organic matter by micro-organisms,

mainly bacteria and fungi, into a humus-like product.

Consumer electronics shall refer to special wastes that include worn-out, broken, and other
discarded items such as radios, stereos, and TV sets.

Controlled dump shall refer to a disposal site at which solid waste is deposited in accordance
with the minimum prescribed standards of site operation.

Disposal shall refer to the discharge, deposit, dumping, spilling, leaking or placing of any solid
waste into or in any land.

Disposal site shall refer to a site where solid waste is finally discharged and deposited.

Ecological solid waste management shall refer to the systematic administration of activities
which provide for segregation at source, segregated transportation, storage, transfer, processing,
treatment, and disposal of solid waste and all other waste management activities which do not
harm the environment.

Environmentally acceptable shall refer to the quality of being re-usable, biodegradable or

compostable, recyclable and not toxic or hazardous to the environment.

Generation shall refer to the act or process of producing solid waste.

Generator shall refer to a person, natural or juridical, who last uses a material and makes it
available for disposal or recycling.

Hazardous waste shall refer to solid waste or combination of solid waste which because of its
quantity, concentration, or physical, chemical or infectious characteristics may: (1) cause, or
significantly contribute to an increase in mortality or an increase in serious irreversible, or
incapacitating reversible, illness; or (2) pose a substantial present or potential hazard to human
health or the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, or disposed of, or
otherwise managed.

Leachate shall refer to the liquid produced when waste undergo decomposition, and when water
percolate through solid waste undergoing decomposition. It is a contaminated liquid that
contains dissolved and suspended materials.

Materials recovery facility includes a solid waste transfer station or sorting station, drop-off
center, a composting facility, and a recycling facility.

Municipal waste shall refer to wastes produced from activities within local government units
which include a combination of domestic, commercial, institutional and industrial wastes and
street litters.

Open dump shall refer to a disposal area wherein the solid wastes are indiscriminately thrown or
disposed of without due planning and consideration for environmental and health standards.

Opportunity to recycle shall refer to the act of providing a place for collecting source-separated
recyclable material, located either at a disposal site or at another location more convenient to the
population being served, and collection at least once a month of source-separated recyclable
material from collection service customers and to providing a public education and promotion
program that gives notice to each person of the opportunity to recycle and encourage source
separation of recyclable material.

Person(s) shall refer to any being, natural or juridical, susceptible of rights and obligations, or of
being the subject of legal relations.

Post-consumer material shall refer only to those materials or products generated by a business
or consumer which have served their intended end use, and which have been separated or
diverted from solid waste for the purpose of being collected, processed and used as a raw material
in the manufacturing of recycled product, excluding materials and by-products generated from,
and commonly used within an original manufacturing process, such as mill scrap;

Receptacles shall refer to individual containers used for the source separation and the collection
of recyclable materials.
Recovered material shall refer to material and by-products that have been recovered or diverted
from solid waste for the purpose of being collected, processed and used as a raw material in the
manufacture of a recycled product.

Recyclable material shall refer to any waste material retrieved from the waste stream and free
from contamination that can still be converted into suitable beneficial use or for other purposes,
including, but not limited to, newspaper, ferrous scrap metal, non-ferrous scrap metal, used oil,
corrugated cardboard, aluminum, glass, office paper, tin cans and other materials as may be
determined by the Commission.

Recycled material shall refer to post-consumer material that has been recycled and returned to
the economy.

Recycling shall refer to the treating of used or waste materials through a process of making them
suitable for beneficial use and for other purposes, and includes any process by which solid waste
materials are transformed into new products in such a manner that the original products may lose
their identity, and which may be used as raw materials for the production of other goods or
services: Provided, That the collection, segregation and re-use of previously used packaging
material shall be deemed recycling under this Act.

Resource conservation shall refer to the reduction of the amount of solid waste that are
generated or the reduction of overall resource consumption, and utilization of recovered

Resource recovery shall refer to the collection, extraction or recovery of recyclable materials from
the waste stream for the purpose of recycling, generating energy or producing a product suitable
for beneficial use: Provided, that, such resource recovery facilities exclude incineration.

Re-use shall refer to the process of recovering materials intended for the same or different
purpose without the alteration of physical and chemical characteristics.

Sanitary landfill shall refer to a waste disposal site designed, constructed, operated and
maintained in a manner that exerts engineering control over significant potential environmental
impacts arising from the development and operation of the facility.

Schedule of Compliance shall refer to an enforceable sequence of actions or operations to be

accomplished within a stipulated time frame leading to compliance with a limitation, prohibition,
or standard set forth in this Act or any rule or regulation issued pursuant thereto.

Segregation shall refer to a solid waste management practice of separating different materials
found in solid waste in order to promote recycling and re-use of resources and to reduce the
volume of waste for collection and disposal.
Segregation at source shall refer to a solid waste management practice of separating, at the
point of origin, different materials found in solid waste in order to promote recycling and re-use
of resources and to reduce the volume of waste for collection and disposal.

Solid waste shall refer to all discarded household, commercial waste, non-hazardous institutional
and industrial waste, street sweepings, construction debris, agriculture waste, and other non-
hazardous/non-toxic solid waste.

Unless specifically noted otherwise, the term solid waste as used in this Act shall not include:

(1) waste identified or listed as hazardous waste of a solid, liquid, contained gaseous or semisolid
form which may cause or contribute to an increase in mortality or in serious or incapacitating
reversible illness, or acute/chronic effect on the health of persons and other organisms;

(2) infectious waste from hospitals such as equipment, instruments, utensils, and fomites of a
disposable nature from patients who are suspected to have or have been diagnosed as having
communicable diseases and must therefore be isolated as required by public health agencies,
laboratory wastes such as pathological specimens (i.e., all tissues, specimens of blood elements,
excreta, and secretions obtained from patients or laboratory animals), and disposable fomites that
may harbor or transmit pathogenic organisms, and surgical operating room pathologic specimens
and disposable fomites attendant thereto, and similar disposable materials from outpatient areas
and emergency rooms; and

(3) waste resulting from mining activities, including contaminated soil and debris.

Solid waste management shall refer to the discipline associated with the control of generation,
storage, collection, transfer and transport, processing, and disposal of solid wastes in a manner
that is in accord with the best principles of public health, economics, engineering, conservation,
aesthetics, and other environmental considerations, and that is also responsive to public attitudes

Solid waste management facility shall refer to any resource recovery system or component
thereof; any system, program, or facility for resource conservation; any facility for the collection,
source separation, storage, transportation, transfer, processing, treatment, or disposal of solid

Source reduction shall refer to the reduction of solid waste before it enters the solid waste stream
by methods such as product design, materials substitution, materials re-use and packaging

Source separation shall refer to the sorting of solid waste into some or all of its component parts
at the point of generation.
Special wastes shall refer to household hazardous wastes such as paints, thinners, household
batteries, lead-acid batteries, spray canisters and the like. These include wastes from residential
and commercial sources that comprise of bulky wastes, consumer electronics, white goods, yard
wastes that are collected separately, batteries, oil, and tires. These wastes are usually handled
separately from other residential and commercial wastes.

Storage shall refer to the interim containment of solid waste after generation and prior to
collection for ultimate recovery or disposal.

Transfer stations shall refer to those facilities utilized to receive solid wastes, temporarily store,
separate, convert, or otherwise process the materials in the solid wastes, or to transfer the solid
wastes directly from smaller to larger vehicles for transport. This term does not include any of the

(1) a facility whose principal function is to receive, store, separate, convert, or otherwise process
in accordance with national minimum standards manure.

(2) a facility, whose principal function is to receive, store, convert, or otherwise process wastes
which have already been separated for re-use and are not intended for disposal; and

(3) the operations premises of a duly licensed solid waste handling operator who receives, stores,
transfers, or otherwise processes wastes as an activity incidental to the conduct of a refuse
collection and disposal business.

Waste diversion shall refer to activities which reduce or eliminate the amount of solid wastes
from waste disposal facilities.

White goods shall refer to large worn-out or broken household, commercial, and industrial
appliances such as stoves, refrigerators, dishwaters, and clothes washers and dryers collected
separately. White goods are usually dismantled for the recovery of specific materials (e.g., copper,
aluminum, etc.); and

Yard waste shall refer to wood, small or chipped branches, leaves, grass clippings, garden debris,
vegetables residue that is recognizable as part of a plant or vegetable and other materials
identified by the Commission.

(1) on solid waste generation and management techniques as well as the

management, technical and operational approaches to resource recovery; and
(2) of processors/recyclers, the list of materials being recycled or bought by them and
their respective prices;
b. Promote the development of a recycling market through the establishment of a national
recycling network that will enhance the opportunity to recycle;
c. Provide or facilitate expert assistance in pilot modeling of solid waste management
facilities; and
d. Develop, test, and disseminate model waste minimization and reduction auditing
procedures for evaluating options.

The National Ecology Center shall be headed by the director of the Bureau in his ex officio
capacity. It shall maintain a multi-sectoral, multi-disciplinary pool of experts including those from
the academe, inventors, practicing professionals, business and industry, youth, women and other
concerned sectors, who shall be screened according to qualifications set by the Commission.


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