Urban Waste Expertise Programme (UWEP), 1995-2001

The six-year Urban Waste Expertise Programme (UWEP), 1995-2001, funded by the Netherlands Ministry for International Cooperation seeks to enhance local expertise through research and pilot projects, workshops, training and exchange visits, and dissemination of documented knowledge and expertise generated in the course of the programme. A further aim of the programme is to promote waste policies which facilitate the integration of small businesses and micro-enterprises into existing public and private sector waste management systems; this is to be accomplished through regional meetings and policy conferences with local authorities and development organizations.

Dar es Salaam Integrated Solid Waste Management , Tanzania, 1998

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) in collaboration with the UNCHS Habitat assists the Dar es Salaam City Commission in the implementation of an integrated solid waste management programme. The ILO has asked WASTE to provide assistance in the field of community-based waste management and small-scale recycling. In its first mission WASTE assisted in the development of a waste collection plan for two communities and presented options for the enhancement of the waste paper, plastic and sheet metal recycling sector.

Dhamar Region Municipal Services Project, Yemen, 1997

WASTE contributed to a multi-year project in Yemen by assessing the cost-effectiveness of the solid waste management services provided by the municipality of Dhamar. The study made a cost assessment of the service provided and recommended options to reduce the operational cost. Part of the study concentrated on privatization of solid waste services.

Solid Waste Management, Karachi, Pakistan, 1995-1996

The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) secured a loan from the Asian Development Bank to improve its solid waste management system. Included in the loan were the procurement of equipment; the setting up of consultancies on community participation, valuation of assets, privatization and recommendations for an improved solid waste management system. WASTE provided a Solid Waste Management adviser, whose task it was to review all consultancy reports, prepare and scrutinize the tender procedure and to come forward with designs, studies and recommendations for a further strategic planning of the solid waste management system for the city of Karachi.

Medan Urban Development Project I and II, Indonesia, 1989-1993

Solid waste management is one of the components of the Medan Urban Development Project I and II, financed by the Asian Development Bank. In this project, led by DHV Consultants, a WASTE consultant advised the municipality on creating an autonomous body to provide the waste collection service. After the establishment of the semi-governmental Solid Waste Management Enterprise (PDK Medan), the WASTE consultant provided assistance through tariff studies for cost-recovery and revenue collection systems, and advised on design and implementation of an accounting system and a financial budgeting and management system.

Private Formal & Informal Sector Involvement in Solid Waste Management, 1995

The Urban Management Programme (UMP) and the UN Habitat (UNCHS) requested WASTE to prepare a paper entitled "Community and Private Formal & Informal Sector Involvement in Municipal Solid Waste Management". The paper was presented during a workshop organized by the UMP in Ittingen, Switzerland. A selected group of twenty SWM specialists had been invited for this workshop. The paper described bottlenecks and potentials for the integration of the informal sector into formal waste handling systems, and drafted an Action Plan.

Aden Municipal Services Project, Yemen, 1995

The Aden Municipal Services Project is part of a larger project administered by the Government of Yemen and the Dutch Ministry for International Cooperation. The project focuses on the privatization of solid waste collection services in four cities, and the establishment of centralized storage facilities for spare parts for the collection vehicles. WASTE participated in a mission to formulate project proposals to strengthen the institutional and financial capabilities of the Municipality of Aden for promoting the effective delivery of waste collection services. A proposal was formulated for an Environmental Health Education Programme in support of the AMSP, taking community participation and gender issues into account.

Manual Pit Latrine Emptying in a Municipal Framework, Addis Abeba, Ethiopia, 1994

After the end of the military regime in 1991, the city of Addis Abeba experienced such an influx of people that the public infrastructure could not keep pace with the demand for services. The regional municipal authorities, together with some NGOs, have been operating a latrine emptying service using donated suction trucks that can only empty a limited percentage of the various types of latrines. Insufficient profitability has to date prevented the entry of any private companies into the market.

At the request of the Christian Relief and Development Association, WASTE carried out a mission to identify whether the Manual Pit Emptying Technology (MAPET) operated by small entrepreneurs in Dar es Salaam would be suitable for the low-income areas of Addis Abeba. The mission concluded that there is a scope for the application of the MAPET approach after various technical adaptations, but that the expectation of government authorities, NGOs and the public that services should be provided almost free of charge represents a serious potential barrier.

Comparative Study on Latrine Pit Emptying Technologies (COMPET), Tanzania, 1991-1993

COMPET was a joint field study executed by the Dar es Salaam Sewerage and Sanitation Department and WASTE. The study compared the performance and effectiveness of three pit emptying technologies, i.e. large vacuum tankers, mini vacuum tankers and the Manual Pit Emptying Technology (MAPET). All three technologies were operational in Dar es Salaam in 1993. The study identified a set of parameters to guide the choice of technology for pit emptying in order to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of each service. For Dar es Salaam, the accessibility to the latrines appeared to be the key parameter in selecting one of the three technologies. The COMPET study concluded that in a city with a wide variation in residential situations, different types of pit emptying technologies must be utilized. The responsible agency should therefore endorse and support the use of all technical approaches, in order to enjoy the advantages of each of the technologies in varying circumstances.

Manual Pit Emptying Technology (MAPET), Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 1988-1993

In close cooperation with the Dar es Salaam Sewerage and Sanitation Department, pilot equipment and a pilot institutional framework were developed to perform a pilot collection trial using a public-private pit latrine emptying service for the urban fringe areas of Dar es Salaam. Local small industries were involved in the development of hand-operated equipment, including a pump and hand cart. Micro-entrepreneurs were contracted to secure clients, to engage in price negotiations, and to perform the actual emptying. The municipal sewerage department leased the equipment to the entrepreneurs, took care of major repairs, trained the micro-entrepreneurs and monitored their performance. Before the start of the pilot emptying service, surveys were conducted to assess the needs and demands of the (potential) customers. The pilot project proved the potential for such a service: the small entrepreneurs supplied the service using the test equipment even beyond the pilot period and the customers were willing to pay for a slightly more expensive service, providing it would prove to be reliable. This project was awarded second prize in the Dutch Award for Environment and Development, 1993.

Rada Water Supply & Sanitation Project, Evaluation Mission, Yemen, 1993

In 1986 the Rada Water Supply and Sanitation project started providing the rapidly growing town of Rada with the appropriate infrastructure facilities for water supply, sanitation, waste disposal and drainage. The existing infrastructure could not cope with the pressure of rising demand. WASTE participated in an Evaluation Team to make an independent assessment of this $ 35 million project, to recommend follow-up activities and advise on other aspects of development planning in Yemen.

Dhamar Health Improvement & Waste Disposal Project, Yemen, 1993/1996

The Dhamar Health Improvement and Waste Disposal project has been in operation since 1989 and aims at an improved general health status among the population of Dhamar by providing environmental health education and improving the present waste collection and disposal practices through the provision of appropriate facilities and relevant training. WASTE participated in a team which evaluated the objectives of the project and formulated proposals for further support in the field of urban environmental health improvement in Dhamar and related areas.

Fayoum Drinking Water and Sanitation Project, Egypt, 1993-1996

The Governorate of Fayoum has embarked on a long-term project to improve the supply of drinking water and the sanitary conditions in the governorate, an area south of Cairo with a population of approximately 300,000. The project is led by IWACO Consultants; the recipient organization is the Fayoum drinking water company, El Azab Water Works. A WASTE consultant participated in the project giving advice and assistance to the financial management department on the following issues:


Improving neighbourhood-based waste collection, Mali, 1995

In Bamako, and other towns in Mali, the collection of door-to-door refuse is performed by small enterprises in nearly every neighbourhood. It has become the most important element in the Malian waste management system. ALPHALOG, a Malian NGO, supports a number of these small refuse collection enterprises in Commune IV in the city of Bamako, and in the town of Ségou. It has initiated, and facilitated, the formation of a coordinating body amongst the neighbourhood-based small enterprises and the municipality. ALPHALOG and the coordinating body of Commune IV (called CPAC) invited WASTE to assist with systemizing the ongoing developments in Bamako and Ségou, and with identifying further opportunities for income generation from waste recycling and liquid waste collection services.

Urban Environmental Activities, Guinea Bissau, 1993-present

The government of Guinea Bissau is engaged in a large urban renovation programme and the formulation of a habitat policy. SNV (a Dutch development organization) carried out an urban renovation programme in cooperation with the Agencia Municipal. Goals of the project are:

In May 1993, WASTE participated in an Environmental Assessment mission. In a second mission, WASTE contributed to the development of an Environmental Action Plan, in close cooperation with the local partners. The plan identifies needs, priorities and appropriate and sustainable income and employment generating activities that can address problems regarding solid waste removal, the provision of proper sanitation, drainage, water supply and the greening of the city.

Improvement of Urban Neighbourhoods, Cotonou, Benin, 1994

In Cotonou efforts have been made by PADUC, a local NGO working with youth and neighbourhood groups, to initiate income-producing and environment-related activities. However, citizen support for environmental issues has so far been lacking. WASTE participated in a mission to support these efforts and to develop a five-year action plan, in close cooperation with the PADUC staff and representatives of the various stakeholders. WASTE focused on the potential for employment creation as a means of improving the environmental situation in the various neighbourhoods. Through a participatory methodology the staff will be able to involve the neighbourhood groups in identifying their problems, possible directions for solutions and the implementation of the proposed activities.

Linking Formal & Informal Solid Waste Management Systems, Bangalore, India, 1994

In collaboration with the Department of Social Geography at the University of Amsterdam, WASTE implemented the Livelihood and Environment Research Programme. The team performed research into the importance of the informal sector waste collection service as part of an overall solid waste management system in Bangalore, Madras and Hydrabad, and the manner in which the formal and informal systems could be linked. WASTE was involved in the development of a research manual to study the role of small enterprises and community groups in solid waste handling. A paper was written entitled "The pros and cons in recycling urban solid waste", which was presented during a workshop in Bangalore in which all actors of the local solid waste management system participated.

Pasig River Rehabilitation Project, Manila, the Philippines, 1991

The Danish Government had assigned Carl Bro International to undertake a feasibility study on the rehabilitation of the Pasig River. The study included the environmental assessment of the water quality of the river and the impact of encroaching settlements along its banks. WASTE was asked to execute and analyse field surveys in squatter areas of Manila to assess the potential for community participation in solid waste management in low-income areas. The research was done together with a group of local sociologists. The project team prepared proposals to actively involve the residents in the environmental upgrading of their settlements and to improve the quality of the Pasig river through income generating activities, environmental health education and community organization.


Dhamar Region Municipal Services project, Yemen, 1997

In a Dutch funded project in Yemen, WASTE executed a study to look into the feasibility of small-scale composting for the city of Dhamar. The study recommended to integrate composting activities into the municipal solid waste collection service. A design for a small-scale composting plant was made and a private contractor has been identified to run the plant.

Ports Environmental Improvement Project, Indonesia, 1995

In 1995, the government of Indonesia decided that it was necessary to improve the environmental conditions in harbours and the marine environment in general in order to meet the maritime pollution regulations (MARPOL). In this World Bank financed project, WASTE contributed to the DHV Consultants team by developing a solid waste and oily waste management system for eleven major ports in Indonesia. The systems designed by WASTE are based on public-private partnerships and incorporate the existing informal waste recovery sector by involving scavengers and private entrepreneurs in the clean-up activities. The systems include waste separation and sorting inside the port area.

Waste Recycling Nairobi (WAREN), Kenya, 1990-1995

At the request of the Undugu Society of Kenya, a Kenyan NGO, WASTE and a team of six consultants from other areas of the third world worked cooperatively to research the potential for recycling of organic wastes, plastics, rubber, tin cans, motor oil, cooking oil, broken glass, photo chemicals, household batteries, and bones and horns. The goal of the project was for the recycling of these materials to serve as a source of income for people in the low-income areas of Nairobi, Kenya, at the request of the Undugu Society of Kenya, a Kenyan NGO. The research was carried out in six major cities in Asia and Africa: Cairo, Manila, Calcutta, Bamako, Accra and Nairobi. In each city, the consultant team's assignment was to learn from and document the experiences of waste and recycling micro-entrepreneurs in these cities. WASTE and its consultants have used this research as the basis for four publications, which disseminate the knowledge and information to other interested parties. The publications have appeared in the Urban Solid Waste Series and are entitled "Organic Waste", "Plastic Waste", "Rubber Waste" and "Hazardous Waste".

Source Separation project, Cairo, Egypt, 1992

WASTE and the Association for the Protection of the Environment (APE) worked together to develop a project proposal to initiate the separation of recyclables at source. A primary goal of the separation was to reduce the level of heavy metals occurring in the compost produced by the APE plant. The consultants facilitated the formation of a committee to consider the idea and to seek the cooperation of the Zabbaleen community. In the process of proposal development, it became clear that lack of recognition of the importance of their work was a persistent problem for APE. In response to this, the proposal sought to introduce changes that would:

APE also carried out a pilot project amongst 600 households, and focussing on their willingness to separate waste at source and to monitor the heavy metals content of the waste.


Publications and working papers

WASTE, in collaboration with TOOL Publications, edited a series of publications called the Urban Solid Waste Series. Knowledge and experience gained in the course of the work are also disseminated in the form of working documents. For a complete overview of all titles, see the WASTE publication list.

WASTE has experience with the production of audiovisuals and exhibitions (in collaboration with Johannes Odé productions), and in the organization of conferences and workshops.

Solid Waste Management Course Development, the Philippines, 1991

WASTE developed a Solid Waste Management Course for the International Training Centre (ITN/TNC) in Manila, the Philippines. The course was developed specifically for members of Philippine NGOs dealing with environmental sanitation issues, in order to strengthen their knowledge of solid waste systems. The course enabled them to take appropriate action based on experiences from various other countries.

Courses & lectures

WASTE regularly contributes to international postgraduate courses through lectures and thesis supervision at the Institute of Hydraulic Environmental Engineering (IHE), Delft, the Netherlands. The lectures cover various topics on Solid Waste Management and Recycling in third world countries and in the Netherlands.