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Chapter: Civil - Municipal Solid Waste Management - Sources and Types of Municipal Solid Wastes

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Factors affecting Solid Waste Management system

List of Factors affecting SWM system is following:

Factors affecting SWM system

 

(i)             Quantities and characteristics of wastes: The quantities of wastes generated generally depend on the income level of a family, as higher income category tends to generate larger quantity of wastes, compared to low-income category. The quantity ranges from about 0.25 to about 2.3 kg per person per day, indicating a strong correlation between waste production and per capita income. One of the measures of waste composition (and characteristics) is

 

density, which ranges from 150 kg/m3 to 600 kg/m3. Proportion of paper and packaging materials in the waste largely account for the differences. When this proportion is high, the density is low and vice versa. The wastes of high density reflect a relatively high proportion of organic matter and moisture and lower levels of recycling.

 

 

(ii) Climate and seasonal variations: There are regions in extreme north (> 70 N Latitude) and south (> 60 S Latitude), where temperatures are very low for much of the year. In cold climates, drifting snow and frozen ground interfere with landfill operations, and therefore, trenches must be dug in summer and cover material stockpiled for winter use. Tropical climates, on the other hand, are subject to sharp seasonal variations from wet to dry season, which cause significant changes in the moisture content of solid waste, varying from less than

 

50% in dry season to greater than 65% in wet months. Collection and disposal of wastes in the wet months are often problematic.

 

High temperatures and humidity cause solid wastes to decompose far more rapidly than they do in colder climates. The frequency of waste collection in high temperature and humid climates should, therefore, be higher than that in cold climates. In sub-tropical or desert climate, there is no significant variation in moisture content of wastes (due to low rainfall) and low production of leachate from sanitary landfill. High winds and wind blown sand and dust, however, cause special for much of the year. In cold climates, drifting snow and frozen ground interfere with landfill operations, and therefore, trenches must be dug in summer and cover material stockpiled for winter use. Tropical climates, on the other hand, are subject to sharp seasonal variations from wet to dry season, which cause significant changes in the moisture content of solid waste, varying from less than 50% in dry season to greater than 65% in wet months. Collection and disposal of wastes in the wet months are often problematic.

High temperatures and humidity cause solid wastes to decompose far more rapidly than they do in colder climates. The frequency of waste collection in high temperature and humid climates should, therefore, be higher than that in cold climates. In sub-tropical or desert climate, there is no significant variation in moisture content of wastes (due to low rainfall) and low production of leachate from sanitary landfill. High winds and wind blown sand and dust, however, cause special possible and door-to-door collection of solid wastes is the accepted norm either by large compaction vehicle or smaller vehicle. The picture is, however, quite different in the inner and older city areas where narrow lanes make service by vehicles difficult and often   impossible. Added         to this is the problem  of urban sprawl in  the outskirts (of the cities) where population is growing at an alarming rate. Access ways are narrow, unpaved and tortuous, and therefore, not accessible to collection vehicles. Problems of solid waste storage and collection are most acute in such areas.

 

(iv) Financial and foreign exchange constraints: Solid waste management accounts for sizeable proportions of the budgets of municipal corporations. This is allocated for capital resources, which go towards the purchase of equipments, vehicles, and fuel and labour costs. Typically, 10% to 40% of the revenues of municipalities are allocated to solid waste management. In regions where wage rates are low, the aim is to optimise vehicle productivity. The unfavourable financial situation of some countries hinders purchase of equipment and vehicles, and this situation is further worsened by the acute shortage of foreign exchange. This means that the balance between the degree of mechanisation and the size of the labour force becomes a critical issue in arriving at the most cost-effective solution.

 

 

(v)          Cultural constraints: In some regions, long-standing traditions preclude the intrusion of waste collection on the precincts of households, and therefore, influence the collection system. In others, where the tradition of caste persists, recruits to the labour force for street cleaning and handling of waste must be drawn from certain sections of the population, while others will not consent to placing storage bins in their immediate vicinity. Social norms of a community more often than not over-ride what many may consider rational solutions. Waste management should, therefore, be sensitive to such local patterns of living and consider these factors in planning, design and operation.

 

(vi) Management and technical resources: Solid waste management, to be successful, requires a wide spectrum of workforce in keeping with the demands of the system.


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