Arnold van de Klundert
and Inge Lardinois
WASTE Consultants, Advisers
on Urban Environment and Development
Nieuwehaven 201, 2801
CW Gouda, the Netherlands
fax: +31-182-550313; e-mail: email@example.com
This background paper was drafted
by Arnold van de Klundert as a
consultant to UNCHS (Habitat)
and by Inge Lardinois of WASTE Consultants, the Netherlands.
Extensive assistance was received
from Anne Scheinberg (private consultant)
for the final stages of the paper.
The paper has been prepared for
discussion at the "Ittingen Workshop" jointly organized
by the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) and Urban Management
Programme (UMP) in Ittingen, Switzerland, for 10-12 April 1995.
The paper reviews the state of the art and needs assessment, and
provides an overview of community and private formal and informal
sector participation in municipal solid waste management in developing
countries. It is based on experiences from a great variety of
sources and includes cases and/or other partnership initiatives.
Useful comments on earlier drafts
of the paper were received from Graham
Alabaster and Paul Schuttenbelt
(UN Habitat), and from Carl Bartone and Jens Lorentzen
The paper has been adapted following
comments that were made during the
We would like to thank all participants
who contributed to the lively
By almost any form of evaluation,
solid waste management is a growing
and financial problem in developing
countries. Despite significant efforts in
decades, the majority of municipalities
in the developing countries cannot
growing volume of waste produced
in their cities.
The purpose of this paper is to
review recent experiences in this field
lessons learned and identify
critical gaps to be addressed. The paper seeks
intersectoral partnerships as
a means to achieving sustainable solid waste
(SSWM) systems. Point of departure
is that the highest level of service and
benefit is gained when the municipality
sees its solid waste management
responsibilities clearly, but
nevertheless can make use of the strengths of
the various other
actors. The four main types of
actors considered in the paper are:
1 The municipal governments
2 The formal private (commercial)
sector, in their role as potential solid
3 The informal private sector,
including individuals, small entrepreneurs,
and micro-enterprises, already
working with waste materials or having the
potential to do so.
4 Community based organizations
(CBOs), either idealistically motivated or working for
their own welfare, and non-governmental
organizations (NGOs), usually in
their own idealistic goals.
Summary of the Case Studies
In Chapter 2, a number of cases
of partnerships between public, private
informal sectors are presented.
The examples given reinforce the conclusion
efficient, economically, environmentally
and socially sustainable waste
systems are frequently beyond
the reach of developing country municipal
acting alone. The most successful
initiatives occur where a mixture of
public, private and
community involvement has come
into being, either through evolution or by
design. The Key Issues identified
in Chapter 3 begin to identify where the
focus for action
Key Issues and Constraints
This chapter considers the key
constraints to the development of
partnerships between municipal
governments, the formal private sector, the
and non-governmental and community-based
organizations. These include:
Financial constraints of all the
sectors, in particular:
- For municipal governments, constraints on
the use of taxpayers' money
- For the formal private sector, constraints
on capacity, credibility, liability and resilience
- In terms of the informal private and community
sector, generally marginal access to social institutions, and
extremely limited access to financing
- General institutional and capacity problems
typical of developing countries.
Resistance and territoriality of
the various sectors also forms an important
resistance may take the form
of lack of belief in the legitimacy of other
partners, or it may
have more to do with an expressed
or unexpressed fear that partnerships may
status quo, especially of marginal
actors such as informal sector
Recognition and legitimization
of the informal sector may provide a
or barrier to inter-sectoral
partnerships. Resistance to institutionalization
on the part of
both formal and informal actors
is a barrier in itself.
In addition, there are technological
issues affecting the success of
partnerships. Technology choice
in these areas generally has a severely
limiting effect on
the institutional arrangements.
At the same time, the choice in favour of
designed and scaled technical
solid waste tools and systems is a necessary
but hardly a
sufficient condition for the
creation of intersectoral partnerships.
Agenda for Action
The proposed action programme seeks
to strengthen inter-sectoral
support of a long-term vision
of the goals of waste management in developing
This goal is to achieve sustainable
solid waste management systems which are
time, and which are beneficial
to the society, the economy and the
environment. At the core
of the action programme is the
understanding that the overarching responsibility and
mandate of the municipal government
for solid waste management remains
irrespective of the extent to
which it succeeds in referring its tasks onto
The activities in the proposal
fall under the following general classifications:
- Investigation, research, documentation,
and analysis of the existing solid waste
system in operation in the city,
with emphasis on: economy, institutional set-up,
organizational capacity, roles
and impact of all actors, regulatory framework, industrial and
commercial infrastructure, municipal and national policy goals,
- Capacity building, enabling,
and empowerment of all current and potential actors in
order to enhance their capacity
to take on new partnership roles in sustainable solid waste management.
- The creation of infrastructure,
preconditions, instruments, and an institutional
context in which all actors can
perform their partnership functions in relation to the
development of new models for
sustainable solid waste management in an optimal manner.
These activities relate to:
- Financial management, with
the aim of introducing improvement of cost management of municipal
solid waste management in the city and the enhancement of cost
recovery in relation to an affordable sustainable solid waste
system for all citizens.
- Legal and institutional constraints,
with the goal of creating a legal framework for enabling sustainable
solid waste management.
- Education in sustainable solid
waste management, aiming at an increase in awareness of the complexity
of solid waste management.
- Intersectoral partnership development,
which seeks to enable the development of consultative and cooperative
processes between all the actors in the solid waste management
system, in order that their activities be coordinated to create
an optimal sustainable solid waste management system.
- Stimulating developments in
solid waste and recycling technology, with the aim of promoting
and developing appropriate and affordable technical solutions,
as well as to improve the health and safety of those working in
waste management (predominantly in the informal sector).
- Capacity building in the informal
and formal private sector, in support of the formal and informal
private sector developing the capacity to serve as partners for
- Extending waste collection
services to upper, middle and especially low-income areas.
- Adapting the structure and
effectiveness of activities of bilateral and multilateral lending
and aid institutions, in order to ensure that donor activities
support and strengthen the development of stable cross-sectoral
partnerships which in turn support sustainable waste management.
1. SIGNIFICANCE OF COMMUNITY AND PRIVATE SECTOR
By almost any form of evaluation,
solid waste management is a growing environmental and financial
problem in developing countries. Despite significant efforts in
the last decades, the majority of municipalities in the developing
countries cannot manage the growing volume of waste produced in
their cities. This inability to manage urban solid waste consists
of failures in the following areas:
- Inadequate services
- Inadequate financing
- Inadequate environmental controls
- Poor institutional structure
- Inadequate understanding of complex systems
- Inadequate sanitation
These inadequacies are receiving
increasing attention, and are gaining in priority both in the
countries themselves and in the international donor community.
The attention to sustainable development also means that sustainable
waste management systems will increasingly come to be the goal
of solid waste policy.
This paper serves as a draft background
paper (package no. 3) for the Ittingen Workshop, which has as
its main objective to agree on a conceptual framework and preliminary
mid-term action plan for activities in municipal solid waste management
(MSWM). The paper seeks to introduce and explore the role of the
formal and the informal private sector and community actors in
relation to sustainable solid waste policy, to ensure that integrated
approaches result in real and measurable gains in the management
of solid waste. Its purpose is to explore the aspects of participation
and integration of the different sectors in detail, in order to
arrive at a framework for action. One of the difficulties of a
paper like this is the need to generalize, across the huge differences
that exist between South America, Africa and Asia, and also across
the enormous variation within each of those continents.
Chapter 1 provides an introduction
and overview, together with identifications and descriptions of
the main actors in solid waste management. It goes on to provide
a rationale and justification for the institutionalization of
the participation of the private sector, both formal and informal,
and the community sector in municipal waste management systems
in developing countries. Chapter 2 presents specific examples
of the state of the art in cross-sectoral partnerships, waste
management activities, and experience in South America, Asia and
Chapter 3 provides an analysis
of the key issues and major impediments to further development
of cross-sectoral partnerships in municipal solid waste management.
It ends with a summary of five categories of problems. These five
categories are taken up again in Chapter 4, describing a framework
for an Action Programme. Chapter 4 begins with an introduction,
discussing sustainable waste management systems as the ultimate
goal of solid waste policy and programmes. It then provides the
framework for a preliminary action programme, designed to serve
as a basis for discussion during the workshop.
It should be emphasized that the
examples provided are neither new nor theoretical: each describes
a real-world situation in a developing country. What is new is
the attempt to subject these examples to critical analysis, and
to apply the lessons to be learned to the task of developing sustainable
integrated solid waste management systems in developing countries.
1.2. Description of the Main
Participants and their Respective Roles
This section introduces the various
actors who participate in solid waste management in developing
countries, and begins to clarify and define their roles. In principle,
these actors are part of every solid waste management system,
both those in developing and developed countries. Although the
terminology in the literature is ambiguous and frequently confusing,
this paper attempts to use the terms below in a consistent manner.
In most situations, few clear boundaries
can be drawn between the formal and informal sector, both of which
are involved in the collecting and recycling of waste materials.
Many enterprises operate in a kind of `grey zone', where characteristics
of both `formal' and the `informal' sector apply. Furthermore,
relatively strong commercial connections exist between the entrepreneurs
in the chain (varying from waste-pickers, intermediate traders
to manufacturers of recycled end-products) regardless of their
status as formal or informal; the two sectors tend to operate
in a symbiotic relationship, with the `informal' enterprise acting
as supplier or sub-contractor to a `formal' waste business or
manufacturer. Also, competition for both materials and service
contracts may exist between the entrepreneurs in the formal and
Even the boundaries between the
municipal government and the informal private waste sector may
be blurred. For example, a common situation involves informal
waste pickers working along with the municipal crew on collection
vehicles. Also, informal waste collectors or recyclers may have
organized themselves and receive exclusive rights to recover resources
from municipal refuse.
1.2.1 Municipal Governments
Local municipal governments have
a role in the set-up and operation of waste management systems.
Most urban authorities in both industrialized and developing countries
receive their powers and obligations from a central government
authority, with allocation of powers and responsibilities to protect
the rights of the citizens, to provide services, and to serve
the common good (Gidman et al., 1995). On the one hand, they have
to implement laws and regulations in order to fulfil their statutory
obligations. On the other, a failure to provide a public service
can result in those in power risking the wrath of their constituents,
the ridicule of the international community, and (at least in
the case of democratically elected officials) ultimately their
ability to get elected and enjoy the privileges of public office.
Local municipal governments, almost
by definition, are charged with controlling living conditions
and public health. Within this framework, urban authorities around
the world traditionally interpret their mandate to include the
delivery of services, including sanitation, waste removal, and
disposal, within their political and geographic jurisdiction.
This gives them formal responsibility for solid waste management;
this responsibility is generally assigned to the Health or Sanitation
Department, but in certain cases also to the department of Public
Works or Engineering.
The following characteristics are
typical of the public sector in fulfilling its responsibility
for waste management systems:
- Motivated by legal and political concerns,
and sometimes by international prestige
- Performing activities because of its mandate
and obligation, or because of the power and patronage they confer
on the government, or its representatives
- Using public tax-generated resources and/or
fees for services rendered
- Regulating or contracting with the private
1.2.2 The Formal Private Sector
The `formal private sector' is
here understood to refer to private sector corporations, institutions,
firms and individuals, operating registered and/or incorporated
businesses with official business licences, an organized labour
force governed by labour laws, some degree of capital investment,
and generally modern technology (Furedy, 1990). In general, the
defining characteristic of the formal private sector is that its
main objective is to generate a profit on investments.
Formal private companies are involved
in wide-ranging activities in waste management systems, varying
from waste collection, resource recovery, incineration and landfill
operation. They may participate in the waste management system
in a number of ways, including:
Entering into contracts paid by
the municipality to perform collection, processing, disposal or
cleaning services for compensation
- Purchasing the right to perform services
and keep (all or part of) the income generated
- Entering into contracts with individuals
or businesses for collection services
- Functioning as a purchaser of recovered
materials from the municipality or the collector
The following characteristics are
typical of the formal private sector in its participation in waste
- Motivated by profit
- Performing activities because of their potential
to generate income
- Using private resources
- Regulated and/or contracted by the municipal
1.2.3 The Informal Private Sector
The term `informal private sector'
refers to unregistered, unregulated, or casual activities carried
out by individuals and/or family or community enterprises, that
engage in value-adding activities on a small-scale with minimal
capital input, using local materials and labour-intensive techniques
Informal activities, in contrast
with the formal sector in waste collecting and recycling, are
often driven by poverty, and are initiated personally and spontaneously
(and sometimes haphazardly) in the struggle for survival (although
some enterprises, especially the ones engaged in recycling activities,
manage to make considerable profits). Consequently, the choice
of materials to collect is in the first place determined by the
value of the waste materials, and in the second place, by their
ease of extraction, handling, and transport. Paper, metals and
plastics, usually collected from more wealthy residential or industrial
areas, tend to attract more attention than organic or biodegradable
materials, even though these materials are present in much smaller
percentages than organic waste or manures.
In general, the informal sector
consists of two types of activities, individuals and families,
performing activities which provide them with subsistence, and
small businesses, operating in much the same way as their larger,
registered counterparts, but without the benefit of official registration.
The organization and structure of these recovery activities is
generally opaque to outsiders. This is true not only for waste
pickers and itinerant waste buyers, but also for other groups
such as small enterprises recycling metals or plastics. In general
waste work is done by religious or ethnic minorities, low castes
or rural immigrants, who are looking for a way to generate subsistence
income in an urban context. The importance of the role played
by the informal private sector in waste management systems in
general, and as partners for municipalities in particular, is
slowly achieving international recognition.
While informal-sector activities
vary according to sociocultural, religious and economic circumstances,
some generalizations about gender roles are possible. The least
sophisticated forms of labour, including collection of waste from
the streets and dumps and primary sorting of the material fall
to the women and children, most of whom work from home and do
any handling or sorting in their homes or yards. Men are more
likely to be involved in the processing or manufacturing of items,
together with the selling of recovered items and materials.
The following characteristics are
typical of the informal private sector in its participation in
waste management systems:
- Motivated by the need for subsistence activities
- Performing activities because of their potential
to generate income or produce needed goods
- Using resources too marginal to attract
competition from the formal sector
- Beneath the notice of most decision makers
in municipal government, except as an embarrassing nuisance
1.2.4 Community Based Organizations
The community and its representatives
have a direct interest in waste management, as residents, service
users and tax payers. Communities in the low-income areas generally
receive marginal or no services in terms of public transport,
electricity, drinking water, sanitation, drainage, and also of
waste removal. These communities will sometimes take the initiative
to organize themselves into Community Based Organizations (CBOs),
with the direct goal of self-help and improving their living conditions.
Such CBOs may receive external assistance in the form of technical
and/or financial aid from different agencies. Sometimes these
activities may also take the form of direct participation in (their
own) waste management, such as feeding organic material directly
to their stock. Usable materials, like bottles, are often reused
by the members of the low-income community themselves.
Groups of citizens, including those
from middle and high-income areas, may start CBOs aimed at improving
the waste situation in their neighbourhood: they may hire (informal
or formal) waste collectors; they may make arrangements with local
politicians for waste transfer points; they may start waste separation
experiments, et cetera. Middle and high-income communities produce
the more valuable waste and hence are attractive to low-income
waste pickers, where they are often assisted by watchmen and domestic
servants. Solving service problems in poorer areas is more likely
to require intervention, since the materials have less value.
CBOs mainly participate in primary waste collection systems, separation
at source experiments and implementation and so on.
CBOs may also take a role in the
actual provision of services, including operations and maintenance,
and even in the construction of facilities. Thus CBOs, speaking
for the individuals or members involved, play an important role
in waste management system development processes. Organized communities
have a stronger voice than individuals and bring about improvements
more easily. They can also be organized along lines of gender,
age or religion.
1.2.5 Non-Governmental Organizations
The term NGO can refer to such
diverse organizations as churches, universities, labour organizations,
environmental organizations and lobbies. Sometimes even donor
organizations can fall under this heading.
Generally, Non-Governmental Organizations
(NGOs) are intermediate organizations which are not directly and
continuously involved in community projects. NGOs not only advocate,
they can also be involved in awareness-raising, advocacy, and
decision-making. NGOs can act as intermediaries between grassroots
initiatives (CBOs) and municipal governments, or serve the ideological,
political, or altruistic interests of international organizations.
They can advocate interests on a larger scale than the single
community and provide support and advice to CBOs, but also to
marginal groups in the society, such as waste pickers at dump
sites and street children.
The role of NGOs as partner organizations
in waste management systems ranges from serving as the umbrella
organization under which CBOs operate, to providing a channel
for donor financing. As partners, they can sometimes confer a
degree of credibility and perspective on the informal sector in
the eyes of the municipality.
The following are the typical motivations
of CBOs and NGOs:
- Motivated by an altruistic wish to improve
circumstances or a combination of personal and altruistic motivation
to improve the community.
- Advocating activities which in some manner
serve the public interest.
- Bringing outside resources to bear on the
- Outside of the formal decision making structures
of municipal governments, but also not functioning as a private-sector
1.3. Rationale and Justification
for Private and Community Sector
Participation in Waste Management
Private and community sector participation
in waste management is not, in itself, an a prior goal of solid
waste policy. It is rather a means to achieve the general improvement
of waste management systems operating or being planned in developing
countries. Private sector participation in waste management systems
should occur when it can contribute to making those systems more
responsive, more efficient, more economical, more equitable, or
more environmentally responsible. In the following section, some
advantages to the involvement of the various actors in solid waste
management systems is discussed.
1.3.1 Formal Private Sector
Examples of the gains to be made
from including the formal private sector in waste management systems
are listed below. It should be emphasized, however, that these
are potential gains, whose realization depends not only on the
quality of the private sector actors available, but on the degree
of oversight and control retained by the municipal or regional
government responsible for the jurisdiction.
Potential benefits to the waste
management system include:
- Greater efficiency and enhanced performance,
due to leaner private-sector organization and more flexible employee
compensation procedures, and sometimes also to the introduction
of competition into waste management operations.
- Better management and accountability, due
in part to the fact that the private business functions as a contractor,
and could lose the contract.
- Faster response, associated with the ability
of private business people to raise capital, as opposed to the
relatively long lead times involved in government decision making
and/or the donor grant process, or with government procurement
- Higher service ethics, associated with the
business's image and their ability to attract new clients.
- Greater flexibility in terms of purchase
of land and siting of facilities.
- Greater access to experience and technology,
due to the potential to create partnerships with experienced private
businesses in other countries and regions.
- Risk reduction, by transferring unpredictable
costs or unreliable revenues onto the private operator.
Potential benefits to the local
- Creation of a more robust commercial sector
in the country.
- Generation of sustainable employment in
the private sector.
- The recovery of valuable materials from
recycling activities, which can be locally used without loss of
hard currency or foreign exchange.
Social and environmental benefits
- The insulating of waste management activities
from political patronage of civil service systems (although patronage
in the form of contractor choice is a danger of private sector
participation in contracts)
- Conservation of resources when materials
- Reduction in environmental damage from exploiting
primary resources, including mining and deforestation.
Examples of efficient and cost
effective formal private sector activities are
given in Box 1.
|Box 1: Benefits of Formal Private Services
In a number of cases the private sector can operate more efficiently and cost effectively than the public sector in the delivery of waste services. For example, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where the private sector provides services, the cost of providing these services is approximately half of that in Rio de Janeiro. For comparable service areas, vehicle efficiency is 71 percent higher in Sao Paulo than in Rio, and labour efficiency 13 percent higher. In Buenos Airos, public collectors (which serve about 13 percent of the city) used 7.5 times more workers per 1,000 population served and 4.5 times as many workers per vehicle, than the private collectors. In Malaysia, the cost of contractor services averages 23 percent less (after taxes) than the cost of services provided by the municipalities. Most local authorities contract out between 10 and 80 percent of solid waste collection services, giving contracts to between one and nine contractors through a well-defined competitive tender process (Sinha quoted in Bartone).
Source: Bartone et al., 1991.
1.3.2 Informal Private Sector
The participation of the informal
private sector, including both that of small entrepreneurs and
individuals and families, also has substantial benefits, which
are presented here. Although small-scale in itself, the informal
sector is operating on a large scale. First, the importance of
the informal sector is illustrated with an example from Jakarta,
Indonesia, in Box 2.
|Box 2: The Benefits of the Informal Sector in Jakarta, Indonesia
In 1988, Jakarta had a daily waste production of more than 21,000 m3, 25% of which was recovered by an estimated 37,000 scavengers. These activities save the city $270,000 - 300,000 per month. Today, at least 78 factories use material that has been recovered from waste in their plastic, paper, glass and metal production processes. The recycling rates for glass and paper are as high as 60 - 80%. The waste paper collected by scavengers comprises 90% of the secondary raw material in this sector. In delivering 378,000 tonnes of waste paper per year to paper factories for recycling purposes, the scavengers save 6 million trees from being cut down. Some $48.5 million per year are made with solid waste recycling only, compared with the $0.5 million paid in garbage collection fees.
Source: Oepen, 1993.
Potential benefits to the waste
- The successful recovery and return to productive
use of materials that would otherwise end up in the waste stream.
- The handling of large volumes of materials
at no or marginal cost to the municipal government.
- Reduction of the amount of waste materials
requiring collection and transport.
- Risk reduction, by transferring marginal
activities, unpredictable costs or unreliable revenues to the
- Extension of the lifetime of capital investments
such as environmentally appropriate sanitary landfills or composting
facilities, through reduction of throughput.
- Provision of waste removal and sanitary
services to otherwise unserved (generally poor) sectors of the
- Provision of service at no-cost to the municipality.
Potential benefits to the local
- The supplying of raw materials to the local
manufacturing sector without recourse to foreign exchange or import.
- The maintenance of a large and available
stock of secondary resources to stimulate industrial production.
- Providing of income-generating activity
for a large number of people, many of whom would otherwise be
indigent or require financial support from the government.
- The availability of a tier of products for
poor people, such as containers, harnesses, and wheels made from
recycled materials, which improve the living standard of poor
people at a price that they can afford.
Box 3: The Income-Generating Importance of Informal Sector Waste Activities
In order to give some indication of the number of people and small-scale enterprises involved, the following figures serve to exemplify part of the resource recovery industry:
- In Metro Manila an estimated number of 17,000 people make their living as dump site scavengers (CAPS, 1992).
- The number of waste pickers in Bangalore is estimated to range from 20,000 to 30,000 (Baud et al., 1994).
- In Cairo more than 400 small plastics reprocessing enterprises exist, which recycle approximately 70% of the waste plastics generated (EQI, 1991).
- Over 20,000 women work as paper pickers in Ahmedabad (Bentley, 1988).
Social and environmental benefits
- Providing employment for a number of people
who might otherwise not be able to survive.
- Supporting communities and providing family
and neighbourhood cohesion.
- Improvement health and safety conditions
when informal activities are recognized and supported.
- Conservation of resources when materials
- Reduction in environmental damage from exploiting
primary resources, including mining and deforestation.
- Reduction in use of water in primary production.
1.3.3 CBOs and NGOs
The benefits and advantages resulting
from CBO and NGO participation are listed below. Potential benefits
to the waste management system include:
- The contribution to problem-solving at the
local level, e.g. by setting up and supporting primary waste collection
- Experimentation with innovations at neighbourhood
level and within the informal sector.
- Mobilization of citizens and enhancing their
participation in solid waste management schemes.
- Promotion of environmental awareness.
- Provision of environmental health education.
- Provision of waste removal services to underserved,
marginalized, or hardly accessible areas.
Social benefits include:
- Support for the poorer groups in the society,
the low-income communities as well as the waste pickers, with
technical assistance and advocacy.
- The provision of countervailing power.
- The stimulation of income-generating activities
among the urban poor.
- The strengthening of organizational capacities
of communities and informal individuals and entrepreneurs.
2. STATE OF THE ART
IN CROSS-SECTORAL PARTNERSHIPS
This chapter gives an overview
of existing private and community activities and partnerships
in municipal waste management in developing countries.
Section 3.1 deals with partnerships
with the formal as well as the informal sector, which are primarily
the initiative of the municipality. Formal and informal private
companies, community-based organizations or non-governmental organizations
are increasingly taking over part of the activities of the municipalities.
The success of the undertaken activities and the roles of the
various actors will be elaborated upon in the sections 3.2 - 3.5.
Section 3.6 summarizes the main conclusions.
2.1. Municipalities Privatizing
Privatization assumes that the
public sector municipal authorities retain ultimate responsibility
for the service. More and more municipalities are becoming convinced
of the need for privatization and community involvement. Steps
have been taken towards various forms of public-private partnerships,
especially in South-East Asia and South America and to a much
lesser extent in Africa.
In the recent publication Private
Sector Participation in Municipal Solid Waste Services in Developing
Countries Vol. 1 The Formal Sector, Sandra Cointreau-Levine gives
a good overview of formal private sector involvement and the variety
of institutional arrangements, such as contracting, concession,
franchise, open competition, and the like, which can be deployed.
She also discusses the many factors which need to be analyzed,
such as cost recovery, efficiency, public accountability, economies
of scale, which play a role in the decision to privatize. A number
of examples of privatization, both from her text and from actual
cases and other literature, are presented below.
Jakarta is one of several cities
that began to experiment with the privatization of waste collection
in the second half of the 1980s. In 1988, Jakarta officials experimented
with private contracting for waste collection in 261 sub-districts
(10 percent of the city's waste generating areas), which were
comprised of middle- to high-income residents (Cointreau-Levine,
South Korea, in the same period,
began privatizing waste treatment and disposal. A successful combination
of public and private sector activity for hazardous waste disposal
has shifted the balance towards private sector operation. A public
corporation built and operated two state-of-the-art hazardous
waste treatment and disposal facilities. In a later stage the
Ministry has been able to license and monitor the development
of at least six privately owned and operated facilities (Cointreau-Levine,
Recently, The Bangkok Metropolitan
Administration (BMA) privatized various aspects
of its waste management service
- When faced with budget limitations, the
BMA opted for contracting the disposal of refuse to a private
operator in the outlying areas of the province, instead of siting
and developing a new landfill.
- The BMA has given permits to private contractors
to collect garbage from a few of the 36 districts of Bangkok.
- The production of compost has been liberalized:
the Fertilizer office is still within the BMA organization, but
operates as a company. It can allocate salaries to the workers
beyond the usual civil-official rates (Ksemsan Suwarnarat, 1991).
Keys to successful privatization
include creating contestable markets, establishing an appropriate
regulatory framework and operational standards for contractors,
and strengthening local government capacity to negotiate contracts
and monitor performance. The focus must be on competition, transparency,
and accountability (Bartone et al., 1991).
The informal private sector and
community groups are also gradually being seen as partners for
municipalities in developing countries. In Indonesia, cities commonly
work with the community leader of low-income neighbourhoods to
organize community efforts for the self-delivery of waste to a
communal depot or to hire and manage the neighbourhood workers
who provide door-to-door pushcart collection. In Ciudad Juarez,
Mexico, the city gave a concession to operate the city landfill
to a cooperative of dump-site waste pickers (Cointreau-Levine,
1994). In Curitiba, Brazil, the inaccessibility of low-income
areas by trucks is solved by involving the community who bring
their waste to central collection points, by exchanging food and
service coupons for the materials. This is funded out of the prevented
costs of collection.
|Box 4: Participation of private (formal and informal) sector in municipal solid waste management in La Paz, Bolivia
In 1989, the municipality of La Paz established the EMA enterprise (Empresa Municipal de Aseo) which took over most of the tasks of the DSU (Direccion de Saneamiento Urbano). This was motivated by a wish to trim municipal budgets and advance private-sector participation. In 1991, EMA commenced its function as an intermediary, charged with subcontracting its tasks to private enterprises. EMA organizes, coordinates and controls these private-sector efforts.
By November 1992, EMA had subcontracted all waste collecting activities to the Chilean company Starco for a period of five years. Starco, a typical representative of the formal waste management private sector, is contractually obliged to transport all collected waste materials to the Mallasa dump. EMA retains ownership of the waste. Scavenging by collection personnel is prohibited, although much of the recoverable material is in fact removed by informal sector scavengers who search the containers for recoverable materials.
Starco contracts with `micro empresas' that have been contracted by Starco to collect the garbage from the less accessible poorer suburbs (located on a hill). In these suburbs, some ten small enterprises operate collecting the garbage on foot or with carts and delivering it at Starco against payment. Each of these `micro empresas' consists of 8 to 10 persons who are paid by Starco per day and per collected kilo. These small enterprises received brooms, carts, gloves etc. as a one-time donation from GTZ for a total amount of $1,500 per company. DSU estimates that approximately 400 families in La Paz earn their daily income from garbage; 100 of them are organized in an `asociacion', especially those that collect plastics.
Then Starco itself wanted to organize waste collection in the less accessible suburbs because this would entail considerable savings. In March 1993, some neighbourhood committees protested against the Starco's expansion and intention to employ their own personnel to collect waste in the suburbs. Probably it would have strengthened the position of the `micro empresas' if they had been contracted directly by EMA instead of by Starco. Furthermore, Starco is not interested in recycling, as the company is paid by weight by EMA. Both of these are clear examples that a truly successful partnership reserves important roles for the municipal government. It also shows that the financial arrangements (in this case a fee per ton collected) influence the results attained.
Source: Cornelissen et al., 1993.
2.2. Formal Private Sector Activities
In countries where local authorities
are not able to adequately address the solid waste problem, private
companies fill this gap. This is especially the case in Africa,
where municipalities are often unable to fulfil their service
mandates. In Guinea Bissau for example, waste collection is only
carried out on a temporary basis when a local private company
has a contract paid for by the World Bank.
In Nairobi the collection of garbage
was the sole responsibility of the Nairobi City Council and fell
under the jurisdiction of the Public Health Department. The failure
of this collection system has been a political `hot spot' in the
last few years: only 40% of the 800 tonnes generated daily are
collected, and only 25% of the collection trucks are operational.
Private garbage collection (from middle- and high-income areas,
industries and offices) disposal, (industry, offices) and recycling
have gone on for a long time, operating without official approval
until March 1991. BINS Ltd, which mainly collects waste in high-income
areas and is involved in salvaging paper, metal, glass and plastics
is relatively typical. In 1992 they were charging customers a
paper pickup fee of Kshs 225,- (US $4.-) per month (Karuga, 1991).
Structural adjustment programmes
may encourage the formation of private enterprises as a byproduct
of the dismantling of expensive municipal infrastructures. In
Mali, political changes in the late 1980s and the fact that the
government had to slash public sector jobs to meet the demands
of the structural adjustment programme had the effect of encouraging
|Box 5: Private Waste Collection Enterprises in Bamako, Mali
In Bamako, the municipal department (DSUVA) which has the responsibility to collect and dispose of the urban waste of the whole city, consistently fails to perform its function. In 1991 Cofesfa, a NGO consisting of young unemployed university women, got a contract from the Governate of the district to handle the collection of garbage in the area called Medina-Coura, and also provides a health education service. The pilot project was a success (GERAD, 1992).
Meanwhile the Government of Mali (with assistance of the World Bank) established an intermediate agency, Agence d'Execution de Travaux d'Interet Public pour l'Emploi (AGETIPE), which can bypass bureaucratic government procedures. It is able to pay competitive salaries to a relatively small number of well-motivated staff to control private sector operations. Through this agency, Cofesfa received a second contract for the area of Djikoroni-Para (Miles, 1994). The waste removal service was reported to have improved considerably. But the somewhat ad hoc character of AGETIPE is a cause for concern, since financial difficulties could halt its ability to contract with Cofesfa.
The institutional arrangement of the GIE (Group de Interet Economique) Beseya, a private enterprise that began collecting waste in the Hamdallaye area in Bamako in 1992, with the approval of the local authorities, avoids this risk by collecting fees directly from the residents of the service area. GIE started with sensitizing the community, making clear what their task was and the fee they expected from each household. A respected, senior person from each group of households collects the fees and hands the money over to the collection crew. Additional income is generated by selling the compost made from the biodegradable fraction, and by selling seedlings from the tree nursery.
Cofesfa and GIE Beseya are not the only private initiatives that have taken off in Bamako. In 1992 at least ten units were active in several neighbourhoods. Nevertheless, there are still problems at the municipal level; the municipality is not able to adequately monitor and control the activities of contractors, nor to provide secondary waste collection and adequate disposal services. This is a good example of how privatization cannot compensate for the lack of an overall municipal waste management strategy or for the failure to have a complete overview and to retain accountability.
2.3. Informal Private Sector Activities
In some cases, waste pickers and
recyclers have been able to get official recognition from municipalities
by organizing themselves and institutionalizing their activities.
These initiatives are gradually formalizing the informal activities
that arose as survival strategies; the resulting businesses, especially
in the recycling sector, are crossing over and becoming more and
more `formal'. Most of them now act in the grey area between the
formal and informal sector.
Probably the best known example
of institutionalized informal private sector activities are the
Zabbaleen in Cairo, who collect about 2,700 (metric) tonnes of
household waste per day, nearly 50% of Cairo's daily total of
6,000 tonnes (EQI, 1991). With some outside assistance they have
managed to organize themselves and to extend and upgrade their
services, branching out from collecting waste to setting up and
operating recycling and composting businesses. The Zabbaleen have
also received formal recognition for their services from the municipal
Evidence from South-America and
South-East Asia also suggests that the organization of the informal
sector is indeed a key factor for success and integration in the
municipal waste management system.
In Colombia, approximately 1% of
the population, or more than 50,000 families, earn their living
from urban rubbish (Pacheco, 1994). A marginalized section of
the population, waste pickers have been organizing themselves
into locally based cooperatives since 1986; at the national level,
with the assistance of a NGO and the university of Bogota, they
have formed the National Association of Recyclers (ANR). Currently,
84 joint groups of recyclers exist, subdivided into 7 regional
groupings. Since ANR was set up in 1990, it has represented and
protected the interests and rights of all recyclers in the country
and promoted national policies in the interests of the union,
backed up by a new legal framework, which obliges the inclusion
of the operation in the organized waste pickers union.
The Self Employed Women's Association
(SEWA), in India, has managed to improve the living conditions
of women paper pickers, by organizing them into cooperatives and
by searching for easily accessible raw materials in bulk quantity
(Bentley, 1988). In recent years SEWA has expanded its efforts
to include alternative income-generating schemes, and programmes
for the education and training of the children of the paper pickers.
In Brazil (illustrated by the case
in Box 6) the organization of scavengers and waste pickers into
cooperatives contributes towards increasing the flow of recyclables
and reducing costs, which is currently a major stumbling block
to initiating curbside recycling programmes (CEMPRE, 1994).
|Box 6: Coopamare, Sao Paulo, Brazil
In 1982 eight paper pickers, working together, managed to buy one cart. They received some support from religious welfare organizations, so that they could construct more carts. In 1985 they founded an association to defend the rights of the waste pickers. Some years later they received a piece of land under a viaduct (in a middle-income area) from the then PT mayor (Labour Party) under two conditions: first, the cooperative would have to return the land as soon as it would stop its activities; and secondly, the place should be kept clean. In the beginning, the neighbouring citizens did not like the idea of having a waste cooperative nearby, but an `Open Day' and some meetings convinced them. Now, Coopamare has approximately 100 members (mostly men, since the hilly terrain makes waste collecting a heavy task) mainly working in two neighbourhoods of Sao Paulo.
Coopamare is unique among cooperatives in that a former waste picker has now become the leader of the cooperative and various responsibilities are shared among the members. Also, much attention is paid to working conditions and keeping the environment clean and attractive. Together the waste pickers manage to fetch higher prices for their waste materials. Higher quantities of waste materials can be sold directly to the formal recycling industries, thus bypassing middlemen. Establishing good contacts with these industries is of utmost importance. To upgrade and extend their activities, they have received assistance from several, often church-related, donor NGOs. Similar cooperatives exist in other cities in Brazil, including Santos, Belo Horizonte, Porto Alegre and Santa Catharina. Based on the experience of Coopamare, a training kit has been designed to help waste collectors in other cities to form cooperatives and to integrate these coops into officially run waste programmes.
2.4. Self-Help Projects by Community
Even where they exist, urban waste
collection systems tend to bypass low-income areas; even in middle-
and upper-income areas, collection services tend to be inadequate.
Certain community based organizations have organized themselves
to solve these and other problems. In this model of partnership,
the initiative comes from the residents themselves.
In South America, a number of CBOs
in low-income areas are struggling to get the basic services that
meet their needs. Vila Reis is a typical low-income area of Sao
Paulo, with many immigrants from the North-East of Brazil. Its
local neighbourhood committee, or `Associac o dos Moradores de
Vila Reis' tried organizing the residents to put pressure on the
politicians to improve living conditions and services in the neighbourhood.
Their success in waste activities depended mainly on the political
colour of the mayor of Sao Paulo and the resulting cooperation
between the municipality and the university.
Municipal support also appeared
to be a crucial factor in Bayovar, a town in San Juan de Lurigancho,
one of the forty districts of Lima. MUPROBA (MUjeres Para el PROgreso
de BAyovar - women for the progress of Bayovar) approached ESMILL
(Empresa de Servicio de Municipalidad de Limpieza de Lima), a
semi-public garbage collection firm, to collect the waste in their
area. However, political changes resulting in a change in ESMILL
personnel caused a cessation of ESMILL services (Claringbould,
Many, perhaps most of the community-based
self-help projects are initiated by women. Traditional divisions
of labour generally assign women the responsibility for running
the household, for domestic food production, and for taking care
of the children. Therefore, mostly only the women come in contact
with the waste materials, have the greatest interest in a clean
and relatively odour-free area, and are the most concerned when
their children's injuries become infected due to unsanitary circumstances.
The case of KAWWS in Karachi (Pakistan) illustrates how upper-income
women took such an initiative.
|Box 7: KAWWS, Karachi, Pakistan
In 1988, housewives who were dissatisfied with the inadequate service delivered to their (middle/upper) income area (the KAECHS-housing project south of Karachi) took the initiative to arrange for a private garbage collection service in their area. They approached their local politician for support, started a public awareness campaign on public health and garbage among the residents, and established the Karachi Administration Women Welfare Society (KAWWS) to deal with these and related issues. They consider all residents responsible for the creation of waste and thus for proper disposal, even though the dominant Muslim religion enjoins its followers to avoid all contact with waste.
The women have arranged their own van to pick up their waste, despite the fact that taxes supposedly covering this service have already been paid by all the residents. Plans for home-composting or a small composting enterprise in the nearby park, run by some of the waste pickers in the area, are under discussion. Karachi has a significant number of similar initiatives due to the inadequate, highly centralized administrative system of public services.
Source: Ahmed, 1994.
In middle and high-income areas
initiatives may come from residents who are in one way or the
other professionally involved in waste management. In 1985, the
Community Centre of S o Francisco in cooperation with the University
`Federal Fluminense' took the initiative to start a project for
separation of recyclables at source in S o Francisco, a neighbourhood
of Niteroi, close to Rio de Janeiro (Eigenheer, 1993). This project
is still in operation, although it remains financially dependent
on outside funding, notably from Brahma, a large beer company
in Brazil. Extending the project to other areas of Niteroi is
difficult, partly because the municipality is not willing to cooperate.
Experience gained with the project has been transferred to other
projects, especially to low-income areas of Sao Paulo and Rio
2.5. Non-Governmental Organizations:
Promoting Ideals and Self-Help
Many non-governmental organizations
have also taken up the issue of waste management. These organizations
are usually promoting either environmental health (e.g. the need
for clean cities), social goals (such as the involvement of street
children or working conditions of women and children in particular,
generally considered as the most vulnerable group), or a combination
of these two.
One of the great NGO success stories
in waste management is the Balikatan Women's Movement in Manila,
the Philippines. Currently, more than 18,000 households separate
their waste into wet (animal and food wastes) and dry fractions.
A government agency collects the wet garbage daily, and the dry
garbage is bought by more than 100 collectors who sort it and
sell the valuable components. The success of the programme can
be attributed to an integration of the informal sector that benefits
financially, an education campaign focusing on environmental issues,
and the support and participation of the junk shop dealers, the
community and local government (CAPS, 1991).
Another successful NGO, which has
branches in Bogota, Ho Chi Minh City, Bombay, Tunis, Rabat, Santo
Domingo and headquarters Dakar, is ENDA-TM (Environment and Development
Activities). In Senegal, ENDA has initiated a community-based
waste collection system in Rufisque near Dakar. Collecting the
waste materials is a part-time private activity, meaning that
the horse-cart used in collection can also be used for other income-generating
projects. The local health committee is responsible for the functioning
of the system and the residents pay a fee for the collection of
In West Africa, ENDA has set up
a network on urban environmental problems in order to exchange
experiences and knowledge in the field of waste management. ENDA
has initiated a similar network worldwide to facilitate a South-South
transfer of knowledge.
NGOs in cities are increasingly
recognizing the need for collaboration. In Bangalore (India),
the role of many NGOs and CBOs in initiating projects has nevertheless
failed to have a major impact on the overall solid waste situation
in the city. Most projects have started as experiments, and have
to date remained small scale, sporadic and localised. Organization
to achieve a critical mass could change this.
In the beginning of the 1990s in
Nairobi, a broad initiative called `The Nairobi We Want' was initiated.
A task Force on City Environment and Waste (TACEW) was established
to tackle the waste problem as a joint effort of municipal departments,
private formal and informal sector, NGOs, and technical institutes.
These initiatives were aborted in 1994, however, due to a new
political order (Karuga, 1993).
Although NGOs have an important
role in aspects of waste management, their role in potential partnerships
should not extend to taking on statutory responsibilities from
the municipality. Roles need to be clearly defined, as in the
case of ACEPESA in Costa Rica
|Box 8: The role of ACEPESA in San Jose, Costa Rica
ACEPESA is a local NGO involved in the development of innovative projects in the field of employment generation and the improvement of working conditions. ACEPESA has carried out a pilot project in San Jose in the district of Hatillo, area 1, 2 and 3. The municipal government entered into a contract with ACEPESA, giving ACEPESA the responsibility to establish a group of micro-enterprises involved in waste collection, and to provide the training. The enterprises were registered as `foundations', that is, as not-for-profit organizations. The ILO Promicro Project supported the micro-enterprises, while an Austrian NGO supplied some basic financing. The citizens continue to pay taxes and fees to the municipal government which in turn contracts with and pays the micro-enterprises. The micro-enterprises divide the tasks and contract their own work force. They may employ retired civil servants. The pilot project led to a `reduction in operational cost of 25%, but also proved that the entrepreneurs could do the jobs with less labourers'.
Figure 1: Organizational model
Source: ACEPESA, 1994.
Modern, efficient, economically,
environmentally and socially sustainable waste management systems
are frequently beyond the reach of developing country municipal
governments acting alone. The examples given reinforce the conclusions
that the various actors as defined in Chapter 1 already play an
extensive role in solid waste management and that neither the
municipalities, nor the formal and informal private sector, nor
NGOs, nor the community can solve the waste problems on their
The most successful initiatives
occur where a mixture of public, private and community involvement
has come into being, either through evolution or by deliberate
design. The intervention of an NGO or a CBO can often facilitate
the development of a partnership which the partners themselves
could not manage to arrange. These types of organizations can
thus have a crucial role in catalyzing partnerships and/or the
institutionalization of informal sector activities. An important
aspect of forming partnerships is the recognition that some form
of external stimulus, generally a combination of initiatives from
NGOs, local consultancy firms, or universities, is necessary for
informal sector activities to achieve formal recognition by the
municipality. Left to themselves, low-income groups are unlikely
to initiate seeking recognition or institutionalization of their
activities within formal waste management structures.
In general, successful community
improvements and smoothly functioning inter-sectoral partnerships
depend on the parallel provision of infrastructure and other municipal
services, including reliable secondary waste collection services.
This is one more example of how the whole system depends on the
overarching role of the municipal government for coordination
and responsibility. Acknowledging the involvement of the private
and community sector, the next chapter continues by analyzing
the constraints in establishing partnerships on a larger scale
than is actually the case.
3. KEY CONSTRAINTS
This chapter considers the key
constraints in terms of the development of integrated, sustainable,
partnership-based solid waste management systems in developing
countries, and the issues that underlie these constraints. This
discussion is primarily focused on the barriers to development
of intersectoral partnerships. It is not designed as a discussion
of the constraints on the development of solid waste management
systems in general. Based on the discussion and examples in Chapter
2, a strategic analysis of the problems will emerge, which in
turn will lead to the plan of action presented in Chapter 4.
3.1. Financial Constraints
3.1.1 Finances of the Municipal
Few municipal governments have
a dedicated income stream for solid waste services. The sources
of financing which can be used for solid waste come either from
the national government, from conservancy (environmental) fees,
or from fees or charges for services (often combined with sewerage
or water charges), or out of property taxes.
All of these sources can be problematic
for the financing of solid waste operations.
- Property taxes are often based on old, out
of date, or preferential assessments which undertax the owners
and provide insufficient revenues.
- While people are willing to pay for water
and other services that are essential to their survival, solid
waste removal does not always fall into this category. Thus, given
a choice, people may seek illegal or informal disposal as an alternative
to paying for waste removal.
- Even if residents and businesses are willing
to pay for waste removal, the municipal government is unlikely
to know what its true costs are, and so the actual fees often
do not fully cover the costs (for example, capital depreciation
is not included).
- When solid waste fees are calculated based
on real estate assessments, there is no link between quantity
generated and amount paid, and therefore no incentive to reduce
the amount which is disposed of.
- The structure of donor financing (although
a generally small percentage of municipal investment in urban
infrastructure and services) makes it generally easier to secure
financing for capital expenditures than for ongoing operations
- Financing involving commercial financial
institutions has to demonstrate a high probability of success,
with the promise of relatively high returns.
- Financing from multilateral institutions
usually has to have a clear goal, such as the purchase of equipment.
Bilateral aid often requires the purchase of goods or services
from the donor nation.
- A general lack of understanding of the real
costs of waste management means that hidden costs, externalized
and internalized costs and opportunity costs are frequently left
out of the analysis; the economic and logistical contribution
of informal sector activities is often completely ignored.
A municipality which proposes to
contract or franchise certain waste operations to the formal and
informal sector has to justify its decision, generally on the
basis of efficiency or lower cost. If it can show that the private
operator is financially sound and has a track record and good
credit rating, it does not run into resistance from its sources
of financing. This can be a barrier to contracting both with new
entries into the formal private sector and with the informal sector,
both of which may lack the track record and credit history.
Although many residents of both
low and middle to upper-income areas are willing to pay fees directly
to private formal or informal waste collection services to be
sure their waste will be collected, they are often unwilling to
pay the city for these services, because of fears that there is
3.1.2 Finances of the Formal Private
The finances of the formal private
sector present fewer although significant barriers to the setting
up of partnerships. These barriers fall into the following categories:
- Credibility barriers: the private sector
may not be able to show that it has a good track record, or it
may not have the requisite years of financial reporting to allow
it to receive municipal contracts.
- Capital formation barriers: private businesses,
unlike municipal governments, may have difficulty raising capital
for equipment and/or land purchase.
- Insurance barriers: private contractors
may have difficulty achieving the levels of insurance needed.
- Market guarantees: unlike a municipality,
a private business operates in the `free' market, and is subject
to fluctuations in supply and demand. A business may thus be unable
to guarantee that collected recyclable materials can be sold into
the commodities market at a guaranteed price.
- Problems with the collection of fees: either
unwillingness to pay for waste disposal or too few subscribers
to enable a reasonable economy of scale for cost-effective collection.
- Cash flow: the tendency of municipal governments
to pay their bills very slowly can cause financial hardship for
3.1.3 Finances of the Informal
Private and Community Sector
Almost by definition, the informal
private sector entrepreneurs and community groups (especially
low-income) have extremely limited access to financing. Entrepreneurs
have no access to funds for equipment or to capitalize their businesses,
which makes them dependent on variable cost strategies and generally
restricts the potential for improving products, broadening markets,
improving working conditions, and the like. Community groups often
rely on outside donors for basic equipment (carts, tri-cycles,
brooms) to run a cleansing service in their area or to employ
a community member to earn some income through this service.
Banks and other formal credit facilities
are reluctant to provide loans to private informal enterprises,
due to the absence of assets and securities. This in turn can
make it difficult for a municipal government to justify contracting
new tasks or institutionalizing ongoing operations.
The private informal sector has
developed great skills and creativity to produce semi-finished
or final products from the collected and sorted waste materials.
The equipment and machinery used in the informal sector is often
built from second hand parts. Though they are constructed with
ingenuous skills, the machines often break down, reducing efficiency
and increasing the costs in this way. Replicability, and thus
the ability to each a profitable economy of scale, is also difficult
to achieve. This may limit the ability of private informal sector
enterprises to link up with formal private companies, either as
partners or as suppliers.
Informal sector individuals and
enterprises are generally considered to be even less credit-worthy
when seen from the traditional financial viewpoint. Furthermore,
these people may have low social status, and there may be taxpayer
resistance to using tax revenues to support them.
3.2. General Institutional Constraints
3.2.1 Institutional Infrastructure
The general lack of critical thinking
in relation to solid waste systems is often a barrier to innovative
solutions. Even in developed countries, the intellectual framework
for understanding the relationships between consumption, disposal,
recycling, industrial activity and natural resource exploitation
is seldom complete or adequate.
The lack of political will to make
solid waste a priority means that it is usually lacking both talented
personnel, adequate facilities, and the commitment of senior officials.
Furthermore, the anachronistic
organization of municipal government departments and traditional
divisions of labour in both developed and developing countries
are often inherited from 19th century ideas about city government
and sanitation, and do not lend themselves well to innovative
problem-solving or to the needs of large cities.
Furthermore, many cities already
have master plans or comprehensive waste management plans, which
characterize the solid waste problem as one of `technology'. These
all too frequently fail to take unique features of the local system
adequately into account, and imply that the solution to the problems
can be achieved through the acquisition of large facilities. Once
these plans are written and approved by the municipal government,
they give rise to bureaucratic claims and privileges, and it can
be difficult (or even impossible) to introduce innovative proposals
in relation to current or potential activities of the community
and the private formal or informal sector.
Confusing and fragmented divisions
of labour and responsibility, may mean that activities which could
be contracted out are administratively inseparable from each other,
making it effectively impossible to split them off for a contractor.
Shared responsibility and jurisdictional
disputes between municipal departments and a lack of clarity in
the division of responsibilities, tasks and resources between
central and local government may make clear articulation of policy
or an unambiguous needs analysis impossible.
3.2.2 Waste Management Personnel
Staff incompetence and lack of
interest often plays a role. Solid waste is frequently a `dumping-ground'
for political patronage, which can lead to the appointment of
supervisory or management personnel who lack the necessary skills
to manage the department that is responsible for the environmental
health of the city population. These departments often are overstaffed
with workers with low qualifications, and lack middle management
(or the recognition that it is necessary).
Even well-intentioned technicians
in waste management will frequently opt for the status and attraction
of `modern' technical solutions for the problems they encounter
in their city's waste management. Their education has not been
oriented towards informal enterprises or community groups. They
have often received a `western' type of education which was not
adapted to the needs of their society.
Finally, public officials may receive
attractive fringe benefits, ranging from free service to their
own homes to profitable contacts with equipment suppliers, from
the status quo. They can be unwilling to risk their perquisites
through consideration of alternative solutions, such as the involvement
of the private informal entrepreneurs or a more appropriate but
less glamorous waste technology.
3.2.3 Legislation and Regulations
Legislation and regulations are
set up for particular purposes, and are often difficult to adapt
to new circumstances. In particular, the legislative and regulatory
context for solid waste management is dispersed, fragmented, and
incomplete, and so does not tend to facilitate the formation of
cross-sectoral partnerships. If such partnerships nevertheless
come into being, existing legislation normally provides few tools
for coordinating or managing them. The following are specific
examples of the kinds of legislative barriers that may frustrate
the formation of cross-sectoral partnerships.
- Mandates for public delivery of services
may make it difficult or impossible to contract the services to
private sector actors.
- Lack of enabling legislation to allow contracting
may mean that the appropriate procedures do not exist.
- Lack of legislative and regulatory infrastructure
for the management of contracting risks insufficient monitoring
and/or control by contractors, and no recourse for the city if
contractors fail to perform in the ways they have agreed.
- Existing public contract laws may explicitly
or implicitly require contractors to have achieved a level of
institutional or financial stability which would exclude both
smaller formal private sector firms and informal sector entrepreneurs.
- The allowable structures available for contracting
or franchising provisions may assume a form of institutional arrangement
which is inappropriate for or difficult to adapt to solid waste
- Health and sanitation regulations governing
waste procedures may require procedures that conflict with informal
- Environmental laws may discriminate against
apparently `dirty' businesses, even if the net effect of these
businesses on the environment is positive.
- Worker health standards may effectively
exclude waste picker and informal-sector entrepreneurs from consideration,
since their workplace would not initially pass these standards.
3.3. Institutional Constraints
on Agreements with the Formal and Informal Private Sector
3.3.1 Public and Private Formal
Sector Resistance to Informal Private Sector Involvement
The following barriers are specific
to the formation of cross-sectoral partnerships between municipal
governments and informal sector entrepreneurs:
- The reactive and ad hoc character of informal
sector enterprises may in theory or in practice make it difficult
for them to provide a regular and reliable service to customers
or the city.
- Lack of applicable legislation and infrastructure,
while it may provide a `window of opportunity' for informal sector
activities to fill the gap, may make the procedures required to
effect an arrangement with the formal sector or the municipality
impossible to determine.
- Legislative and regulatory gaps may also
open the field for political patronage, graft, and arbitrary policy
making. Small informal enterprises have limited ability to operate
under these conditions, and generally lack political influence.
- Municipal government time schedules for
decision making, contracting and payments are beyond the tolerance
of most informal sector actors, whose need for daily survival
imposes an immediacy on all of their transactions.
- Complying with commercial registration requirements,
labour union rules, and labour laws is not within the capability
of most informal sector enterprises. While the potential for contracting
may stimulate some enterprises to attempt compliance, and thus
improve working conditions for the workers, it can also cause
certain private informal enterprises to disappear when they are
unable to attain certain standards.
- Lack of default or bankruptcy protection
or insurance for informal enterprises may make it unattractively
risky for municipal governments or formal enterprises to engage
3.3.2 Public Sector Resistance
to Formal Private Sector Involvement
Even without specific impediments,
government personnel may resist private sector involvement in
their areas of responsibility, either in principal or in practice.
The main sources of resistance are:
- Security of employment in the public sector,
together with generous fringe benefits, tends to lead to expansion
in the civil service. Civil servants resist contracting, both
on principal and when it threatens their jobs.
- Actual or threatened competition from private-sector
operators may impose new work requirements on civil servants,
putting new and stringent performance requirements on jobs which
have essentially been sinecures.
- Entry of new parties into waste operations
may diminish or otherwise threaten perquisites of the job, such
as revenues from sale of materials recovered `on the side'.
- A shift to private-sector operators may
shift the structure of privilege for highly-placed civil servants
and elected officials. Where these people have been receiving
a higher level of service for no or little cost, there is a natural
resistance to a change that risks a loss of privilege.
3.3.3 Private Informal Sector Resistance
to Contracting and Cross-Sector Partnerships
Resistance to changes in the status
quo are not exclusively the province of municipal officials. Other
actors from the formal and informal private sector may also see
change as a threat. In particular, there may be resistance in
the areas described below:
- The official aspect of contracting may appear
threatening to informal sector workers, who almost by definition
are used to working under informal conditions, where decisions
are made on a daily basis.
- Municipal contracting to the formal private
waste sector may decimate the profit potential of private informal
waste collectors. Not only do they risk losing access to certain
areas and service fees, but private collectors are likely to `skim'
the recoverable materials, taking the most valuable items out
of the waste stream for their own gain.
- The introduction of compactor trucks and
other high-tech equipment may reduce access to recoverable materials
and/or contaminate them beyond recovery. Such equipment and procedures
often lead to the decrease of informal recycling activities, or
a shift from the relatively safer process of street collection
to the relatively more dangerous practice of dump picking.
- A shift to private disposal facilities may
put dump pickers out of business. Even if the new facility is
accessible, it may be farther away, and the pickers may also have
to share profits with the owners.
- Contracting to the formal private sector
may disrupt informal service arrangements for marginal, low-income,
inaccessible, or squatter communities. New arrangements may deprive
informal collectors of their rights without providing effective
3.3.4 Issues Surrounding Recognition
of the Informal Sector
This paper makes the assumption
that cross-sectoral partnerships involving the informal sector
will generally result in this sector achieving some degree of
formal status and recognition, and some degree of institutionalization
of function. This section explores the specific barriers to attaining
recognition of informal sector activities and their institutionalization
within the formal waste management system.
- Waste work is regarded as dirty and low-status.
The recognition of people doing this work runs into taboos surrounding
filth and dirt, and prejudice against foul functions.
- Informal sector waste workers are frequently
from disadvantaged and minority ethnic and social groups. Recognition
must cope with race, class, and ethnic prejudices.
- Informal sector workers hope for upward
mobility, and may regard their association with waste as transitional.
Recognizing their function may appear to them to freeze them into
an unattractive and degrading profession that they had hoped to
- Recognition may be resented by those higher
up in the formal and informal waste management hierarchy. The
more established processors and brokers may feel socially or economically
threatened by formal recognition of their suppliers and those
- Recognition may formally acknowledge people
and circumstances that detract from a city's prestige and self-image.
Those supporting `development' may feel that recognizing waste
pickers and other informal waste workers gives the informal sector
a kind of legitimacy incompatible with the image of modern `developed'
- Recognition may risk institutionalizing
technical approaches considered to be outdated and anachronistic
(even when they are the most appropriate approaches under the
circumstances). The use of hand carts or animal-drawn vehicles,
for example, may appear incompatible with goals of modernization.
- Informal activities are often associated
(justly or unjustly) with criminal activities. Fears of semi-legality
may discourage officials from associating with `tainted' sectors
3.4. Markets and Technologies
Informal sector waste entrepreneurs
and individuals are connected to the international commodities
marketplace through the materials they collect. Ultimately, the
economic value and profit potential of the waste materials is
connected to international commodity prices, global trade, and
Partnerships involving informal
sector operators depend on their ability either to use the collected
materials for their own manufacturing, or to prepare materials
for commercial use. The key constraints discussed below relate
to marketing, or `closing the loop' for recovered materials.
- Any change in circumstances puts established
supply routes into jeopardy. A shift in type of materials, in
their quality (for example, due to the introduction of compaction),
or in their volume, may give brokers and other purchasers of material
grounds for rejection or refusal.
- Low or inconsistent quality of the materials
processed in the private informal sector is often an impediment
to the absorption in formal markets. Partnerships which depend
on a consistent level of quality of recovered materials may not
have sufficient tolerance for the variation that occurs in practice.
- Changes resulting in new locations or routes
may disrupt existing transport arrangements. The informal enterprises
collecting waste for recycling purposes usually collect in middle
and high-income areas or in industrial areas, using hand or animal-drawn
vehicles. Adjustments in access may put them out of range of their
- Contracting may result in deliberate or
accidental alteration of facilities. If contracts call for work
on public premises, existing facilities for storage, sorting,
bundling and, when appropriate, processing, may be out of reach.
3.5. Donor Influence
In contrast, donor biases towards
particular technical approaches or insistence on supplying equipment
which supports their own export industries can also result in
a situation where new arrangements disrupt existing informal sector
waste handling systems. Donor interventions may also be motivated
by the goals and/or bureaucratic procedures of the home office,
rather than on a full understanding and appreciation of local
It is easier to understand, finance
and monitor large, technology-oriented interventions than to develop
a small-scale, context-sensitive approach. Generally, appropriate
interventions require patience, investment in understanding the
specifics of the local context, respect for the actors, and a
willingness to modify grand principles to produce locally appropriate
results; donors often do not have either the time nor the political
will to take these steps.
Donor actions frequently lack central
coordination. This is true both between donor nations, some of
whose industries may be competing for contracts, and within a
donor nation, where development organizations or agencies may
be working at cross-purposes.
The scale on which donors intervene
may be inappropriate: either larger than the situation merits,
or too focused on micro-circumstances without sufficient reference
to the larger financial and institutional context.
4. ACTION PROGRAMME
This chapter describes a preliminary
action programme. It is directed at the key actors identified
in Chapter 1; it draws on the lessons from the state of the art
in Chapter 2, and suggests strategies appropriate to the key issues
and constraints identified in Chapter 3. The action programme
aims at enabling cross-sectoral partnerships in solid waste management
as a means to improving sanitation, municipal operations, local
and regional economies, and the working and living conditions
of the informal sector in the short and middle term. These recommendations
are designed to form the basis for further discussion.
4.1. Towards Sustainable Solid
Waste Management Systems
Strengthening inter-sectoral partnerships
supports a long-term vision of the goals of waste management in
developing countries. This goal is to achieve sustainable solid
waste management systems which are stable over time, and which
are beneficial to the society, the economy and the environment.
In this context it is useful to review the normal progression
of motivations for setting up solid waste management systems.
Solid waste systems are usually
set up out of an initial set of concerns for public health and
sanitation, and their first infrastructure, some type of collection
system, is designed to meet these goals. After the most pressing
health hazards are cleaned up, a second set of motivations arise
related to quality of life, cleanliness of streets, community
appearance, and the like. Generally, after this level has been
achieved, the focus shifts to environmental quality and cost reduction,
at which point there is an increased attention to recycling and
composting. There is generally a reduction in the role of mixed
waste collection, and an increase in separate collection and number
of system components. Finally, the achievement of first-order
environmental goals leads to a recognition of the need for sustainable
solid waste systems.
The point here is that it is possible,
given the state of the art in both developed and developing countries,
to bypass intermediate motivations, and to seek to create and
implement sustainable waste management systems from the outset.
This action plan is set up to pursue this goal. This paragraph
defines the different elements of sustainability.
4.1.1 Environmental Sustainability
- Sustainability will only be attainable if
the current concept of refuse disposal, which imposes great burdens
on the environment and resources, is transformed into a closed-cycle
system, restoring various natural cycles, thus preventing the
loss of raw materials, energy and nutrients.
- In general, this means minimizing resource
extraction at the beginning of the production cycle and final
disposal at the end of the cycle. As a consequence, avoidance
of waste generation (including waste reduction and minimization)
has a higher priority than recovery (including composting), and
recovery (preferably including separation at source) has a higher
priority than environmentally sound disposal of remaining residues.
This concept is generally referred to as the solid waste hierarchy.
- Sustainable waste management calls for the
support and promotion of clean technology, together with the prevention
or avoidance of unnecessary waste production.
- The principles of sustainable waste management
draw also on the idea of local self-sufficiency, leading to a
preference for processing waste and recyclables as close to the
source of generation as possible.
In developing countries, there
is some inherent conflict between the wish to develop and raise
the material standard of living and the priority of waste reduction,
since waste generation generally increases with a rise in material
4.1.2 Institutional Sustainability
- In any waste management system, the primary
responsibilities remain with the public sector, in most cases
the municipal government. Irrespective of the extent to which
it succeeds in transferring its tasks to other actors, the municipal
government must retain ultimate control and be ultimately accountable
for the functioning of the system, specifically related to the
following roles and functions:
- the democratically managed spending of taxpayers'
money in relation to the performance of actors in the solid waste
- the (democratic) control and protection
of the environmental health of the city and
- Decentralization of tasks within government
bodies should be accompanied by a decentralization of powers and
- An adequate legislative and regulatory framework,
with appropriate compliance and enforcement mechanisms, is essential
to ensure adequate performance of private enterprises.
- A supportive and consistent legislative
and regulatory infrastructure, such as rules of liability, insurance
coverage, bankruptcy protection, and public contract law, forms
an essential and indispensable foundation to the development of
- The professionalization of solid waste management
will assist in forming stable arrangements. This includes developing
a broadened understanding of the components of an integrated waste
system, as well as consolidating solid waste functions under the
jurisdiction of a single department. It also includes investment
in qualified and trained municipal solid waste staff.
- Inter-sectoral partnerships which make use
of the unique talents of all sectors have the potential to result
in sensible and efficient waste management systems at an appropriate
level of technology. Promoting these partnerships thus promotes
good waste management.
- Waste management should be consistent within
the concept of Sustainable Cities.
4.1.3 Financial and Economic Sustainability
- Full-cost analysis is essential to gain
a clear picture of the true costs and benefits of all waste-related
activities. Full-cost accounting, combined with the implementation
of cost-based fee collection systems (modified to allow for ability
to pay) is a more sustainable approach than reliance on donor
financing or international lending.
- Fee systems, which aim to achieve full-cost
recovery from those who receive high levels of service, usually
the wealthier citizens and the commercial sector (e.g. industries
and hotels), should be introduced.
- The institutional and technical approaches
should be based on a clear understanding both of current circumstances
and the implications for all sectors of proposed future developments.
- There should ultimately be a relationship
between the costs of waste management and the revenue streams
associated with waste management activities (user fees, income
from sale of materials, nominal fees, etc).
- The structure of the labour force in most
developing countries argues for choosing waste management strategies
with a high labour to capital ratio. This will appear counter-intuitive
to those familiar with developed country economic systems, and
runs counter to the practices of most (bilateral) donors. Labour-intensive,
rather than capital-intensive systems, should certainly be considered,
and in many situations should receive an a priori preference.
4.1.4 Social Sustainability
- Waste management plans and services should
be provided to all strata of society, regardless of income, ethnic
group, or social status.
- Informal waste collection and handling is
often driven by poverty. Broader issues such as poverty alleviation,
improvement of the local economic situation, and the like should
be considered as well.
- In general, improvement of living conditions
for the poor needs to be addressed. Improved working conditions
will be of limited use if people still have no access to adequate
water-supply and sanitation facilities.
4.2. An Agenda for Action
The ideas and strategies suggested
below are designed to stimulate a discussion in the workshop.
They are thus preliminary and indicative of directions, rather
than exhaustive and detailed.
The action agenda described below
is designed to facilitate the formation of sustainable cross-sectoral
partnerships in the context of integrated solid waste management
in developing countries. This agenda for action is structured
around the development and implementation of an integrated planning
process. The activities are designed to bring all actors -- municipal,
formal, and informal and communities -- to the point where they
are capable of recognizing the synergies involved in partnership,
willing to engage with partners, and enabled to choose the appropriate
form of partnership and implement it. They are furthermore structured
to ensure that important actors and aspects of existing solid
waste management systems are not ignored in the planning process.
In the description of the conceptual elements of sustainable solid
waste management described above, the participation of the private
(formal and informal) and community sector is of primary importance.
The proposed action programme seeks
to strengthen inter-sectoral partnerships in support of a long-term
vision of the goals of waste management in developing countries.
This goal is to achieve sustainable solid waste management systems
which are stable over time, and which deliver benefit to the society,
the economy and the environment. The purpose of the proposed activities
is to stimulate a process of change that is both profound and
transparent to the public, and to as many of the participating
actors as possible.
The activities discussed below
fall under the following general classifications:
- Investigation, research, documentation,
and analysis of the existing solid waste system in operation in
the city, with an emphasis on: economy, institutional set-up,
organizational capacity, roles and impact of all actors, regulatory
framework, industrial and commercial infrastructure, municipal
and national policy goals, et cetera.
- Capacity building, enabling, and empowerment
of all current and potential actors to enhance their capacity
to take on new partnership roles in sustainable solid waste management.
- Creation of infrastructure, preconditions,
instruments, and an institutional context in which all actors
can perform their partnership functions in relation to the development
of new models for sustainable solid waste management in an optimal
4.3. Key Action Areas
4.3.1 Financial Management
Principal Goal: to improve the
cost management of municipal solid waste management in the city
and the enhancement of cost recovery in relation to an affordable
sustainable solid waste system for all citizens.
A. Supplementary Goal: to gain
insight into the costs and possible revenues of the current solid
waste management system and to disseminate the results to relevant
- The development of a methodology for real
cost analysis for municipalities to gain insight into the actual
costs of the current solid waste management system.
- The calculation of the amount of income
that citizens can generate in a reasonable manner to pay for a
well-functioning solid waste management system, and primarily
oriented to covering the costs that the current cost recovery
system fails to finance.
- Research oriented towards creating pricing
and fee systems which are reasonable in relation to: the criticality
of the need, the type of service to be provided, and the willingness
to pay for any service in general, and for specific services in
- Research to determine to what extent financial
management (e.g. fee collection) can be contracted out in the
context of and through the medium of a municipally determined
structure of maximum charges, level of services, et cetera.
- The organization of workshops for involved
municipal personnel with the goal of having them take ownership
of the methodology, learn to identify financial bottlenecks, recognize
areas for improvement, maximize the potential for use of secondary
(recycled) materials in industrial processes, et cetera.
B. Supplementary Goal: to develop
financial mechanisms for involving the private and community sector.
- The development of manuals with financial
models and procedures adequate to enable contracting of private
and community sector.
- The training of relevant municipal staff,
enhancing managerial capacities for financial management, institutional
development, demand assessment, contract arrangement skills, partnership
C. Supplementary Goal: to encourage
recycling as a means of achieving enhanced cost recovery
- Analysis and quantification of the benefit
to the local economy of recovered materials within formal and
- Awareness raising of municipal policy makers
as to the financial and economic benefits of recycling.
- The creation of institutional structures
to allow individual units within the municipal solid waste management
systems to function as independent entrepreneurial units.
- The scrutiny of international regulations
and treaty conventions in relation to trade of waste materials
and prices of raw materials.
4.3.2 Legal and Institutional Constraints
Principal Goal: to create a legal
framework for enabling sustainable solid waste management.
A. Supplementary Goal: to facilitate
the creation of sustainable, legally protected partnerships between
municipal governments, the informal private sector, and the formal
sector on a legal basis.
- The development of solid waste management
laws and ordinances
- The development of performance standards
for waste contractors in all phases of waste management
- The institutionalization of the role of
the informal sector by transforming their informal activities
into law and rights for particular groups of actors.
B. Supplementary Goal: to create
the possibility of democratic control and participation in decision
making by the residents of communities, together with a decentralised
budgeting process for community residents to participate in financing
the solid waste management system in their area.
- The creation of simplified bureaucratic
procedures for contracting and reporting
- The provision of educational materials,
information and training for community residents (or their representatives)
in maintaining control of the budget for their area.
4.3.3 Education for Sustainable
Solid Waste Management
Principal Goal: to raise the level
of awareness as to the complexity of solid waste management.
- The active combatting of biases for `modern'
high-technology waste management systems, both on the part of
municipal officials and personnel and in the community of multilateral
and bilateral donors, through rigorous analysis of the costs and
benefits and dissemination of these results.
- Support for the integration of low-technology
activities done by the informal sector into a waste management
system through peer exchanges and dissemination of information.
- Support for forward-looking thinking by
analyzing the effect on the waste quantity and composition, and
on the effectiveness of current formal and informal recovery operations,
of projected development goals.
4.3.4 Partnership Development
A. Principal Goal: to enable the
development of consultative and cooperative processes between
all the actors in the solid waste management system, in order
that their activities be coordinated to create an optimal sustainable
solid waste management system.
- The development of a critical assessment
of the interplay of various actors (private formal, informal,
NGO, CBO, community individuals) in currently functioning systems,
in order to gain insight into the capacities of the actors and
to identify unfulfilled niches.
- The development of a framework and guidelines
for setting up mixed systems that give proper weight to specific
- The documentation of success stories of
private (formal and informal) and community sector forms of organization
(CBOs and NGOs), including a detailed assessment of the role of
the different actors, thereby focusing on lessons learnt, followed
approach and future areas for improvement and further integration
(for example, informal initiatives which have resulted in `formal'
partnerships with the municipality). Examples of partnerships
can be presented in a policy and advocacy document, which defines
the roles of the various actors, and which can be disseminated
to municipal officials (e.g. mayors) to convince them of the need
for and the benefits of partnership development.
- Facilitation of the formation of cooperatives,
unions, guilds, and other organizational forms to enhance the
political and economic clout of low-income communities and individuals.
- Creation of a forum for information exchange
at city level, to provide opportunities for cross-sectoral communication
between the municipal government, the formal and informal private
sector, local CBOs and local and internationally oriented NGOs.
4.3.5 Solid Waste and Recycling
A. Principal Goal: to promote and
develop appropriate technology.
- Development of a technology screening kit
to assist municipal officials, (formal) private sector operators,
and donor organizations in eliminating inappropriate technical
- The set-up of technology adaptation and
- Support for the development and dissemination
of appropriate technical information, and discouraging the dissemination
of inappropriate commercial propaganda, using trade associations
and query networks.
- Stimulation of the adoption of clean technologies,
B. Principal Goal: to improve existing
informal waste collection and recycling activities in terms of
occupational health, but also concerning environmental pollution.
- Assessment of occupational health and working
conditions in collection (e.g. at dump sites) and recycling (e.g.
plastics, household batteries) in relation to living conditions
and in relation to formal industries.
- Development of methodologies to improve
existing production and processing practices, raise awareness
on health aspects and raise general standards of living.
- Development of methods and techniques to
improve working conditions, such as separation at source, good
housekeeping, improvement of equipment.
C. Principal Goal: to promote the
use of recovered materials in the production of useful and needed
products and services.
- The introduction or dissemination of improvements
in existing recycling technologies.
- Analysis of current and potential markets
for recycled materials both in the formal and the informal economy
of the region. Where necessary, global or export markets may also
- Research to develop a more complete method
of calculating the nature and value of waste-born materials.
- Researching the potentials for stimulating
local niche-market production and import substitution.
- The development of economic instruments
and incentives for the support of materials and products made
from secondary (recycled) materials; these should be designed
both to affect consumer buying patterns and to influence public
procurement practices. For example, the local production of compost
should be subsidized instead of the current practice of subsidizing
4.3.6 Capacity Building in the
(Formal and Informal) Private and Community Sector
Principal Goal: to support the
formal and informal private sector in becoming capable of serving
as partners for municipal governments and to extend collection
services to all areas irrespective of the prevailing ability to
A. Supplementary Goal: to improve
formal private sector performance.
- Provision of assistance to private businesses
with performance-linked financial assistance and capital formation.
- Development of performance standards for
private sector contractors in a variety of areas and connecting
these standards to the bidding process.
B. Supplementary Goal: to enhance
and develop strategies for enabling private contracting.
- The enabling or facilitating of private
- having the municipality provide the capital
equipment, while the private contractor takes responsibility for
- using the municipality's insurance and capital
- franchising in order to allow the contractor
to collect revenues directly from the clients
- The introduction of innovative financial
arrangements such as a municipal service fee, which allows the
contractor a guaranteed minimum income, supplemented by direct
payments by contractors, which might improve cash flow.
C. Supplementary Goal: to improve
informal sector performance.
- Support of the enhancement of private sector
capacity and experience through training, technical publications,
and exchange and peer matching programmes.
- Development of innovative financial tools
for transferring the avoided costs of municipal collection, particularly
in relation to marginal areas, to the informal sector for serving
those areas. These could include capitalizing equipment, supplying
a baseline subsistence wage, providing price supports per household
served, or similar initiatives.
D. Supplementary Goal: to encourage
recognition of informal sector activities.
- The combatting of social prejudices against
both `dirty' waste work and the ethnic, racial and class background
of informal sector members by highlighting the value these activities
provide to the public good, by highlighting its value in technical
journals and conference papers.
- The invitation of informal waste pickers
and recyclers to the UN Habitat Conference in Istanbul in 1996,
including giving them a place on the programme (for speaking and
discussion) and make this a major discussion-topic with far-reaching
- Support for creative and unconventional
solutions through municipal prizes or special forms of recognition,
e.g. award a prize during the UN Habitat conference for the city
with the most innovative ideas and programmes for integrating
informal sector activities into the formal waste management system.
E. Supplementary Goal: to support
primary waste collection systems and to deliver adequate waste
collection services to low, middle and high-income areas.
- Development of the potential and support
the development of primary waste collection systems including
separation at source, neighbourhood sorting centres and small-scale
- Assessment of the ability to pay for waste
collection services in high, middle and low-income areas.
- Creation of educational tools with the potential
to mobilize communities, with NGOs as the likely appropriate organs
to develop educational material. Successful examples of educational
campaigns can then be (adapted and) disseminated to other cities.
F. Supplementary Goal: to raise
awareness within the municipality and the general public on waste
needs and services to marginal areas.
- The prioritization and highlighting of the
marginalized areas through training, press attention, and through
articles and papers in professional and trade publications and
- The provision of technical information and
case studies on successful examples of public sector partnerships
with the informal sector that allow low-income areas to be adequately
- The setting up of peer exchange programs
for solid waste management staff, which have those facing the
problem visiting programmes where innovative solutions have been
- Integration of information about difficult
to serve areas within a competent full-service sanitation department,
thereby improving this department's image.
4.3.7 Bilateral and Multilateral
Lending and Aid
Principal Goal: to ensure that
donor activities support and strengthen the development of stable
cross-sectoral partnerships which in turn support sustainable
- Donors must coordinate their policies and
activities and agree to cooperate within a region or municipality.
- The choice must occur in a manner consistent
with problem formulation and needs analysis in the recipient country
and not on the basis of available technology in the donor country.
The principle of untied aid is especially important here.
- Donors make a commitment to the sustainable
waste management plans, and must limit and focus their activities
to support these plans, and not their own policy or commercial
- Development of information packets for donors
on a number of related subjects, such as the role of the informal
sector, an orientation to micro-enterprise, the import substitution
significance of local micro-production using recycled materials,
- Convening of conferences to set up a total
package of financial and technical support.
- The setting up of an international advisory
committee, probably with only advisory powers, which can nevertheless
be a watchdog organization for donor activities, criticising these
publicly when circumstances merit it, and that can sit at the
table with donors when policy and technology decisions are being
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