(Based on the original edition: Manual Gerenciamento Integrado de Resíduos Sólidos, 2001)

1st EDITION – 2008
MINISTRY FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND TERRITORY – ITALY General Director Corrado Clini Director, Division I, Environment and Development Research Department Paolo Soprano Consultant, Division I, Environment and Development Research Department Pierluigi Manzione INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH CENTRE, IDRC – Canada Senior Program Specialist Walter Ubal Giordano Research Officer Alicia Iglesias Program Assistant Clara Saavedra Webmaster María Noel Estrada BRAZILIAN INSTITUTE OF MUNICIPAL ADMINISTRATION – IBAM General Director Mara Biasi Ferrari Pinto Director, National School of Urban Services – ENSUR Tereza Cristina Baratta Director, Urban Development and the Environment – DUMA Ana Lucia Nadalutti La Rovere PUBLICATION Technical coordination Karin Segala Technical content – Update and Adaptation Gilson Leite Mansur José Henrique Penido Monteiro Chapter 2 – Collaboration Victor Zular Zveibil Silvia Martarello Astolpho Technical Revision Andrea Pitanguy de Romani Karin Segala Translation from Spanish to English Liliana Battipede and David Reed Design and Layout Roberto Tostes / Doble Clic Editoras Publishing Coordination and Revision, English version Víctor L. Bacchetta and Laura Pallares

Manual on municipal solid waste integrated management in Latin American and Caribbean cities / José Henrique Penido Monteiro …[et al]; updated and adapted by Gilson Leite Mansur and José Henrique Penido Monteiro; technical coordination by Karin Segala; translation by Liliana Battipede and David Reed. – Montevideo: IDRC, 2008. 264p.; 21 X 29.7cm Adapted from: Manual gerenciamento integrado de resíduos sólidos, 2001. 1. Solid waste. I. Monteiro, José Henrique Penido. II. Mansur, Gilson Leite. III. Segala, Karin (coord.). IV. International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

PRESENTATION PREFACE 1 The general situation of solid waste management in Latin America and the Caribbean 1.1 Introduction 1.2 Regional Evaluation of Municipal Solid Waste Management Services in Latin America and the Caribbean 1.3 Solid waste sector trends Integrated Solid Waste Management Institutional models and payment for services 3.1 Concept 3.2 Forms of administration 3.3 Payment for services 3.3.1 Guidelines for the calculation of a waste collection rate Legislation 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 and Environmental Licenses Introduction Legislation Environmental Licenses Regulations applicable to solid waste 6 12 14 15 15 22 28 32 33 34 39 42 44 45 45 47 48 50 51 51 51 52 59 59 62 63 63 65 66 70 74 75 75 76 78 80 82 83 84 87

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Solid waste: origin, definition and characteristics 5.1 Definition of rubbish and solid waste 5.2 Solid waste classification 5.2.1 Potential environmental contamination risks 5.2.2 Nature and origin 5.3 Characteristics of solid waste 5.3.1 Physical characteristics 5.3.2 Chemical characteristics 5.3.3 Biological characteristics 5.4 Influence of solid waste characteristics on urban cleaning system planning 5.5 Factors that influence solid waste characteristics 5.6 Processes for determining principal physical characteristics Solid waste quantity projections Solid waste preparation and storage 7.1 Concept 7.2 The importance of appropriate preparation and storage 7.3 Characteristics of pre-collection storage containers 7.4 Domestic waste pre-collection preparation and storage 7.5 Pre-collection storage of street waste 7.6 Pre-collection storage of waste in low demographic density and low-income areas 7.7 Pre-collection storage of waste produced by large generators 7.8 Special domestic waste pre-collection storage 7.9 Special origin waste pre-collection storage

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Solid waste collection and transport 8.1 Domestic waste collection and transport 8.1.1 Concept 8.1.2 Collection regularity 8.1.3 Collection frequency 8.1.4 Collection times 8.1.5 Restructuring domestic collection routes 8.1.6 Collection vehicles 8.1.7 Tools and implements used by collectors 8.2 Public solid waste collection and transport 8.2.1 Concept 8.2.2 Collection of waste gathered by sweeping 8.2.3 Collection of waste from weeding and vegetation cutting 8.2.4 Tree pruning waste collection 8.2.5 Collection of rubble and other construction waste 8.2.6 Special collections 8.2.7 Vehicles and equipment used for collection 8.3 Waste collection in tourist cities 8.4 Solid waste collection in informal settlements 8.5 Collection of medical waste 8.5.1 Acknowledgement of the problem 8.5.2 Segregation 8.5.3 Separate collection of common, infectious and special waste 8.5.4 Vehicles for collection and transport 8.5.5 Aspects of collection planning Solid waste transfer 9.1 Concept 9.2 Types of transfer station 9.2.1 Direct transfer station 9.2.2 Station with storage facilities 9.2.3 Alternative transfer systems 9.3 Vehicles and machines for transfer stations Street cleaning 10.1 The importance of street cleanliness 10.2 Waste found in the street 10.3 Street cleaning services 10.3.1 Sweeping services 10.3.2 Weeding and scraping services 10.3.3 Cutting services 10.3.4 Drain cleaning services 10.3.5 Market cleaning services 10.3.6 Manual and mechanical waste removal services 10.3.7 Beach cleaning services 10.4 How to reduce street waste 10.5 Street cleaning in tourist cities Recovery of recyclable materials 11.1 Concept 11.2 Selective collection programs 11.2.1 Selective door to door collection 11.2.2 Voluntary Drop-off Centres (VDC) 11.2.3 Segregator organizations

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Solid waste treatment 12.1 Concept 12.2 Domestic solid waste treatment 12.2.1 Recycling 12.2.2 Composting 12.2.3 Choosing a treatment option 12.3 Treatment of special domestic waste 12.3.1 Construction rubble 12.3.2 Tyres 12.3.3 Batteries and fluorescent tubes 12.4 Treatment of waste from special sources 12.4.1 Industrial solid waste 12.4.2 Radioactive waste 12.4.3 Port and airport waste 12.4.4 Medical waste Solid waste final disposal 13.1 Introduction 13.2 Impacts of inappropriate solid waste disposal 13.3 Sanitary landfill 13.3.1 Sanitary landfill site selection 13.3.2 Environmental licenses 13.3.3 Master plan 13.3.4 Landfill installation 13.3.5 Sanitary landfill operation 13.3.6 Equipment 13.4 Controlled landfills 13.5 Environmental recuperation of refuse dumps 13.6 The situation of segregators 13.7 Special domestic waste disposal 13.7.1 Construction rubble disposal 13.7.2 Disposal of batteries 13.7.3 Disposal of fluorescent tubes 13.7.4 Disposal of tyres 13.8 Disposal of waste from special sources 13.8.1 Industrial waste disposal 13.8.2 Radioactive waste disposal 13.8.3 Port and airport waste disposal 13.8.4 Medical waste disposal 13.9 Sanitary landfills and carbon credits: Opportunities to help resolve environmental problems 13.9.1 Greenhouse effect: causes and consequences 13.9.2 The “logic” of carbon credits 13.9.3 Circumstances in which biogas from a sanitary landfill can be utilized 13.9.4 Requirements for the implementation of GHG emission reduction projects in solid waste landfills 13.9.5 General considerations

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but also their intention to initiate actions at all levels with the participation of developed and developing countries. the promotion of clean technologies and industrial processes and the use of renewable energy sources. pertain to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the Ministry for Environment and Territory of Italy and IDRC. As the level of governance is closest to the people. These peak activities. and assist in implementing national and sub-national environmental policies. the role that municipalities can play in the sustainability process is of great importance: the local dimension should be considered as the most significant for experimenting with new environmental strategies and best practices and demonstrating their effectiveness on a broader dimension. As stated in chapter 28 of Agenda 21. together with some others carried out during the year. international institutions. professionals and heads of public institutions in order to quantify the process towards sustainability in the urban solid waste management sector and to assess the situation through an exchange of information and an evaluation of best practices in each field. social and environmental infrastructure. mobilizing and responding to the public in the promotion of sustainable development. such as sustainable water and sanitation management. 6 . administrators. The resulting projects (specifically in Latin America and the Caribbean) will be expressly devoted to establishing new partnerships (within the broad category of the “type II initiatives” launched in Johannesburg) in areas of interest common to private and public sectors. The MoU established a partnership between the two institutions and implies not only that both parties are committed to achieving the agreed objectives. This collaboration had previously resulted in significant benefits through the organization of a high level meeting held in Sao Paulo (Brazil). they play a vital role in educating. which gathered experts. which came into force in 2005 and is aimed at achieving common objectives related to environmental protection and integrating them with social and economic development. local authorities construct. all of which are processes geared to ensuring local sustainable development. urban waste management. establish local environmental policies and regulations. and to supporting local authorities in developing voluntary processes at the local level. This agreement focuses attention on some specific areas related to local environmental policy. or within each of them. NGOs and the private sector. In this regard. represented a significant step in the fruitful collaboration between the Ministry for the Environment and Territory of Italy and the International Development Research Centre of Canada (IDRC) through the Environmental Management Secretariat (EMS). oversee planning processes.PRESENTATION The role of local authorities for a better environmental policy The training course on integrated urban solid waste management in municipalities of Latin America and the Caribbean. held in December 2005 in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). operate and maintain economic.

waste and water management. An effective environmental management of industrial (hazardous) and urban waste can also serve as a significant mechanism for the creation of new job opportunities. it rather aims to focus on each policy in an isolated manner: thus. in addition to the improvement of specific policies. enforce laws and regulations and promote initiatives suitable for local conditions. This is particularly true for the urban waste management sector. awareness raising campaigns and influencing the market towards the attainment of an environmentally sound waste cycle. Policies such as housing. have significant impacts on how cities grow. the development of clean technologies – by replacing refuse dumps with final waste disposal centres – can be included among the advantages of responsible and sustainable local government policy-making. local governments can play an important supervisory role. including the adoption of specific action plans. In these circumstances major improvements in efficiency are needed. a change in the policy framework itself is required today. For these reasons.Indeed. The traditional framework of policies is not designed to consider interrelationships between the policies of different sectors. so as to enable the decoupling of environmental degradation from population growth and economic development. transport. urban development. and to diminish environmental pressures to sustainable levels. especially because continued population growth and the expansion of economic activities stimulate higher consumption of resources and a greater waste generation. Paolo Soprano Ministry for the Environment and Territory – Italy 7 . The real challenge is to transform waste into reusable resources: measures should be initiated to stimulate private investment in this field and to create opportunities to include municipalities as potential beneficiaries of the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism for curbing greenhouse gas emissions. the promotion of renewable energy sources and the improvement of people’s quality of life by preventing pollution in urban areas. Waste management issues are at the centre of environmental concerns in many urban areas. local authorities can play a more effective role in developing the capacity to deliver feasible sustainable development outcomes. In more general terms.

y para evaluar la situación a través del intercambio de información y evaluación de las mejores prácticas en cada área. a través del Secretariado de Manejo del Medio Ambiente (EMS-SEMA). mostrando su efectividad en una dimensión más amplia. Anteriormente esta colaboración ya había logrado un importante resultado a través de la organización de una reunión de alto nivel que tuvo lugar en San Pablo (Brasil). como por ejemplo en los casos de gestión de residuos sólidos urbanos. siendo todos ellos procesos acometidos para asegurar un desarrollo local sustentable. promoción de tecnologías y procesos industriales limpios y uso de fuentes de energía renovable. implica no sólo que ambas partes están comprometidas con el logro de objetivos acordados. Este Acuerdo fija su atención en algunas áreas específicas vinculadas a las políticas ambientales locales. y para apoyar a las autoridades locales en el desarrollo de procesos voluntarios a nivel local. el papel que podrían desempeñar los municipios en función del proceso de sustentabilidad es de gran importancia: la dimensión local debería ser considerada como la más significativa en la experiencia de nuevas estrategias ambientales y mejores prácticas. en Río de Janeiro (Brasil). gestión sustentable del agua y saneamiento. que entró en vigor en el año 2005 y apunta al logro de objetivos compartidos relativos a la protección del medio ambiente y a hacer que los mismos fueran compatibles con el desarrollo social y económico. En este sentido.PRESENTACIÓN El papel de las autoridades locales para una mejor política ambiental El curso de capacitación sobre gestión integrada de residuos sólidos urbanos a nivel de Municipios de América Latina y el Caribe. Tal como se establece en el capítulo 28 de la Agenda 21. administradores. que establece una asociación entre las dos instituciones. realizado en diciembre de 2005. Los proyectos resultantes (en especial en América Latina y el Caribe) estarán expresamente dedicados al establecimiento de nuevas asociaciones (en la categoría más amplia de “iniciativas tipo II” que fueran lanzadas en Johannesburgo) en las áreas de interés entre los sectores público y privado. ha sido uno de los pasos más importantes en la fructífera colaboración entre el Ministerio de Ambiente y Territorio – Italia y el Centro Internacional de Investigaciones para el Desarrollo (IDRC) de Canadá. El Memorando de Entendimiento. o dentro de cada uno de ellos. Estas actividades destacadas – combinadas con otras que se desarrollaron en el transcurso del año – corresponden al Memorando de Entendimiento firmado conjuntamente por el Ministerio de Ambiente y Territorio – Italia y el IDRC. instituciones internacionales. sino que también desean poner en marcha acciones a todo nivel con la participación de países desarrollados y en desarrollo. profesionales y autoridades de instituciones públicas se reunieron para cuantificar el proceso en pro de la sustentabilidad en la gestión integrada de residuos sólidos urbanos. 8 . organizaciones no gubernamentales (ONG) y el sector privado. las autoridadeslocales construyen. donde expertos.

gestión de desechos y agua. y liderando al mercado en la dirección correcta para el logro de un ciclo de manejo de desechos que resulte ambientalmente saludable. Esto resulta particularmente cierto en el caso del sector de gestión de desechos urbanos. implantan las políticas y reglamentaciones ambientales locales. se requiere una considerable mejora en la eficiencia para permitir la separación de la degradación ambiental del incremento de la población y el desarrollo económico. La gestión ambiental efectiva del desecho industrial (peligroso) y urbano también podría ser un mecanismo importante en la creación de nuevas oportunidades de empleo. el desarrollo de tecnologías limpias – sustituyendo vertederos por centros para la disposición final de los residuos – podría incluirse entre las ventajas que se derivarían al contar con políticas responsables y sustentables en los gobiernos locales. sensibilización. El verdadero desafío está en transformar los residuos en recursos reutilizables: deberían preverse medidas para estimular la inversión privada en este campo y generar oportunidades para incluir a los municipios como beneficiarios potenciales del Protocolo de Kyoto sobre Mecanismos de Desarrollo Limpio. Políticas públicas como la de vivienda. y para reducir las presiones ambientales a niveles sustentables. movilización y respuesta al público para promover el desarrollo sustentable. supervisan los procesos de planificación. las autoridades locales desempeñan un papel crucial en la educación.operan y mantienen la infraestructura económica. transporte. en la más amplia difusión de la adopción de fuentes de energía renovable y para mejorar la calidad de vida de las personas. en especial porque el constante crecimiento poblacional y la expansión de las actividades económicas estimulan un mayor consumo de recursos y un incremento en la generación de desechos. asegurando el cumplimiento de la legislación y las reglamentaciones y promoviendo acciones adecuadas a las condiciones locales. De hecho. los gobiernos locales pueden desempeñar un papel importante en la supervisión. producen un importante impacto en la forma en que las ciudades crecen. desarrollo urbano. Los problemas en torno al manejo de residuos constituyen la principal preocupación ambiental en muchas zonas urbanas. y colaboran en la implementación de políticas ambientales nacionales y sub-nacionales. A medida que el nivel de gobernabilidad se acerca más a los pueblos. En tales circunstancias. En términos más generales. El marco tradicional de las políticas no ha sido diseñado para tener en cuenta la interrelación entre las políticas sectoriales. además de la mejora de algunas políticas específicas. para abatir las emisiones de gases con efecto invernadero. social y ambiental. las autoridades locales pueden desempeñar un papel más eficaz en el desarrollo de la capacidad para producir resultados más efectivos en cuanto al desarrollo sustentable. Por todas estas razones. incluyendo la adopción de planes de acción específicos. más bien intenta focalizar cada política de manera aislada: es por eso que hoy se requiere un cambio en el propio encuadre de las políticas públicas. Paolo Soprano Ministerio de Ambiente y Territorio – Italia 9 . evitando la contaminación en zonas urbanas.

operano e mantengono le infrastrutture economiche. tutti finalizzati a garantire lo sviluppo sostenibile locale. la gestione sostenibile dell’acqua e dei servizi igienici. e sostenere gli enti locali nello sviluppare dei processi volontari a livello locale. ma anche l’attuazione di attività ad ogni livello con la partecipazione dei paesi industrializzati e quelli in via di sviluppo. Il memorandum di intenti. a Rio de Janeiro del Brasile. con le organizzazioni internazionali. Tale collaborazione aveva già ottenuto un risultato importante attraverso l’organizzazione di un incontro ad alto livello tenutosi a San Paolo del Brasile. saranno espressamente volti a stabilire una nuova partnership (nella categoria più ampia delle “iniziative di tipo II” lanciata a Johannesburg) nei settori di interesse fra il settore privato e quello pubblico. costruiscono. con le ONG e con il settore privato. Poiché inoltre essi rappresentano il li- 10 . I progetti che ne verranno (in particolare in America Latina ed i Caraibi). il ruolo che i comuni possono ricoprire verso il processo di sostenibilità è di estrema importanza: la dimensione locale va considerata come la più significativa per sperimentare nuove strategie ambientali e migliori pratiche. o con ciascuno di loro. tenutosi a dicembre 2005. di professionisti e di dirigenti di istituzioni pubbliche si sono riuniti per quantificare il processo verso la sostenibilità del settore della gestione dei rifiuti solidi urbani e per valutare la situazione grazie ad uno scambio di informazioni ed ad un esame delle migliori pratiche di ogni settore. Tale accordo si concentra su settori specifici collegati alla politica ambientale locale come ad esempio: la gestione dei residui urbani. che stabilisce una partnership tra le due istituzioni. e che ha come scopo l’ottenimento degli obiettivi comuni per la tutela ambientale e la sua compatibilità con lo sviluppo economico e sociale. prevede non solo l’impegno di entrambe le istituzioni al raggiungimento degli obiettivi concordati. sociali ed ambientali.PRESENTAZIONI Il ruolo degli enti locali per una politica ambientale migliore Il corso di formazione sui sistemi integrati di gestione dei rifiuti solidi urbani nei comuni dell’America Latina e dei Caraibi. entrato in vigore nel 2005. Queste attività di spicco – combinate ad altre attività svoltesi durante l’anno – sono contenute nel memorandum di intenti siglato fra il Ministero dell’Ambiente e della Tutela del Territorio – Italia e l’IDRC. dimostrando la loro efficacia su scala più ampia. ha rappresentato un significativo passo in avanti a favore della fruttuosa collaborazione fra il Ministero dell’Ambiente e della Tutela del Territorio – Italia ed il Centro Internazionale di Ricerca per lo Sviluppo Canadese (IDRC) attraverso il proprio Segretariato per la Gestione Ambientale (EMS). A questo riguardo. la promozione di tecnologie e processi industriali puliti e l’utilizzo di risorse energetiche rinnovabili. di amministratori. stabiliscono le politiche e le regolamentazioni in materia ambientale a livello locale e partecipano all’implementazione delle politiche nazionali e sub-nazionali in ambito ambientale. Come affermato nel capitolo 28 dell’Agenda 21 “gli enti locali. supervisionano i processi di pianificazione. dove un gruppo di esperti.

In queste circostanze è necessario un miglioramento dell’efficienza al fine di scollegare il degrado ambientale dalla crescita della popolazione e dallo sviluppo economico ed al fine di ridurre la pressione ambientale a livelli sostenibili. Effettivamente gli enti locali possono giocare un ruolo più efficace nello sviluppare la capacità di trasmettere risultati validi per lo sviluppo sostenibile. a causa della continua crescita demografica e dell’espansione delle attività economiche. Per queste ragioni. sullo sviluppo urbano. garantendo l’applicazione delle leggi e delle norme e promuovendo delle attività adatte alla condizioni locali. gli enti locali giocano un ruolo vitale rispetto all’educazione. oltre naturalmente a migliorare le singole politiche. sulla gestione dei rifiuti e dell’acqua hanno un impatto notevole sulla crescita delle città. Una gestione dei rifiuti urbani ed industriali (pericolosi) potrebbe essere anche un meccanismo importante per la creazione di nuovi posti di lavoro. si stimola un maggior consumo delle risorse ed una maggiore produzione di rifiuti. alla mobilizzazione ed alla responsabilizzazione del pubblico nella promozione dello sviluppo sostenibile. pertanto. Ciò è particolarmente vero per il settore della gestione dei rifiuti. Le questioni relative alla gestione dei rifiuti sono al centro dell’attenzione ambientale in molte zone urbane in quanto. Le politiche sugli alloggi.vello di governo più vicino ai cittadini. La vera sfida è trasformare i residui in risorse riutilizzabili: vanno presi dei provvedimenti per incoraggiare gli investimenti privati in questo settore e per creare le opportunità affinché i comuni vengano inclusi come potenziali destinatari del Meccanismo di Sviluppo Pulito del Protocollo di Kyoto per la riduzione delle emissioni di gas ad effetto serra. i governi locali possono giocare un ruolo importante di regia. Paolo Soprano Ministero dell’Ambiente e della Tutela del Territorio – Italia 11 . includendo l’adozione di piani d’azione specifici. Lo schema tradizionale delle politiche non è atto a considerare l’interdisciplinarità fra le politiche di settore. al contrario si concentra su ogni politica in modo isolato ed è. per diffondere l’adozione di risorse energetiche rinnovabili e per migliorare la qualità di vita della gente grazie alla prevenzione dell’inquinamento nelle zone urbane. lo sviluppo di tecnologie pulite – che sostituiscano l’interramento con degli impianti per lo smaltimento finale dei rifiuti – può essere inserito fra i vantaggi delle politiche responsabili e sostenibili dei governi locali. l’aumento della consapevolezza e la conduzione del mercato verso la direzione giusta per l’ottenimento di un ciclo integrato dei rifiuti. sui trasporti. In termini più generali. adesso necessario modificare lo schema di per sé.

social and legal aspects. Another aspect of urban cleaning that has more recently come to the fore is the issue of the final disposal of solid waste in relation to Clean Development Mechanisms. This Manual on Municipal Solid Waste Integrated Management is aimed at contributing to an improvement in the technical capacities of the public sector. the withdrawal of children from rubbish dumps. including clean development mechanisms. the Manual provides guidelines that serve as a reference for decision-makers in the formulation of public policies and corresponding legislation. questions relating to the preparation. Changing this state of affairs involves not only a mobilization of resources and improvements in technical knowledge of the appropriate processes and technologies for each reality. social concerns relating to segregators. in particular children living on rubbish dumps. It deals with subjects that are fundamental to the understanding and improvement of urban cleaning systems and services and covers technical and administrative issues.PREFACE There is a notably growing demand for solutions to urban cleaning issues both in global bodies and at the level of civil society and local communities. Deep behavioural change is necessary in order to reverse traditional policies and practices and establish strategies that incorporate the following elements: ! ! ! ! ! the reduction of consumption. water course and aquifer contamination in the environmental field. In several situations negative impacts relating to solid waste are fundamentally associated with inappropriate management. 12 . Acknowledging that the main responsibility for providing urban cleaning services falls on the municipal level of government. agencies. the universalization of urban cleaning services. promoting the social and economic inclusion of segregators. and pressures deriving from tourist activities. companies. wastage and waste generation by citizens. economic. but principally the creation of instruments that incorporate and structure integrated management models as a fundamental strategy to achieve a healthy city. as well as institutional. storage and final disposal of waste. political. For a long time these issues have been relegated to the background but diverse governmental and civil society sectors are now mobilizing to address the problem due to several areas being affected: disease transmission and therefore public health. the potential generation of work and incomes related to waste. environmentally appropriate treatment and final disposal practices. NGOs and civil society to deal with aspects of integrated solid waste management in a sustainable way.

using appropriate technologies and methods and respecting the particular economic social and cultural circumstances of the local population. National School of Urban Services – IBAM 13 . Within this perspective the Manual’s objective is to be a useful tool in integrated administration training for all those who work with solid waste and to be sufficiently flexible so that from all the information provided on different forms of “know how” that which is most useful for application to the particular conditions of each city can be chosen. plans and initiatives geared to improving urban cleaning systems. It is essential that municipal teams in charge of the planning and operation of services are properly equipped to prepare and implement programs. You are therefore invited to consider and use the solutions offered by this Manual. held in December 2005 with representatives from several Latin American and Caribbean countries. and was subsequently revised and completed. It is intended for use as a basic didactic instrument that can orientate future workshops. As part of their work methodology a preliminary version was examined by participants in the first IBAM training course. including institutional adaptations that are necessary for the administration of services and the allocation of available resources in a responsible way. Tereza Cristina Baratta Director.The Manual has been prepared by professionals with long-term experience in this sector who also serve as teachers in the courses offered by IBAM.

1 The general situation of solid waste management in Latin America and the Caribbean 14 .

As it is the best document produced up to now on this subject. updated in the form of “Report on the Regional Evaluation of Municipal Solid Waste Management Services in Latin America and the Caribbean". 15 . provincial and national governments in each country.2 Regional Evaluation of Municipal Solid Waste Management Services in Latin America and the Caribbean 1 The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in support of Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) governments. a better evaluation can be made of trends both in service quality and the types of approach to the issue employed by municipal. Even if the system is in the hands of a private company. 1. Based on Diagnosis of Municipal Solid Waste Management in Latin America and the Caribbean. However.bvsde. its executive summary is transcribed here. an evaluation made during a certain period has only a relative value as the quality of services can change very and http://www. The general situation of solid waste management in Latin America and the Caribbean 1.ops-oms. The collection of information for 1. an interruption in the payment of bills by the municipality can paralyze services. (www. 1997.paho. The most recent update of the Report on the Regional Evaluation of Municipal Solid Waste Management Services in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Solid Waste Evaluation constitutes a first regional effort in which 36 LAC countries participated within a common evaluation IADB and PAHO.htm). which covered the entire region. which is significant for answering the question: is waste management improving in Latin American cities? In practically all Latin American countries urban cleaning services are the responsibility of municipalities and often a well functioning system in a particular city does not necessarily reflect the trend in the country as a whole but rather the mayor’s determination to solve the problem. a periodical analysis of the state of solid waste management services in several cities of a country can indicate the general trend. if a study includes a wider range of cities.1 Introduction In the municipal solid waste management sector. However.1. A well administrated landfill can became a rubbish dump in a few days if a tractor stops functioning due to some defect that the municipality is not able to quickly repair because of slow bureaucratic processes involved in buying spare parts or contracting a maintenance service. as well as NGOs involved in solid waste management in countries in the Region. was carried out by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in 2005. and taking into consideration the significant role performed by urban sanitation services to reduce health risk factors and environmental impacts. coordinated the Report on the Regional Evaluation of Municipal Solid Waste Management Services with the direct participation of public institutions and private agencies. 2005. through outsourcing or concession contracts.

mainly to the final disposal of waste with the purpose of looking for solutions or alternatives at a national and local level to improve the current situation and be able to accomplish waste management that is truly efficient. as can be seen by the alarming environmental deterioration and the sanitary problems related to unsafe solid waste management and the scarce attention given to this area. The life styles. education and socioeconomic data from the country and specific indicators related to urban sanitation services referred to the year 2001. The Solid Waste Evaluation proposal emerges from the need to have a frame of reference that makes the solid waste sector visible in LAC to identify their needs and possibilities within the comprehensive management concept guided towards improving the communities’ quality of life. Within this context.the Evaluation took place in the countries between 2002 and 2003 through a national coordinating group of representatives from national and local entities involved in solid waste. the purpose of the Regional Evaluation is to generate and expand the knowledge of the current situation. among which Agenda 21 stands out – agreed upon in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro during the United Nations International Conference on the Environment and Development – comprehensive solid waste management still represents one of the most important challenges that national and municipal governments face. Even though it is true that moderate progress has been made as a result of national and international initiatives. the high levels of consumption. The information was obtained through a series of forms that collected basic demographic. as well as service providers and the community in general. the materials used in industrial production and the introduction of Figure 1 – Disordered settlement and informal market close to a rubbish dump 16 . The information was complemented with an analytical report for the country executed by each country. health. which is critical in many countries.

Adequate sanitary final waste disposal coverage (landfill) for the LAC Region is 23%. as well as in final disposal sites. where they are more evident. more noticeable in medium and small populations. with a noticeable fluctuation in countries 17 . manage insufficient information. but also in institutions at a national level in charge of defining policies and assigning resources. The general situation of solid waste management in Latin America and the Caribbean persistent materials in daily human activities. at best in dumps with an uncertain control. As a consequence. 21% in medium size urban centers and 23% in small urban centers. which tend to have more difficulty in waste management. necessary strategies or components that will allow for the guidance. of which the majority lack public service infrastructure and have completely spread out in a disorderly manner without any urban planning.1. in which only 69% of the population has collection service.000 tons collected daily in the Region. transportation. These gaps are seen not only at a local level. The intensive migration of indigent populations from rural areas to medium and large cities has created outlying poverty belts. Waste collection coverage in the Region varies from 11%-100% with a regional average of 81%. as well as the due training of human resources and the capitalization of financial resources are not proposed. although with great differences within the countries. mainly when they are dumped together with municipal waste. institutions and organizations that are involved in this area. It is presumed that the remainder. in the streets. treatment and final disposal.3%) is urban and generates around 369. Just a few of the LAC countries have comprehensive plans or programs to respond to the sector’s demands. around 230. the economic and social impoverishment present in these settlements.000 tons of municipal solid waste daily. highways and waterways contaminating the environment and endangering the population’s health. to find in garbage. streets. The Solid Waste Evaluation estimates that by the year 2001.” This means that of the 299. a common practice in several countries in the Region.000 tons of waste are indiscriminately deposited in the environment. which is not collected. which makes it evident that there is a serious environmental and health problem due to the proliferation of open air “dumps.790 kg/inhab/day. The Solid Waste Evaluation confirmed the information gaps that exist in the solid waste area in the countries of the Region. their only means for survival. of which 56% is generated in large urban centers. is burned or dumped without any control in vacant lots. In addition. representing serious problems for its collection. the impact to the environment being considerable since the disposal of these wastes is usually deficient. mainly women and children. tend to increase the volumes of solid waste. The Solid Waste Evaluation shows that average regional generation of residential solid waste per capita reaches 0. takes many families. Practically all of them. regulation and institutional development of the municipalities as sanitation service providers. the LAC population reached 518 million of which 406 million (78. Approximately half of the waste generated in LAC is produced by medium and small centers. The situation worsens with the lack of adequate hospital and hazardous waste management.

not only in providing urban cleaning services but also in investment in solid waste sector development. The costs for urban sanitation services in the Region fluctuate between US$15 and US$105 per ton. specifically the smaller ones. 18 . Mexico and Peru. The private sector has been becoming ever more prominent. Even though there is an abundance of environmental laws. in countries where tourism is an important economic factor.500 kg/inhab/day. control and sanctions.910 kg/inhab/day. Several deficiencies are observed in guiding the sector.370 kg/inhab/ day to 2. great gaps can be observed in the judicial development and in different instruments for their compliance. as well as hazardous waste. This produces an overlapping effect and inconsistencies. Therefore. health and environmental ministries have been evolving to replace the governing of the sector and the regulation of services to a certain point. At a local level. even when several countries are developing specific laws and regulations for municipal. There are cases in which the per capita generation does not exceed 0. large cities are the largest generators of municipal waste per capita with close to 1. as is the case in Bolivia. Likewise. the per capita generation reaches 2. the effectiveness of current legal tools are minimized. and consequently. collection and urban sanitation in main streets. in its planning and programming at medium and long term. municipalities maintain responsibility for services.with a low Human Development Index (HDI).400 kg/inhab/day. among others. The breakdown of these costs corresponds to sweeping. transfer. mainly regarding sanitary final disposal. At national levels. demand a more efficient management of urban sanitation services. yet. The LAC countries are in different stages of development in the solid waste sector. which does not allow for the demands of an adequate solid waste management. lack management and financial capability. With regard to the legal aspects applicable to the sector. These facts show that economic growth and the level of consumption have a great influence in solid waste generation. with an average of US$29 per ton for collected. adequately disposed of and treated waste. Ecuador. treatment and final disposal. they are scattered in several legal bodies. With regards to municipal waste.100 kg/inhab/day while the small and poor settlements in Latin America generate an average of less than 0.650 kg/inhab/day with a regional average of 0.250 kg/inhab/day. the per capita generation varies between 0. outsourcing and the granting of concessions. which makes it difficult to implement follow-up mechanisms. but with differing operational modalities: direct public sector administration. Municipalities. and therefore.

5 per user. The monthly average rates for residential waste in LAC reaches US$2. but it is part of other services such as public lighting.1. This is the case of the personnel who work in this sector. The environmental impacts are mainly revealed in the contamination of surface and underground waters for public supply and the obstruction of drainage canals due to the uncontrolled dumping of solid wastes in bodies of water. Informal recycling is widely promoted in Latin America and its magnitude is difficult to identify due to the fact that the activities are subtle. mainly those who are in contact with wastes. among which there is a significant number of women and children. coupled by the lack of initiatives to integrate this form of subemployment into the solid waste sector. In the majority of Latin American countries. The inadequate management of solid waste has serious consequences in the environment and the health of the population. which reflects a deficit of close to half the real cost of those services. and concentrate in acquiring equipment and. The majority do not have the minimum prevention and occupational safety measures. 19 . Although the direct casualty has not been determined. financial support for this service is received through the collection of a municipal rate. The situation is more critical for individuals working and living from the recovery of materials from waste. handling and inadequate disposal of waste to the community are growing and are significant. lastly. several diseases are related to wastes when the conditions conducive to the development of several disease agents are present. in infrastructure works for final disposal. Informal segregation has increased in countries that have gone through a rapid and deep economic crisis as a result of the increase in poverty and unemployment. a value that does not cover the cost for urban sanitation services. The formal segregation and recovery of recyclable materials is not carried out on a large scale in LAC.2% of the materials are recovered from garbage. the Evaluation showed that only 2. of which 1.3% to organic waste recycling.9% is for inorganic recycling and 0. On average. Investments in the sector are minimal compared to other public services such as electricity. real estate taxes and others. potable water and basic wastewater. urban sanitation services are strongly subsidized by the central government. mainly made up of food and garden waste. In the English speaking Caribbean countries. This general rate is not exclusively assigned to the urban sanitation service. representing between 60% and 70% of the total cost. through a consolidated fund formed by different environmental taxes. who work under unsanitary and subhuman conditions. The direct and indirect environmental and social costs that represent the production. The general situation of solid waste management in Latin America and the Caribbean The cost breakdown indicates that the highest cost corresponds to sweeping and waste collection and transportation.

” reduction.Environmental degradation caused by a refuse dump In several countries in LAC. Community participation occurs mainly when there is support from NGOs and a strong educational component. These are in addition to aesthetic and nuisance impacts due to noise and bad odours. The contribution in research and technological development from institutes and universities for the solid waste area is scarce.Other important impacts that affect human health are the emission of air contaminants due to open air burning. The training of human resources in the solid waste area is usually carried out in some universities in the Region as part of the courses related to sanitation engineering and environmental sciences. as well as vectors that transmit diseases. by food. reuse and recycling. Such participation is key to put into practice activities that take into consideration the principle of the three “R’s. the use of very low cost technologies that use animal. the incineration of waste without adequate control equipment. 20 . The advantages of these companies resides in the intensive use of labour force. The community has a limited participation in solid waste management in LAC. the breeding of bovine and porcine livestock with contaminated organic waste. mainly because this means a more economic alternative for the municipalities and/or sanitation municipal companies. the transmission of pathogen microorganisms through water. workshops and seminars focused on solid waste management. the participation of small companies and private micro companies in solid waste collection has been increasing more and more. Technological and research development in relation to solid waste is reduced in the majority of LAC countries. Figure 2 . human or mechanic (tricycles) traction and the promotion of greater community participation to facilitate the material collection and separation operation at the generation source. This is complemented with a great variety of courses. and at the same time is supported by a strong national political base that guides the solid waste sector.

create healthy environments. within the real possibilities of the countries. promoting healthy life styles. regulations and operation of solid waste management services. These initiatives offer great potential for establishing long lasting activities and allowing the use of shared experiences through community networks and alliances with different institutions that share a common interest. therefore. healthy municipalities and communities. financial self-sustainability and the participation of the private sector and the community. especially in school and Ecoclub environments on solid waste management topics.1. national and provincial governments should provide more support to municipalities. institutional and functional organization. NGOs and the private sector with the purpose of establishing healthy policies. Taking into consideration that solid waste management is a local activity. Figure 3 . especially those which have scarce managerial capability and limited resources. The general situation of solid waste management in Latin America and the Caribbean Initiatives such as primary environmental care.Correct landfill operation resulting from public administration commitment The solid waste sectoral analysis will continue being a key instrument in this aspect by providing a comprehensive vision of the sector. 21 . local government. health-promoting schools and other health promotion strategies are basic to coordinate initiatives with the capacity to maximize participative management that includes the community. The management aspects of the sector. should be carefully evaluated in each of the countries to determine the appropriate steps. in which the lack of information is more significant. allowing more efficient approaches and alternatives for their development. to achieve the proposed national and municipal goals. personal capacity building through education and empowerment.

not only in collection services but more so in final disposal. based on Solid Waste Evaluation together with other studies and experiences in this field. The principal causes of this increase are: ! the growing occurrence of environmental problems that affect people’s daily life and the dissemination of information about them through the media.un. international cooperation has a broad field of action.000 have more financial resources and capabilities to deal with the difficulties involved in maintaining sustainable solid waste management. 22 . ! the widespread exposure in the media of problems in developed countries caused by defective handling of hazardous industrial waste or its inappropriate final disposal and the resultant damaging effects on the health of the population. which demands a more professional management by the municipal Municipalities with a population of over 200. ! the increasing cost of services.Likewise. 2. especially where universal coverage is sought in the urban zones of a municipality. makes it possible to identify general sector trends. For more information consult http://www. The commitment and will of the governments and financial organizations. Public awareness of the importance of urban cleaning services and municipal solid waste management In almost all LAC countries there has been an increase in community awareness of the need for improved solid waste management. ! the perceived relationship between solid waste management and the wellbeing and health of citizens.3 Solid waste sector trends The above summary of solid waste management in Latin America and the Caribbean. and technical cooperation to guide their efforts towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals 2 open new opportunities to promote and coordinate national and international activities to improve solid waste management in the Region. especially in institutional capacity building and in the identification and support of sectoral investments. 1. Circumstantial differences in service provision between small municipalities and large or medium-sized cities A gradual improvement in solid waste management can be found in large cities. The issues dealt with below can present variations between one country and another and between one city and another depending on the greater or lesser degree of both commitment by mayors and community participation.

thus improving coverage and service quality. Although the legal framework is important. but these initiatives are sometimes hindered by political and economic interests that delay their implementation. 23 . In order for legislation and norms to translate into an improved solid waste management service a formal commitment by the mayor to their application is necessary. Larger municipalities generally have a department of urban cleaning. for example. The training of municipal personnel in the preparation of tender specifications and contracts is a critical element for an efficient initiation and operation of contractual relationships with private counterparts. those responsible for municipal services have to pay more attention to the waste issue and are less able to ignore the problem. the category into which most Latin American population centres fall (in Brazil. Carbon credits and the clean development mechanism The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) allows developing countries. service coverage will not be universal and service quality will not be satisfactory. It is evident that with easier access to information and its dissemination through the internet. urban cleaning services are limited to collection. etc. cooperatives. The legal framework Some large municipalities are establishing norms for solid waste management through municipal regulations or mayoral decrees and some countries are endeavouring to develop a national solid waste policy. in zones where inhabitants can influence public policy (commercial and high income residential zones) and final disposal takes place in one or more open air dumps without any sanitary or environmental control. to obtain resources through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from their industrial or urban activities. NGOs. it is not the only requirement for the achievement of good quality solid waste management. The importance of political will Sound solid waste management in Latin American cities depends to a large extent on the mayor’s commitment to this issue.000 inhabitants). a classification into which all Latin American countries fall. budget resources will not be allocated to it.1. Only when pressured by society and environmental control bodies do municipal administrations eventually become more aware of the problem and begin to allocate more resources to the sector. The general situation of solid waste management in Latin America and the Caribbean In small urban centres. for the most part regular. If the mayor does not consider it to be a priority sector. 80% of municipalities have less than 30. but smaller ones often only have one person running these services and for essential material resources depend on departments with other functions.

not to mention the difficulties involved in obtaining environmental licenses for new sites. In many cases these problems result in municipalities continuing to operate rubbish dumps and abandoning the establishment of new installations for the final disposal of waste collected in the city. that has determined that composting does not merely reduce but avoids the emission of greenhouse gases as organic matter in aerobic decomposition only gives off carbonic gas and water and not methane. This system. The latter option has presented such serious problems that the construction of several new landfills has had to be suspended in response to the reaction of the local community. This is so because there is an already existing methodology. A complementary advantage of a composting system is that it can contribute to the viability of establishing and operating a medium or large size plant by generating income through the sale of Emission Reduction Certificates. In such cases the municipality must decide whether to establish a landfill in the same place. and is now reappearing in developing countries. As mayors become increasingly aware of the seriousness of this problem. where people are already accustomed to refuse disposal. 24 . refuse dumps are beginning to be closed or converted. tested by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). municipal administrations will know how to maximize its economic advantages to fulfil municipal needs. The resources obtained from the sale of Emission Reduction Certificates (ERC) will not guarantee the operation of urban cleaning services. Nevertheless it must be remembered that such benefits from the Kyoto Protocol Clean Development Mechanism are in effect only up to 2012. Municipal administrations or contracted companies offer compensation to local residents but this is not always accepted. but with the dissemination of information on how this mechanism functions. and in addition prolongs the latter’s useful life. Difficulties involved in the establishment of new landfills PAHO’s diagnosis confirms that one of the weak points of solid waste management systems in Latin American cities is final waste disposal.Many mayors regard the timing of the arrival of carbon credits as opportune for providing financial support for municipal endeavours to improve solid waste management services. which is the harmful gas that would be generated in a landfill if the organic matter was deposited there. Composting Composting is a procedure that is increasingly applied in developed countries due to the prohibition of organic matter dumping in landfills. offers the great advantage of reducing the generation of leachate instead of producing biogas in landfills. which can be operated manually in small towns or be mechanized where large amounts of waste have to be processed. or to begin one from scratch in another place.

Informal segregators and formal selective collection systems Due to the growing unemployment that is found in almost all Latin American cities. On the other hand. This phenomenon is happening in almost all large and medium-sized cities in Latin America and the prognosis is that it will increase. 25 . The last hope is recyclable waste that can be found amongst the refuse. transfer and final disposal. more and more people resort to the streets in search of some means of survival. with bags of domestic waste being opened. the street segregators have already taken it. while the public authority is not able to create hundreds of jobs overnight or provide programs that generate income to replace that gained from segregation activity in landfills and the streets. especially the larger ones. which produces serious problems and much more work for the sweeping services. The general situation of solid waste management in Latin America and the Caribbean Communities have also reacted negatively to the establishment of new transfer stations on the grounds that in general landfills and other urban cleaning installations are poorly managed. This situation will continue while unemployment remains one of the principal scourges of Latin American countries. other independent segregators compete in the streets with the formal system. the segregation of materials is often done in a disorderly way.1. and therefore reduces the costs of collection. It is necessary to convince local residents that a well managed landfill can exist relatively close to houses. materials that can be commercialized separated and the waste that the segregator is not interested in is left scattered on the street. In many South American cities segregators working in rubbish dumps or landfills react forcefully when the municipality attempts to implement the closure of the site and begins a new landfill where their activity will not be allowed. On the one hand this activity has positive aspects: waste can be a source of income for these people who do not have any other way of surviving and their work removes a significant amount of material from the urban cleaning circuit. In addition municipalities that are implementing formal selective collection systems are facing difficulties in that before the truck passes to collect the recyclable waste. This is a long process and satisfactory results will depend on the provision of numerous examples until residents become convinced that it is possible. This resistance on the part of segregators is due to the danger of them losing their only source of income. Even where the recycling system is institutionalized with the participation of segregator organizations. as well as extending the useful life of landfills.

provided that the specifications are reasonable and the tender process respects the limits required by law and administrative probity. a state of affairs that is detrimental to other municipal services. but success is dependent on the mayor’s level of commitment and political will to prioritize the issue. The trends of change Many municipalities are training their technical personnel and seeking resources from provincial or national bodies with a view to improving service quality.Contract types Municipal administrations face two big challenges in relation to solid waste management in Latin American cities: to provide a universal service and to improve its quality. As a result. As municipal budgets are finite. transfer and final disposal operations thus transferring to the private sector the burden of investment and operational costs. This is due not 26 . The municipality for its part takes on the monthly payment of bills for services rendered and the coordination and supervision of such services. a municipality’s income from rates or specific tariffs is nowhere near enough to cover the costs of urban cleaning services. mayors are beginning to look for more effective and less expensive service provision models and are increasingly contracting work. most large and medium-sized cities outsource collection. In general this has proved to be a satisfactory solution. Economic sustainability of the sector In general. In recent times some large cities have contracted services with long term concessions. way of disposing of their rubbish. The incidence of payment arrears is high and there is not much that can be done to reduce it as an interruption of collection services would only reduce the cleanliness of the city as households that do not receive this service would find another. Money raised together with national governmental or multilateral bodies for investment in equipment such as collection trucks or in the construction of installations such as landfills. This constitutes one of the main impediments to good quality service management as municipal administrations have to allocate monies from their budgets for urban cleaning services without a corresponding income from rate or tariff collection. especially for the establishment and operation of large sanitary landfills that require significant investment and therefore a longer period to see a return on it. no doubt inappropriate. usually does not solve this problem. The resources needed for the maintenance of sound and sustainable urban cleaning operations have to be allocated from the municipal budget and this represents the biggest challenge faced by administrators.

There is now an unprecedented level of attention and debate on municipal solid waste management and a seemingly inexorable search by municipalities for models that are sustainable from both a socioeconomic and environmental perspective. even if sporadic. but also to the improved performance of environmental control bodies and national ministries that oversee municipalities’ compliance with their legal obligations. The general situation of solid waste management in Latin America and the Caribbean only to the increased awareness of both mayors and the general public about the significance of this issue. with the help. As a result. of provincial and national governments. municipal administrations are signing agreements that establish periods within which service provision has to reach specified levels of quality and coverage. 27 .1.

2 Integrated solid waste management 28 .

as a result of which they are now called the 29 . discarding and final disposal.2. transported and disposed of in landfills – which as a consequence will occupy smaller areas or will have a longer useful life – contributes to the economic and environmental sustainability of systems. treatment plants and final disposal. to the maximization of its reuse through the implementation of more appropriate collection systems for each situation and the employment of treatment. recovery and recycling processes and technologies. dealing only with the management of the system. In practice this concept ranges from the minimization of waste generation in the production process. recycling or recovery. Traditional practices. The concept of integrated solid waste management considers the entire cycle including production. ! consumption pockets having a pattern associated with high levels of refuse production equivalent to that of developed countries together with large sectors of the population who do not have access to consumer goods. This is the approach recommended by Agenda 21: the transformation of the production and consumption matrix on the basis of the 3R’s – reduce. frameworks and practices in regard to solid waste management. including packaging. Integrated solid waste management Latin American and Caribbean cities present great regional and local imbalances. which call for the establishment of new concepts. ! the availability of waste processing technologies together with a lack of the financial and human resources necessary to maintain them and the presence of large groups of segregators in streets and rubbish dumps. reuse and recycle – to which has now been added a new R for recover. generally insulated. It is important to emphasize the significant differences between traditional and integrated approaches to this subject: in the latter waste is always regarded as a raw material for the production of new products through reuse. Waste therefore has a commercial value that can be added to the production chain thus creating new work opportunities and generating income for various sectors of society. address the problems of solid waste in a partial way. recyclers and managers. The optimization of these circuits reduces to a minimum the amount of waste for final disposal. consumption. Typical situations are: ! high technology industrial processes aimed at competitive insertion in global markets side by side with obsolete industrial processes that produce significant environmental damage. It is of fundamental importance to also take into consideration the generation of waste. the sustainability of systems and the role of citizens as generators. In this way only waste with no utility is left for final disposal. consumers. The reduction of waste to be collected. in order to establish a shared concept in which all win and positive socio-environmental outcomes are produced.

or in the case of smaller countries. labour and technology. Some elements are essential for the development of integrated solid waste management (ISWM) processes: ! the participation of all public. This model has been used as a tool to solve problems arising from the increasing amounts of solid waste generated by the industrial society. “Environmentally sound waste management must go beyond the mere safe disposal or recovery of generated waste and seek to address the root cause of the problem by attempting to change unsustainable patterns of production and consumption. sewerage systems. even national level. particularly environmental sanitation. ! the articulation of proposed solid waste systems with overall urban planning and other urban systems. Plans can also be formulated at a regional. 30 . responsible for the separation and differentiated pre-collection storage of recyclable materials and other domestic waste. On whatever scale they are made.” (Agenda 21. machines. amongst which are: ! citizens themselves. However it is possible for a group of municipalities to develop them and share some solutions especially for the final disposal of waste. provincial.4R’s. environmental. ISWMPs must be complemented by national and regional policies on this issue. institutional and political aspects in order to guarantee system sustainability. chapter 21) Putting these criteria and the concept of integrated solid waste management into practice in Latin American and Caribbean cities requires the development of local participation processes. rainwater drainage and vector control. which presents a unique opportunity to reconcile development with environmental protection. juridical. through the development of an Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan (ISWMP). ! ! the integration of all elements of the solid waste cycle in the 4R’s processes. Integrated management depends on the functioning of specific sub-systems that involve installations. including water provision. This implies the application of the integrated life cycle management concept. and in the implementation of an urban cleaning system. the integration of technical. social. Participation processes allow the different stakeholders to identify opportunities that can lead to solutions for the problems presented by solid waste. not only provided by the municipality but also by other agents participating in the management. private and community stakeholders in the conception and planning of processes and solutions. Usually it is recommended that these plans are developed at a municipal or local level.

In addition to the technical and financial aspects of conventional urban cleaning systems and final disposal systems. Economic-financial – an analysis of system costs and the possibility of minimizing them in order to make systems economically viable. valued and associated in the solid waste production chain. Technical-operational – the establishment of a specific department and the appointment of responsible personnel. the implementation of juridical instruments and ISWMPs. agreements and cooperation accords. the recovery of operational costs through differentiated charge mechanisms according to generator profile and payment capacity. plays the principal role in the integrated management of the entire system. irrespective of the socioeconomic level and ethnic origin of the population. environmental information dissemination and education as instruments for the transformation of personal and collective production and consumption patterns. reusable material recovery. the provision of sufficient capacity in machines and labour to provide universal coverage in public urban cleaning services. Political-institutional – the integration of public authorities and other stakeholders and institutions with a clear delimitation of responsibilities. including the possibility of consortium solutions. environmental and political-institutional dimensions and system sustainability. Environmental – the development of clean technology for application to solid waste. the formulation of specific policies for solid waste management. specific approaches must be promoted in each related field: Social – community participation and quality control. and by means of contracts. 31 . and the social inclusion of segregators who have to be organized. thus generating income and jobs. ! the municipality. responsible for their own waste. responsible for separating recyclable materials discarded by citizens and selling them to the relevant companies.2. ! health institutions with an internal management of infectious waste that either sterilizes it or appropriately separates it by type for differentiated collection. integrated solid waste management prioritizes the social. the definition of training programs. In order to guarantee sustainability from a multi-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary perspective. segregators organized in cooperatives. and appropriate treatment and final disposal. a rational use of natural resources taking into account waste minimization. the determination of the appropriate technology for each situation. institutions and contracted companies. that through its agents. Integrated solid waste management ! ! large generators.

3 Institutional models and payment for services 32 .

cleaner streets.1 Concept A city’s urban cleaning system should be institutionalized on the basis of an integrated management model that. and induce an acknowledgment by citizens of their role as consumers and therefore as generators of solid waste. and in the subsequent budget allocation to the system that should include provision for environmental education and the development of programs that generate income opportunities and employment. In summary. Policy making is based on the participation of social leaders. which has to be technically and socially just. rates or tariffs. private companies. the appropriate preparation and storage of waste for collection and consequently a cheaper operation. and defines infractions and their respective fines. Such regulations must clearly reflect the objectives of the public authority and raise public awareness in regard to appropriate urban solid waste management and environmental problems. community participation is a key element in the sustainability of the system while the municipality is responsible for establishing an integrated management that necessarily includes awareness raising programs for citizens who will then perceive that the political will to prioritize municipal solid waste management exists. This priority must be considered in the definition of municipal fiscal policy. and public institutions active in the city and having significant environmental responsibilities. has the capacity to: ! foster the economical sustentability of operations. 33 . It is important that citizens know that they are the ones who are paying for the system through taxes. contribute to the solution of socioeconomic problems related with the issue. protect the environment. Institutional models and payment for services 3. to the maximum degree possible.3. protect inhabitants’ quality of life. Policy instrumentation will be structured through the approval of urban cleaning regulations whereby the city legitimizes the adopted management model and social obligations. ! ! ! The municipal solid waste management model not only has to allow for the participation of the community but also specifically facilitate it in order to generate public awareness of the different activities involved in the system and its implementation costs. Such participation would directly result in a reduction of solid waste generation.

low degree of training. What characterizes a public service. and distinguishes it from other economic activities. It also facilitates greater management autonomy. Public services are all material activities assigned by law to the State for it to exercise. Except where they have been resolved in particular cases.2 Forms of administration In general the municipality is. This model is more flexible than direct municipal administration and is more compatible with the dynamic of daily urban cleaning tasks. 34 . Urban cleaning systems can be administered in different ways: Direct municipal management In this case the provision of urban cleaning services is the responsibility of a municipal department or body. This model is generally used in smaller cities that do not have a volume of service provision that is attractive to the private sector. sanitary and environmental problems. The negative results of this group of difficulties are: a dissatisfied public. and indeterminate service costs. directly or through delegates with the objective of effectively satisfying collective needs. directly or indirectly. the chronic problems inherent to this model are: insufficient budget. is that it is essential for the community and therefore its provision represents an obligation for the public authority and its management is subject to the legal principles specifically related with the efficient provision of service to the community. inevitable bureaucracy. the creation of a specialized labour force and better conditions for budgetary planning. A public service is an activity undertaken by a public body with a view to satisfying a public interest need. responsible for organizing and providing essential local services and is therefore responsible for urban cleaning services. Autonomous authority This modality involves the creation of a public company specifically for the administration of urban cleaning.3. political interference and frequent crises in the service. under a partially or totally public regime.

for example. Colombia and Costa Rica with populations of no more than 500. It should be emphasized that service outsourcing can be employed on different scales. including sweeping. and can even outsource operations and collect payments directly from users/beneficiaries of the service. if well planned at every stage – from specifications in the bidding phase to the overseeing of operations – can make a large contribution to the municipal administration’s ability to improve the quality of services provided to the public. Outsourcing In this model a private sector company is contracted to undertake an activity. 35 . Outsourcing. Some functions are undertaken by NGOs. Integrated Solid Waste Management Workshop organized by IDRC in Sao Paulo. In many LAC cities outsourcing is employed for urban cleaning services with sweeping and/or collection often undertaken by small civil society organizations. Concessions In this modality the concession holder plans. workers cooperatives or small companies through contracts established by municipalities. organization and equipping of a new specialized structure in the municipality. to contracting micro-companies or independent workers who undertake waste collection with carts pulled by animals or the manual operation of small-sized landfills. Outsourcing is based on the concept of public administration undertaking the functions of planning. supervision and the charging of tariffs for services provided. Institutional models and payment for services Positive examples of urban cleaning administration by municipal public companies can be found in some cities in Ecuador. treatment. final disposal and the recovery of energy from waste by generating biogas and in some cases selling carbon credits 3. from contracting well structured companies. This model is only appropriate for large cities as it requires the creation. All these cases of delegating state functions to civil society authenticate outsourcing as an efficient practice. specialized in certain types of operation such as landfill management. coordination and overseeing while the private company is responsible for operations. 3. with a predefined mechanism of payment based on the specific services to be provided and technical-administrative convenience. especially in regard to the speed of response to operational requirements (for example the purchase of spare parts for collector vehicles). In these cases the companies have several responsibilities including planning. organizes. they have the necessary flexibility to adopt appropriate alternatives for the provision of some components of the service. 2005. implements and coordinates the service. Brazil.3.000. In addition.

concession contracts are long term to allow for a return on investments in the system through tariffs charged to users. significant difficulties lie in the limited guarantees that concession holders receive in regard to the collection of payment for their services and the problems that municipalities have in preparing tender specifications. formulation of tender specifications and contracts. but has been widely employed with relative successs in landfill management. This type of modality has proved ineffective for collection services. and the overseeing and control of service provision. the issuing authority keeps the ownership of the service and the right to oversee it. However. definition of reference framework.This management model is adopted in special situations where the public authority does not have the necessary technological or budgetary resources to implement interventions or finance the significant investments that are indispensable in dealing with problems related to municipal solid waste management in general or a particular aspect of it. In general. which implies a need for technical and administrative training in order to undertake the activities pertaining to the process. or any combination of them. program or project are combined in a consortium to facilitate its implementation. It can also be applied to the collection of construction rubble and other civil construction waste in order to alleviate the burden on the public system. has to be selected on the basis of both low cost and environmentally sound technique and with a view to establishing a self-sustainable system that is resistant to changes of administration. including technical decisions. In the case of public services that are delegated to third-parties through concessions. calculating costs and overseeing services. at their own expense. All of each municipality’s human and financial resources available for a certain initiative. Free market This model can be applied for example to large-scale solid waste generators when municipal regulations have defined the maximum quantities permitted for collection by the common domestic collection system and have established that large-scale generators have an obligation to contract. 36 . although it functions less well when applied in small cities. Any of these alternatives. authorized companies for the collection of excess waste. Consortium A consortium results from an agreement between municipalities with the objective of achieving established common goals.

Urban cleaning administration by a public company specifically created for that purpose. Employed when the public authority lacks sufficient resources to finance the necessary investment in the system. direct administration of the entire urban cleaning system is common in small cities. investment capacity for technological development. responsiveness to operational emergencies. demographic and economic characteristics as well as the socio-cultural particularities of its inhabitants must be considered in defining the form of administration. The contracting of a private company to undertake certain activities. responsiveness to changing economic circumstances. IT systems and quality control. Applied in the cases of large-scale generators where regulations define maximum limits for municipal collection. ! ! ! ! responsiveness to social and political demands. As has already been said. responsiveness to growth in demand for services. investment capacity for human resources and the generation of income and employment. An association of municipalities for common measures and projects. autonomy and flexibility in planning and decision-making. especially in solid waste final disposal.3. Autonomous authority Outsourcing Concession Free market Consortium A city’s urban. In such cases management is usually undertaken by a municipal body or department that shares resources with other sectors of public administration. Institutional models and payment for services Table 1 Forms of urban cleaning service administration Administration Direct municipal management Description Urban cleaning activities run by a municipal department or body. leaving the generator responsible for contracting a collection company at their own expense. 37 . management and supervision. autonomy in the application and reallocation of budgetary resources. while at the same time taking into account the following factors: ! ! ! ! ! cost of service administration.

such as ones relating to social and political demands. changing economic circumstances and operational emergencies. A model that is worth highlighting is the one employed by the Rio de Janeiro City Urban Cleaning Company (COMLURB). Ecuador. as the predetermined form of remuneration established in the contract may not cover them. in the context of medium-sized cities in the Andean region. the municipality only undertakes the administration of contracts and the monitoring of service quality and therefore the municipal administrative nucleus can be small.This type of administration that shares resources with other bodies of the municipality usually has a relatively low cost in comparison with a body or institution exclusively devoted to urban cleaning management. establish human resource policy and most importantly. in the context of large Brazilian cities. Colombia. activities should always be regulated by the public authority. In cases where refuse collection and street cleaning services are outsourced by contracting specialized companies. the other factors listed above are difficult to achieve and the service tends to have a lower priority than other services sharing the same resources and having a greater potential for political visibility. In determining the form of urban cleaning services administration in tourist cities seasonal fluctuations in demand for services has to be particularly taken into consideration. However. These companies can develop or subsidize research and technologies related to urban cleaning in general as well as specific areas of it. and by the Public Cleaning Companies of Cuenca. the companies charge the municipality enough to cover both operational costs and capital expenditure. and define the technical terms of contracts. Whatever model is adopted. All of them are autonomous urban cleaning companies and are therefore able to define their own budget allocations. They can also outsource operational. 38 . It is therefore advisable that the municipality establishes contract devices or alternative plans to deal with such eventualities. determine plans. strategies and the logistics of their operations. For their part. and Pereira. In such a model there can be problems when unforeseen eventualities arise. The existence of such agencies exclusively devoted to urban cleaning demonstrates the commitment of the municipality to keeping the city clean and caring for the urban environment. management and administrative services. liberating the municipality of the need to invest resources in the purchase of machines and equipment.

and whatever the administration modality. 3 Payment for services The singularities of tax legislation in each Latin American and Caribbean country makes it difficult to compile a complete generalized summary of the issue of payment for urban cleaning services. which in some cases may need to be adapted to the particularities of each country’s legislation. whether the taxpayer uses it or not. In cases of concession. Urban cleaning systems are financed by almost all of the population but not in a direct way. the company responsible for providing such services may also be responsible for collecting payments for them. usually called “Waste Collection Rate (WCR)”. This chapter therefore concentrates on a basic outline of the subject. street cleaning and final disposal. 3. which must be well defined and specifically calculated. the municipality has to harmoniously combine two elements: ! ! just and sufficient payment for services. ensured collection of charges for urban cleaning.3. The term “rate” on the other hand. The value of the rate must reflect divisibility amongst tax-payers in accordance with potential usage by each one. a municipality cannot charge residents of a street for the sweeping and cleaning services of that street in particular as it is an indivisible service. that is to say that the tariff is proportional to the amount and quality of the service used. Financial resources raised by the waste collection rate cannot be allocated exclusively to the system due to municipal tax regulations. It is therefore necessary that municipal policy ensures a sufficiently large budget allocation to cover the cost of the system and essential investment in it. Similarly. refers to a tax on the availability of a public service provided by the public authority. for example. In regard to the collection of payments for service provision. direct or autonomous. The term “tariff” refers to the price charged for a public service provided in an optional form. Institutional models and payment for services In all cases. 39 . an urban cleaning system can simply be divided into three components: domestic waste collection. the Municipality can charge residents a specific rate. In the case of domestic waste collection. Certain specific services where usage can be measured and users are clearly identifiable can be priced and therefore be charged for exclusively through a tariff.

it has to be taken into account that financial resources raised by cleaning and solid waste management rates become part of the Municipal Treasury. There have been attempts to relate the determination of this rate to the consumption of drinking water or electricity. It should also be noted that the updating or correction of the rate depends on authorization by the municipal council. or to the frontage width of the plot. However this measure does not have much punitive value as it represents only a long term threat to the non-payer in the form of the eventual confiscation of his or her property. In some countries only a reform of the tax system would provide municipalities with the necessary instruments to reimburse them in a socially just way for the urban cleaning services that they provide to citizens. until the situation balances itself with an improvement in the quality of services provided. There is no consensus about the most appropriate basis on which a municipal rate for financing urban cleaning services should be calculated. and even though it is a legally dubious measure. if this is necessary. In the absence of other available strategies. of rates or tariffs. where payment levels are related to the volume of waste generated. or delayed payment. because rubbish put in the street by the non-payer has to be collected anyway for public health reasons. as electricity or drinking water provision can be. the quality of services deteriorates and a vicious circle is established. There are few legal remedies for the problem of non payment. in some cases an authority may resort to inscribing the property of the nonpayer in the municipal register of public debt.e. 40 . i. Once these issues are resolved. this being dependent on the political will of the administration or public budget control mechanisms. The municipal solid waste management will be defective due to insufficient resources and the population may not accept the payment of rates because it is not receiving good quality service. Waste collection is not a service that can be suspended when bills are not paid. If it is not possible to adequately finance the system. This is being applied to particular geographical areas and follows the “pay as you throw” principle. It is therefore necessary to reverse the tendency to attribute a low priority to urban cleaning services that results in them receiving fewer resources than are necessary. There are no guarantees that they will be used in the urban cleaning sector. etc. The municipality then has to choose one of the following options: ! to face for a certain period the political cost involved in increasing taxes. which in general is not inclined to increase the tax burden imposed on citizens.In some Latin American cities there is an incipient trend towards payment through tariffs. especially so in view of the socioeconomic conditions of most Latin American and Caribbean populations.

with their own resources (labour and machinery). undertake collection. as has already been mentioned. supervision and support services. maintenance. In regard to investment. replacement of vehicles and other equipment. However. when an industry is producing a certain product the cost of an appropriate final disposal of waste generated in the production process should be reflected in the sale price of that product. municipalities almost invariably need to resort to sources of finance that do not always offer appropriate terms and involve prerequisites that are not easy to adapt to. In such cases a concession can also be an appropriate alternative especially when the necessary investment is higher and requires a more prolonged period to allow for a return on it. both for the purchase of equipment and the installation of treatment and final disposal units. technological development and administration. outsourcing through contracts with private companies that. Payment for urban cleaning systems is calculated by applying the following basic equation: Payments = Expenses Expenses = Municipal Treasury resources + amount collected from WCR + amount collected from tariffs and various other incomes Payments should cover the costs of the system which include expenditure on labour. street cleaning. Institutional models and payment for services ! to subsidize the cost of the service during an initial period until service quality reaches an adequate level. transport. 41 . capital expenditure.3. Here a tariff is determined as the means by which the concession company makes a return on its investment. In this case. backup. The investment needed for these units is very high and the acquisition of licenses from environmental control bodies involves a long and complicated process. treatment and final disposal services. It is worth digressing to mention industrial waste management. A feasible solution for municipalities that do not have resources for investment is. at which point the subsidy can be gradually reduced as its value is gradually incorporated in the rate specifically charged to finance the service. research. a sustainable balance must be established between generators and the private operators of centres for treatment and final disposal.

) as well as for other services to which a tariff can be applied (i. that can be measured) such as special collections. The basic WCR value can be adapted to the particularities of individual neighbourhoods in the city. hotels.1 Guidelines for the calculation of a waste collection rate For the system to be economically sustainable. The charging of a realistic and socially just rate that citizens can afford and that effectively covers the cost of services and applies the “he who can pays more” principle implies political measures that are dependant on the will and determination of the mayor. the basic unit of the waste collection rate (WCR) should be the quotient of the total budget for domestic solid waste collection services and the number of households in the city. 3. taking into consideration factors such as social stratum (with a view to socially just pricing) and operational characteristics. It should be noted that an efficient way of reducing urban cleaning costs is to motivate the population to decrease the amount of waste generated and implement specific programs for the segregation of recyclable waste at source and its selective collection. It should be emphasized that all operations not financed by adequate tariffs and an efficient tax collection system. otherwise the Municipality would have to reallocate resources designated for other areas. or create waste recycling subsidies.e. supermarkets. The payment for waste collection services to large generators (restaurants. 42 . The establishment of reliable administration and supervision mechanisms for all services relating to urban cleaning is essential in order to correctly ascertain the real costs involved in service provision and therefore the appropriate base for calculating the amount of finance needed to operate the system in an efficient and sustainable way. etc. can be charged by collecting companies authorized by the municipality. medical waste collection and the removal of construction rubble or discarded items. Municipal Treasury resources plus the money from tariffs should be equivalent to the budget for expenditure and capital costs for all the operations involved in the cleaning of a city.Irrespective of the management model adopted.3. in which case the budget must allow for a specific allocation to the urban cleaning sector. will have to be sustained by resources from the Municipal Treasury.

education and technological development that are linked to collection. In recent years a more conservationist vision is increasingly influential in the determination of pricing polices for urban cleaning. produces an economic benefit for the population as a whole. management. location. etc.3. monitoring systems. topographic conditions. demographic density. Operational characteristics reflect the amount of labour and materials used in the collection process depending on property usage (commercial. shop.). type of road surface. In general a distributive criterion is applied. so that higher income sectors subsidize services provided to the less well off. This approach involves a greater community commitment to segregating waste at source (home. The promotion of this model is important but depends on a wide motivational and educational campaign in the community. 43 . handling and particularly recycling. so that those who generate more rubbish pay more. residential. The establishment of a charging mechanism based on the amount of rubbish generated. etc. as well as costs relating to administration. transport. The budget also has to cover the costs of transfer.) in order to facilitate collection. etc. market. treatment and final disposal. Institutional models and payment for services Social stratum is determined on the basis of the average purchasing power of the inhabitants of different zones of the city. capital expenditure.

4 Legislation and environmental licenses 44 .

decrees. cooperating with cleaning by reducing the amount of waste.1 Introduction Integrated municipal urban cleaning system management is based on the fundamental conceptual premise of community participation and a systematic political exercise involving all institutions linked to the pertinent spheres of government. This approach could be called the principle of service reliability and citizen cooperation for integrated solid waste management.4. of a political and economic order. establishes the legal forms for institutionalizing the administration of a system and the methods of payment and charging for services. 4. Measures geared to guaranteeing good quality operations and a well structured program of environmental education need legal instruments that support them. and by not throwing rubbish in the streets. reusing. The community participates in this management in two ways: ! ! contributing to the financing of services and monitoring them. ! the third is the legal structure that regulates general environmental issues on a national basis and in particular deals with licenses for the implementation of activities that represent a risk to public health or the environment. appropriately preparing and storing waste for collection. segregating. rulings and regulations that manifest an increasing concern 45 .2 Legislation The legislation required to set up an urban cleaning system falls into three general categories: ! the first. regulates and determines procedures and the obligations of tax-payers and urban cleaning agents. establishes operational codes. orientates. Legislation and environmental licenses 4. ordinances. A combination of citizen cooperation and measures to increase the reliability of urban cleaning services constitutes a powerful pairing that can solve the principal problems relating to urban cleaning systems. Community cooperation should be considered as the principal agent for transforming the efficiency of services and consequently generating beneficial operational and budgetary results. and defines administrative processes and punitive measures. ! the second. classifying and recycling materials. Citizens can be encouraged to reduce the amount of waste that they produce in order to diminish the costs of the operation. In Latin American and Caribbean countries there is wide ranging legislation in the form of laws.

The environmental management system will include amongst its functions. in the section on environmental policy an environmental management system can be established through which environmental policy is implemented (Municipal Council for the Environment. The municipality can therefore pass environmental protection legislation and enforce it. and sub-section VIII grants them exclusive authority to legislate on land planning and land usage in their territory. a municipality can. which establish that the Brazilian Federation comprises the Union. the Brazilian Federal Constitution determines that a municipality constitutes a political entity. provide services. For example. the design of environmental protection projects. Specifically. regulate the granting of licenses by the relevant municipal body for the exploitation of water and mineral resources. establish and collect municipal taxes and choose their mayors and councillors. works or activities that actually or potentially produce environmental degradation. municipal urban cleaning regulations should serve as the spine of the city’s urban cleaning system by establishing the essential principles that govern the conduct of both municipal authority and citizens. including the making of agreements to improve environmental management. the states and the municipalities. Article 30 sub-section I allows them to legislate for local matters in the public interest and therefore to implement municipal environmental policy. the implementation of environmental impact assessment processes. Sub-section II of the same article. combating contamination and preserving forests. and the requiring where necessary of environmental impact studies or environmental recuperation guarantees prior to the granting of a license. Taking into account the urban scale (determined by the number of inhabitants) and the city’s socioeconomic and cultural circumstances. the charging of rates and tariffs and associations with other bodies that can contribute or cooperate. fauna and flora. under its organic law. Furthermore. either directly or through agreements. In most Latin American and Caribbean countries. State and Municipal) and the community a duty to defend and preserve the environment for present and future generations thus establishing that a municipality has an obligation of environmental protection. under their organic law municipalities must decide on the best alternative for the institutionalization of the urban cleaning system. sub-sections VI and VII. when the governing plan for a city is formulated. the form of management. Article 225 of the Federal Constitution imposes on public authorities (Union. Environment Conservation Fund and Municipal Environment Department). the analysis of projects. municipalities are also responsible for the protection of the environment.for environmental protection. 46 . Municipalities can legislate. As established by article 23. irrespective of their institutional status in the country. authorizes them to supplement federal and state legislation where appropriate. and introduce other public authority instruments aimed at protecting the environment. as prescribed by the 1st and 18th articles. In regard to urban cleaning initiatives mostly emanate from municipal councils under their organic law and through local legal instruments.

without prejudice to other required licenses. Under the legislation of many Latin American countries it is the Environment Ministry that is responsible for issuing licenses. establishes that the public authority. Paraguay. With a view to facilitating the granting of licences for new sanitary landfills and refuse dump recuperation in small and medium-sized municipalities. 4.3 Environmental licenses It is necessary to establish a system for the granting of environmental licenses that defines responsibilities. 47 . are dependent on the prior granting of a license by the competent provincial body integrated in the National Environmental System. establishes criteria for environmental impact assessments and identifies activities that require a prior environmental impact study.4. especially in the event of natural disasters and particularly so in the case of flooding. which requires legal instruments to cover the extrapolation of municipal responsibilities. The same law requires that the construction. In Brazil. including the granting of licenses and the revision of “actually” or “potentially” contaminating activities. Chile. specific legislation can be passed that simplifies the processes involved in obtaining environmental licenses and adapts them to the economic capacity of the Municipal Treasury. enlargement and operation of establishments or the undertaking of activities that use environmental resources and are considered as actually or potentially contaminating or degrading to the environment. a federal law establishes National Environmental Policy mechanisms. Peru and Brazil. Legislation and environmental licenses In recent times an innovative vision. instalment. in exercise of its regulatory function. echoing the text of the National Environmental Policy law. known as ecosystem management. This concept is particularly significant in the case of defective management of solid waste dumps located near the higher courses of rivers that form part of a water basin used for water supplies to cities downstream. such as the installation of a sanitary landfill. SISNAMA. Waste disposal in water courses represents an environmental risk that renders populations vulnerable. as for example in Colombia. has come to the fore in environmental assessment: the incorporation of the river basin concept in the definition of the area of influence or impact of a project. must grant the respective licenses before the establishment of an installation and its operation can begin. Another legal instrument. In many cases the renewal of a license is necessary to authorize the recommencement of an operation.

until the relevant environmental body takes responsibility for it. ! establish the definition and classification of solid waste from healthcare institutions. ! determine a colour code system for different types of waste that must be used for container identification and in educational campaigns on waste segregation. ! define appropriate treatment and final disposal for medical waste. contaminated. establishment and operation of non-hazardous waste landfills in order to appropriately protect 48 . ports. recycling. uncategorized or abandoned material that is deemed to be a potential source of environmental risk. tyres. ! regulate environmentally sound initial disposal and management of used batteries. or the generation of waste. etc. ! define the responsibilities of and criteria for environmental impact assessments and identify activities that require an environmental impact study. railway stations and bus terminals and the minimum procedures for its management. ! regulate the final disposal of discarded car. ! determine appropriate procedures for the handling of damaged. ! the definition of the minimum conditions required in the planning.4 Regulations applicable to solid waste In other Latin American and Caribbean countries there are legal instruments applicable to solid waste management that: ! prohibit the entrance into the country of waste material for final disposal or incineration. should be subject to. ! establish criteria for the definition of requirements to obtain licences for works involving sanitary issues. ! establish criteria for the granting of licences for industrial activities and for the specific controls that existent waste. such as: ! the classification of solid waste by its potential risk to the environment and public health. treatment and final disposal.4. there are aspects of solid waste management that can be subject to technical regulations. truck and bus batteries. used oils. so that each type of waste can be appropriately handled and disposed of. regulate all related aspects and establish criteria for determining which jurisdictions issue them. reuse. ! create security zones around airports that restrict the establishment within them of operations that attract birds. airports. including their collection. ! establish a system for the granting of environmental licenses. Finally.

its operators and neighbouring residents. ! the definition of criteria for the presentation of projects to establish municipal solid waste sanitary landfills. establishment and operation of hazardous waste landfills. 49 . ! the definition of criteria for the presentation of projects to establish municipal solid waste controlled landfills. ! the definition of criteria for the planning. Legislation and environmental licenses superficial and underground water resources.4.

definition and characteristics 50 .5 Solid waste: origin.

The concept of the reuse of waste therefore prompts a reconsideration of the traditional concept of solid waste. corrosive. 5. worn out and without any value. biodegradable or soluble waste that can represent health or environmental risks but does not fall within Class I. Solid waste: origin. It should be emphasized however. or produces adverse environmental impacts when inappropriately handled or disposed of. The more usual classifications take into account the waste’s potential risk for environmental contamination or its nature and origin. or Class III.2 Solid waste classification Solid waste can be classified in different ways. Only material that is not reusable by anybody can be truly considered to be rubbish. definition and characteristics 5.” Technically. things that are useless. 51 .1 Definition of rubbish and solid waste The general public tends to think that “rubbish is everything that is not wanted any more and is discarded.2. 5. hazardous waste. inert waste. undesirable or disposable by the generators and that may be solid or semi-solid” (substances or products with a humidity content of less than 85%). In this manual solid waste and refuse comprises all solid or semisolid unwanted material that must be collected because the person that discards it considers it to be of no use and gets rid of it by putting it in any receptacle intended for that purpose. toxic or pathogenic and therefore represents a risk to public health in the form of increased mortality or morbidity.1 Potential environmental contamination risks Solid waste can be classified as: CLASS I HAZARDOUS SOLID WASTE Solid waste that is intrinsically inflammable. The authors of studies on solid waste tend to use the terms “refuse” and “solid waste” without distinction. reactive. as what is of no use for the person who discards it. that in regard to rubbish the term “of no use” is relative. some regulatory entities define rubbish as: “the leftovers from human activity that are considered useless. CLASS II NON-INERT SOLID WASTE Combustible. can be transformed into raw material for a new product or process.5.

CLASS III INERT SOLID WASTE Waste with intrinsic characteristics that do not represent a risk to health or the environment and that when sampled in a representative way in accordance with the relevant norms and subjected to static or dynamic contact with distillate or deionized water at room temperature (dissolution tests). apartments. 5.2. airport. the characteristics of which depend on the particular activities pursued by such establishments. except in regard to aspect.2 Nature and origin Origin is the principal element in categorizing solid waste. does not have any of its dissolved components in concentrations higher than those in drinking water patterns. turbidity and taste. COMMERCIAL WASTE Waste generated by commercial establishments. colour. 52 . condominiums and other types of residential building. According to this criterion. railway station and bus terminal waste agricultural waste medical waste RESIDENTIAL OR DOMESTIC WASTE Waste generated by daily activities in houses. solid waste can be grouped in five categories: ! ! ! ! Residential or domestic waste Commercial waste Street waste Special domestic waste: ! ! ! ! rubble batteries fluorescent tubes tyres ! Special origin waste: ! ! ! ! ! industrial waste radioactive waste port.

In general. and large rubble generators are those that generate a greater volume each day. together with waste from street cleaning. such as rubble. definition and characteristics In urban cleaning terms. packaging and food remains. Large commercial waste generators are establishments that generate more than 120 litres of waste per day. such as leaves. Municipal urban cleaning regulations can precisely define these two sub-groups. thus producing an additional source of income that contributes to the economic viability of the system. “domestic waste” is made up of “residential waste” and “smallscale commercial waste” which. STREET WASTE Waste that is found in the streets produced by nature. branches. soil and sand. This practice reduces by between 10% and 20% the cost of domestic waste collection by the municipality. articles considered to be of no more use. Alternatively it is important to identify large generators so that the waste generated by them can be collected and transported by a private company authorized by the municipality.5.000 kg or 50 bags of 30 litres per day. and waste discarded by people in a disorganized and improper way. Solid waste: origin. In an urban cleaning system the definition of the sub-groups “small” and “large” generators is important because a tariff can be applied to the collection of waste produced by large generators. The parameters could be: Small commercial waste generators are establishments that generate up to 120 litres of waste per day. 53 . represents the majority of solid waste produced in cities. small generators of construction rubble are individuals or companies that generate up to 1. Commercial waste and construction rubble can both be divided into two sub-categories: “small generator” and “large generator”. Similarly. the quantity of waste that defines the limit between small and large solid waste generators should correspond to the average amount of solid waste generated daily by a household with five residents. Clearly these sub-categories cannot be adopted without also establishing a minimum interval between any two collections of rubble from the same generator and/or cumulative limits (by volume or weight) for that generator over a certain period. dust. paper.

0 100. Rubble The civil construction industry uses more natural resources and generates more waste than any other. 63.0 1. Such material represents 50% of the total weight of municipal solid waste that is collected in cities of the region with more than 500. cardboard. While in developed countries the average waste produced in the construction of new buildings is less than 100kg per m². the corresponding figure is approximately 300kg per m². mortar. for example. Civil construction waste is a mixture of inert materials such as concrete. fluorescent tubes and tyres. only comes under this category due to the large amounts in which it is generated and the importance that its recovery and recycling is acquiring globally.0 29. It is important to emphasize that construction rubble. in Brazil. batteries. In many countries commonly used construction techniques for new buildings involve a waste of materials.0 7.Street waste is directly related with the aesthetic appearance of a city and special attention should therefore be paid to planning street cleaning services in tourist cities. ceramics and soil. wood. plastic. SPECIAL DOMESTIC WASTE This category consists of construction rubble.0 54 . metal.000 inhabitants. also known as civil construction waste. Table 2 Average composition of construction rubble in Brazil Components Percentage (%) Mortar Concrete and concrete blocks Others Organic waste Total Source: USP – University of Sao Paulo. glass.

convulsions brain and neurological lesions that produce psychological problems ! Hg (mercury) ! ! ! ! ! ! digestive problems (nausea. Other metals found in batteries such as zinc. cadmium (Cd). rectangular. manganese and lithium can also cause environmental problems. mercury (Hg). Solid waste: origin. silver and nickel have a negative impact on the environment and particularly on human health. metallic taste in the mouth) congestion.Hazardous Waste”. indigestion dermatitis and arterial hypertension stomatitis (inflammation of the mouth mucosa). headaches. reactive and toxic. zinc (Zn). mercury. delirium. nickel (Ni). lack of appetite. pharynx and oesophagus ulceration. definition and characteristics Batteries The basic principle of a battery is the conversion of chemical energy into electrical energy using metals. see table 3. lead. diarrhoea) kidney malfunction pulmonary problems poisoning (when ingested) pneumonitis (when inhaled) cancer Cd (cadmium)* ! ! ! ! * Even in small amounts 55 . silver (Ag). Substances that contain cadmium. delirium. The substances in batteries that contain these metals are corrosive. spasm and rigidity) kidney malfunction anaemia. manganese (Mn) and their compounds. manias. pulmonary problems peripheral neuritis (paralysis) encephalopathy (somnolence. diarrhoea (with blood in the faeces) abdominal pains (especially epigastria. collapse. vomiting. and are classified as “Class I .5. convulsions and coma) ! ! Pb (lead)* ! ! ! ! ! gingivitis. They can have different shapes (cylindrical. Table 3 Contaminant potential of chemical elements used in batteries Element Effects on human health abdominal pains (colic. salivation. kidney and digestive tract lesions insomnia. lithium (Li). vomiting. button cell) and sizes and contain one or more of the following metals: lead (Pb).

56 . Fluorescent tubes Fluorescent tubes. a progressive increase in mercury concentrations in the tissue of for example fish. both the common cylindrical tubes and the compact fluorescent bulbs. contain mercury steam and release mercury when they are broken.Table 3 (cont. Consequently they are classified as Class I hazardous waste because mercury is a toxic substance that attacks the human nervous system and when inhaled or ingested can provoke an enormous variety of physiological problems. burned or buried in sanitary landfills. which is particularly sensitive to its toxicity. An accumulation of mercury can also occur in the tissues of other wild species such as aquatic birds and animals. which then become less healthy or even dangerous to consume. When mercury is released into the environment and enters bodies of water “bioaccumulation” takes place.) Element Effects on human health digestive disturbances and mouth impregnation argyria (chronic intoxication producing bluish skin colour) death ! Ag (silver) ! ! ! inhalation – causes damage even with immediate attention ingestion – minimal residual damage without treatment Li (lithium) ! ! neurological system malfunctions neurological disturbances stammering and insomnia Mn (manganese) ! ! ! ! pulmonary disturbances can produce residual damage without immediate treatment contact with eyes – causes serious lesion even with immediate attention Zn (zinc) ! ! cancer dermatitis general intoxication Ni (nickel) ! ! Batteries made with non-toxic substances are now available on the market and these can be disposed of without significant problems together with domestic refuse. When pregnant women eat such fish mercury is transferred to the foetus.

the disposal of tyres has become a serious environmental problem that still does not have a truly effective solution. Waste from ports. airplanes. Consequently it is necessary to examine each case individually in order to categorize it as Class I (hazardous). storage. for example.5. definition and characteristics Tyres The inappropriate disposal of tyres generates many environmental problems. Transmission can also take place through potentially contaminated loads. Port. meat and plants. such as animals. Solid waste: origin. transport and final disposal. the handling. storage and final disposal of radioactive waste is undertaken by the National Nuclear Energy Commission (CNEN. airports and terminals results from consumption by passengers in transit and its hazardous nature lies in the risk of transmission of diseases already eradicated from a country when the incoming transports come from an area where such diseases are endemic. storage and final disposal are the responsibility of national public bodies and are subject to very rigorous controls. the rubber generates huge amounts of particles and toxic gases requiring a very efficient and expensive gas treatment system. If left in the open air. In Brazil. railway station and bus terminal waste This category comprises waste generated in terminals as well as in boats. in Portuguese). The main types of special origin waste are: Industrial waste Waste generated by industrial activity. For all the above reasons. If incinerated. If they are disposed of in conventional landfills. Radioactive waste Waste that emits radiation in excess of limits stipulated by environmental law. tyres accumulate rainwater and serve as a breeding place for mosquitoes thus fostering their proliferation. preparation. Its composition varies greatly according to the type of product that is being made. they will cause hollows in the mass of waste and increase landfill instability. trains and buses. Due to its specific nature and dangerous characteristics its handling. SPECIAL ORIGIN WASTE Waste that due to its particular characteristics requires special handling. 57 . Class II (non-inert) or Class III (inert). airport.

A. Due to a lack of controls and low fines for inappropriate handling of this type of waste. anatomical. Blood and blood derivatives past their use-by date. The classification of medical waste according to Brazilian standards (NBR 12. including remains of food. and waste contaminated by the above materials. blood used for analysis.Tissue. anatomical parts.4 A. A. it is often mixed with common waste and disposed of in municipal dumps or even worse.6 Patient care 58 .3 Surgical.5 A. ampoules. vaccine that is unusable or past its use-by date.2 Blood and blood derivatives A.Agricultural waste This category mostly comprises the remains of containers and packaging impregnated with dangerous pesticides and chemical fertilizers used in agriculture. blood and pathological and other organic liquids resulting from surgery and autopexudates sies. a mix of micro organisms and an inoculated culture medium coming from clinical or research laboratories. Secretions and other organic liquids from patients. as well as waste contaminated by them. ABNT) is presented as an example in table 4. HIV. thrown into bodies of water or is burnt in remote rural establishments thus generating toxic gases. Table 4 Classification of medical waste Type Name Characteristics Class A – Infectious waste Cultures. filters used to prevent inhalation of gases in areas contaminated by infectious agents and any refuse contaminated by the above materials. scalpel blades and glass.808 of the Brazilian Association of Technical Standards. Sharp and puncturing Contaminated animals Needles. as well as waste that has been in contact with them. The handling of this type of waste should therefore follow the same practices and use the same containers and process as those used for the handling of Class I industrial waste. organs. exposed to pathogenic micro-organisms or are carriers of infectious diseases. Skeletons or parts of animals that have been inoculated.positive blood. Medical waste This category consists of all the waste generated by healthcare institutions.1 Biological A. serum. foetuses. plasma and other derivatives. pipettes. inoculae.

00 4. apparent specific weight.40 3. 5. inflammable. 59 .70 6.3 Class C – Common waste C Common waste Waste that does not fall into classes A or B and that.80 The Netherlands 50.50 41. does not present any additional risk to public health.5.80 5. due to its similarity with domestic waste. cultural.) Type Name Characteristics Class B – Special waste B. Solid waste: origin. contaminated.70 6. Medicine that is past its use-by date.00 3.3.2 B. interdicted or of no further use.00 Germany 61. chemical and biological characteristics. corrosive. gravimetric composition.1 Physical characteristics Solid waste can be categorized according to the following physical characteristics: per capita generation.50 USA 35.00 3.00 25. Table 5 Gravimetric composition of waste in some countries (%) Component Organic matter Glass Metal Plastic Paper Brazil 65.20 10. humidity content and compressibility. probably due to the large amount of semiprepared food available in the market. economic.1 Radioactive waste Pharmaceutical waste Hazardous chemical waste Radioactive material or material contaminated with radionuclide.20 8.60 8. nuclear medicine services and radiotherapy.50 6. reactive genotoxic or mutagenic waste. Toxic.3 Characteristics of solid waste Solid waste characteristics can vary according to the social.00 22. B. originating in clinical analysis laboratories. 5. geographical and climatic factors that distinguish one community from another and even one city from another.00 Waste can be analyzed according to its physical.30 14.80 18. explosive. definition and characteristics Table 4 (cont. Table 5 shows the variation in waste composition in some particular countries from which it can be deduced that the percentage of organic matter tends to diminish in more developed or industrialized countries.

000 from 500.Variation in per capita solid waste generation in relation to population size 60 . per capita generation can be estimated through table 6.000.80 a 1. the ideal is to carry out field research and. Although representative of averages determined by several studies. Figure 4 .80 from 0.000 a 500. In the absence of precise data.000.000 Generation per capita (kg/inhab/day) 0. figure 4 shows the correlation between the per capita generation of solid waste and the population of cities. However.000 over 5.PER CAPITA GENERATION The relation between the amount of solid waste produced in a given region per day and the number of inhabitants in that region.000 a 5. these parameters should be considered with certain reservations as particular local conditions may produce distortions in individual cases.000 from 30. Tabla 6 Frequently used categories for determining per capita solid waste generation Size of the city Small Medium-sized Large Megalopolis Urban population (inhabitants) Up to 30.50 a 0. based on statistical data. determine the daily waste generation per inhabitant in relation to the population’s socioeconomic profile.00 over 1.00 Like table 6.50 from 0.

The most commonly used categories in the determination of the gravimetric composition of municipal solid waste can be found in table 7. However. many technicians tend to simplify the categories. definition and characteristics GRAVIMETRIC COMPOSITION Gravimetric composition indicates the percentage of the total weight of an analyzed waste sample that each component represents.5. Table 7 Most common components in gravimetric composition Organic matter Paper Cardboard Rigid plastic Malleable plastic PET Ferrous metals Non-ferrous metals Aluminium Transparent glass Coloured glass Wood Rubber Leather Cloths Bones Ceramics Fine aggregate The decision about which components to include in a gravimetric composition study is made on the basis of the type of study to be carried out and must involve great care to avoid distortions. metal. organic matter and “other”. is not ideal in a precise economic study for recycling or selective collection as. plastic. as are the markets for ferrous and non-ferrous metals. the following general specific weight values can be used: 230 kg/m³ for domestic waste. glass. This type of simplified category list. 61 . If precise data is not available. it is necessary to carefully evaluate the specific situation before adopting these values as variations exist in peoples customs and practices across the different regions and countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. Solid waste: origin. the market for rigid plastics is very different from the market for malleable plastic. However. for example considering only paper/cardboard. APPARENT SPECIFIC WEIGHT The apparent specific weight is the weight of loose waste in relation to the volume that it freely occupies without any form of compacting and is expressed in kg/m³. It is fundamental for determining the dimensions of necessary equipment and installations. 180 kg/m³ for medical waste and 1300 kg/m³ for construction rubble. for example. although useful for determining the dimensions of a composting plant or other urban cleaning system installations.

that is. carbon.000 kcal/kg. must be heeded when operating a landfill. COMPRESSIBILITY Compressibility is the degree of compacting that is possible.HUMIDITY CONTENT The humidity content is the amount of water contained by solid waste. The average calorific value of domestic solid waste is approximately 3. CHEMICAL COMPOSITION The chemical composition indicates the amount of ashes.2 Chemical characteristics CALORIFIC VALUE This chemical characteristic indicates the potential heat generating capacity of a material when incinerated. the reduction of volume that can be achieved in a mass of solid waste when it is compacted. total mineral residue. Subjected to a pressure of 4kg/cm². POTENTIAL OF HYDROGEN (pH) The potential of hydrogen indicates the acidity or alkalinity of waste which is generally found to be between 5 and 7. soluble mineral residue and fats contained in solid waste. potassium. called expansion.3. This phenomenon. on average the volume of waste can be reduced to between a third (1/3) and a quarter (1/4) of its original volume. organic matter. calcium. When the compacting pressure is withdrawn the mass of solid waste tends to expand but it does not return to its original volume. This parameter can vary by between 40% and 60 % depending on the season and amounts of rainfall. 62 . measured as a percentage of its weight. 5. nitrogen. phosphorus.

3. final disposal and degraded site recuperation processes are being developed based on the biological characteristics of waste.5. definition and characteristics CARBON/NITROGEN RATIO (C/N) The Carbon/Nitrogen ratio indicates the degree of decomposition of solid waste organic matter in treatment and final disposal processes. In general for domestic waste that ratio is around 35/1. 63 . Knowledge of the biological characteristics of solid waste has been extensively utilized to develop odour inhibitors and substances used to delay or accelerate the decomposition of organic matter. 5. It is important for determining vehicle and machine capacity requirements.4 Influence of solid waste characteristics on urban cleaning system planning Table 8 illustrates the influence of solid waste characteristics on urban cleaning system planning and on the design of certain units that form part of the system.3 Biological characteristics Solid waste biological characteristics are determined by the microbial and pathogenic agent populations and. Table 8 Influence of waste characteristics on urban cleaning Characteristics Importance This data is fundamental for estimating the amount of Per capita generation waste to be collected and disposed of. Solid waste: origin. Similarly. which are generally applied inside collection vehicles to avoid or minimize problems caused to people along the routes of the vehicles. tariffs charged for collection and the necessary capacity of all the units that comprise the urban cleaning system. together with the chemical characteristics. 5. inform the selection of appropriate treatment and final disposal methods.

Very important for determining the required capacity of Compressibility collection vehicles. An important indicator in the solid waste decomposition process in treatment and final disposal units. etc. Important in determining the sanitary risk posed by solid C/N ratio Biological characteristics waste. Directly influences the calorific value and apparent specific weight of solid waste. Contributes to the determination of the most appropriate form of treatment for collected waste. thereby indi- Apparent specific weight Humidity content rectly influencing the determination of required incinerator and composting plant capacity. pyrolysis. transfer stations with waste compaction facilities and fixed compaction containers. 64 . Fundamental to correctly quantifying the required capacity of the collection fleet. Important for determining the potential risk posed by solid pH Chemical composition waste to human health and the environment.) Characteristics Importance Indicates the potential for the commercialization of recy- Gravimetric composition clable components. Indicates the degree of corrosiveness of collected waste and is used to establish the type of protection against corrosion that it is necessary to apply to vehicles. the use of organic matter to produce compost and the application of other processes to the solid waste. machines and metal containers and boxes. mobile and fixed containers and other collecting equipment. Influences the determination of the required capacity of Calorific value installations for all thermo treatment processes (incineration.Table 8 (cont.). Directly influences the calculation of percolate production and the required capacity of the percolate collection system. Fundamental for the identification of odour inhibitors and substances to accelerate or delay the decomposition of organic matter in solid waste. Directly influences the decomposition rate of matter in the composting process. Fundamental to the evaluation of composting process evolution and determining the quality of the compost produced.

the percentage of aluminium (beer and cold drinks cans) in the waste increases. glass and rigid plastic bottles) Demographic Urban population size ! the larger the urban population the greater the per capita solid waste generation 65 . malleable plastic and metal) increase in organic matter content School holidays ! ! population decrease in non-tourist areas population increase in tourist areas Other festivals ! increase in drinks container content (cans.5 Factors that influence solid waste characteristics Clearly during rainy periods the humidity content in solid waste increases and during the celebrations around the end of the year. Table 9 shows the principal factors that have a strong influence on solid waste characteristics. Solid waste: origin. definition and characteristics 5. glass and rigid plastic bottles) Special periods Christmas / New Year ! ! increase in packaging content (paper/ cardboard. and throughout the summer. Consequently it is necessary to take into account seasonal factors that can influence particularly the physical characteristics of solid waste in order to avoid wrong conclusions in determining the overall characteristics of waste. Bank holidays and school holidays have an influence on the quantity of solid waste generated in tourist cities. Table 9 Principal factors that influence solid waste characteristics Factor Climatic/seasonal Rain Autumn Summer ! ! ! Effect increase in humidity content increase in leaf content increase in drinks container content (cans.5.

The practical procedures presented below are employed to determine municipal solid waste specific weight.Table 9 (cont. the higher the proportion of recyclable material and the lower the proportion of organic matter Purchasing power (monthly) ! greater consumption of luxury goods immediately after payday (end and beginning of month) Purchasing power (weekly) Technological development ! greater consumption of luxury goods at weekends ! reduction in apparent specific weight of waste due to the introduction of increasingly lighter products Commercial promotions ! increase in the amount of packaging 5. ! 66 . Not all municipalities can afford to set up laboratories to determine the chemical or biological characteristics of solid waste.) Factor Socioeconomic Purchasing power ! Effect the higher the purchasing power of the population. the samples must be taken from different collection sectors to obtain results that are as realistic as possible. a 150 kg capacity weighing machine.6 Processes for determining principal physical characteristics Amongst the various types of solid waste characteristics the physical ones are the most important to identify for proficient urban cleaning services management. humidity content and per capita generation. an oven and tools and implements commonly used in urban cleaning. SAMPLE PREPARATION collect initial samples with a volume of 2 to 3m³ from un-compacted solid waste (loose refuse). gravimetric composition. or have the financial resources to contract private laboratories. The physical characteristics however can be easily determined through processes undertaken in the field and only require: 200 litre metal containers.

break up the rest of the selected quarter with machetes in a place that is protected from the elements (sun. GRAVIMETRIC COMPOSITION DETERMINATION ! ! define the list of components to identify depending on the objectives. ! repeat the previous procedure until the volume of each of the quarters is just over 1m³: ! separate one quarter at random and use it to completely fill five previously weighed 200 litre metal containers. crates and other materials used to package the waste. determine the apparent specific weight (expressed in kg/m³) by dividing the total net weight of the waste in the five containers (in kg) by the total volume of the 5 containers. fill a two litre container with the broken up material and close the container as hermetically as possible. ! ! separate the waste according to the defined list of components. Solid waste: origin. not adjacent ones). classify as “other” all material found that does not fall into any of the categories on the predefined list of components. 1m³. rain. ! divide the pile of homogenized waste into four equal parts and select two of them (always opposite quarters. i. Mix these two parts homogenizing the content (the remaining two quarters should be sent for final disposal in the landfill). ! ! weigh each component separately. 67 .e. wind or high temperature). APPARENT SPECIFIC WEIGHT DETERMINATION ! weigh each of the filled 200 litre containers and determine the net weight of the waste subtracting the weight of the container. spread the contents of one of the containers on a canvas sheet extended on flat land. using shovels and hoes to rip plastic bags and break cardboard boxes. ! after filling the containers. ! ! add up the net weights. divide the total weight of the sample by the weight of each component and calculate the percentage of each component in relation to the whole in order to determine the gravimetric composition. definition and characteristics ! deposit the initial samples on a sheet of canvas extended on flat land and mix them until obtaining one homogeneous pile.5.

subtract the dry material weight from the humid sample weight thus determining the percentage of humidity. 68 .HUMIDITY CONTENT DETERMINATION ! weigh the two litre sample. using the specific weight value determined by applying the technique described in a previous section. ! measure the volume of waste taken to the landfill during one working week. due to collection patterns. or by means of procedures undertaken at the final disposal site that produce relevant data. The following observations are significant: ! sample collection and the measurement of waste being taken to a landfill must never be undertaken on a Sunday or Monday as. put the sample in an oven at 105ºC for 24 hours or at 75º C for 48 hours. The following is a simplified calculation methodology for use in cities without a weighbridge to weigh solid waste on arrival at the final disposal site. based on the above percentage and the total number of inhabitants in the city calculate the number of inhabitants served by the collection service. weigh the dry material repeatedly until the weight remains constant. convert the total volume (in m³) of waste that has arrived at the landfill into total weight (in kg). these are atypical days for the purposes of determining waste generation. ! ! calculate the per capita generation rate by dividing the total weight of waste (in kg) by the number of inhabitants served and then dividing this result by seven to obtain the daily rate. ! ! ! CALCULATION OF PER CAPITA GENERATION The per capita generation of solid waste can be determined by means of field studies on households pre-selected on the basis of appropriate statistical data so that they are representative of the overall socioeconomic profile of the population. ! ! estimate the percentage of the population served by the collection service.

unless a determination of seasonal influence on the city’s waste generation is required. definition and characteristics ! in tourist cities samples should never be taken during school holidays or bank holidays. ! never measure humidity content on a rainy day. Solid waste: origin.5. ! 69 . where possible measurements should always be taken between the 10th and the 20th of a month to avoid distortions nearer the end of a month.

6 Solid waste quantity projections 70 .

045 54. Therefore.636 56.675 90. A careful analysis should be made of up to date demographic data in order to make reliable population projections (see table 10) and calculate solid waste production over time. the larger the per capita solid waste generation. in 71 .000 that is growing at an annual rate of 3% and where the per capita waste generation has been measured as 530g/ inhab/day.000 51.305 It is known that the greater the economic development of a city (in general related to population size).287 73. It is important to have data on seasonal fluctuations in population numbers and to take this into account when making projections for solid waste generation in tourist cities. With a projection horizon of 20 years population values would be as in table 10: Table 10 Demographic projection Year Current 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Urban population (inhabitants) 50.500 53.211 71.338 65.275 57. The following example shows procedures to be followed.238 67. especially in tourist cities where tourists can sometimes generate more solid waste than permanent residents. Solid waste quantity projections For an accurate solid waste generation projection.898 80.235 82.629 77.493 63.702 61. it is necessary to have demographic data on the resident and seasonal populations.121 87.642 85.6.963 59.195 Year 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Urban population (inhabitants) 69. Let us suppose that a projection is required for an urban cleaning system in a nontourist city with a current urban population of 50.426 75.

55 Amount of waste (t) 26.54 0.6 33.235 82.55 0.275 57.5 27.53 0.000 51.54 0.338 65.195 69.54 0.0 29.636 56.675 90.963 59.2 35.2 36.55 0.53 0.2 49.493 63.7 72 .305 Per capita (g/inhab.238 67.55 0.3 37.2 34.54 0.4 38.500 53.898 80.121 87.8 30.53 0.7 31.1 29.8 48./day) 0.55 0.3 28.642 85.702 61.53 0.53 0.8 44.55 0.1 45.53 0.6 42.211 71.such a case the evolution of the per capita production would be estimated as in table 11: Table 11 Evolution of per capita solid waste generation Period Year 1 to 7 Year 8 to 14 Year 15 to 21 Per capita (g/inhab/day) 530 540 550 Thus the projected amount of solid waste produced daily over 20 years is as in table 12: Table 12 Projected amount of solid waste generation Year Current 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Demographic projection (inhabitants) 50.5 39.045 54.629 77.426 75.5 46.53 0.287 73.55 0.54 0.54 0.54 0.7 41.

A five year horizon is used because changes in a city’s urbanization are significant over a period of time greater than that. Solid waste quantity projections When an Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan is formulated.6. especially in mediumsized and large cities in Latin America and the Caribbean. 73 . At the end of the five years an assessment of the situation is made and if necessary planning is updated. it is common to consider a five year projection horizon for planning waste collection and the cleaning of streets and other public spaces. For projections relating to solid waste treatment and final disposal a 15 year term is more common.

7 Solid waste preparation and storage 74 .

avoiding vector proliferation. which results in waste being scattered over a large area. Appropriate preparation and storage is important for: ! ! ! ! ! avoiding accidents. In urban zones of low quality dwellings and low demographic density there are generally more animals.7. facilitating collection. on the day and at the time established by the urban cleaning body responsible for collection. In addition such domestic waste attracts rats. flies.1 Concept Pre-collection solid waste preparation and storage should be done in an appropriately sanitary way taking into account the type and quantity of waste 7. Solid waste preparation and storage 7. damage to the environment and a risk to public health. such as dogs. In many cities open air domestic waste accumulation points appear spontaneously causing scattered refuse in the streets. Citizens participation in this operation is therefore of great importance. 75 . mice.2 The importance of appropriate preparation and storage The quality of solid waste collection and transportation operations depends on an appropriate preparation and storage of waste and its presence in the place. reducing waste heterogeneity (in the case of selective collection). minimizing visual and odour impacts. horses and pigs. Figure 5 – Open air solid waste accumulation point Incorrectly prepared and stored solid waste attracts animals. cockroaches and other disease vectors that feed and breed in the refuse. that roam freely in the streets and frequently tear rubbish bags and knock down containers to access the remains of food.

Larger containers should be standardized so that they can be handled by mechanical devices incorporated in the collector vehicles in order to reduce manual labour. large metal or plastic containers. quantity of refuse generated. wood or cardboard boxes. ! the relevant public body takes action to contain the proliferation of rats and mice. 7. inhabitants of such zones are instructed to put refuse out in the street at a time as close as possible to the collection time. sometimes cut in half.To limit damage caused by the activities of such animals it is recommended that: ! the municipality implements regular operations to remove animals that are free in the streets.3 Characteristics of pre-collection storage containers The choice of container type should be based on: ! ! ! ! ! refuse characteristics. used oil and fuel drums. plastic bags. supermarket type or specifically for refuse. ! a more appropriate type of container is provided for the solid waste. price of container. where alternative containers are skilfully made with old tyres. 76 . stationary or on wheels. Receptacles for domestic waste pre-collection storage should have the following characteristics: ! a maximum loaded weight of 30 kg if the collection is manual. In Latin American and Caribbean cities diverse containers are used for putting out and storing domestic waste for collection: ! ! ! ! ! metal or plastic bins. An example can be found in cities in the north and northeast of Brazil. There are also creative initiatives for storing this type of waste. frequency of collection. This is a way of using discarded tyres but the containers are heavy and not very practical. however they are acceptable in the context of the socioeconomic conditions that prevail for most inhabitants there. type of building. with special anchoring devices that enhance their stability. ! ! refuse collection is more frequent and regular in such zones.

In Latin American and Caribbean cities where the income level of most inhabitants is low.7. From an environmental perspective there are usually reservations about the use of plastic bags for domestic waste storage. Solid waste preparation and storage ! devices that facilitate its movement between its place in the building and the place of collection. Rigid and semi-rigid receptacles (plastic and metal bins. but as the use of sanitary landfills is a practically definitive waste disposal method. ! ! From a planning perspective another characteristic has to be taken into account: whether the receptacles are returnable or non-returnable. there are not many objections to their use. Flexible packaging (plastic bags) should be closable. In the latter case collection will be more efficient. ! ! their price is affordable and they can be standardized. 77 . non-returnable (so collection is more efficient) and allow for silent collection. polythene bags do not contaminate the atmosphere when appropriately incinerated. For these reasons. including when separately packaged. ! safe in that injury is not caused to users or collectors by sharp edged or pointed waste. easy to empty without leaving waste at the bottom. it can be concluded that plastic bags are the most convenient receptacles for storing domestic waste prior to manual collection because: ! they are easy to close by tying. However. not producing excessive noise when handled. especially in connection with waste incineration processes. Another issue is that most plastic bags are non-biodegradable. an important factor particularly for nocturnal collections. they are light. ! closable in order to avoid waste spillage or exposure. ! economical and affordable for the general public. after collection there will be no receptacles left on the street and residents will not need to clean receptacles. containers) should have lids and be stable enough that they are not easily knocked over. the use of supermarket plastic bags (used for transporting purchased products to the home) can be acceptable for the pre-collection storage of domestic waste as they do not involve any extra cost.

240 and 360 litre capacity on the market. relatively silent. For multi-family housings (apartment blocks) and office blocks standardized wheelie bins with lids are more appropriate as they allow for semi-automatic collection. appropriate procedures to reduce the risk of injury to collectors must always be observed. 78 . Figure 6 – Standardized wheelie bins 7. There are wheelie bins of 120. These containers are easy to handle as they have wheels. it being fundamental for example.In regard to the safe handling of plastic bags containing waste. which is more efficient and safer. that they wear appropriate protection gloves. are light.4 Domestic waste pre-collection preparation and storage The most appropriate containers for pre-collection domestic waste storage are plastic bags. wheelie bins and metal containers. and economical due to their durability (especially if not exposed permanently to sunlight) and have a pleasing appearance. Plastic bags with a capacity of more than 100 litres are not safe as collectors tend to hold them against their bodies while carrying them to the truck and pieces of glass and other sharp objects in the waste can injure them.

generally have four small wheels and can be emptied by means of tipping devices installed in compaction trucks. a capacity of 20. comprising a body. Domestic waste produced by large generators – the collection and transport of which should be undertaken if possible by private companies authorized by the municipality – can be stored in containers similar to the one in figure 7. Solid waste preparation and storage Plastic bags Waste can be stored in non-returnable plastic bags to be collected by collection vehicles. 30. a colour standardized by the relevant body In general these characteristics are regulated by technical standards. Figure 7 – Plastic wheelie bin Metal containers These receptacles.7. 240 or 360 litres (two wheeled bins) and 760 or 1. Such plastic bags should have the following characteristics: ! ! ! ! resistance so that they do not break when handled. They are used for the storage and transport of domestic waste. 50 or 100 litres. with a capacity that ranges between 750 and 1. a tape to close the top. They are made of partly recycled material plus additives to protect them from the action of ultraviolet rays. Figure 8 – Metal container 79 . a lid and wheels.500 litres. Plastic wheelie bins These are containers made of high density polyethylene (HDPE) with a capacity of 120. but can also be used for certain public waste (for example when they are used to store the waste from street sweeping). different only in their colour from those for residential waste.100 litres (four wheeled containers).

a lid and a metal tray to stub out cigarettes before throwing them into the bin. The high costs of the production. Currently plastic rubbish bins are increasingly used as they are lighter. In this context the use of plastic rubbish bins with a 50 litre capacity. in order to maintain the city in a hygienic and clean condition. avenues and other public spaces that people pass through. are becoming increasingly numerous.Figure 9 – Mechanized metal container tipping 7. easier to install and cheaper. more durable. For example. a growing environmental awareness in society is resulting in the separation of used batteries that. This type of bin can be used for other purposes. due to an ever intensifying use of portable electrical and electronic gadgets.5 Pre-collection storage of street waste Rubbish bins There are several types of container that can be installed in the street for passers-by to deposit rubbish. a standardized colour and a special hole in the front part of the lid represents a good option for storing discarded batteries. 80 . squares. streets. They are made of partly recycled material plus additives to protect them from the action of ultraviolet rays. These containers should be installed in parks. public gardens. Such rubbish bins have a capacity of 50 litres and consist of a body in which rubbish is deposited. maintenance and replacement of these metal bins were an obstacle to them being more widely used. For many years this type of container was metallic and was of a shape and colour determined by municipal administrations.

This type of container is interchangeable and the vehicle that collects a full container brings an empty one to replace it. can be bigger. However metal containers are different. plastic containers for public waste are exactly like those used for storing residential waste. This system is also known as “brooks” or “dumpster”. particularly that collected by sweeping.7. Metal containers used for public waste pre-collection storage are stationary receptacles generally with a volumetric capacity of 5 or 7 m³ that can be emptied by compactor trucks (depending on the nature of the waste) or by dumpster carrier trucks equipped with a multifunctional crane to load and unload the containers. Wheelie bins /stationary containers As with plastic bags.– Dumpster carrier truck with multifunction crane transporting stationary container 81 . Construction rubble requires the use of thicker plastic bags with less volumetric capacity due to the higher specific weight of the material to be stored. Solid waste preparation and storage Figure 10 – Rubbish bin Figure 11 – Battery bin Plastic bags Plastic bags similar to those used for residential waste can be used for the pre-collection storage of public waste. The difference is that bags for public waste. Figure 12 .

amongst other problems. one alternative is to provide brooks type dumpsters. operational and economic capacities of the municipality. users tend to ignore it. Consequently as waste is produced it is taken out of the houses and put on the street. when this type of storage is adopted containers must be changed at appropriately frequent and rigorously observed intervals in order to maintain the cleanliness of the area.6 Pre-collection storage of waste in low demographic density and low-income areas In informal settlement dwellings and low-income housing estate households there is usually little space for storing waste. Their use depends on the amount of waste generated by a community and the technical. awareness raising campaigns should be instigated in the community and an efficient supervision system should be set up. However experience demonstrates that this type of container does not produce satisfactory results as. In such circumstances standardized plastic containers (with wheels and lid) can be located at previously determined points with as frequent collections as possible.7. one of which is the design of the containers that in general do not have a lid. If it is not possible to provide plastic containers. For all the above reasons. animals forage in it. which results in the above mentioned environmental and sanitary problems. waste becomes scattered around it. 82 . They are stationary closed metal containers with an incorporated waste compaction device. and are handled by special vehicles. Figure 13 – Brooks dumpster outside a low income community settlement Compaction containers represent a more appropriate solution than brooks dumpsters for pre-collection storage of domestic solid waste in such special areas. and when they do have one. there can be fires due to acts of vandalism and a bad odour is produced. Such problems result from a series of factors.

The limit of 120 litres was established to correspond with the capacity of the smallest plastic container with lid and wheels that is available on the market. It is practical for containers used by large generators to be different in colour and size from those used for normal collections in order to facilitate supervision (for example.7. in general two main types of large container with a capacity of more than 360 litres are used: 83 . 7.7 Pre-collection storage of waste produced by large generators Where a specific regulation specifies that commercial and industrial establishments generating more than 120 litres of solid waste per day are categorized as “large generators”. provides technical support and supervises the quality of the operation. The body responsible for urban cleaning pays for the services undertaken. In some cities. For collections from large generators and public establishments. Solid waste preparation and storage Figure 14 – Compaction container system It is advisable to establish a team of workers to operate a system for maintaining clean and hygienic conditions in the most problematic poor communities. The associations hire their own employees and are responsible for the management of the work. One of the conditions of this type of contract is that local labour is employed so that local jobs are generated and the community’s awareness of these issues increases as it becomes directly responsible for the cleaning of the settlement. Satisfactory results from this type of program have led to its implementation in almost all of Rio de Janeiro’s informal settlements. Rio de Janeiro for example. contracts are established with residents associations in low income communities whereby they undertake the operation of domestic waste collection and cleaning services for internal streets. blue containers for large generators and orange containers for normal collections). containers for the pre-collection storage of such waste should be standardized.

! metal or plastic (high density polyethylene) containers on wheels that are taken to collection vehicles and mechanically emptied into them. space that could be used to deposit non-recyclable types of waste. These metal containers have a capacity of 3 to 30 m³. construction rubble is normally stored in stationary metal containers of 4 or 5m³. and can be equipped with electric devices for compaction. similar to those used for storing public waste.8 Special domestic waste pre-collection storage Construction rubble Due to its high apparent specific weight. generally metal.500 litres. and therefore the size of containers needed to store it. a significant problem is caused for the circulation of passers-by and vehicles as well as for parking vehicles. Containers of up to 5m³ are emptied into collection trucks by means of steel cables powered by hydraulic devices. In addition construction rubble uses a lot of space in sanitary landfills. Interchangeable containers are moved by dumpster carrier trucks with multifunctional cranes or by roll-on /roll-off type trucks. In general these containers have a capacity of 760. ! stationary containers without wheels. Figure 15 – Double dumpster carrier truck with interchangeable containers Figure 16 Roll-on /roll-off truck 7. the reduction of waste and the reuse of it and its by-products are fundamental to the new approaches that society must adopt. Due to the large volumes of rubble. Within the concept of sustainable development established by Agenda 21. The very large containers (20 to 30 m³) are moved by roll-on/roll-off truck equipment either with steel cables pulled by a winch or by hydraulic cylinders.150 or 1. in which cases they are informally referred to as “compactainers”. that are interchangeable or are emptied into collection trucks. The biggest challenges presented by construction rubble are: 84 . 1.

Batteries Partially discharged batteries must be stored in such a way that their electrodes do not come into contact with the electrodes of other batteries or with metal objects such as the internal sides of a metal drum. The large numbers and variety of devices that use batteries. and their treatment and final disposal. Any legal measures implemented for the regulation of such a system must set a specific timeframe for these stakeholders to establish operational mechanisms for the collection. and must be kept on platforms or pallets in order to keep them dry. which is explosive in contact with the air. commercial outlets and technical assistance networks. transport and final disposal of batteries should be taken on by producers. collection. treatment and final disposal systems. recycling. Storage containers should be located in places with good ventilation and protection from the elements. have resulted in them often ending up together with the general domestic waste in sanitary landfills where they contaminate the environment. 85 . stored and handled. responsibility for the storage. Due to their toxicity and the difficulties involved in stopping them being discarded in domestic refuse. together with their small size and the general public’s lack of knowledge about the dangers that they pose. Such legislation should reflect the “polluter pays” principle. ! to reuse generated rubble in the productive cycle thus reducing the consumption of energy and natural resources. Solid waste preparation and storage ! to reduce the amount of rubble generated thus reducing the use of limited space available for disposal. transport and storage of discarded batteries.7. importers. Legislation should also establish a timeframe within which producers and importers of batteries must implement reuse. Fluorescent tubes Fluorescent tubes also require specific legislation to regulate the way in which they are discarded. Partially discharged nickel-cadmium batteries must be individually pre-wrapped in plastic bags. Containers with stored batteries must be sealed to avoid the release of hydrogen.

tubes should not be broken or physically modified. details of the transport company and the recycling company. accompanied by the following information: ! ! ! source (name and address of company or institution). producers and importers of tyres should be obliged to collect and dispose of discarded tyres in an environmentally sound way. Tyre storage should respect the following guidelines: ! tyres should not be accumulated but should be sent for disposal at the time that they are discarded. if possible plastic ones. number of tubes sent. this should be done in covered areas protected from the elements. ! if it is necessary to keep them. date dispatched. once a sufficient number of tubes has been accumulated they should be sent for recycling.Procedures for handling fluorescent tubes that contain mercury must respect the following requirements: ! intact tubes should be stored in boxes. Discarded tyres have been used as fuel in furnaces for the production of cement and also to produce asphalt. ! ! ! ! if a tube breaks. and following the example of the system for dealing with batteries. in a reserved area to avoid them being broken. ! they should never be burned. ! broken tubes should be stored in sealed containers and labelled in the following way: “Broken fluorescent tubes containing mercury”. a record of these invoices must be kept for at least three years. 86 . ! all boxes should be labelled. One of the principal problems with the storage of tyres for collection or recycling is that they accumulate water when left out in the open and thus facilitate the proliferation of disease vectors. Tyres Due to problems associated with the inappropriate disposal of tyres. the pieces of glass must be removed and the area must be washed.

Solid waste preparation and storage 7. Radioactive waste The handling and storing of radioactive waste must comply with the stipulations of the national body responsible for the control and supervision of this type of waste. 240. 360. 87 . ! ! ! standardized plastic containers of 120. concrete.600 litres for waste that allows for the use of returnable containers. or other situations of risk identified by the body responsible for sanitary vigilance. flexible containers. It is therefore necessary to establish permanent sanitary vigilance and handle waste in a particularly hygienic manner. Medical waste The handling of medical waste (see table 4) must follow specific regulations that stipulate procedures for waste segregation at source. In normal conditions. Port and airport waste From a sanitary perspective ports and airports are places where not only people and goods disembark but also diseases. i. which include the following requirements: ! personnel handling this type of waste must use the obligatory minimum individual protection equipment. handling and storage of waste follows the same procedures and uses the same receptacles as those for domestic waste. bags. ! medium-sized cardboard boxes of up to 50 litre capacity for waste to be incinerated. etc. storage and management. 750. special methods must be applied to the handling of personal waste and goods coming from countries with epidemics.e.9 Special origin waste pre-collection storage Industrial waste Industrial waste is usually stored in: ! 200 litre metal drums for non-corrosive solid waste. ! containers must be radiation proof (lead. However in cases of quarantine alert. 200 or 300 litre plastic drums for corrosive solid waste or semi-solid waste in general. usually of woven polypropylene.).7.100 and 1. 1. with a large storage capacity almost always of more than 1m³.

Plastic bags should comply with established colour code specifications. Infectious waste must in general be put in well identified strong impermeable plastic bags at the moment of its generation. Special waste should be stored in receptacles that guarantee its physical integrity. non-recyclable cream – infectious or special waste (except radioactive waste) ! ! Figure 17 – Plastic bags for medical waste 88 . In Brazil the criteria are the following: ! transparent – common waste. recyclable opaque colours – common waste. An example that illustrates this is the case of municipal hospitals in Rio de Janeiro where. A lack of care when handling infectious waste is the principal cause of infections in hospitals. They should be strong. Puncturing and sharp waste (needles. Infectious waste represents between 10 and 15 % of all waste but carries a high contamination risk while common waste does not require any special treatment. Pre-collection storage of common waste follows the same procedures as for domestic waste.) must be separately discarded at source in rigid containers with hermetic lids and a clear identification of the type of waste that they contain. etc. the rate of hospitalization due to such infections diminished by 80%. glass.The principal procedure is the segregation at source of infectious and common waste. rigid plastic containers with hermetic lids and a clear identification of the type of waste that they contain. after the introduction of clear infectious waste segregation procedures.

7. Solid waste preparation and storage

Subsequently the plastic bags must be placed in containers that can be easily moved to a temporary storage facility. These containers must be white for infectious waste and any other colour for common waste.

Figure 18 – Infectious waste containers

Temporary storage facilities must have tiled floors and walls and rounded corners to facilitate the washing of floors and walls.

Figure 19 – Temporary storage facility for infectious waste containers

Personnel handling infectious waste (except radioactive and hazardous chemical waste, which are not the responsibility of urban cleaning systems) should use the following individual protection equipment (IPE):
! ! ! ! !

plastic apron; plastic gloves; PVC boots (for floor and wall washing) or closed shoes; goggles; mask.



Solid waste collection and transport


8. Solid waste collection and transport

8.1 8.1.1

Domestic waste collection and transport Concept
Collection is the removal of waste stored by the generator for dispatch by appropriate transport to a transfer station, treatment unit or final disposal site. The collection and transportation of domestic waste generated in households and small-sized public, commercial or service establishments is generally undertaken by the municipal body responsible for urban cleaning. Municipalities may provide these services through their own resources, concessions to companies, outsourcing to companies, or mixed systems such as rented vehicles and municipal labour. It is recommended that solid waste from large generators (establishments that produce more than 120 litres of waste a day) is collected by private companies, registered and authorized by the municipality, without any cost to the public system.

Hotels and restaurants are examples of large solid waste generators in tourist cities.

Common domestic waste collection can be defined as the collection of refuse produced in residential, public and commercial buildings, provided that the latter do not represent large generators.


Collection regularity
Domestic waste collection services to each building should be regular, always on the same days of the week and at the same times. When services are regular, citizens will become accustomed to taking waste containers or bags out to the pavement in front of their building a short time before the collection vehicle passes. Consequently domestic waste is not left exposed in the street for more time than is necessary, thus avoiding the presence of unsightly waste in the street and its scattering by animals or people.

In tourist cities special attention should be paid to the amount of time that waste remains in the street, due to the importance of aesthetics, unpleasant odour emissions and the danger of attracting disease vectors and animals.

Regular collection is therefore one of the principal requirements for a good quality service.


In cities that have the means to weigh collected waste, the regularity of collections can be mathematically verified by comparing the weight of waste over two or three consecutive weeks. The weight of waste collected on the same day of each week (for example the weight of the waste collected on a Monday compared with that of the waste collected the following Monday) should not vary by more than 10%. Similarly, the distance travelled by collection vehicles should be more or less constant on the same day of different weeks as the itinerary of each particular day of the week is always the same (with the same number of journeys to the waste destination point). Collection irregularities are clearly indicated by accumulations of waste in the streets and by the amounts of complaints received. The ideal for a domestic solid waste collection system is therefore to establish fixed collection times and inform the entire community of them through individual communications to the responsible person in each building and even the posting of notices in the streets. The community will come to trust the reliability of the collection service and will then cooperate by not discarding waste in inappropriate places, by storing waste for collection in appropriate receptacles and by putting it out in the appropriate place on the day and at the time stipulated, all of which will contribute to increased environmental hygiene and public health, and the cleanliness and improved appearance of the street.


Collection frequency
For climatic reasons, in most Latin American and Caribbean cities the interval between domestic waste generation and its final disposal should be of no more than one week in order to avoid bad odours and the proliferation of flies, rodents and other animals attracted by the waste.

This situation is exacerbated in cities that use transfer stations (see chapter 9) as waste is stored there for one or two days before being transported to the landfill where it is finally covered with earth at the end of the day it arrives. If domestic waste collection frequency is three times a week, the waste produced for example on a Saturday may not be collected until the following Tuesday (three days later). If it is then stored in the transfer station for two days and one more day is required for its burial in the landfill, the total number of days between generation and final disposal can be as many as six. Consequently, the minimum collection frequency recommended for warm weather countries is three times a week.

Twice weekly collections, which are very common in suburban areas of Latin American and Caribbean cities, should therefore be avoided. Budgetary restrictions represent one of the main obstacles that municipal administrations face in their attempts to provide sufficiently frequent services. The capacity of households to store solid waste also has to be taken into consideration. In informal settlements and other low income communities, houses do not have the


8. Solid waste collection and transport

capacity (due to limited space) to store waste for more than one day. The same problem is faced in city centres where commercial and service provision establishments not only have insufficient storage space but also produce a considerable amount of waste. In all such cases daily waste collection is preferable.


Collection times
To significantly reduce costs and optimize the use of collection vehicle fleets, if possible, collection should always be done in two shifts. To obtain maximum performance the ideal usage of the collection fleet would be:

Collection days
Monday, Wednesday and Friday Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday

First shift
¼ of the routes ¼ of the routes

Second shift
¼ of the routes ¼ of the routes

If for example, 24 collection routes are established, with a collection frequency of three times a week, the number of collection vehicles required would be 24÷4= 6 (with an additional reserve representing at least 10% of the operational fleet, in this example one extra vehicle).

It is recommended that the day is divided into two 12 hours periods with one eight hour working shift in each period. The first shift for example, could begin at 07.00 hrs and the second at 19.00 hrs, so that there would be an interval for maintenance and repair services between the two shifts. In many Latin American and Caribbean cities the ideal of two waste collection shifts per day is not possible due to the type of urbanization that exists in some neighbourhoods where, for example, access streets are precarious and street lighting is scarce, which can make a nocturnal collection shift impossible. The issue of urban violence should also be considered here.

In streets and public areas where sweeping services are not frequent the cleanliness of the collection operation is very important, that is, it is necessary to collect the refuse put out for collection without leaving any refuse scattered in the street.

Whenever possible, sweeping should be done after a collection to remove any refuse that may have been left scattered in the area.


In the case of a collection truck with compaction facility the motor should not be revved up to accelerate the cycle of compaction but should at all times have its automatic acceleration device functioning. 94 .In central and commercial zones collection should take place at night when the circulation of people and vehicles has diminished. A team is the group of workers assigned to a collection vehicle to perform solid waste collection activities. In the future more modern and silent vehicles may be needed.1. The team leader’s stop/start commands should be given through a switch at the back of the truck connected to a light in the drivers cab. changes in the characteristics of neighbourhoods and an irregular collection service. reflecting the tendency for higher productivity with private labour. so that the physical effort required of the different teams is equivalent. Several elements should be taken into account. Municipal teams tend to have more members than those of private companies that provide collection services. 8. The determination of collection times should also take into account the parking of private vehicles in streets. In purely residential neighbourhoods it is preferable that collection takes place during the day but avoiding the times when there is more traffic on the principal roads. The truck’s engine should always be well tuned and its silencer in good condition.5 Restructuring domestic collection routes Some of the factors that indicate a need for the restructuring of collection routes are: increases or decreases in the population. particularly in large urban centres. electric ones perhaps. Equilibrium between routes The tasks assigned to each collection team have to represent the same amount of work. The collection team should be instructed not to raise their voices. During night time collections all necessary measures should be taken to reduce noise. In tourist cities collections should avoid the hours of peak tourist activity in relevant locations. to respond to an ever more demanding general public. such as: Collection teams In Latin American and Caribbean cities teams have from two to five members per truck.

In both cases. daily per capita waste generation can be calculated. Solid waste collection and transport In zones with high concentrations of waste collectors carry a lot of weight but walk relatively short distances.80 kg/inhab/day (see chapter 5. depending on the socioeconomic stratum of the inhabitants. public establishments and commercial premises. Using data projection based on the latest available census. As has already been mentioned. It should also be taken into account that different workers have different physical constitutions and teams should be balanced in this respect. 95 . The location of the fleet garage is another factor to be heeded in planning. Each of these sub-areas can then represent the same amount of work and working time. whereas in zones with low concentrations of waste they carry less weight but walk further. given the great variations between the different zones of a city.8. Data collection must include statistical data from high. Collection route starting points Routes should be laid out in such a way that teams begin at the point farthest from the destination of the waste so that as they work they are diminishing the remaining distance to be covered. as this data is essential for an effective restructuring of regular waste collection routes. table 6 – Frequently used categories for determining per capita solid waste generation). The physical notion involved is that of “work”: work = force x distance The restructuring method described here is one of the more simple ones and consists of the division of the area to be restructured into “sub-areas” with a similar demographic density and waste concentration (measured in kg/m). Verification of the amount of domestic waste generated It is important to verify the amount of solid waste that is generated in households. a certain technical rigour should be applied to the determination of this rate as it can vary between 0.50 and 0.00kg per person per day in different areas of the city. the amount of calories consumed can be approximately the same. ideally a more precise technical evaluation of this parameter should be made. Although it is possible to calculate the per capita domestic waste generation rate through the simplified method explained in chapter 5. In most small and medium-sized Latin American and Caribbean cities the average per capita generation is between 0. Such variations could distort the dimensions of collection routes which would then require considerable adjustment during the implementation phase of a new collection program. medium and low income neighbourhoods.35kg and 1.

for example 100 litres. Lack of a weighbridge to weigh waste If there is no weighbridge to weigh truck loads of solid waste at its destination.000kg/day This data is essential for calculating the required number of vehicles in the domestic waste collection fleet. The number of times that the receptacle is emptied into the collection truck is counted to determine how many times it is filled during a collection from one street block. recording times.70kg and the population is 200. This method consists of: ! doing the cubing per block on the days of the week with more waste production. is used. ! test the new routes in practice. the weight of waste generated daily for collection will be: 200.Where for example the daily per capita solid waste generation is 0.000 inhabitants x 0. can be used to restructure collection routes on the basis of the volume of collected waste. In practice. 96 . Should this prove impossible. repeating this process for each trip in each shift. so that necessary adjustments can be made. In this way the total number of receptacles per trip and the number of trips per shift. ! on pronounced slopes collections should be made beginning at the top and working downwards to save the energy of the team and the fuel of the truck. ! progressively adding up the number of receptacles per street block. until the truck is full. The calculation of per capita waste generation can be done at the same time as studies to determine solid waste characteristics. see example in figure 20. per vehicle can be determined. ! writing down on a map the number of receptacles per street block. When the restructuring plans are ready the new routes can be used for two weeks. called cubing. in general Mondays and Tuesdays. a simplified approximate method.000. To calculate the amount of waste by cubing a standard receptacle of known capacity.70kg/inhab/day = 140. the restructuring of collection routes can be more complex and involve other variables that the planner has to take into account. after which problematic details can be adjusted. an alternative should be sought such as gaining access to the weighbridge of a company or public body. following the itinerary of the route. and is repeatedly filled and emptied until all collected waste has passed through it.

See figure 21 for an example of a rational collection route (heuristic method) Figure 21 .Example A street block is each one of the sides of a block in the city.8. Collection route layouts tend to be arrived at through the “heuristic” method. Routes should be designed through successive experimentation with a view to finding the optimum one that at the same time responds to conditions such as the direction of one-way streets. that is those along which there is no waste to collect. the avoidance of left turns in two-way streets and duplicated or unproductive stretches. Solid waste collection and transport Figure 20 . taking into account the direction of traffic. Collection route layouts Collection routes should be laid out in such a way that unproductive stretches are minimized. pronounced slopes and ease of access and manoeuvre for the vehicles.Heuristic method collection route layout 97 .

II and III.400 14.325 4.250 13.141 - Weight of waste Kg (2) 16.200 17.275 - 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 Averages Totals * hours calculated in decimals ** kg/m = waste concentration 98 . Sub-area II I – Commercial sub-area Sub-area I II – Predominantly residential sub-area III – Hills sub-area Sub-area III Figure 22 Table 13 Current routes – Mondays and Tuesdays Routes Length of route m (1) 14.667 1. analyzing the collected data.600 18.13 Kg/Worker (2)/(4) 4.169 1.120 18.18 1.08 1.100 153.012 1.977 2.180 14. restructuring routes based on: ! ! ! the elimination (or minimization) of overtime. covered in two shifts three times a week by two compaction vehicles.828 1.100 3.500 18.851 2.01 8. Let us suppose that in sub-area II there are currently eight collection routes. for example.19 1.36 10.20 0.350 3.900 4. the new weight of waste for collection per shift.870 15.65 9.72 8.20 7.875 4.Collection route restructuring method This method consists of: ! ! ! ! dividing the city in sub-areas.040 13. The data for the current program can be seen in table 13.300 17.410 15.300 19.75 8.600 16.96 1.17 1.99 9.15 1. the concentration of waste in each area.550 4.839 1.900 Average time of work hrs* (3) 8.12 1.000 1.915 Kg/m** (2)/(1) 1.575 4.78 8.660 15.525 4. sub-areas I.100 17.93 - Workers per team (4) 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 - Rates Kg/hr (2)/(3) 2. surveying and systematizing the characteristics of each route.400 15. A city where the collection routes need to be restructured has to be divided into subareas of similar demographic density.

in practice two routes more. applying the formula: LxC=W Where: L = length of route (m) C = waste concentration (kg/m) W = average weight of future routes (kg) 99 . As in future the area will be covered by 10 routes.336kg W08 = 1.343kg.343kg As the weight that can be collected in an eight hour work shift is 15. the weight to be collected per working shift can be calculated assuming no change in the productivity of collectors.343kg/ route. Solid waste collection and transport With a normal work shift of 8 hours. Therefore: W01 = 2. W = kg/h x Ts Where Ts is the duration of the work shift (8hours in this case). Wednesdays and Fridays and the other on Tuesdays.169 x 8 = 17.096kg W07 = 1.839 x 8 = 14.343kg = 2. uncollected waste would amount to: 153.624kg Total weight 112.667 x 8 = 13. the average weight per route will be: 153. one on Mondays. the length of each route is multiplied by the waste concentration until obtaining an approximate weight of 15.000 x 8 = 16.744kg = 31.808kg W06 = 2. Thursdays and Saturdays.352kg W05 = 1.744kg Average weight 15.828 x 8 = 14.000kg W02 = 1.8.156kg As the average collection weight for new routes would be approximately 15.816kg W04 = 2. it can be seen that the time used to complete the routes is too much and therefore requires overtime (based on the supposition that the collection is done regularly).900kg ÷ 10 routes = 15. To achieve this. it will be necessary to initiate: 31.156kg ÷ 15.977 x 8 = 15.851 x 8 = 14.03 new routes That is.390kg/future route Future routes should be marked on the map taking into account the concentration of waste in each area (expressed in kg/m).900kg – 112.390kg/route.712kg W03 = 1.012 x 8 = 16. If the objective is to finish the collection in eight hours and thus avoid overtime.

a loading compartment capacity of at least 1. adequate carrying capacity to minimize the number of journeys to the waste destination while at the same time being appropriate for the characteristics of the operational area.In the example.5 So. lifting devices to empty different types of containers. the average load per journey would be 15. Fluctuations in the number of tourists also have to be taken into account as they cause increases or decreases in waste production. A good domestic waste collection vehicle should have the following characteristics: ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! that it does not spill waste or leachate on the street.20m from the floor. rear loading (preferably). adequate space for transporting the team. 8. without compaction – with the box closed by sliding doors.5m³. the possibility of emptying at least two receptacles at the same time. good manoeuvrability and potency for steep inclines. For example. if on Mondays and Tuesdays two journeys are necessary. When it is raining the weight of waste increases by 20%.695kg. fast unloading of waste at its destination. a compaction rate of at least 3:1.390kg ÷ 2 = 7. that is 3m³ are reduced by compaction to 1m³. three vehicles can be used during the first shift and two during the second. The number of vehicles will be: number of routes ÷ 4 = 2. 100 . Particularly in smaller cities with limited budgetary resources conventional open dump trucks are frequently used as well as other equipment described later.6 Collection vehicles There are two types of specialized vehicle in general use for domestic waste collection and transport: ! ! compactors – rear loader or side loader. the average weight of the future routes will be approximately 15. even load distribution on the truck’s chassis.1. a waist high loading height of no more than 1.390kg. The type and capacity of the vehicles depend on the number of journeys that are necessary to the final disposal site.

The risk of being run over is high and efficient preventative measures must always be taken.8. In compactor vehicles it is essential to always take precautions with the compaction mechanism. sometimes this is not an option for operational or economic reasons.Containers being emptied into a compaction truck Solid waste collection operations involve dangers for the collection personnel. Every time the vehicle stops the team is exposed to the risk of injury through other vehicles colliding with the rear of the collection truck. the most recommendable technical solution is to use compactor collection vehicles wherever possible. However.). In addition adequate space should always be available on the truck for the collection team. 101 . Therefore. Some vehicles and equipment in general use for domestic waste collection are described below. topography. etc. manoeuvring conditions. The vehicle that is chosen should be the one with more of the above listed characteristics while taking into account the particular conditions of the service provision area (the condition of the streets. In such cases the most cost efficient type of vehicle and equipment should be selected. Solid waste collection and transport Figure 23 . due to the characteristics of a particular urban area.

15 or 19m³ corresponding to a truck TGWs of 9. 12. 12. 102 . The box volume can vary from 4 to 12m³ corresponding to a truck total gross weight (TGW) of from 7 to 12 tons. are made of steel and have a capacity of 6. It can also be used in areas with pronounced inclines. appropriate for working in small communities with a low demographic density. unpaved and potholed surfaces. 10. 14. 16 and 23 tons respectively. which is more than two metres high. Figure 24 .Closed box collection trucks A solid waste collection vehicle without compaction. It requires great physical effort from the collection team who have to lift the waste up to the edge of the box. much higher than the compactor collector loading compartment height of approximately one metre. or roads unsuitable for heavy vehicles. This type of vehicle is used for domestic. This truck represents a low cost option in terms of both purchase and maintenance but has quite a low productivity. especially in zones where there are high concentrations of solid waste from large generators or a high demographic density. Total gross weight (TGW) = chassis weight + box weight + load weight.Closed box truck Compactor collection trucks Solid waste compactor collection trucks. public and commercial waste collection. They may have hydraulic devices for the automatic and independent unloading of standardized containers. which are usually rear loaders but can be side loaders. Its use can be limited by unfavourable road conditions such as irregular layouts. Unloading is by hydraulic box tipping.

Rear loader compactor collection truck – 10 to 15m³ Figure 27 . Solid waste collection and transport Figure 25 .8.Rear loader compactor collection truck – 19m³ Dumpster carrier trucks for 5m³ stationary containers Domestic waste collection systems that employ 5m³ stationary containers replaced by dumpster carrier trucks with multifunctional crane are appropriate for zones with low quality houses or difficult access.Side loader compactor collection truck – 6m³ Figure 26 . Containers are located at strategic points close to 103 .

Stationary compactor (compaction container) collection trucks For the collection of large volumes of domestic waste special stationary metal containers incorporating a compaction device can be used.that transport only one 5m³ stationary container at a time. the volume of which can vary from 4 to 12 m³ in trucks that correspondingly vary from 7 to 12 tons TGW. These containers are called stationary compactors.Compactor container Traditional dump truck type collection vehicles These open box vehicles without a compaction device and not specifically designed for domestic solid waste collection are frequently used in small communities with a low demographic density and in areas of rough topography where it is difficult to manoeuvre bigger compactor trucks. in general have capacity for 7 to 20m³ of loose waste and are transported on special vehicles. There are two types of dumpster carrier truck with differing operational capacity: ! ! single . compaction containers offer aesthetic. unloading is by tipping the box.that can transport two 5m³ stationary containers at the same time. As with closed box collection trucks. The 7m³ capacity stationary compactors can be transported by dumpster carrier trucks with multifunctional crane. 104 .the communities they serve but with easy access for the dumpster carrier trucks that replace loaded containers with empty ones. while those with greater capacity are transported by roll-on / roll-off trucks. double . In big cities this system is slowly replacing the system of open stationary containers transported by dumpster carrier trucks with multifunctional crane because. sanitary and economic advantages. Figure 28 . being more hermetic and having a greater waste storage capacity.

etc. due to the low level of waste production.7 Tools and implements used by collectors It is important that collection teams collect domestic waste without leaving any of it scattered around. aesthetic and sanitary advantages when compared with other more conventional systems. 105 . Special solid waste storage systems serviced by dump trucks equipped with a hydraulic crane are now available on the market. Solid waste collection and transport This type of vehicle is attractive for small municipalities due to its operational flexibility. canvas or plastic sheeting can be used but in practice the efficiency of this is questionable as it significantly reduces the productivity of the collection team. The main disadvantage for domestic waste collection is that the box is open and it is therefore difficult to keep the load inside it (particularly lighter waste) and avoid it being scattered by the wind along the route. and is therefore appropriate for small cities where. However it is necessary to carry out a viability study before implementing this system as it requires significant initial investment for purchasing the containers.Dump truck with crane moving a special “Molok” container 8.1. In order to minimize this problem. plastic bags. Figure 29 shows this system in operation. including in informal settlements. Another advantage is its low purchase and maintenance costs. It can be used for various different activities. Amongst them is the “Molok” system that can be considered as an option in special situations. not only waste collection. Productivity is also negatively affected by the loading height of the box and this too should be considered. Figure 29 . For this purpose medium-sized sweeper brooms and shovels should be used. a specialized vehicle would be unused for significant periods of time.8. due to its operational.

for which purpose hand carts made of steel tubing with a metal container (sweeper cart). The method. vehicles and equipment to be used in collection depend on the specific nature of each individual cleaning operation. waste packed in plastic bags.A medium sized sweeper broom has a wooden base with 22 holes into which natural fibres or recycled plastic bristles are fixed. 8.2. on pronounced inclines. These days the latter are increasingly being used.1 Concept Public solid waste collection includes the collection and transport of waste gathered as a result of routine and emergency street cleaning activities.2. Figure 30 . waste stored in wheelie bins or dumpsters. pruning and special waste collection (for example waste and mud deposited in the street by flooding). such as sweeping. Differences in specific weight and other physical characteristics of waste demand different solutions for loading (manual or mechanical) and transport to a transfer station or final disposal unit. 8.2 Collection of waste gathered by sweeping Waste collected by street sweeping can be transported by the sweepers while performing the service. wheelbarrow and wheelie bin 106 . There are three basic categories that determine the collection method for public waste: ! ! ! loose waste accumulated on the ground. weeding. wheelie bins or.Sweeper cart. wheelbarrows may be used. the type of waste generated and the form of storage.2 Public solid waste collection and transport 8.

8. Solid waste collection and transport

In all cases it is recommendable that waste, which mostly comprises light material that can be easily scattered by the wind, is stored in plastic bags for collection. They can then be collected by compactor trucks (rear loaders or side loaders), which are especially appropriate in large cities due to the high productivity of this type of vehicle and the large volume of waste to be collected. The collection of this type of waste at the same time as domestic solid waste represents an important device for rationalizing collection and transport costs. Vehicles without compaction devices can also be used: closed box trucks, traditional dump trucks or dumpster carrier trucks that can handle stationary containers. Because sweeping is undertaken in the more urbanized zones of the city it is important to carefully plan the collection of this type of waste so that it remains on the street for the minimum possible time, bearing in mind that a slower collection process could adversely affect the municipal administration’s image of efficiency. As sweeping has to be done in each zone as a programmed routine on pre-established days and at specified times, it is completely feasible to integrate it with collection. To determine the quantity of waste collected by street sweeping, it is necessary to do a field survey in order to identify the average generation per sweeping route and, on that basis, calculate the production of each sector. The generation of waste collected by sweeping is influenced by various factors such as the predominant usage of the street or public space, the level of environmental education of passers by, the type and state of the surfacing on the street and pavement, as well as the characteristics of any trees. Depending on the type of trees, the generation of street waste can increase considerably due to seasonal factors, that is, the falling of leaves and fruit onto pavements and streets.


Collection of waste from weeding and vegetation cutting
Weeding and vegetation cutting activities generate vegetation waste that usually accumulates in piles along the section of a street where the work has taken place. From there it is carried by hand to the box of the collection truck (generally a conventional dump truck). An operational alternative that is sometimes adopted is to locate an open stationary container near to the area where the work is taking place so that waste can be deposited in it as the work advances. Such containers are subsequently removed by dumpster carrier trucks with multifunctional crane.

When the dimensions of collection and transport services are being determined the low specific weight of this type of waste should be taken into account as it results in the load capacity of the collection truck being under used. The integration of this waste’s collection with the collection of soil and sands that have accumulated on the streets is an option for utilizing the truck’s full load capacity.


The identification of nearby locations appropriate for the disposal of this waste, eroded areas for example, can also reduce the cost of transport, but appropriate sanitary and environmental care should always be taken in disposing of it. The necessary dimensions of the collection fleet are assessed by experienced operators during a pre-operational visit to the site on which weeding and land clearing services will be undertaken.


Tree pruning waste collection
Tree pruning is often linked with the municipal urban cleaning sector. Due to the nature of this activity it usually requires the support of a truck to transport tools, implements and labour. It is therefore often natural that the same truck is used to collect the waste generated as work progresses. This type of waste includes loose leaves, small branches and thick trunks, and its physical characteristics mean that when it is loaded into the box of the truck many spaces are left unoccupied. Due to this low specific weight, the collection and transport operation is relatively expensive and involves low productivity. As with the disposal of weeding and land clearing waste, disposal sites that are near to the generation site can be sought for pruning waste. The load can be prepared for collection at the generation site using standard pruning tools (machetes, saws and chain saws) to make the material more homogeneous and to prepare part of the waste for reuse (the thicker trunks, for example). Recently new technological alternatives have been incorporated in pruning operations to address the low productivity and high cost of collection and transport in cities that produce large amounts of such waste. A branch grinder can be an important component of an economical and environmentally sound operational solution to this problem. This is a robust and compact machine, available in towable models, that can reduce by up to ten times the volume of a pruning waste load. Another advantage of this system is that the ground waste is easy to dispose of in appropriate nearby locations as the final product has a low granulometry and can be used as coverage for natural soil, minimizing erosion risks and incorporating organic matter. Pruning operations tend to use a fixed box truck with a special elevation platform to raise the worker for the cutting of higher tree branches.


8. Solid waste collection and transport


Collection of rubble and other construction waste
This type of service can be provided directly by the public administration or by authorized private companies. In the latter case previous authorization is needed so that the identity of service providers is known and their activities can be overseen on an ongoing basis in order to prevent the clandestine disposal of waste in inappropriate places. Basically there are two types of situation that require rubble collection services:

where rubble has been clandestinely disposed of in the street, on wastelands or on the banks of bodies of water;


where generators of this type of waste request or contract services.

In the first case it is clearly the responsibility of the public administration to collect construction rubble that has been indiscriminately disposed of in the city, a responsibility that requires the urban cleaning body to maintain the necessary infrastructure for this purpose. Where requests for collection are made by generators it is recommended that this service is provided by the municipal urban cleaning system only to small volume generators (there should be a specific municipal regulation on this subject). Where construction works produce larger amounts of rubble the “polluter pays” principle should be applied. Whoever provides the service it should be scheduled, with the cooperation of the generator, for the day and time most appropriate for waste collection taking into account factors such as the traffic flow and parking conditions in the street closest to the place of generation. Service provision should be organized not only to coordinate requests that have been granted and to incorporate field survey data, but also to ensure a rational route that minimizes unproductive journeys and maximizes operational productivity. Construction rubble collection is in general undertaken by conventional dump trucks or 5m³ stationary containers transported by dumpster carrier trucks with multifunctional crane.


Special collections
This type of service is necessary in certain situations, which regrettably are common in Latin American and Caribbean cities, where inappropriate waste accumulation sites or clandestine rubbish dumps arise, generally located on wasteland or unoccupied plots. The expression “rubbish attracts more rubbish” summarizes the underlying causes of this type of accumulation: small volumes of pruning waste for example are left in a particular place, this may then be added to by other people disposing of construction rubble there. Subsequently local residents add plastic bags of residential waste and in a short time there is a large accumulation of waste that causes serious sanitary and environmental impacts.


In general the existence of waste accumulation sites and clandestine refuse dumps results from operational defects in the regular domestic waste collection and street cleaning system together with deficiencies in the supervision of municipal activities. The lack of attention to these issues by those responsible for urban cleaning means that the causes of this serious problem are not addressed but only its consequences, and thus new cases repeatedly arise necessitating more and more special collection services.

Due to the large amount of waste that accumulates on such sites, collection operations may require mechanical loading equipment (mechanical loader), rather than a manual operation, and large vehicles for collection and transport to the final disposal site.


Vehicles and equipment used for collection
Dumpster carrier trucks with multifunctional crane for handling 7 ton containers
A truck (minimum total gross weight 13.5 tons) with a mounted minimum 7 ton capacity hydraulic crane for lifting and transporting open metal containers loaded with solid waste. These trucks can be single carriers to transport one container at a time or double carriers to transport two containers at a time. To be productive they have to operate over short distances between container locations and the unloading site.

Figure 31 - Dumpster carrier truck with multifunctional crane


8. Solid waste collection and transport

Short dump truck
A two axle vehicle for the collection of public waste, construction rubble and earth with a box of 5 to 8m³ capacity with a respective truck TGW of from 12 to 16 tons.

Figure 32 - Short dump truck

Long dump truck
A three axle vehicle for the collection of public waste, construction rubble and earth. The box generally has a 12m³ capacity and the truck a TGW of 23 tons. This truck is usually loaded by a mechanical loader to reduce human effort and increase productivity.

Figure 33 - Long dump truck

Roll-on / roll-off container carrier truck
A collection truck with devices for lifting 10 to 30m³ stationary containers without a compaction device (figure 16). Each vehicle should handle six containers for its productivity to justify its use. These three axle trucks should have a TGW of 23 tons.


It is loaded by mechanical loader and is unloaded at the final destination by box tipping. Figure 34 . It can be used to transport rubble or in support of large earth or mud collection operations. and to load dump trucks.5m³ are normally used. Figure 35 . while for loading semi-trailers it is advisable to use machines with a 3m³ scoop to increase productivity and because of the higher loading level. For street operations machines with a scoop capacity of 1. dumper boxes and semi-trailers in street cleaning operations and at waste accumulation sites. A semi-trailer is a trailer the front part of which has to be supported on a towing vehicle called a semi-trailer truck.Semi-trailer A semi-trailer dumper with capacity of 25m³ pulled by a 4x2 truck with a 45 ton pulling capacity. A canvas or plastic sheet should cover the top of the box to avoid waste being scattered in the road by the wind while the vehicle is moving. mud and waste. rubble.Mechanical loader 112 .Semi-trailer Mechanical loader A wheeled tractor loader used to pile up earth.

Beaches In coastal cities where tourists tend to concentrate around the beaches. as the longer the interval between collections the greater the danger of waste accumulation sites appearing in the streets. within the limits imposed by employment legislation. ! ! ! an increase in the number of collection shifts. which impedes the movement of collection vehicles and increases the time taken to cover collection routes. the utilization of the reserve fleet in operations. this section will deal with the necessary procedures for maintaining the quality of domestic waste collection in tourist cities during the season of population influx. even though it may be attractive for economic reasons. Whenever possible the contracting of extra vehicles should be planned in advance to avoid overpricing.8. collection routes that cover streets bordering the sea should be revised and restructured in order to adapt them to seasonal requirements. the contracting of extra vehicles from private companies or individuals. As the usual fluctuations (weekly and monthly) have little effect on the size of the fleet that is needed.3 Waste collection in tourist cities The amount of waste to be collected varies according to tourist season related population fluctuations as well as the usual all year round fluctuations. Solid waste collection and transport 8. not only in regard to the increased amount of waste but also the frequency and times of collection. A reduction in the frequency of collections should never be considered. Other important factors to take into account are: Traffic In tourist cities the traffic is usually congested during holiday periods. Waste collection schedules should therefore be set for times when traffic is less heavy. The basic measures to take are: ! the introduction of overtime for collection workers. 113 . It is important to note that these measures should be taken in sequence in order to limit the increase in collection costs to a minimum. which are detrimental to the city’s sanitary and environmental condition and discourage tourists.

4 Solid waste collection in informal settlements There are informal settlements in many Latin American and Caribbean cities due to the poor socioeconomic conditions experienced by a significant sector of the population in the region.8.5m³ capacity trailers with metal or wooden boxes are feasible alternatives.Micro tractor Figure 37 . often with a pronounced incline. (4x4) – two axle vehicle with four wheel drive. Figure 36 . One solution to the problem of access through narrow internal streets. the tendency of inhabitants to discard waste immediately after generation as there is minimal space inside the houses. inadequate or nonexistent preparation and pre-collection storage of waste. Mini-tractors or agricultural tractors with 4x2 or 4x4 drive towing 2. (4x2) – two axle vehicle with rear wheel drive. is the use of special vehicles that are narrow. These factors have to be taken into account in planning alternative waste collection systems in these communities with a view to improving a situation that presents serious risks to public health and the environment. have good manoeuvrability and the capacity to deal with steep slopes. A lack of basic urban infrastructure in these communities causes significant obstacles for the provision of domestic waste collection services: ! ! ! difficult access for conventional collection trucks.Micro tractor and dump trailer 114 .

It has to be pointed out that in many of these communities it is not even possible to use the mini-tractors for collection due to a lack of passable access. preferably plastic containers with lid and wheels. The problem of pre-collection waste storage in these areas can be dealt with by siting containers along the micro tractor collection route. Appropriate internal transport and storage together with subsequent collection and external transport of waste complete the measures aimed at reducing infections.) are fundamental for the prevention of infections.8. In these cases. It is worth noting that contracting community collectors involves the principle of community participation as it encourages other residents to participate in the maintenance of the place where they are living as they may feel an obligation to keep public areas clean when it is one of their neighbours who is doing this work. 115 . 8. If appropriately clean conditions and supervision are not maintained there is a risk of people setting fire to the waste. which then selects the people who will work in the collection team (as well as carrying out weeding and channel cleaning tasks. body fluids and any waste from medical activities. When installing open containers in informal settlements it is necessary to take the precautions already mentioned in chapter 7 in order to avoid a prejudicial proliferation of insects and animals. roofs and furniture free of dust. clinics. veterinary clinics. In such cases collection should be manual.5 Collection of medical waste 8. the collected waste is transported to a temporary storage place where it is kept for subsequent transport to a final disposal site. In several cities the contracting of community collectors has produced good results. The frequency of collections should be carefully considered and ideally there should be only short intervals between them. etc. walls.). medical centres. with the waste being carried to some point that is accessible for some type of vehicle. etc. the municipality contracts the community centre. Solid waste collection and transport As these vehicles are not appropriate for long journeys. It is normally recommended that stationary containers are used for this temporary storage and they are then either transported by special collection vehicles (dumpster carrier trucks) or emptied into large compactor trucks. for example. Regular cleaning with germicide solutions keeps floors. daily collection being the best option.5.1 Acknowledgement of the problem Hygienic conditions in health service establishments (hospitals.

) should be stored in special receptacles specifically for this purpose. Table 14 Medical solid waste generation rates Place Chile Venezuela Argentina Peru Paraguay Brazil Rio de Janeiro Average generation kg/bed/day 0.80 2.85 – 3. etc. laboratories. nurses’ rooms.10 1. storerooms. laundries. ! non-critical areas: where in theory there is no risk of infection. in well closed plastic bags (generally coloured cream). 116 .98 Medical waste is classified as common.97 – 1.2 Segregation There are regulations that must be followed for the segregation of infectious and common waste in health service establishments: ! at the time of its generation all infectious waste should be put in a receptacle close to the place where it is produced.65 2. glass. such as administration rooms. infectious disease isolation rooms.63 3. etc. such as the rooms occupied by patients with non-infectious diseases. etc.21 3.In hospitals medical waste generation rates are related to the number of beds. delivery rooms. ! semi-critical areas: where the risk of contamination is less.93 3. Table 14 shows waste generation per bed in some countries and in Rio de Janeiro city. ! puncturing and sharp waste (needles. 8. Hospital areas are classified in three categories: ! critical areas: where there is a greater risk of infection such as operating theatres. refectories and kitchen areas etc. ! infectious waste must be stored in accordance with stipulated technical standards. infectious or special (see table 4).5.

analysis laboratories. stored.5. collected and disposed of as though it is infectious or special waste. The types of vehicle usually recommended for medical waste collection are presented below. 8. Radioactive waste should be dealt with in accordance with each country’s specific regulations issued by the respective governing body. In some cases it 117 . Depending on their size they should have mechanical devices for both empting the containers and unloading the vehicle. collection vehicles should not have compaction systems and. Van A light van with the driver and passenger cab independent from the load compartment and a load capacity of 500 kilos. Solid waste collection and transport ! waste from clinical analysis. organs and tissues should be separately put in cream plastic bags that are then appropriately closed. This waste represents at the most 30% of the total medical waste generated. Current norms recommend that in most cases medical waste is collected daily. Infectious waste and the rest of the special waste should be stored in cream plastic bags which are put into standardized containers that are mechanically emptied into special vehicles for medical waste collection. Common waste generated in these establishments should be collected by the normal collection service. are suitable for the collection of puncturing and sharp objects from chemists. Light vans with hermetic load compartments and a capacity for approximately 2m³ of waste. even on Sundays. infectious and special waste Infectious and special waste should be separated from common waste before collection. as an additional precautionary measure. If there is no separation of infectious and special waste all of the waste should be packaged. 8. The load compartment should be lined with fibre glass in order to avoid the accumulation of infectious waste at the edges and in cracks and to facilitate washing and cleaning. dental clinics and other similar establishments.5.8. blood transfusion therapy and microbiological research should be sterilized in the place of generation.4 Vehicles for collection and transport As plastic bags with infectious or non-separated waste can break and release contaminated liquids or air.3 Separate collection of common. ! infectious waste consisting of human body parts. must be hermetic and have liquid capturing devices.

MB 914 and Ford Cargo 81. Figure 38 . which will then transport it to the final disposal site. without a compaction device. The unloading of waste is done through the tipping of the load box after the rear door has been fully opened.may be economical for these vans to unload waste that they have collected in the loading areas of bigger medical waste collection vehicles.Van for medical waste collection Truck for infectious waste collection A two axle collection truck with a capacity of 6 to 8m³. A tipping system may be incorporated for the emptying of plastic or metal containers with a capacity of up to 700 litres. Amongst the chassis recommended are: VW 8150. Figure 39 .Truck for infectious waste collection 118 . The rear door of the load box must close with an efficient seal. The box is made of steel with continuous welded seams to avoid liquid leakage and has a compartment for capturing liquid originating from the load with a device for unloading it in an appropriate place. The hydraulic powered system is coupled with the gearbox and is pneumatically operated from inside the cab.

To achieve good quality medical waste management it is important to instigate educational processes that prepare people for change. 119 . acknowledge employees’ work. ! based on collected data. emergency services and clinics. together with the generators and the responsible health authority. prevent contamination.8. ! train the service operation teams. chemists. intensify safety measures.5 Aspects of collection planning When planning the collection of this type of waste a determination should be made. medical centres. while at the same time establishing appropriate methods for its pre-collection preparation and internal storage. The steps to follow include: ! locate on a map all health establishments: hospitals. ! select van type collection vehicles with leak-proof load compartments and liquid retention trays. Solid waste collection and transport 8. out-patient departments. The basic guidelines for rationalizing costs and establishing an appropriate service management policy are the following: ! ! ! ! ! ! ! facilitate treatment. including in measures for their own protection and work safety practices. the frequency of collections and collection routes. maintain an organized and pleasant work environment. determine the necessary type.5. avoid work accidents. reduce absenteeism. of the amount of waste generated in each establishment and the possibilities for treating it at source. size and number of collection vehicles.

9 Solid waste transfer 120 .

The establishment of a transfer station should be preceded by a feasibility study that evaluates the economic and operational advantages that it could provide to the collection system. Vehicles used for transporting waste from transfer stations to final disposal sites usually have three times more load capacity than collection trucks. This increased distance between collection areas and sanitary landfills creates the following problems: ! delays in completing collection routes thus prolonging the time that waste is exposed on the street. In addition urban land is too expensive to be used for sanitary landfills. Consequently final disposal sites are being established further and further away from centres of large-scale waste generation. reduced productivity of collection trucks. Solid waste transfer 9. ! increased unproductive time that collection teams spend waiting for the return of the truck from unloading at the landfill. 121 . transfer stations are sometimes used even when the distance to the sanitary landfill is shorter.9. In general transfer stations begin to be considered when the distance between the location of large-scale collection activities and the sanitary landfill is greater than 25km. Waste unloaded in transfer stations is transported to the sanitary landfill by a larger vehicle that involves lower transport cost per unit. Transfer stations are units sited close to areas of large-scale waste generation so that collection trucks can unload there and return rapidly to continue their collection route. for which large areas are required. which are specialized and therefore expensive vehicles. In large cities where traffic conditions make travel very slow. ! ! increased transport costs. To solve these problems some municipalities are establishing transfer stations.1 Concept At the same time as large and medium-sized cities have experienced intense urban expansion there has been an increase in both environmental pressures and the resistance of residents to accepting the installation close to their homes of facilities related with solid waste final disposal.

The simultaneous arrival of vehicles makes it indispensable that the station has an appropriate place for the storage of waste to deal with unloading “peaks”. so that a collection truck on the higher level unloads directly into the transfer truck below. 9. Boat – suitable for long distances and an excellent option in cities that have navigable rivers or bays. As there is no space for waste storage in these stations. Ideally waste should be transported in closed containers to avoid scattering. Amongst the more commonly used models for transfer stations with storage facilities are: 122 . Waste storage also facilitates the operation of the system with fewer vehicles. This requires a complementary system of trucks to transport waste from the unloading site to the sanitary landfill.Modes of transport from transfer stations can be: Train – suitable for long distances or for cities where traffic on roads to the final disposal site is too congested.2.2 9. A complementary system of trucks is required to transport waste from the unloading site to the sanitary landfill. a larger fleet of transfer vehicles is required to avoid collection trucks having to wait too long to unload. Truck – the most used system.2.1 Types of transfer station Direct transfer station This is a commonly used type of transfer station. recommended for transporting over medium distances and in places where the traffic on roads to the final disposal site is not too congested.2 Station with storage facilities In most cities all collection trucks begin their routes at the same time and so it is probable that the vehicles become full and arrive at the transfer station within the same timeframe. Figure 40 – Direct transfer station 9. It has a drop between the unloading platform and the loading area.

Hydraulic digger type machines load waste from the silos into transfer vehicles. Solid waste transfer Station with silo storage and compaction The main objective of these stations is to increase the specific mass of waste in order to reduce transport costs. The loading of transfer vehicles is done by hydraulic diggers or mechanical loaders.Transfer station with storage and compaction Station with silo storage without compaction Some units have storage silos to receive waste brought by collection trucks. Figure 41 . A hydraulic system installed in the silo compacts waste inside the transfer vehicles. The traditional model has a storage silo and a drop between loading and unloading platforms. Figure 42 – Station with storage without compaction 123 .9. This model is more appropriate for stations that receive a maximum of 1. Station with floor storage without compaction Another model commonly used is that of floor storage stations. and can be used in small or large stations. When this equipment is used weight specifications for the transfer trucks must be observed so that loads do not surpass the legal limits. This model facilitates the fast unloading of collection trucks and loading of transfer vehicles. These stations have covered paved floors with closed sides to avoid the exposure of waste to the elements and improve the aesthetics of the establishment.000 tons per day as in larger units it would imply excessive construction costs.

can be incorporated on a smaller scale in special situations in small communities where access is not possible for conventional collection vehicles. The models most used in transfer stations are: semi-trailer tippers and semi-trailers with movable floor. an alternative collection system using carts pulled by animals to cover streets that are not accessible to collection trucks. The model most commonly used has a capacity of 45m³.2. and unloaded by tipping. Figure 43 – A 45m³ semi-trailer tipper 124 .3 Vehicles and machines for transfer stations To transport waste unloaded in transfer stations large interchangeable tipper containers can be used.9. 9.3 Alternative transfer systems The transfer station concept. Semi-trailer tippers A semi-trailer tipper towed by a 4x2 semi-trailer truck with a 45 ton pulling capacity. It is loaded from a transfer ramp or by a mechanical loader or hydraulic digger. For example. manoeuvred by vehicles equipped with cranes to lift them onto and off platforms. or semi-trailers with or without compaction. may involve the unloading of collected solid waste in a stationary container (or equivalent receptacle) at a site where larger vehicles do have access and can collect the waste and transport it to its final destination. although originally developed to respond to the needs of large cities.

Figure 44 . towed by a 4x2 semi-trailer truck with a 45 ton pulling capacity. and unloaded by the alternating movement of the movable floor’s strips.A 70m³ semi-trailer with movable floor In all open semi-trailers the load should be covered with plastic sheeting or a net to avoid waste falling in the roads.9. It is loaded from a transfer ramp or by a mechanical loader or hydraulic digger. 125 . Solid waste transfer Semi-trailer with movable floor A semi-trailer with a capacity of 70m³.

10 Street cleaning 126 .

Keeping streets clean is important for the community and the collective interest must be given priority over individual interests in order to respect the wishes of most citizens. The surfacing of streets and the dissemination of hygiene and public health principles in schools also contributed to the reduction of waste in the streets. flies and cockroaches attracted by it and the transmission of diseases through those vectors was also discovered. ! to avoid rain water drainage systems becoming clogged up. The relationship between waste dumped in the street. As a result of developments in medicine and sanitary engineering during the 19th century. Street cleaning 10. treated and appropriately disposed of is a significant source of disease and can provoke fast spreading epidemics. However. Safety ! ! to avoid damage to vehicles from branches and sharp objects. nose and throat. The principal motives for keeping streets clean are: Sanitary ! to prevent diseases caused by vector proliferation in waste accumulations on the street or on wasteland.1 The importance of street cleanliness Up to the mid-19th century there was not only refuse in city streets but also the remains of food and large amounts of animal and human excrement. ears. ! to avoid damage to health caused by dust coming into contact with eyes. They are called disease “vectors”. Most animal excrement (except for dog excrement) was eliminated from the streets with the advent of motorized transport that replaced animal driven carts. the rats. It was then that effective measures began to be taken for the collection of domestic waste rather than allowing it to be thrown onto streets or wasteland. 127 . in several cities of the world for many centuries there have been laws and municipal regulations prohibiting the discarding of waste and objects in the streets. The filthy conditions in Europe during the Middle Ages are well documented. Flies and rats that proliferate in rubbish can transmit many diseases. as are the plagues and epidemics that they produced.10. it was recognized for the first time that human waste not collected. to promote road safety by eliminating dust and earth that can cause skidding and dry leaves and grass that can cause fires.

landscape beauty or cultural richness of a city. Consequently his consideration for the place is less intense than that of residents. weeds and other vegetation. domestic waste (in general in small amounts. In view of these attitudes. newspapers. it should also be noted that he himself is in many cases contributing to its dirtiness. with a view to maintaining urban aesthetics and therefore contributing to an improvement in the city’s sanitary conditions. increases the value of property and stimulates business. Whatever the historical significance. packaging. in the context of tourism it is hard for a visitor to leave with a positive impression when a place is aesthetically ugly due to a lack of cleanliness. it is important that tourist city municipalities implement urban cleaning education campaigns specifically addressed to visitors. rubber from tyres and residues from brake pads and linings. plastic. In general people take more care of their own houses than of spaces that do not belong to them. 10. a consumer of space. particles from atmospheric contamination. principally on wasteland and areas close to informal settlements). The aesthetic aspect of street cleanliness forms a significant part of arguments for the implementation of policies and measures to improve the image of cities. paper. 128 . helps to attract new residents and tourists. sand and earth carried by vehicles or coming from wasteland and slopes. While it is true that a tourist demands cleanliness of a city. particularly so in tourist cities. ! ! dog and other animal excrement (also in small amounts). In general the tourist does not establish an attachment with the place he is visiting. tree branches and leaves. he is a mere visitor. improves the appearance of a place.Aesthetic ! a clean city inspires pride in its inhabitants.2 Waste found in the street Waste commonly found in the streets: ! ! ! ! ! ! material from road surface break-up.

packaging and the remains of food discarded in the street.) when defining quality standards for urban cleaning services that are compatible with client-citizens’ ever more demanding criteria. Street cleaning Figure 45 .A street considered as “clean”. etc. drain cleaning. pest control.e. tree pruning. More developed cities are giving increasing importance to a combination of cleaning services and street conservation measures (maintaining street surfaces and pavements in good condition. have an ugly appearance and attract undesirable animals). A gutter with some earth and material from road surface break-up is not perceived as “dirty” by the general public while paper and plastic items are associated with “rubbish” (i. types of waste that produce bad odours. disinfection.10.A street considered as “dirty”. bits of plastic. kerb painting and street washing. with pieces of paper and plastic in the gutters Figure 46 . 129 . weeding and scraping. 10. the unblocking of drains. with no visible refuse The types of refuse that most offend citizens’ sense of hygiene and cleanliness are papers. grass and vegetation cutting.3 Street cleaning services Street cleaning services in general include activities such as sweeping. They can also cover other activities such as beach cleaning. street market cleaning and waste removal.

those responsible for urban cleaning have to use their own criteria. due to the transverse curvature of the street. Figure 47 . in the direction of the drains. Restructuring manual sweeping routes Review of the existing sweeping plan The organization of existing sweeping routes should be examined.1 Sweeping services Characteristics of city streets In surfaced streets most debris is found in the gutters (at the most 60 cm from the kerb) due to the air displacement produced by passing vehicles that “pushes” dirt towards the kerb.10. quality and standard of cleanliness that each street requires. The review of the plan should register the street sections that are swept on each route. Service quality As there is no process for determining precisely the degree.Cross section of a street In non-surfaced streets dirt and litter behave in a different way and it is necessary to clean the entire width of the street. They will determine the methodology and frequency of cleaning and 130 .3. The gutters are in reality “channels” designed to conduct rainwater. the length of each one (expressed in metres of pavement and gutter) and the teams assigned to it (sweepers). Rainwater also carries debris towards the kerb. It is essential to take these characteristics into account when determining street cleaning methodology. In the streets themselves there is practically no dirt unless there is almost no traffic.

This information is significant as. it is advisable to evaluate workers’ productivity in the field. if they are kept clean. principal streets and avenues. Identification of sites that influence public opinion Citizen participation is indispensable for public cleaning services to maintain an appropriate level of cleanliness. This index is of fundamental importance for the restructuring of sweeping routes and is usually measured in samples of typical residential. if a street needs to be swept every day double the number of workers will be needed than if it is swept every other day. the new plan can be laid out on a map to a scale appropriate for the relevant area. that is. commercial and tourist streets. Productivity tests As each city has its own characteristics. commercial centres and access roads to the city are sites that influence public opinion. how many metres of gutter and pavement can be swept per worker per shift. To carry out the tests. Tourist areas. workers of medium performance are chosen and for a period of approximately fifteen days the distance that each one sweeps in each type of street is measured thus determining the average distance covered per shift. form and consolidate a favourable public opinion on the part of both residents and tourists in regard to the cleanliness of the city. Reference sites should therefore be established where comparative studies can be made of resource mobilization and the quality of services provide by the responsible body.10. Determination of sweeping frequency The minimum sweeping frequency necessary to maintain the required level of cleanliness in streets has to be determined. that is. habits and culture. These sites should be photographed periodically to facilitate a comparative checking. investigating previous complaints and consulting press files. 131 . One of the first measures to take in order to improve services is the identification of sites that influence public opinion. Street cleaning will evaluate the approval or disapproval of the public according to the number and content of complaints and suggestions received. certain streets that. and principal thoroughfares. which then encourages the public to cooperate in maintaining clean and hygienic conditions in the streets. for example. It is possible to gauge public opinion about cleaning services by carrying out opinion surveys. New sweeping plan layout Once the existing plan has been examined and productivity indexes (metres of gutters and pavements swept per worker per shift in each type of street). sites that influence public opinion and minimum sweeping frequency for the different areas have been determined.

and the reaction of the public should be evaluated through opinion surveys and the registration of complaints. shovel (7) and special waste collection pan (8) Figure 49 . small broom and shovel.Once the new plan is operational. Implements. hoe for cleaning drains and extracting waste from them. used to collect waste and finish sweeping. key for opening drains.Modern broom (1). the level of cleanliness achieved should be checked through photos. brush (3). (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) Figure 48 . tools and clothing The principal tools and implements for manual sweeping are: ! ! ! ! sweeper broom (vegetable fibre or plastic). on the basis of which necessary adjustments can be made. sweeper broom (2). key for drains (5). small broom (4). hoe for cleaning drains (6). Up to three workers can be assigned to each route but it is recommended that only one is assigned to each route in order to clarify responsibilities and facilitate supervision.Manual sweeping 132 .

10. manual sweeping is in general more appropriate. As the average productivity of the manual system is 2km of gutter per worker per shift. In such cases it is advisable to consider the possibility of mechanical sweeping. However the monthly cost of renting a large mechanical sweeper in Latin American and Caribbean countries can be equivalent to the wages of at least 18 sweepers and taking into account the importance of job creation for citizens who have received little education. For safety reasons the use of reflecting strips on the uniform is recommended. particularly for nocturnal work. mechanical sweepers with vacuum system. A large mechanical sweeper can sweep an average of 30 km of gutter per shift. a mechanical sweeper can replace 15 human sweepers. Nevertheless there are exceptions. In tourist areas and city centres small mechanical sweepers can be used as they have a positive impact on public opinion by demonstrating the efforts made and the resources invested by the municipality in the urban cleaning sector. large mechanical sweepers and mini-vacuums. mechanical sweepers without vacuum system. empty rubbish bins. sweep the pavement and gutter along the assigned route. mechanical sweeping is recommended for some situations. Types of sweeping In spite of the cost. clean rainwater drains on the route. tunnels and bridges represent dangerous situations for manual sweeping. The main mechanical sweepers used are mini-sweepers. Sweeper tasks In general each sweeper should: ! ! ! ! ! collect domestic waste discarded in the street (not packaged for collection). high closing shoes and cap. where roads with high volumes of fast moving traffic. Street cleaning Clothing can be the same as for most urban cleaning service workers: trousers. weed the gutters and areas around trees and posts (once every 15 days). 133 . t-shirt.

without vacuum.MINI-SWEEPER A self-propelled sweeper and vacuum machine with two front brushes and water sprinkler nozzles to avoid raising dust. Figure 51 . Figure 50 .Mechanical sweeper without vacuum 134 . two frontal brushes.3m³ receptacle. In general they provoke curiosity and create public awareness of the municipality’s efforts to improve and modernize the urban cleaning system.Mini-sweeper MECHANICAL SWEEPER WITHOUT VACUUM SYSTEM A medium-sized self-propelled sweeper machine. etc. one central brush and water sprinkler nozzles to avoid raising dust. These machines are used for the mechanical sweeping of pavements. pedestrian ways. These machines are used for the mechanical sweeping of roads with fast moving traffic and represent a good option wherever human sweepers would be in danger of being run over. with a 2. squares.

It has lateral and central brushes. and water sprinkler nozzles to avoid raising dust. This machine is used for sweeping tunnels. Street cleaning MECHANICAL SWEEPER WITH VACUUM SYSTEM A 14ton TGW sweeper machine with a capacity of 6m³ and a vacuum system driven by an auxiliary engine. LARGE MECHANICAL SWEEPER A self-propelled sweeper and vacuum machine with two lateral brushes. thus avoiding having to move the sweeper itself to empty its load in a transfer station. one central brush and water sprinkler nozzles to avoid raising dust. When its waste receptacle is full it can be emptied directly into a dump truck that operates together with it. pavements and parks. bridges and large streets with high traffic volumes.10. This machine is used for cleaning cycle ways. Figure 52 . both driven by hydraulic motors. 135 .Large mechanical sweeper MINI-VACUUM Small vacuum machine that sucks debris through a flexible tube manoeuvred by the operator.

Weeding 136 .Mini-vacuum 10.Figure 53 .3.2 Weeding and scraping services Where sweeping is not regularly undertaken or rain carries debris onto surfaced streets. earth can accumulate in gutters and weeds begin to grow. Figure 54 . In such cases weeding and scraping services are necessary to remove earth from the gutters and re-establish good drainage conditions and the appropriate appearance of the street.

When the earth is very compact hoes or picks are used to scrap it. Wheelbarrows. small or big mechanical loaders are used for scraping. as they tend to become clogged when gutters are covered with earth and weeds. Figure 55 . plastic bags. usually after intense rain in streets close to slopes.10. Rakes can be used to complete weeding and brushes to finish the cleaning. wheelie bins or stationary containers can be used for waste collection operations.Hoe. A scraper is used to deal with mud.Rake Types of weeding Weeding operations can be manual or chemical. depending on the amount of material and on the type of access and space for manoeuvring. ! ! ! machines and tools are easy to obtain and operate. pick and scraper Figure 56 . the operation uses more time. is a simple and well known method. the main one being erosion processes due to the inappropriate removal of vegetation. Street cleaning In general these services are carried out using very sharp 3½ pound hoes and the waste is collected using shovels or four pronged pitchforks. The main advantages and disadvantages of each method are listed below: Manual ! ! ! uses unqualified labour. When there is a large amount of earth. requires large numbers of workers. 137 . involves fewer environmental risks. It is important that drains are cleaned at the same time as weeding and scraping operations are undertaken.

slicer and broad scythe 138 . 10.Scythe. Chemical weeding uses herbicides and should always be undertaken in compliance with the producer’s specifications and the relevant legal and environmental restrictions.Chemical ! ! ! the operation uses less time and requires fewer workers. facilitates the removal of vegetation.3. Planning of weeding operations The first planning task is to determine the type of weeding: manual or chemical. it involves few environmental risks. represents a risk to the environment when used without fulfilling technical requirements. Figure 57 . when done well. ! the use of machines and tools involves diverse operating. which quickly dies. with appropriate techniques and products. Manual cutting uses tools such as scythes and slicers that can also be used for cutting tree branches. ! ! ! requires qualified labour. cleaning and maintenance techniques. its use is restricted to specific situations and is always an auxiliary to manual weeding. It should only be used as an auxiliary and complementary method side by side with manual weeding. and when it is adopted regulatory restrictions and requirements should be rigorously observed as should the instructions on the product labels.3 Cutting services Cutting services are necessary when grass or vegetation is too long and can be carried out manually or mechanically. This decision depends on the characteristics of each particular area and the more common method employed is manual weeding. For the manual cutting of grass a broad scythe is used. and exclusively under the guidance of a specialized professional.

tractor mounted side-arm cutters and cutters towed by an agricultural tractor. Figure 59 . lateral cutters.000 and 3.Portable cutter (backpack type) 139 .10. For cutting operations on the borders of roads cutters with articulated arms laterally mounted on agricultural tractors can be used. Portable mechanical cutters that operators carry on their backs and cutters mounted on small. medium and large tractors are currently available and produce a good quality result with good productivity. The cutters attached to tractors are appropriate for relatively flat land and can cut between 2. The manual cutting of grass and other vegetation with sickles or scythes does not produce good quality results or represent good productivity (only 100m² per worker per day).Manual cutting Mechanical cutting employs machines such as portable cutters. One of these machines can cut approximately 800m² per day. Street cleaning Rakes can be used to complete the operation. Portable cutters are suitable for rough land and places that are difficult for larger cutters to access. tractor cutters.000m² per day. Figure 58 .

Figure 61 . mini-tractor grass cutter. tractor mounted side-arm cutter. while the toothed disc and the blade are appropriate for thicker vegetation and 140 . Waste can be put in bags and cut vegetation organized into piles to await collection. The cutting can be done by a blade. Four to ten pronged pitchforks and long rakes should be used for gathering and removal operations. which should not be delayed for more than two days to avoid them catching fire or becoming scattered. Portable cutter An approximately 11 kg cutting machine powered by a petrol engine with the rotation transmitted to the cutting head through a flexible cable. a disc or a nylon string depending on the type of vegetation. The nylon string is appropriate for light vegetation and grass and where the machine is used as an edge cutter. chainsaw.Cutter attached to a tractor Cut vegetation and the refuse that inevitably appears should ideally be gathered on the day of the cutting operation using standard or long rakes. towed grass cutter and stationary or towed branch-grinder.Long rake and four pronged pitchfork Mechanical equipment for cutting vegetation Commonly used mechanical equipment: portable cutter.Figure 60 .

principally after storms and gales. It is used to prune and cut trees or large branches. Figure 62 . after which maintenance costs are excessively high. Figure 64 . approximately 2. can throw out objects such as small stones from under the vegetation with the risk of causing injury to people or animals. Tractor mounted side-arm cutter A hydraulic arm with wheeled head that is mounted on the rear part of a mediumsized agricultural tractor. The machine’s useful life is short. Street cleaning bushes such as guinea grass (Panicum maximum).000 hours. which rotate at high speed. At the extreme of the arm there is a hydraulically operated rotating axis blade cutter. where for example they are likely to fall and cause accidents.Backpack cutter Figure 63 .Tractor mounted side-arm cutter 141 . It is used to cut large lineal extensions such as roadside strips and slopes.Chainsaw Chainsaw A tool powered by a two stroke petrol engine.10. Precautions should be taken to isolate the area surrounding the work site because the blades.

Mini-tractor grass cutter
A compact machine on wheels with a central blade. It is appropriate for cutting large flat and even extensions of grass. This machine does not cut edges but has the advantage of not throwing out stones or other objects while in use.

Figure 65 - Mini-tractor grass cutter

Towed grass cutter
An implement towed by an agricultural tractor. Its cutting width is up to 1.20m and is appropriate for relatively flat land. As with the micro-tractor grass cutter, this implement does not throw out stones or other objects while in use.

Figure 66 - Towed grass cutter

Stationary or towed branch grinder
This machine is powered by a diesel motor. Branches and foliage are fed into the grinder and the ground material passes through a tube to be deposited in a dump truck or container. It is used in areas with many trees and bushes where frequent pruning takes place.


10. Street cleaning

Figure 67 - Branch grinder

An important rule for mechanical vegetation cutting: Work should only be undertaken in a screened off area using protective netting to stop the circulation of people near the area of operations in order to avoid people, vehicles or objects being hit by stones thrown out by machines. Workers should use all the recommended IPE (individual protection equipment).

10.3.4 Drain cleaning services
A well functioning street sweeping system significantly reduces the volume of waste that falls into storm drain inlets or is carried there by rainwater. Consequently the cleaning of drain inlet boxes is usually assigned to the body responsible for urban cleaning. As some sweepers may otherwise sweep debris into the drain inlet boxes, thus slowly clogging them, in general sweepers themselves are responsible for cleaning them. The first step of this operation is to remove the covering grill using a drain key. If the grill is stuck it can be levered out. Where asphalt type material used for repairing the road surface is partially covering the grill it can be removed with a hammer and chisel taking care not to break the grill. The same procedures should be followed when working with any type of rainwater drain. Waste that has accumulated in drain inlet boxes can be removed using worn hoes, which are narrower than new ones, grub hoes or special shell shaped tools. Waste with a low specific weight (leaves and branches) can be put into bags and collected together with sweeping waste. Earth extracted from drains should be collected by dump trucks.


(1) (2)

(4) (3)

Figure 68 - Clogged drain

Figure 69 - Lever (1), hammer (2), chisel (3) and drain key (4)

Drain inlet boxes can also be cleaned using special machines with suction hoses (VacAll type) or sweepers with vacuum suction equipment.

The cleaning of the rainwater drainage network is done with special machines through points of access to the drainage system.

Figure 70 - Pumping truck

A pumping truck is used in urban and industrial operations for cleaning drain boxes, drain accesses, septic tanks, separated chambers and sewers. Waste is pumped through a four inch diameter hose and the most commonly used models have a capacity of 6, 7 or 8m³ corresponding to a truck TGW of 12, 14 or 16 tons respectively. Mechanical sweepers with suction systems usually have tubes appropriate for drain cleaning.

The cleaning of drain inlet boxes in areas that are susceptible to flooding in the event of heavy rain should be regarded as a priority.


10. Street cleaning

10.3.5 Market cleaning services
In most Latin American and Caribbean countries there are informal public street markets set up particularly for the sale of vegetables, fruit, fish and other types of food. Many people go to them and generate large amounts of waste. It is therefore necessary to plan appropriate cleaning services in order to keep the markets clean from the moment they begin functioning until the stalls are dismantled. Market cleaning is done manually and the size of teams should correspond to the size of the market, i.e. the number of stalls and the number of people visiting it. Independently of the market cleaning services that it provides, the Municipality should take firm measures to ensure that stall operators themselves avoid waste being discarded in the street and install receptacles to store waste by their own stalls. While large markets are functioning workers can be collecting waste produced by stall owners and their customers by circulating with manual collection carts lined with large plastic bags. When full these bags can be kept at a storage point adjacent to the market in a location chosen to incur the minimum possible nuisance to the public and facilitate collection by the collection vehicle. Where possible 240 litre plastic containers with lid and wheels should be used to store waste produced while the market is operating. Special attention should be given to stalls selling fish, chicken and pork products.

Figure 71 - Containers located close to a market

When the market is dismantled a larger team of between four and eight workers sweeps and cleans the area. For this task sweeper brooms are used together with shovels and brushes for collecting the waste. In some cities large wooden squeegees are used as an auxiliary tool. Waste is collected by a compactor truck or a dumpster carrier truck.


Once it has been swept the street should be washed by a street washing truck with a pressure water jet, paying particular attention to areas around fish stalls sites, which, along with the drains, should be washed with disinfectant and deodorant products.

(1) (2)



Figure 72 - Sweeper broom (1), brush (2), wooden squeegee (3) and shovel (4) used in market cleaning

10.3.6 Manual and mechanical waste removal services
In many cities with large wasteland areas refuse is often irregularly discarded there. Open wastelands and uncared for public areas, in combination with inadequate urban cleaning systems, generate what are called “waste accumulation sites”. The accumulation often begins with construction rubble being dumped and, as “rubbish attracts rubbish”, this is followed by the addition of pruned vegetation, old tyres, the remains of packaging, and organic waste. Later weeds start to grow and the entire scenario results in blocked drains and serious sanitary and environmental consequences. To deal with this type of problem cleaning services should establish a specific operational methodology as these situations involve not only clearing activities (weeding and vegetation cutting) but also the removal of all types of waste that have accumulated on such sites. This work requires machines and tools appropriate for each type of waste, not only for clearing tasks but also for collection and transport to the final destination, all of which places an additional burden on the system through higher operational costs due to the extra personnel and machines required in these cases. This type of activity is commonly called waste removal and can be manual or mechanical. The removal of unpackaged refuse such as common waste, soil and rubble can be done manually with shovels, lifting it directly into the box of a dump truck or into metal containers that will later be removed by appropriate trucks with cranes. To remove cut vegetation a four pronged fork is used. A three or four pronged pitchfork


Each summer. Once these basic measures have been adopted. The first and most important of these is to reduce the amount of waste that gets onto the beach by installing rubbish bins both on the beach itself and on pavements that border it so that people can deposit waste in them. the required frequency of operations and productivity rates determined by field measurements. ! labour requirements are calculated according to the surface area to be maintained. alternative structures for depositing waste can be used such as setting vertical concrete pipe sections on the beach lined with plastic bags. Street cleaning is used to separate the pile of accumulated waste in order to facilitate its handling and transport. ! the timing of operations should be compatible with beach activities so as not to inconvenience users. the planning of services should involve the following principal elements: ! the frequency of beach cleaning operations should be organized with a view to the beach always being as clean as possible and in good condition for use by citizens. Figure 73 .Three pronged pitchfork 10. awareness raising campaigns should be initiated to promote the use of rubbish bins for waste generated on the beach.Mechanical loader at work Figure 74 .3. In cases where there is a large amount of waste and especially where a lot of soil or rubble has to be removed the use of a wheeled front loader (mechanical loader) is recommended. Where it is not possible to install purpose made rubbish bins. 147 .10.7 Beach cleaning services Sandy beaches have to be kept clean by the application of various complementary measures.

as well as plastic bags and containers for carrying the waste to the compaction vehicle or dump truck that accompanies the team as it progresses. plastic net sieve (2). Beach cleaning services can involve both manual and mechanical operations. concrete pipe section with plastic bag (4) and container (5) Figure 76 .000m² per hour per worker can be taken as an initial base value. The labour productivity rate varies depending on diverse factors such as user behaviour and the availability of rubbish bins.Waste containers Figure 77 . (1) (2) (5) (3) (4) Figure 75 .Wire rake (1).Manual removal of beach waste 148 .! service organization can be based on defined sectors or on the entire extension of the relevant beach. The manual cleaning of the beach surface should ideally be done at the end of every sunny day using wire rakes (usually having 20 to 25 prongs with a 1cm gap between them). ten pronged pitchforks and plastic net sieves. ten pronged pitchfork (3). An average of 1.

pass it through a vibratory sieve in order to catch smaller objects and produce a bactericidal effect by exposing lower layers of sand to sunlight. aired and returned to the beach. straws.Mechanical beach cleaning 149 . sieved.000m² per hour.Manual beach cleaning Mechanical cleaning is appropriate for beaches with large amounts of waste and big extensions of sand. On very wide beaches (where there is more than 30 metres of sand between the water and the land). The operation of this machine is entirely mechanical. In these cases purpose built machines towed by agricultural tractors are used and have a productivity of approximately 10. The type of net used in the sieve varies according to the characteristics of the beach.Transfer of beach waste from a tractor drawn trailer to a truck Figure 79 . cigarette ends and food remains.10. Figure 80 . four wheel drive agricultural tractors with trailers can be used to accompany the cleaning team as they progress along the beach and transport waste to a truck similarly progressing along the street bordering the beach. Beach cleaning machines towed by four wheel drive mini-tractors with a maximum potency of 60hp are used. Sand is taken from a maximum depth of 20cm. Street cleaning Figure 78 . This type of cleaning collects large and medium-sized waste but leaves ice cream sticks. In out of season periods beaches should be cleaned with machines that stir the sand.

gutters and pavements.An option that may be considered for very crowded beaches is to replace sand above the tide line with sand from below it that has been washed by the sea and is therefore cleaner.Rubbish bins 150 . ! instalment of rubbish bins in streets with high pedestrian concentrations. appropriate dimensions and maintenance for rainwater drainage systems. at bus stops and in front of bars. 10. Figure 81 .4 How to reduce street waste The amount of solid waste in streets can be reduced through: ! ! smooth surfaces and appropriate inclination for streets.Uneven gutters make cleaning difficult ! planting tree species in combinations that do not result in abundant leaf fallings several times a year.Smooth pavements and gutters facilitate cleaning Figure 82 . Figure 83 . Such an operation should be carried out using tractor-bulldozers and mechanical loaders after an environmental study has been undertaken by specialists. cafes and supermarkets. on corners.

urban cleaning issues are related to various aspects of public urban works and should be taken into account by the respective municipal bodies when urban improvement projects are being planned. In general it can be observed that in well cared for and well maintained streets passersby are more conscious of cleanliness and discard less rubbish on the ground. Figure 84 . establishment of legal devices that sanction citizens who disobey urban cleaning regulations. Those who persist in doing so should be fined and for this the municipality needs to have a good supervision system. As can be seen. Commercial establishments should not be allowed to sweep their waste onto the street. (Figure 85) Figure 85 – Figure 85 .10.Waste being swept into the street 151 . Street cleaning ! regular sweeping and waste removal from waste accumulation sites (“rubbish attracts rubbish” while “cleanliness promotes cleanliness”). ! ! public awareness raising campaigns related to the maintenance of cleanliness.A dirty square The dirty and uncared for appearance of the square is added to by so-called “white waste”. made up of papers. plastic and packaging.

in the case of coastal cities. In regard to sweeping. taking into account the limits imposed by employment legislation. principally in regard to sweeping and.5 Street cleaning in tourist cities As is the case with domestic waste collection. beach cleaning. an influx of tourists to a city causes considerable problems for the street cleaning service. These however are the same tourists who will not return to the city if they consider it dirty or not well cared for. There are also cultural and behavioural questions with some tourists who take the view that as it is not their city they are not interested in keeping it clean. An underlying cause of these problems is the temporary population increase and the resultant increase in demand for public services. Figure 86 .“Molok” type container in use 152 .10. the measures that have to be implemented to maintain required levels of street cleanliness are: ! increase the hours of work shifts (overtime) on some sweeping routes in order to respond to the greater seasonal demand for services. ! restructure existing routes increasing the number of sweeping shifts and contracting extra workers on a temporary basis. They discard rubbish indiscriminately and fail to comply with behavioural norms and regulations. A good example is the increase in the number of people circulating through the streets and the consequent generation of waste in different quantities and at different times than those in the normal routine of the city. Another aspect that creates difficulties for cleaning services is that in general tourists are not acquainted with the operational routine of cleaning in the city and many times they do not do what they should as users to cooperate with the body providing the service.

The aesthetics of these units and their integration with the landscape should be taken into account. squares and other public spaces to facilitate appropriate waste disposal. One general administrative measure that a municipality can take to reduce problems faced by the urban cleaning sector during the high tourist season is to schedule employees’ holidays for the months of the low season so that during periods when demand for services is at its greatest the entire staff is available. restaurants and entertainment establishments. 153 .10. they do not maintain teams exclusively for beach cleaning services. Extending work shifts and giving seasonal tasks to workers who normally perform other activities is in general neither feasible nor sufficient to solve the problem completely. which are complex. with few exceptions. Street cleaning It is also important to increase the numbers and maintenance of containers and rubbish bins strategically positioned in streets. and equip it with all the tools necessary to carry out this service. For an effective provision of this service during the tourist season the most appropriate course of action may be to contract a separate team to undertake the cleaning of the beach and its bordering seafront. In the case of coastal tourist cities the problems are more difficult to solve as. Such a campaign can and should be directed to the entire city but may concentrate more on neighbourhoods associated with tourism and along the seashore where applicable. An ongoing awareness raising campaign can be run throughout the high tourist season with the participation of companies that benefit from tourism. The campaign should encourage people to take better care of the city and guide visitors to cooperate in maintaining hygienic conditions and cleanliness in the streets. such as hotels. difficult to mechanize and relatively labour intensive.

11 Recovery of recyclable materials 154 .

Recover.1 Concept With the growing prominence of environmental conservation policies citizens are becoming increasingly concerned about solid waste issues. One of the most important incentives for recycling is the saving of energy and natural resources. in transfer stations or at final disposal sites. Recycle and Recover). mostly associated with energy generation. This concept establishes the principle of waste generation prevention. putting pressure on producing companies to use the least amount of packaging possible. and therefore of companies’ production. books and other products. taking as its departure point reduction. Reuse. fruit of capitalist society’s high consumption model. 155 . reuse – the reuse of a material or product without changing its shape or original nature. Recycle. 4 Rs practice: reduce – aimed at diminishing the amount of disposable packaging and containers. In spite of the integral nature and order of the 4Rs. The increased per capita waste generation. the less waste the better. magazines. resulting in what is known as 4Rs practice (Reduce. recycling is the one that provokes most public interest principally due to its clear claims to environmental benefits. through a change in consumption habits. This concern with waste issues is due both to the potential for contamination and the continuous need to find new final disposal sites. maximize or diversify the use of a given consumer product. The reorientation of consumers’ preferences. recycle – the transformation of materials into raw material for production processes. That is. Reduce. Recovery of recyclable materials 11. not to mention the negative impacts caused by an irrational consumption of non-renewable natural resources. favouring products with more durability and less packaging. a reorientation of consumers’ needs and purchasing preferences. recover – principally related to appropriate waste incineration processes that produce energy and consequently conserve fossil fuels. Different types of waste can be reused such as bottles. Reuse. not only concerns environmentalists but also governments and the general public. On an international level these issues have prompted a debate about the consumption habits of societies and the responsibility of companies. newspapers.11. favouring products that are less damaging to the environment and avoid wastage. a positive contribution where reduce and reuse are not applicable. This process requires the segregation of waste at source.

156 . particularly in less developed countries. shops and factories) and associated with a program of income and employment generation. In practice. paper. almost always in extremely precarious conditions. a model involving the selective collection of materials at the source of generation (houses. This aspect has a significant relevance to many Latin American and Caribbean cities where social crises have resulted in large numbers of people turning to refuse segregation as a means of survival through the commercialization of recyclable materials. such as segregator cooperatives. metal and glass) are: ! ! ! ! the saving of non-renewable raw materials. Traditional models applied in developed countries almost always involve public subsidies and are difficult to apply in developing countries. for the most part related to pre-recycling waste segregation. For example. The great challenge in implementing selective collection programs is to find a model that is in itself economically sustainable. The principal benefits of recycling discarded materials (plastic. in which the latter undertake the collection of materials. These programs. offices. Another example is the establishment of partnerships between public authorities and civil organizations.11. A scarcity of resources often hinders the implementation of such programs but some municipalities are endeavouring to promote alternative models adapted to fit their particular economic circumstances.2 Selective collection programs A significant role can be played by educational programs that promote 4Rs practice and foster the development of environmental awareness amongst citizens. where large parts of the population live in poor socioeconomic conditions projects can be established that involve the “bartering” of recyclable materials for food and an increased level of community participation. is the one most applied in Latin American and Caribbean cities. the generation of income and employment. the prolongation of sanitary landfills’ useful life. However the social and environmental benefits of these programs also have to be considered. can become instruments for income and employment generation. the saving of energy in production processes.

2. voluntary drop-off centres. segregator organizations. 11.1 Selective door to door collection The most commonly used model for selective collection programs is the segregation by residents of discarded recyclable materials. in a similar way to conventional domestic waste collection. Figure 87 – Selective collection by compactor truck Figure 88 – Selective collection by truck without compaction The separation of recyclable materials in households can be done in two ways: identifying and separating different types of recyclable material and storing them in separate containers.11. Recovery of recyclable materials Amongst the options available for the segregation of recyclable materials at the source of generation are: ! ! ! selective door to door collection. which are then collected by specialized vehicles from each housing unit. 157 . or putting all recyclable materials in one container.

recyclable materials should be transported to a segregation plant. This model also requires a collection truck with a box divided into compartments to transport materials separately. ! recyclable materials (dry) – paper. one for each type of recyclable material. With the other more commonly used model residents separate domestic waste into two categories: ! organic material (damp) – including the remains of food and non-recyclable materials that are stored in a container for this category and are collected by the normal domestic waste collection service. Figure 89 – Recyclables segregation plant It is important that the public is clearly informed of the correct criteria for the separation of materials for commercialization in order to avoid the expense incurred with transporting and handling non-recyclable waste at the segregation plant. which are stored in a container for this category and are collected by the selective collection service. generally equipped with tables. The relatively long interval between selective collections is possible because of the inert nature of recyclable materials. where materials are separated by type in preparation for their commercialization. glass and plastic. In most cities where the system is operated.The system in which different types of recyclable materials are separated requires more space for keeping the containers. The principal disadvantages of door to door selective collection are the increased transport costs involved in the need for extra collection trucks and the high unitary cost of collection compared with conventional collection. 158 . Once collected. Segregation plants should also have presses so that materials with a lower specific weight (paper and plastic) can be baled to facilitate storage and transport. metal. door to door selective collection can be made once a week using open box trucks. which makes it more difficult in apartments or small houses.

2. See the suggestions in table 15. to add value to the recyclable material. Ideally it should standardize. 11. results in significant economic benefits for the urban cleaning system as previously segregated recyclable materials will not need to be collected. It can for example define a colour code for the different types of waste. grinders. A selective collection system in which a municipality does not directly participate but establishes alliances with the community for operating it. Selective collection is not profitable when the municipality uses its own vehicles. which will then be used for identifying containers and collection trucks.2 Voluntary Drop-off Centres (VDC) Containers sited in public places for the public to voluntarily deposit pre-segregated recyclable waste. regulate and foster the process without participating directly in its operation. all of which reduces the costs and work of the municipality. transported and disposed of in a landfill. which are fundamental to maintaining citizen participation levels. Consequently planning for a project has to allow for the necessary resources to run such campaigns. The responsible public body usually standardizes the program to facilitate organization and community participation.11. Recovery of recyclable materials Both before and after the initiation of selective collection services the public authority should continuously encourage citizen participation through promotional campaigns and environmental education. as well as in waste segregation educational campaigns. labour and structure. As an incentive it could invest in warehouses and equipment such as bale-presses. washers. etc. Table 15 Colour code for recyclable solid waste Container colour Blue Red Green Yellow Brown Recyclable material Paper and Cardboard Plastic Glass Metal Organic waste Source: CONAMA resolution Nº 275 of 25/4/2001 (Brazil) 159 .

Here too it is important to regularly empty VDC containers in order to avoid irregular waste accumulation on the site. To overcome the language problem it is recommended that images are used to indicate the correct storage container for each type of recyclable material. Some municipalities are establishing partnerships with recycling companies that finance both the installation of containers and the collection of materials deposited in them.VDCs can be set up in partnership with private companies that can for example finance their installation in return for the use of the site for advertisements. The establishment of VDCs in tourist areas should take into account potential communication problems with the labelling of containers.Examples of VDCs 160 . Figure 90 .Special containers for a VDC Figure 91 .

transportation and final disposal. ! a reduction in the costs of the city’s urban cleaning system due to the collection of part of the waste by segregators leaving less waste for collection. carts. presses. It is important that municipalities adopting this model offer institutional support to segregator organizations. The principal advantages of working with segregator organizations are: ! ! ! ! the generation of income and employment.11. providing basic equipment such as bale-presses. in an effort to include a social dimension in their selective collection programs or pressed by groups of segregators themselves.3 Segregator organizations The appearance of numerous segregator organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean during recent decades reflects not only the socioeconomic crises that many of these countries have experienced but also segregators’ capacity for articulation and organization. a reduction in the costs of selective collection programs. which though still incipient has nevertheless grown significantly 4. etc. Such savings on costs should benefit segregator organizations in the form of investment in uniforms and infrastructure (warehouses for segregation and storage. Many municipalities. Assistance should also be provided for the training of organization members to promote greater autonomy. the social inclusion of segregators (who mostly live in the streets) as citizens. One of the main factors that fosters the strengthening and success of segregator organizations is the profitable commercialization of recyclable materials. The less 4. standardized carts. establish some type of agreement or partnership with segregator cooperatives that then undertake the collection and separation of discarded recyclable materials. Recovery of recyclable materials 11. working conditions for most segregators are still very precarious and many of them continue to work without any support or acknowledgement. Segregators from several Latin American countries met to define common strategies at the first and second Latin American Congress of Recyclable Material Segregators. as has already been mentioned. In spite of advances. Improvements in this sector’s working conditions depend to a large degree on several institutions having an articulated vision and commitment that leads to the formulation and implementation of effective public policies. bale lifters) so that the segregated materials increase in value in the recyclables market. providing juridical and administrative assistance for legalization processes and.2. the organization of segregators’ work to avoid untidiness in waste collection and the storage of materials in the streets. 161 . held in Brazil in 2003 and 2005. principally in regard to granting the use of physical space.

Amongst the measures that should be taken in support of segregator organizations are: ! administrative and accounting support. When a public authority enters into partnership with a segregator organization it is important that it continues to offer institutional support for the provision of basic needs. These conditions are rarely achieved by small groups but the organization of joint commercialization centres is an option that creates better conditions for direct negotiations with recycling companies. ! ! ! ! implementation of a social assistance program for segregators and their children. ! regular production and delivery to the final consumer. ! implementation of environmental education programs for segregators. ! ample scale of production and storage: the larger the production and the quantity available to the buyer.intermediaries that are involved in the process between the segregator organizations and the final consumer (the recycling industry) the higher the sale price will be. Figure 92 – Segregators from a cooperative working in the street 162 . implementation of rehabilitation programs for those with a dependency on chemical substances. the contracting of a professional specialized in management to train the group. the better the selling conditions. especially when operations are beginning to be established. with a low impurity content and appropriate packaging or baling). implementation of literacy courses and training for segregators. the lack of which would hinder efficient performance. provision of uniforms and individual protection equipment. The following basic conditions should be met: ! good quality material (sorted by type of material.

11. the public authority can. during the initial phase. that is. it is recommended that the group has a small liquid capital so that segregators’ minimum incomes are guaranteed until better commercialization conditions are re-established. it is important that the strengthening of the segregator groups leads in the long term to them gaining more autonomy and independence in their activities. For the eventuality of difficulties related to fluctuations in the buying market. also help with the commercialization of recyclable materials. All these initiatives and types of support should be applied with a view to eventual sustainability. 163 . Recovery of recyclable materials Taking into account the lack of experience of those running the organizations.

12 Solid waste treatment 164 .

! pyrolysis – thermally induced waste degradation in the absence. ! compaction – reduces empty spaces (increases waste density). Processes applied to solid waste can be mechanical. Biological ! aerobic – stabilization and composting processes that principally generate water. These processes. producing high energy liquids and gases and less atmospheric contamination. contribute to human and environmental protection.1 Concept Between collection and final disposal municipal solid waste can be subject to processes that produce technical-operational.12. ! anaerobic – important for the production of methane. The most effective treatment is applied by the general public when they take action to reduce the amount of solid waste by avoiding wastage. Waste degradation is slower and generates fatty acids. Thermal ! incineration – controlled burning at high temperature in purpose built equipment with environmental control devices. thermal or biological. The objectives of solid waste treatment are to reduce its volume and to lower its contaminating potential by transforming it into inert or biologically stable material. Solid waste treatment 12. separating recyclable material at source and appropriately disposing of waste. known as waste treatment. 165 . economic and sanitary benefits. reusing materials. Mechanical ! classification – sorting by economic criteria or as a preparatory step for subsequent processing. ! grinding – reduces the granulometry and volume of waste as well as mixing and homogenizing it. or limited presence. acetic acid. carbon dioxide and heat. of oxygen at a lower temperature than that involved in incineration. other acids of low molecular weight and some unpleasantly smelling toxic gases such as sulfhidric acid (H2S).

2 Domestic solid waste treatment 12. Such prior separation reduces the amount of contamination affecting materials and in consequence increases the productivity of segregation plants. together with the rest of the domestic waste. ! ! ! generation of income and employment. plastic.2. ! The ideal recycling system begins with the separation of solid waste in homes so that only potentially recyclable materials are sent to segregation plants. Recycling offers the following advantages: ! conservation of natural resources. their sale to specialized companies and their transformation into material for producing goods that can be sold in the consumer market. Recyclable material segregated from mixed solid waste is dirty and contaminated. In such a case. greater public awareness of social and environmental problems.1 Recycling The recycling process comprises: the segregation of materials such as paper. If the necessary precautions are not taken recyclable material transformation processes can be extremely harmful to the environment. 166 . the outcome is much worse than if the waste had been disposed of in a sanitary landfill. economies in solid waste transport costs and in the occupation of landfills (as the amount of waste to be transported to the landfill is reduced). glass and metal from domestic solid waste. Recyclable material contained in general domestic solid waste can be separated in the segregation plant through manual or electromechanical processes that in terms of weight usually yield only 3% to 6%. The high cost of recyclable material transformation processes has resulted in many recycling companies not following environmental guidelines stipulating the use of clean (but expensive) technologies. where it would be subject to more rigorous environmental controls. energy saving. so its processing is more complicated and expensive. depending on the plant’s size and degree of sophistication.12.

It can be seen that. thus avoiding a mixture of recyclable and non-recyclable waste and reducing the percentage of nonrecoverable waste.4%) Sieving Figure 93 . the rest of the domestic waste. from the total amount of waste that arrives for processing only 12. 167 . provided there is compost production. are in general as expressed in the following flow chart of a hypothetical plant with an intake capacity of 1. Solid waste treatment After the segregation of recyclable material that can be used for production.6% needs to be transported to the final disposal site. and their uses. ! reception of domestic waste from differentiated collections. This subject is dealt with in the next section.500kg/ day (see figure 93).12. thus reducing the amount of non-recoverable waste. The gravimetric values (in weight) of the different types of solid waste after processing in a segregation plant with a composting unit. can be processed to obtain compost for agricultural use. ! existence of a strong and diversified market for recyclable materials so that the commercialization of a wide range of materials is possible. This material is inert and therefore not contaminating because the residual organic content has been stabilized with most of the organic matter being transformed into compost. Domestic waste collection 189kg/day (12.6%) Landfill Refuse Grinding of the predominantly organic fraction 60kg/day (humidity loss 4%) Selection table Pre-selection of bulky objects Reception Recyclable materials Compost curing piles Loss of matter heat+CO +water 225kg/day (15%) Recoverable materials Storage of composted ground material Refuse Organic preparation (compost) 456kg/day (30. which are: ! small-sized unit (low quantity of waste to be processed) which facilitates maximum efficiency of manual segregation. which is fundamentally organic.Flow chart of the process and mass fraction proportions These percentages however are based on the optimum operational performance conditions for a segregation and composting plant.

Feeding The loading of waste onto the processing line by means of machines such as loaders. In smaller plants feeding can be manual. or hydraulic arm grabs. 168 . In bigger establishments devices can be used to enable trucks to unload solid waste directly onto the processing lines. the average production of nonrecoverable waste in recycling and composting plants can be estimated as 25% of the total weight of refuse processed there. or in smaller establishments by means of estimative calculations. As in practice optimum conditions rarely exist. ! storage of unloaded waste in silos or warehouses of a size compatible with the daily processing capacity. which results in a larger percentage of non recyclable waste at the end of the process. thus freeing the operation of the processing lines from dependence on the functioning of feeding equipment. Clearly this proportion depends on the composition of the domestic solid waste generated in each city. The operation of a segregation and composting plant is divided into three stages: reception. feeding and selection. overhead cranes. which can be affected by local particularities. Selection In this sector the flow of waste on the selection lines is regulated and segregation by type of recyclable material is carried out. Reception Here collection trucks unload domestic solid waste and the following processes are applied in sequence: ! determination of the volume or of the weight using a weighbridge.In the case of bigger recycling and composting units (in large cities) the level of recyclable material recovery tends to be less and the amount of disposable material for treatment greater. as mentioned in chapter 5.

In plants that process up to 10tons/day. Solid waste treatment Equipment used for flow regulation comprises metal conveyor belts and mixer drums. In general. to allow sufficient time for the manual separation of materials by the segregators. Examples of auxiliary equipment are: sieves. In general simple plants only have selection conveyor belts. Figure 94 . The ones near the beginning of the conveyor belt separate larger objects (paper. In establishments that have several parallel selection belts they should be installed on a level that is high enough to allow for a level below them where baling presses can operate and there should be enough space available for moving segregated materials. while more complete ones use other equipment that itself removes recyclable materials or assists manual segregation. the first position on the selection line is occupied by a worker who breaks open bags and scatters their contents across the width of the belt in order to facilitate the work of the other segregators. In this type of plant the waste that arrives from collection is unloaded close to the end of the selection table and is transferred to the table by a worker with a pitchfork or another appropriate tool. The latter are appropriate for plants with a maximum capacity of 10tons per hour per line. a concrete table can be used that should be slightly inclined and have raised lateral borders to avoid the fall of waste. Segregators are stationed along the selection belt next to channels or containers. magnetic separators and pneumatic separators.) can be seen and separated by segregators nearer to the end of the line.12. Waste is manually pushed along the table by segregators using small planks as recyclable materials are withdrawn. glass containers. cardboard and sheet plastic) so that smaller objects (aluminium cans. etc. instead of a selection belt. The selection conveyor belt speed should be 10 to 12m/min. The distinct selection processes can be set up independently of each other or be interconnected.Manual selection in a small capacity recycling plant 169 . ballistic separators.

hard plastic (PVC. transparent glass. It is important to note that a segregation plant can only operate if the urban cleaning system of the city includes the selective collection of hazardous waste. coloured glass. etc. Figure 95 .2 Composting Composting is the natural biological degradation of organic materials (with carbon in their structure) of animal or vegetable origin through the action of micro organisms. Street sweeping waste and construction rubble should also not be brought to the segregation plant as they contain materials that can damage the machines. mixed glass. HDPE.).Manual selection in a large capacity recycling plant The type of recyclable material that will be separated in a segregation plant depends above all on demand from the industry. non-ferrous metal (aluminium cans. lead. sheet plastic (low density polyethylene).). It is essential that this type of material does not arrive at the segregation plant in order to avoid endangering workers who handle the waste. antimony. sheet metal. entire bottles. such as medical waste.Large capacity recycling plants need to use a high level of mechanization for feeding and the movement of the large volumes of waste along the operational lines. However in most plants the following materials are segregated: ! ! ! ! ! ! ! paper and cardboard. etc. It 170 . PET). 12.2. ferrous metal (cans.

odours are not unpleasant and degradation is quicker. In aerobic composting. Temperatures can reach 70ºC. The first stage. If humidity and airing are appropriately controlled these micro-organisms proliferate quickly and homogeneously throughout the mass of waste. In anaerobic composting. The second stage. Factors that influence composting A sufficient quantity of the micro organisms necessary for degrading organic matter is inherently present in domestic waste. to the mass of organic domestic waste for composting to take place. Structurally the micro organisms that degrade the organic matter are approximately 90% water. the more appropriate treatment for domestic waste. bio-stabilization. which in natural composting systems takes approximately 60 days. These pathogenic agents are eliminated by the heat generated in the biological process as they do not survive temperatures in excess of 55ºC for more than 24 hours. reaching 65ºC and later stabilizing at the ambient temperature towards the end of the cycle. The final product of an organic waste aerobic composting process is compost. depending on the presence or absence of oxygen in the process. The waste also contains pathogenic micro organisms such as salmonella and streptococcus. 171 . takes another 30 days. degradation is caused by micro organisms that live in environments without oxygen. emits a strong unpleasant odour and requires more time for the organic matter to stabilize. Stages of composting The aerobic composting process can be divided into two stages. therefore the water content has to be controlled during the process. a material rich in hummus and mineral nutrients that can be used in agriculture to improve soil quality and as a fertilizer. Hummus is a completely bio-stabilized homogeneous organic substance. Solid waste treatment is not necessary to add any type of substance. maturing.12. dark in colour and high in colloidal particle content that when applied to soil improves its physical characteristics for agriculture. degradation is caused by micro organisms that only live in environments containing oxygen. Composting can be aerobic or anaerobic. In this stage the humidification and mineralization of the organic matter takes place. including chemical substance. involves a significant increase in the temperature of the organic mass. it takes place at relatively low temperatures.

should be sanitarily treated in stabilization ponds. The organic matter remains there until its bio-stabilization and is stirred with a predetermined frequency (for example. with enough of a slope (2%) for rainwater and leachates produced in the composting process to run off. well compacted and if possible surfaced. the smaller the particles. The surface of the area where piles are set in a composting plant should be smooth. and from then on. Compost is aired by stirring the material with mechanical loaders or special machines. if particles are too small an excessively compacted mass can result.50m to 2m in height. A lack of oxygen produces unpleasant odours. These effluents. the quicker the degradation. Sufficient space for the storage of compost that is ready for use should also be made available.Aerobic composting in a small capacity plant 172 . However. with bases of up to 3m per side or 2m diameter and be no more than 1. During the aerobic stage the more the matter is exposed to oxygen. which makes the airing process more difficult. on the third day after the formation of the pile. which in well managed piles are produced in very small quantities.In aerobic composting the metabolism of the micro organisms needs oxygen. Once it is biologically stable the material is refined in a sieve and is ready to be used in the preparation of agricultural soils. mechanical loaders and special machines for stirring the piles can circulate. Factors such as humidity. Simple composting plants Simple plants make compost naturally in the open air. In addition. Figure 96 . the greater the surface area that is exposed to oxygen and therefore the shorter the composting process. In small units it can be stirred manually with pitchforks or other tools. When designing the composting area sufficient space has to be planned for between the piles so that trucks. temperature and granulometry influence the availability of oxygen. Composting piles should have a pyramidal or conical shape. every 10 days until completing 60 days). In such plants the waste is fragmented in a hammer-mill and then “piles” are set.

These values are presented in table 16 as a reference. Characteristics of compost The principal characteristic of compost produced by domestic waste composting is the presence of hummus and mineral nutrients. Compost can be used for any type of cultivation. which are absorbed by plant roots. commercialized compost produced by domestic waste composting plants must comply with minimum values established by the Ministry of Agriculture. Compost quality In general compost quality is standardized on the basis of parameters established by public institutions in each country with a view to ensuring its effective application in agriculture.10% 173 . Mineral nutrients can comprise up to 6% of the weight of the compost and include nitrogen.10% . In Brazil. phosphorus. A conical form facilitates the running off of rainwater and avoids the pile becoming saturated. Solid waste treatment Figure 97 .12. calcium.Aerobic composting in a large capacity plant If the height of the piles is more than 2m it is difficult to stir and air the organic mass.0 Margin . whether or not chemical fertilizers are being used.10% + 10% 21/1 . potassium. for example. Table 16 Values established in Brazil for commercialized compost Parameter Organic matter Total Nitrogen Humidity C/N relation PH Value > 40% > 1. the amounts of which determine the quality of the compost. It can be used to correct soil acidity and rehabilitate eroded areas. Hummus makes soil more porous thus facilitating the airing of roots and the retention of water and nutrients.0% < 40% < 18/1 > 6. magnesium and iron.

availability of personnel with sufficient technical training to select appropriate technology. One of the main concerns of compost users is the presence of heavy metals in sufficient concentrations to be prejudicial for cultivation and/or produce consumers. ! ! availability of resources to finance initial investment. 174 . Some components of domestic waste such as coloured paper.2. existence of a market for recyclables and compost in the region. Composting plants’ segregation operations must remove these materials as much as is possible from the waste that is received. availability of sufficient space to establish a segregation plant and/or composting area. textiles. before proceeding they should examine the practicalities of the following required conditions: ! ! ! ! existence of a reasonably efficient and regular collection system. especially in small and medium-sized ones. However. public and medical waste. ceramics and batteries contain heavy metals. existence of selective collection for domestic. supervise the setting up of a plant. In most Latin American and Caribbean cities. 12.3 Choosing a treatment option Segregation and/or composting plants are alternatives that municipalities should consider when planning the treatment of domestic solid waste that they collect. rubber. When determining which machines to install it should always be taken into account that the more sophisticated and automatic they are.Compost must be periodically subject to physical and chemical analysis in order to verify its compliance with the minimum quality standards established by the relevant governmental body. maintain machines and supervise their operation. the higher the initial investment and maintenance costs and the lower the level of employment generation. it is unlikely that compost produced from domestic waste will contain a concerning level of heavy metals because of the socioeconomic characteristics of most of the population and therefore the type of waste generated.

A considered economic feasibility study of any proposed project should be undertaken taking into account on the one hand the advantages of installing a plant (reduction of the amount of waste to be transported and buried. sale of compost and recyclable material. the implementation. generation of incomes and employment. savings through reduced sanitary landfill costs resulting from reduced waste volumes. capital expenditure (interest and amortization) and depreciation. labour intensive systems are recommended such as manual segregation plants. 175 . management and administration teams). spare parts and machine replacement. operational and maintenance costs. ! indirect ! ! savings through the reduced cost of transport to the sanitary landfill. environmental benefits). Income ! direct ! sale of compost and recyclable material. purchase and legalization of land. purchase of machines and tools. operation and maintenance. architectural and engineering planning and works. and on the other. Solid waste treatment In Latin American and Caribbean countries. energy and tariffs of public service concessionaires. ECONOMIC FEASIBILITY STUDIES Prior to the establishment of a segregation or composting plant an economic feasibility study should be carried out covering the following points: Investment ! ! ! ! ! environmental licenses. Expenditure ! ! ! ! personnel (non-qualified labour. where there is high unemployment.12. technical.

although there has been a concomitant increase in quality requirements. taken as a whole. However. Segregation and composting plants generate income and employment and reduce the amount of waste to be disposed of in sanitary landfills or refuse dumps. represents a significant environmental and economic benefit from segregation and composting plants. ! ! income generation. The use of recyclable material results in a saving of energy and resources that would otherwise be used in the transformation of raw materials and this. together with the transformation of organic matter separated from waste into compost that improves agricultural soils. natural resource savings. Social ! provision of dignified and formal employment for segregators – the participation of segregator organizations in plants should be prioritized whenever possible. It is unlikely that the direct income from a segregation and composting plant will cover its expenditures and the project should not be entered into as a profitable undertaking from a strictly commercial perspective. Companies that buy recyclables impose three basic conditions: ! ! ! sufficient production scale.Environmental ! ! ! energy savings. regularity of supply. good quality material. promotion of public environmental awareness. reduced environmental contamination from waste. 176 . RECYCLABLE MATERIALS MARKET The market for recyclable material is growing rapidly and offers significant rates of return. it can be seen as being extremely positive when indirect income and the potential for significant environmental and social benefits are considered.

Solid waste treatment Materials that are appropriately segregated. In order of importance they are: Demographic density – a high demographic density in the area is essential to ensure a constant supply of rubble to the recycling plant. an improvement in the urban environment due to reduced indiscriminate dumping of construction rubble in the streets. or difficult access to. natural deposits of raw material favours rubble recycling.3 Treatment of special domestic waste 12. The recycling of construction rubble has the following advantages: ! ! ! a reduction in the extraction of raw material.12. and so more valuable. The commercialization of these products. Some segregator cooperatives seek ways of increasing the value of their recyclable material by for example endeavouring to make it as clean as possible and at least segregating and baling the different types of paper and cardboard. depends on the existence of local recycling companies that are interested in them. eliminating intermediary agents. the creation of employment for unqualified labour. are easier to commercialize in the market. reinforced concrete works of art and pre-moulded elements. Three factors should be analyzed in a pre-establishment evaluation for a rubble recycling plant in a particular location. ! ! the availability on the market of cheaper construction materials. and 177 .3. aluminium cans and hard plastic. Availability of natural aggregate – a scarcity of. The establishment of recycling plants for this type of material should therefore be fostered and the possibility of charging special tariffs should be considered to ensure their economic viability. However an abundance of. Another fundamental requirement is to have a storage place for the materials in order to rationalize their transport to the customer and be able to offer larger amounts of recyclable material and in consequence obtain better prices. the conservation of non-renewable raw material. relatively clean. They will also endeavour to sell directly to companies. Recycled rubble can be used in the base and sub-base of roads or as gross aggregate in construction works. Market prices vary and are directly influenced by the price of raw materials as well as other factors such as the level of demand from recycling companies for a particular recyclable material at certain periods of the year. 12. including the sale price and production flow.1 Construction rubble The most common treatment of construction rubble is its segregation. cleaning and grinding for reuse in the construction industry itself.

quantity. rubble transport).Rubble recycling plant . place of origin. price). standards). natural deposits does not necessarily exclude the viability of rubble recycling. type and quality. Figure 98 . ! ! ! In connection with commercialization: ! ! ! natural raw material (quality. reserves). processing (feasibility. responsible agent. recycled material (technical quality. technical team. distances. organization and machines).basic features 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 - Administration Control centre Entry checkpoint Feeder Grinder Conveyor belt Rubble to be recycled Storage Area Reception Area Green Belt Garden 178 . demolition and renovation (techniques applied. collection and final disposal possibilities (prices.easy access to. Technical level – it is necessary to use appropriate technologies to avoid environmental degredation. regulations in force). Also. price. market conditions (type. the following factors should be studied: In connection with rubble received: ! rubble characteristics (quantity. existing local regulations). current consumption. The location of a recycling plant on the periphery of an urban area is of fundamental importance in order to keep the final cost of the recycled product down.

In the semi-automatic process iron is separated before grinding. The grinder feeder should be equipped with water sprinklers to minimize the emission of dust and a rubber lining to keep noise levels within the limits established by environmental control bodies. 179 . The appropriate procedures and control devices should be adopted to avoid the emission of particles. Solid waste treatment Construction rubble recycling can be done in two ways: automatic and semi-automatic. ! in the reception area it is superficially inspected to determine whether the load is compatible with the grinder. baled and commercialized. which is pressed. Operational sequence for a semi-automatic plant ! rubble brought in by collection trucks is weighed on the recycling plant’s weighbridge and sent to the reception area.General view of a rubble recycling plant The plant should receive only inert waste so that there is no possibility of releasing contaminating substances. After being ground the material passes through a magnetic separator to remove ferrous material. Figure 99 . The automatic process employs a robust machine of great potency. The rest of the material passes through a revolving sieve that segregates it according to granulometric characteristics. If it is not of an appropriate type. the unloading of the vehicle will not be allowed and it will be sent to a sanitary landfill. able to receive and grind construction rubble without the prior separation of iron rods that therefore remain inside concrete blocks.12.


if the material is compatible with the machinery the vehicle unloads in the reception area. Manual segregation takes place there, separating out material of no use such as plastic, metal and small amounts of organic matter;


during manual segregation a mechanical loader is used to stir the material and facilitate the work of segregators;


the separated out material is categorized into what can be commercialized (scrap iron) and what is for disposal (the rest of the material), and is put in separate areas for storage and future disposal respectively;


material with larger dimensions than those of the feeding mouth is not accepted, nor concrete blocks with internal iron rods that can damage the mill by breaking the hammers. In some cases reception area workers can break the blocks and separate out the iron;


material in which significant amounts of plastic are incorporated must never be admitted as it can damage the machines;


rubble from small construction works often arrives in bags and is manually unpacked before the feeding and grinding operations;


once material that is of no use has been removed, the rubble is lightly dampened by a sprinkler system in order to minimize the dust generated during grinding. A mechanical loader then places it in the feeder, which regulates its entry into the grinder.

Figure 100 - Rubble recycling plant - feeder and grinder


from the feeder the material passes to the mill where it is ground. From the grinder the material moves along a small conveyor belt equipped with a magnetic separator to separate iron that was not seen during the manual segregation and was introduced into the impact mill;


12. Solid waste treatment


later the material passes to the vibratory sieve that segregates it according to predefined granulometry;


each type of material is transported to its respective storage area on a conventional constant speed conveyor belt.

Conveyor belts are mounted on wheels so that they can be moved sideways in a semicircle in the storage area. This facilitates direct transportation to the storage area in an interrupted operation that avoids the need to move piles of ground material with a mechanical loader.

Figure 101 - Rubble recycling plant - grinder and conveyor belt

The conveyor belt wheels should move on a concrete surface strong enough to support its weight. The sideways movement of the belt is a manual operation carried out by storage area workers each time that the pile of ground rubble reaches the maximum height allowed by the incline of the belt. In the storage area the ground material should always be kept damp to avoid scattering by the wind and dust generation. Vehicles that take ground rubble away are loaded with a mechanical loader similar to the one used in the reception area. Products made with recycled rubble include:
! ! ! ! !

pavement paving slabs; road sub-base and base; breeze blocks for cheaper housing walls and masonry; fine aggregate for surfacing; aggregate for storm drain inlet, kerb and gutter construction.


The costs presented here are based on the establishment and operation of a large automatic rubble recycling plant with a 100 ton/hour production capacity located 10km from the urban perimeter:
! !

cost of the plant (construction work + machines): US$ 1,091,274.33 unit production cost: US$ 10.30/ton

The establishment and operational costs for a semiautomatic plant are as follows: A 120 ton/day capacity plant:
! ! !

investment costs: US$ 45,000.00 construction work: US$ 25,000.00 maintenance/operation: US$ 11.50/ton

A 240 ton/day capacity plant:
! ! !

investment costs: US$ 80,000.00 construction work: US$ 30,000.00 maintenance/operation: US$ 13.60/ton

12.3.2 Tyres
Problems caused by the inappropriate disposal of tyres in wasteland, watercourses and streets, especially in peripheral urban areas, are a source of growing concern for public authorities due to their significant environmental impacts. Due to climatic conditions and other characteristics particular to Latin American and Caribbean countries, the problem is of equal concern from a public health perspective as inappropriately discarded tyres become a shelter and breeding ground for disease vectors due to the water that accumulates in them. In the United States, where the consumption of tyres is equivalent to one tyre per inhabitant per year (approximately 300 million tyres a year), the most common treatment is burning in thermoelectric plants. However due to difficulties involved in this process it is applied to no more than 5% of used tyres.

In both the 100 million dollar Modesto plant in California, which burns 4.5 million tyres a year generating 15 megawatts and providing energy to 14,000 houses, and the Sterling plant in Connecticut, which burns 10 million tyres a year generating 30 megawatts, operational costs are double those for coal burning plants.


12. Solid waste treatment

The disposal of used tyres in sanitary landfills is inappropriate as there are operational problems involved in burying them and they provoke empty spaces that cause points of instability in the mass of waste. Consequently alternatives have been sought to address this problem but up to now no definitive solution has been found. This problem came to the fore in Brazil in the mid 1990s when the annual tyre production had reached 35 million. At the end of that decade CONAMA introduced a requirement obliging tyre companies to take responsibility for the disposal of waste resulting from their production (used tyres) under the “polluter pays” principle. Burning in cement industry clinker furnaces was the immediate solution that producers turned to. However not all furnaces were adapted to burn tyres and there were some restrictive factors associated with the procedure because of a change in the quality of the cement produced and the emission of gases not in compliance with limits established by environmental bodies. In recent years the ongoing search for new technological processes has seen developments such as one in Brazil that uses organic solvents to separate rubber from the wire and nylon in tyres facilitating its recovery and recycling. However, many of these new developments are not economically viable. In spite of these efforts the problem continues and, as in other situations, it is the urban cleaning system that has to bear the significant expenditure involved in dealing with used tyres habitually discarded in unpopulated peripheral areas as it has an obligation to collect them for sanitary and environmental reasons.

In this context, an initiative that can serve as an example for other urban cleaning bodies in Latin American and Caribbean cities is the COMLURB “ecotyres” experience in Rio de Janeiro. Concerned with the growing number of used tyres discarded in the city, a study was carried out on the route taken by tyres from their moment of purchase in different neighbourhoods of the city to the moment when they are discarded, in general in peripheral zones. The study found this route to be: producers, dealers, recovery agents and tyre workshops. Tyres without any further possibility of use are discarded on wasteland, in drainage channels or are burned. This data led to the following measures: the registering of all locations, both formal and informal, where tyres are repaired; the implementation of the “ecotyres” system 5 in cooperation with the private tyre sector; and the development of an information program on the use of the “ecotyres” system covering dealers, tyre mechanics, bus companies and haulage companies.


A network of locations with the minimum infrastructure necessary for the reception and storage of unusable tyres that, when a predetermined number have accumulated, are then taken away by the private sector to be recycled.


The public authority should introduce specific regulations that consolidate the application of the “polluter pays” principle by establishing the responsibilities of producers and distributors for waste generated when their products are discarded.

12.3.3 Batteries and fluorescent tubes
The number of batteries present in domestic waste continues to increase as the use of electrical and electronic gadgets spreads in modern society and plays an increasing role in people’s daily lives. The incidence of this type of waste in the overall composition of domestic solid waste is clearly dependent on the socioeconomic condition of the population as here the relation between consumption and disposal is direct. In Latin American and Caribbean countries the problem has therefore yet to reach the concerning proportions that it has in the United States, Japan and European countries. However immediate action is necessary to establish control mechanisms for this type of waste as it should receive the same level of treatment as hazardous industrial waste. Fluorescent tubes fall into a similar category and due to their high level of toxicity, together with the difficulties involved in controlling environmental contamination from them, they should be dealt with in the same way as toxic waste.

In the cases of both batteries and fluorescent tubes specific legislation is required to consolidate the “polluter pays” principle. Under such legislation responsibility for the treatment and final disposal of these types of waste would be assigned to producers, with the participation of dealers and distributors in the reception of discarded material and of the general public in separation, appropriate storage and delivery.


Treatment of waste from special sources

12.4.1 Industrial solid waste
It is usual to treat industrial waste with a view to its reuse, or at least to leaving it inert. Due to its diversity however there is no pre-established universally applicable process so research and development for economically viable processes is always needed. This waste should not be the responsibility of the urban cleaning authorities but of the waste generators themselves, the industrial companies that produce it. Such an


without any participation by the urban cleaning sector. or the adding of it to combustible material where gases that are harmful to the environment will not be generated during burning. Solid waste treatment approach requires comprehensive legislation and effective supervision mechanisms to avoid irregular disposal of the waste. Recycling and recovery In general there is a trend towards transforming waste into base material for other processes. but this risk reduces as technological developments provide more secure and economical ways of using the material. ! thermal destruction – incineration and pyrolysis. ! encapsulating – the lining of waste with a coat of impermeable synthetic resin with a very low leaching level. 185 . ! incorporation – the adding of waste to a mass of concrete or clay in a proportion that does not damage the environment. However transformation processes require significant investment and offer unpredictable returns as the scope for corresponding charges on the price of the product is limited. To encourage waste recycling and recovery. 12.12. thus generating savings in the industrial process. Atomic stabilization processes for radioactive material have been developed but still cannot be used on an industrial level. or waste that they want to purchase.4. drying by mixing – the mixing of waste that has a high humidity content with dry waste or inert material such as sawdust. Other treatment processes The most common treatment processes are: ! ! neutralization – for waste with acid or alkaline characteristics. some states issue free periodical publications in which industrial companies anounce waste that they have for sale or donation.2 Radioactive waste There are still no economically viable treatment processes for radioactive waste. As has already been explained this type of waste is the responsibility of a specialized national body that operates within international regulations and safety procedures.

treatment and final disposal of this waste. ! comply with regulations established by the government’s environmental control body for effluents and gas emissions. 12. New technical processes have led to the development of several treatments that are already available on the market.4 Medical waste There are many technical processes for the treatment of medical waste. In such cases it is important that the work of the urban cleaning team is integrated with that of the professionals responsible for sanitary vigilance so that appropriate sanitary and environmental procedures can be applied to the storage. microwave. ionizing radiation.12. Recent progress in environmental research led to the discovery of atmospheric contamination risks in the incineration process and resulted in a requirement for very expensive treatments of generated gases. electro-thermal deactivation and chemical treatment. autoclave. Until a short time ago the debate on medical waste treatments was between incineration and autoclave treatment as many countries do not allow its disposal in septic tanks at sanitary landfills. collection. the elimination of bacillus stearothermophilus in the case of sterilization and of bacillus subtyllis in the case of disinfection.4. Incineration. Irrespective of its technical basis any waste treatment that is adopted should: ! reduce the biological content of waste in accordance with stipulated requirements.4.3 Port and airport waste This type of waste is not usually treated in a special way except in the case of waste generated on boats or planes coming from regions where a particular disease is endemic. In general most waste generated on these sites has similar characteristics to domestic waste and can be collected and sent to the same final disposal units. or another equivalent treatment. that is. which has imposed economic restrictions on its use. is usually recommended for waste with a high potential risk. ! process sufficient volumes in relation to the capital and operational costs of the system in order to be economically viable in terms of the local economy. pyrolysis. ! avoid the de-characterization of waste thus ensuring that it is recognizable as medical waste. 186 . The available commercial processes that meet these fundamental requirements are: incineration.

187 . In the first chamber solid and liquid waste is burned with a high level of oxygen at a temperature of 800ºC to 1. releasing heat and generating ashes as residue. cyclones or electrostatic precipitators. through which carbon based materials are decomposed.12. they become mixed with the ashes from where it is possible to separate and recover them for commercialization. However installation and operational costs are generally high principally because of the need for filters and sophisticated technological devices to reduce or eliminate the contamination of the air with gases produced during the burning of waste. Basically an incinerator consists of two combustion chambers. phosphorus or sulphur. before being discharged into the atmosphere through a chimney. transforming it into gases. hydrogen and oxygen atoms all that is required is an efficient system to filter particles expelled together with the combustion gases. There are different types of incineration furnace. Gases resulting from the secondary combustion are rapidly cooled to avoid the recomposition of their extensive toxic organic chains and are then treated in washers. Correctly carried out waste incineration is also an effective means of reducing the volume of waste and leaving it absolutely inert in a short time.000ºC.200ºC to 1. Normally the amount of oxygen used in incineration is 10% to 25% greater than is necessary in the common burning of waste. In the case of waste composed exclusively of carbon. In the case of toxic waste that contains chlorine. As the waste burning temperature is not high enough to melt and volatilize metals. moving grate and rotary kiln. Solid waste treatment INCINERATION Incineration is a burning process in the presence of a high level of oxygen. In the second chamber gases produced by the initial combustion are burned at a temperature of 1. gases not only need to remain for more time inside the chamber (approximately two seconds) but also require treatment by sophisticated systems before they can be discharged into the atmosphere.400°C. the most common being fixed grate. ashes and scoria.

one that blows air amongst the waste (air below fire) and the other that introduces air above the waste (air above fire). Air is introduced from above the grate to minimize the trailing of ashes.Fixed grate incinerator Moving grate incinerators The grate consists of stepped cast iron sheets connected to a hydraulic system for moving it in a swaying motion that conducts the waste from the access door through to the ash and scoria pit. The combustion grate is divided into three sections.Fixed grate incinerators In this process waste is deposited on a fixed grate where it is burned. 188 . Hot ashes and scoria from the burning are continuously deposited in a pit located under the furnace from where they are removed mechanically or by water. from where they are removed mechanically or by water. the first one is for drying and the waste is completely burned in the second and third sections. Air for combustion in the furnace is provided by two blowers. Chimney Overhead crane Feeding Collection truck Air blower Fixed grate Reception pit Contamination control equipment Combustion chamber Ash outlet Ash outlet Air extractors Figure 102 . Ashes and scoria resulting from the burning process fall through the holes of the grate into an ash pit. To ensure the level of oxygen necessary for the complete combustion of waste and gases. the air flow is augmented by an extractor located at the base of the chimney.

mounted with a slight incline in relation to the horizontal plane. Solid waste treatment Chimney Overhead crane to transport waste Overhead crane to transport ashes Heater Condenser Gas cooler Filter sleeve Gas re-heater Reagent catalytic reactor Steam control valve Use of heat generated by waste Steam turbine Condensation tank Swaying grate Ventilation blower Overhead crane for bulky waste Bulky waste pit Waste pit Furnace Conveyor belt for ashes Fly ash treatment Ash pit Gas washer Ventilation blower Bulky non-combustible waste Magnetic separator Aluminium separator Ferrous material press Rotary sieve Bulky combustible waste Ground combustible material Aluminium press Aluminium storage Slow speed blade grinder Hammer grinder Ferrous material storage Figure 103 . Chimney Heat interchanger Washer water oxidation Feeder system Liquid waste burner Rotary kiln Electrostatic filters Gas washer Collection truck Reception pit Post-burning chamber with chimney Air extractor Figure 104 . The entrance is at the higher end. Gases generated pass to a secondary burning chamber that accommodates burners for liquids and gases.Moving grate incinerator Rotary kiln Rotary kilns are useful for the thermal destruction of infectious waste but are more used for burning hazardous industrial waste. so that the waste moves slowly downwards due to the rotation of the cylinder.Rotary kiln 189 . Gases resulting from this burning flow into heat interchangers and washing equipment. the opposite end to the burners. They are cylindrical incinerators with a diameter of approximately four metres and a length of up to four times the diameter.12.

pyrolysis is a thermal destruction process with the difference that it absorbs heat and takes place in the absence of oxygen. Secondary air Cyclone Ash extractor Boiler Air extractor Figure 105 . Primary air Temperature Gradient Drying Decomposition Gasification . substantial reduction in the volume of waste to be disposed of (almost 95%). carbon based materials de-compose into combustible gases or liquids and carbon. 190 . where the calorific value of the waste maintains a certain temperature during the process.000ºC and dual chamber models with temperatures of between 600ºC and 800ºC in the primary chamber and between 1. Its main advantages are: ! ! effective treatment is guaranteed given optimum operational conditions. There are single chamber models where the operating temperature is approximately 1.200ºC in the secondary chamber.000ºC and 1. Its main disadvantages are: ! high operational and maintenance costs.Pyrolytic furnace The feeder system can be automatic (continuous) or semi-automatic (by lots) and the auxiliary burners can burn diesel or gas. In this process. Pyrolytic furnaces are very much used in the treatment of medical waste.PYROLYSIS Like incineration.

! high risk of air contamination from dioxins generated by the inappropriate burning of chloro materials present in PVC bags and disinfectants. high cost of effluent treatment. Figure 106 . ! ! risk of air contamination due to the emission of particulate matter. 191 . Solid waste treatment ! maintenance difficulties requiring constant cleaning work in the auxiliary fuel feeder system. It should be noted that neither incineration nor pyrolysis completely solve the medical waste final disposal problem as both the ashes that are produced and the sludge resulting from the treatment of gases require an appropriate final disposal. unless natural gas is used.12. Basically it consists of a feeder system that conveys the waste into a hermetic chamber where a vacuum is created and steam is then injected (from 105ºC to 150ºC) under certain pressure conditions.Medical waste incineration plant with a capacity of 250kg/hour AUTOCLAVE Originally used for the sterilization of surgical equipment. this process was adapted and developed for waste sterilization.

into a microwave furnace where there is a device to stir and transport the mass so that all of the material uniformly receives the microwave radiation.The waste remains in the chamber for a certain period until it is sterile. dampened with steam at 150ºC and is fed. does not emit gases and effluent is sterile. waste is processed in lots. ! ! does not reduce the volume of waste unless it is previously ground. Figure 107 . after which water is discharged from one side and the waste from the other. continuous treatment is not possible. 192 . as a continuous process. MICROWAVE In this process waste is ground. Disadvantages: ! there is no guarantee that the steam will reach all parts of the mass of waste unless it has been appropriately ground before the sterilization phase.Autoclave Advantages: ! ! ! relatively low operational costs. relatively easy and cheap maintenance.

193 .12.Microwave IONIZING RADIATION In this process. continuous process. Its advantages are the absence of any type of effluent emission and the fact that it is a continuous process. Figure 108 . Disadvantages: ! ! relatively high operational costs. Solid waste treatment Advantages: ! ! absence of emissions or any type of effluent. generated by a source of enriched cobalt 60. This process has the following disadvantages in comparison with previously mentioned processes: ! treatment effectiveness is questionable as a possibility exists that part of the mass of waste is not exposed to the electromagnetic rays. the volume of waste to be buried is not reduced unless it is ground. waste in its natural form is exposed to the action of gamma rays. ! the used cobalt 60 source (radioactive) requires appropriate disposal. which render micro organisms inactive.

194 . and there is no volume reduction unless a post-treatment grinding system is installed.Deodorizer HEPA Filter Pre-filter Automatic doors Dust collector Deodorizer HEPA Filter Pre-filter Hydraulic press Weighbridge Reception pit Primary grinder primary cyclones Liquids Secondary grinder secondary cyclones Waste reception Processing unit Grinding and homogenization To the landfill Container Press Control panel Transport Class C waste Treatment Figure 109 . reaching a final temperature of 95ºC to 98ºC. In this process there is no effluent or gas emission. with the addition of equipment maintenance difficulties. chlorine dioxide or formaldehyde gas. CHEMICAL TREATMENT In this process waste is ground and then submerged in a disinfectant solution that can be sodium hypochlorite. The mass of waste remains in the solution for some minutes and the treatment is by direct contact. generated by low frequency electromagnetic waves.Ionizing radiation ELECTRO-THERMAL DEACTIVATION This process consists of double grinding prior to treatment. The advantages and disadvantages of this process are the same as those for the microwave process. followed by the exposure of the ground mass to a high potency electrical field.

waste passes through a drying system generating an environmentally harmful effluent that has to be neutralized. which would have to be a separate process. Solid waste treatment Before being deposited in the outlet container. The disadvantages are the need for effluent neutralization and the absence of volume reduction unless the waste is ground. Bags of medical waste Particle filtering Gas washing Pulverizer Nº 2 (disinfectant) Air extractor HEPA filter Rotary discharge screw conveyor Vapour Feeder Vertical screw conveyor Discharge tube Grinder Nº 1 co nv ey or Mixer ½ to 2 inch grater Grinder Nº 2 sc re w Pulverizer Nº 1 (disinfectant) In cli ne d ½ to 2 inch grater (dry) Horizontal screw conveyor Figure 110 .12. The advantages of this process are its low operational and maintenance costs and the effectiveness of the waste treatment.Chemical disinfection Im m er sio n Sodium hypochlorite solution 195 .

13 Solid waste final disposal 196 .

At the same time. as many municipalities in Latin America and the Caribbean have a limited budget.13. As a result in many municipalities. It is therefore necessary to defeat this stigma through thorough studies and project planning. it is essential that the political will exists to allocate the necessary budgetary resources for the implementation and correct operation of the approved project. raising families and even forming communities. The only appropriate form of solid waste final disposal is in sanitary landfills or. All the other processes that are regarded as disposal (recycling.1 Introduction Urban cleaning systems have to face the challenge not only of collecting solid waste from streets and buildings in ever-growing cities but also of ensuring an appropriate final destination for such waste. The initiation of a sanitary landfill presents difficulties not only because it involves environmental studies. The latter issue deserves attention because if collection is inefficient public pressure is put on the municipality to improve service quality due to it being an exposed and visible activity. In addition to the sanitary and environmental problems that refuse dumps present. it is common to find refuse dumps where collected waste is deposited directly on the ground without any supervision or environmental care. Consequently. composting and incineration plants) are in reality waste treatment processes that need a landfill for the final disposal of the remaining waste. This rejection stems from a perception that society has of solid waste disposal sites as being inadequately set up and badly managed. the urban cleaning system will tend to leave final disposal in the background giving priority to waste collection and street cleaning. few people will be directly disturbed by this and so it will not generate complaints. 197 . air. particularly the smaller ones. contaminating soil. in controlled landfills. and with a broad awareness raising process in society that communicates the difference between sanitary landfills and dumps. specific sanitary engineering and environmental planning and a relatively high initial investment before it is established. Solid waste final disposal 13. provided certain conditions that will be described later are fulfilled. while if the final disposal of waste is carried out in an inappropriate way. but also due to the natural resistance that arises in people when they know that they will be living close to a place where waste will accumulate. there are serious social problems connected with the segregators that they attract. the water table and neighbouring land. These people make their living from the separation of recyclable material and often live in huts and shacks on the site of the dump.

or only partial covering. ! ! practice of burning waste ! safety risks for people. ! pig raising and presence of other animals ! zoonosis and other public health risks. old people and children ! citizenship degradation.13. hence the previous segregation of special waste is indispensable. men. proximity to population centres. which is explosive in concentrations of 5% to 15% in the air. for example). educational centres and kindergartens ! inhabitants subject to various nuisances and sanitary risks. ! proximity to environmentally protected areas (ecological reserves and equivalents) ! degradation of the area and environmental contamination risks. unsightliness and landscape contamination. the nature of which depends on the components of the waste. ! inappropriate disposal of medical waste mixed with domestic waste ! increased risk to people and of environmental contamination. ! ! segregation activities carried out by women. Biogas is not only toxic but is one of the contributory factors to the greenhouse effect. In addition domestic solid waste anaerobic decomposition processes generate biogas.2 Impacts of inappropriate solid waste disposal Problematic situations often encountered around the site of incorrect municipal solid waste disposal and their respective consequences are: ! proximity to bodies of water ! water contamination. of waste ! vector proliferation. ! lack of physical barriers (areas without fences) and a vegetation belt ! access for people and animals. The composition of this biogas includes gases with an unpleasant smell such as hydrogen sulfide and mercaptans. dispersion of odours and waste particles. As a result this leachate is highly contaminating due to its high BOD and chemical reactions between its components (heavy metals. energy wastage. odours. At the final disposal site the biological decomposition of the remains of food and other organic material contained in domestic waste generates an effluent with a high BOD (biochemical oxygen demand) that moves and incorporates other substances contained in the mass of waste. exposure to unhealthy conditions. Measures to avoid the negative effects that result when waste is inappropriately disposed of on the ground should include the creation of an environment less favourable for 198 . health risks and accidents. lack of covering. atmospheric contamination. principally composed of methane. Landfills are a kind of melting pot for chemical and biological activity and reactions that produce effluents.

” A sanitary landfill unit of construction is called a cell. The cell is built against a retaining wall that can be a pre-existent natural elevation. Cells are constructed next to each other. 199 .3 Sanitary landfill The objectives and principles of sanitary landfill construction and operation can be defined in different ways. A solid waste final disposal project should therefore incorporate technical solutions that comply with the basic guidelines for avoiding the above mentioned environmental impacts. in which each day’s solid waste (or the waste from a shorter period if the daily amount of waste is too great) is deposited in compacted sloping layers and is covered with a layer of earth that is also compacted. In Latin American and Caribbean countries an acceptable alternative for smaller municipalities with limited economic resources is the controlled landfill. a berm previously formed with compacted earth or other cells. engineering resources should be used to comply with the required technical specifications and applicable regulations. in Spanish). forming a “landfill level”.13. In addition. In our opinion the most appropriate definition is the one established by the Sanitary Engineering and Environmental Sciences Pan-American Centre (CEPIS. the landfill can have two or more levels. of the Pan American Health Organization. Solid waste final disposal undesirable chemical and biological reactions. depending on project requirements. Where these favourable conditions do not exist naturally. neither does it harm the environment during its operations or after its closure. each one supported by the previous one. which has been incorporated in many technical norms and adopted by environmental bodies and entities. It states that: “The sanitary landfill is a technique for the final disposal of solid waste in the ground that causes no nuisance or danger to public health or safety. it anticipates the problems that could be caused by the liquids and gases produced by the decomposition of organic matter. covering it daily with layers of earth and compacting it to reduce its volume. This technique uses engineering principles to confine the waste to as small areas as possible. which can be used provided that technical and environmental norms established by regulatory legal instruments are respected. It is therefore necessary to isolate or minimize the contact between waste components that could react with each other. In a solid waste final disposal unit the soil is the principal receptor and conductor of contaminants. 13. Nevertheless it can also serve as protection against the contamination of underground water and the environment provided that it is sufficiently deep and impermeable. Finally it is necessary that effluents and gases are dealt with in an appropriate way. The recommended method for domestic waste final disposal is the sanitary landfill.

Operational units ! ! domestic waste cells. ! the advance should be calculated according to the daily volume of waste. Figure 112 – Waterproofing of the operational area 200 . A sanitary landfill consists of operational and support units. the width of the work face and its height. Figure 111 – Construction of the operational area . ! the height should be between 3 and 6 metres depending on the amount of waste to be dealt with (sanitary landfill capacity). medical waste cells (where the municipality does not have a more effective final disposal process for this type of waste). ! dimensions are adjusted according to the stability and availability of the land.When determining the dimensions of a cell. some basic criteria should be taken into account: ! the width of a cell’s work face should not be greater than is necessary for the safe manoeuvring of machines and vehicles.Embankment ! waterproofing of the bottom (obligatory) and of the top (optional).

Figure 115 – Rainwater drainage system 201 . Figure 114 – Biogas collection and burning ! rainwater drainage and channelling system.13. Figure 113 – Leachate collection and treatment ! biogas collection and burning (or use) system. Solid waste final disposal ! collection and treatment system for percolated liquid (leachate).

! ! environmental. topographical and geotechnical monitoring systems. storage area for materials. Figure 118 – Preparation of an internal service road 202 . Figure 116 – Storage area for materials Support units ! fence and vegetation barrier. Figure 117 – Vegetation barrier ! access and service roads.

The intense urbanization and land use in cities limits the availability of sites that are both close to where waste is generated and large enough for the installation of a sanitary landfill that will meet the needs of the municipality.1 Sanitary landfill site selection The selection of the sanitary landfill site is a complex task. 203 . juridical aspects. Solid waste final disposal ! weighbridge for trucks and waste checkpoint. formulating the project master plan and installation.13. Figure 119 – Weighbridge for weighing loads ! ! entrance checkpoint and administrative offices. mechanical and tyre workshops. Many other factors have to be taken into account such as the technical requirements of the norms and guidelines issued by relevant public bodies. Figure 120 – Support units The sanitary landfill pre-operational process consists of the selection of the site.3. 13. obtaining the necessary licenses.

PRELIMINARY IDENTIFICATION OF AVAILABLE SITES The preliminary identification of available sites in the municipality should be carried out as follows: ! preliminary calculation of the total area needed for the sanitary landfill. the governing plan of the corresponding municipality. However the operational usage as a percentage of the total area will depend on the particular conditions of each site (topography. some experts multiply the quantity of waste collected daily. a critical analysis of each potential site in relation to the prioritized criteria. 204 . Requirements for the appropriate establishment of a sanitary landfill are therefore very rigorous and it is necessary to carefully define an order of priorities. hydrology and geometric shape. local and regional development centres. so that the site that most complies with the required conditions in terms of its natural land characteristics is selected. determination of all selection criteria. access roads and political and social aspects involved in the approval of the project by politicians. for example). in square metres. the distance over which waste will have to be transported. Economic and financial factors must be a major consideration as municipal resources always have to be used in a balanced way. This factor is based on the following landfill project parameters: Useful life = 20 years. Applying this strategy minimizes the corrective measures that have to be taken to adapt the land to technical requirements and thus reduces the need for initial investment. landfill height = 20 m.governmental requirements. The selection strategy for a new sanitary landfill site consists of the following steps: ! ! ! ! preliminary identification of land available in the municipality. slopes of 1:3 (vertical : horizontal) and an 80% operational occupation of the land. by the factor 560. definition of the selection criteria order of priority. To make an approximate calculation of the minimum total area necessary for the installation of a sanitary landfill. the media and the community. in tons.

Distance to bodies of water The site should be not less than 200 metres from major bodies of water such as rivers. where there are no zoning or land use restrictions and sites have dimensions compatible with the preliminary calculation. lakes. 205 . which in such cases should be appropriately modified. It should be noted however that specific aspects of legislation in any particular country may vary from the concepts and dimensions described here. economic-financial. ! survey of the available sites within the delimited perimeters. ! ! determination of ownership of surveyed sites. All the conditions and restrictions commonly stipulated by technical norms and relevant regulations are listed in table 17. giving priority to land owned by the municipality. excluding those where the documentation is not in order. It is very important that the legal situation in relation to the ownership of a site is in order to avoid potential problems for the municipality and delays in the licensing process. Technical and legal criteria The selection of a sanitary landfill site for domestic solid waste final disposal should fulfil the technical criteria imposed by technical norms and regulations stipulated by the different levels of authority in each country. and socio-political. lagoons and oceans and should be not less than 50 metres from any other body of water. Table 17 Technical and legal criteria Criteria Observations The site should be outside the limits of any environmental Land use conservation areas and in a zone where designated land use is compatible with the operation of a sanitary landfill. study of documents relating to the sites. Solid waste final disposal ! perimeter delimitation of rural and industrial zones and conservation areas existing in the municipality. SELECTION CRITERIA The criteria are divided into three groups: technical and legal.13.

5 metres. It is recommendable that the soil of the selected site has Natural soil impermeability good natural impermeability in order to reduce the possibility of aquifer contamination. Water table depth ! in a smaller landfill the bottom of which is waterproofed by a layer of compacted clay with a permeability coefficient of less than 10-6cm/s. The minimum distances recommended are the following: ! Distance to airports in a sanitary landfill with plastic membrane waterproofed bottom. This is largely due to the natural rejection of residents to having this type of waste final disposal unit close to where they live. 206 . the distance between the water table and the waterproofing layer should not be less than 3 metres.Table 17 (cont. The soil of the selected site should be clayey. The site should not be located in the proximity of airports or aerodromes and should comply with current legislation in this respect. the distance between the water table and the membrane should not be less than 1.) Criteria Distance to urban residential centres Observations The site should be not less than 300 metres from urban residential centres with 200 or more inhabitants. Topography favourable to drainage The rainwater drainage basin should be small in order to avoid significant amounts of rainwater entering the landfill. Minimum useful life It is recommended that the site is compatible with a useful life for the new sanitary landfill of at least 8 years. in order to keep the cost of waste covering low. Roads leading to the site should not have pronounced Easy access for heavy vehicles inclines or curves and should be well surfaced in order to minimize wear and tear on collection vehicles and enable them to have easy access even at times of intense rain. The length of a sanitary landfill’s useful life is very important as it is increasingly difficult to find new sites close to the collection area that are suitable for receiving the volume of urban waste generated in the municipality. or is close to. Availability of material for covering It is preferable that the site has. deposits of material appropriate for covering.

rain water drainage. Solid waste final disposal Economic and financial criteria Table 18 Economic and financial criteria Criteria Observations The distance that collection vehicles have to cover on existing Proximity to collection area roads and streets between the collection area and the sanitary landfill should be as short as possible in order to minimize wear and tear on trucks and waste transport costs. electricity supply. collection and treatment of local effluents. and therefore Land purchase costs has to be purchased. non-governmental organizations (NGOs) or the media in the area as any past disharmony with the public authorities is likely to cause negative reactions to the proposed landfill. The selected site should have a gentle incline to avoid soil erosion and limit expenditure on cleaning and maintaining drainage system components. Construction and infrastructure investment costs Drainage system maintenance costs Political and social criteria Table 19 Political and social criteria Criteria Observations The passage of vehicles transporting waste along residential Access to the site through low demographic density areas streets constitutes an inconvenience for the inhabitants of those streets and it is therefore recommended that truck routes to the sanitary landfill pass through areas of low demographic density and preferably on roads designed to handle heavy vehicles. and communications facilities. If the land is not owned by the municipality.13. 207 . It is recommended that a site is not chosen if there have been previous problems between the municipality and the Local community acceptance local community. It is important that the selected site has access to service infrastructures in order to limit expenditure on water provision. it is preferable that it is located in a rural area where purchase prices are lower than in other areas where the landfill could be sited (industrial areas for example).

Table 21 Weight given to criteria and compatibility Priority of criteria 1 2 3 4 5 6 Weight 10 6 4 3 2 1 Compatibility Total Partial or total with work No compatibility Weight 100 % 50 % 0% 208 . as shown in table 21. Table 20 Criteria hierarchy Criteria Compatibility with environmental legislation Compatibility with political and social conditions Compatibility with the main economic conditions Compatibility with the main technical conditions Compatibility with other economic conditions Compatibility with other technical conditions Priority 1 2 3 4 5 6 In order to determine which is the best site for the sanitary landfill. or total with work” or “no compatibility”. For each criterion the analysis should allocate one of the following categories and provide reasons for doing so: “total compatibility”. Both the priorities and the compatibility with the defined criteria are given a relative weight. “partial compatibility. each candidate site should be the subject of an exhaustive analysis in regard to each of the established criteria.SELECTION CRITERIA ORDER OF PRIORITY Table 20 shows a suggestion for the selection criteria order of priority in choosing a sanitary landfill site.

209 . P = Partial compatibility. the characteristics of which are shown in table 22. The site with more points will be considered the best. Solid waste final disposal SELECTION OF THE BEST SITE Analysis of candidate sites in relation to the established criteria The site chosen for the sanitary landfill should be the one that is compatible with the highest number of criteria. Table 22 Site characteristics Criteria Distance from bodies of water Distance from residential centres Distance from airports Water table depth Access through low demographic density areas Acceptance by local community Land purchase costs Existence of infrastructure Minimum useful life Land use Natural impermeability of soil Favourable topography for drainage Easy access for heavy vehicles Coverage material availability Drainage system maintenance Proximity to collection centre Priority 1 1 1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 5 6 Compatibility Site 1 T T T P P N P T P T P P T N P T Site 2 T T T P P P P T T T P P P P P P Site 3 T P T T P T T P T T P T P T T P Note: T = Total compatibility. taking into account the relative priority of each one. its deficiencies should be remedied by the application of modern engineering solutions. When the natural attributes of the selected site are not totally compatible with a certain criterion. N = No compatibility.13. As an example we present the case of a municipality that has to determine which is the best site amongst three pre-selected candidate sites.

5 3. in accordance with table 21.0 3.0 3.0 3.0 1.0 4.0 1 100% 50% 50% 1.5 3.0 6 0% 50% 100% 0.0 5.0 Site 2 100% Site 2 10.5 3.5 4.0 6. the candidate sites have the following points: Table 23 Points for each site Priority weight Compatibility weight Site 1 100% Criteria Points for each site Site 3 Site 1 10.0 Site 3 10.0 3.5 3 0% 50% 100% 0.0 2.After the weighting process is applied.0 Distance from bodies of water Distance from residential centres Distance from airports Water table depth Access through low demographic density areas Acceptance by local community Land purchase costs Existence of infrastructure Minimum useful life Land use Natural impermeability of soil Favourable topography for drainage Easy access for heavy vehicles Coverage material availability Drainage system maintenance Proximity to collection centre Points total 10 100% 10 100% 100% 50% 10.0 5.5 67.5 0.0 3.5 56.0 10 10 6 100% 50% 50% 100% 50% 50% 100% 100% 50% 10.0 3.0 4 4 3 3 3 50% 100% 50% 100% 50% 50% 100% 100% 100% 50% 100% 50% 100% 100% 50% 2.0 3 100% 50% 50% 3.5 60.0 10.0 1.5 3 50% 50% 100% 1.5 2.0 1. in spite of being located relatively close to a residential centre.0 10.0 10.0 10.0 2.0 1.0 1. is the one that overall has the most advantages.0 1.5 As can be seen.0 3.0 0.5 1.0 5.0 2 50% 50% 100% 1.5 1.0 3.0 4. 210 . site 3.0 1.

2 Environmental licenses The procedures for obtaining the necessary licenses for a sanitary landfill site depend on formal processes and relevant legislation in each country. so that the methodology. biotic (flora and fauna) and anthropic (related to human activities) environment.13. through a licensing process that is based on deeper environmental studies. with the objective of determining the positive and negative aspects of the project in regard to the physical (climate. EIS is a technical study. technical guidelines and conclusions are. Thus society in general can form an opinion on the subject and participate democratically in the licensing process. It also establishes measures that can be taken to avoid or diminish identified negative impacts. As these studies are highly specialized. The process begins with the presentation of a formal request by the applicant (the municipality or private company. hydrology. Solid waste final disposal After choosing the sanitary landfill site the municipality should not immediately proceed with the purchase or compulsory purchase of the land as the project first needs approval from the relevant environmental body. The preliminary plan for the sanitary landfill should be ready before this study is carried out.3. etc. 13. for example) to the relevant environmental body. pedology. a second report has to be prepared that presents a summary of the principal finding of the EIS in a language that is accessible for the general public. It is important to note that environmental studies should be carried out with the cooperation of technical teams from both the municipality and the environmental control body. as far as is possible. Once the request is received. with complex methodologies and technical terminology. This document should be accompanied by general information about the site and the conceptual basis of the sanitary landfill project. compatible with the policies of these entities. 211 . undertaken by specialized companies. The basic actions to take and process stages are presented here: STAGE I Approval of the land for landfill use The objective of this stage of the environmental license application process is to evaluate the selected site to determine whether it is appropriate for use as a landfill. in comparison with other alternative sites.). the environmental control body prepares technical instructions (or terms of reference) in which the relevant aspects to be evaluated in an Environmental Impact Study (EIS) are defined. geology.

as first several complementary procedures have to be carried out by the applicant. Detailed plans that deal with environmental issues should also be completed. rainwater drainage. the collection and treatment of leachate. Once completed. After this opinion is presented the community can be called to participate in public hearings on the approval process. superstructures. where this is the policy of the environmental control body. Once the environmental impact study is approved. and on the basis of the environmental impact study. the collection and burning of biogas. which will analyze them and issue a technical opinion. the studies should be immediately sent to the environmental control body. the environmental control body determines the conditions and restrictions that the applicant has to comply with in order to obtain an environmental license to commence sanitary landfill installation works. In the specific case of a new sanitary landfill it is always advisable to hold such public consultations. The compilation of field data must be completed in this stage. water and sanitation. electricity supply. geotechnical and topographical monitoring. environmental monitoring. weighbridge operation (if there is one) and machine. telephones. as should plans for layouts. etc. including detailed topographical surveys and new geotechnical probes and tests. vehicle and equipment maintenance. are required. STAGE II Authorization to commence sanitary landfill installation works In the initial stage of the licensing process. It should be noted however that this license does not authorize the immediate commencement of works. these plans should be submitted to the environmental control body that will ascertain whether the requirements and conditions established when granting 212 . the environmental control body will grant the authorization document that licenses the selected site for the installation of a sanitary landfill. Finally detailed plans for foundations. support unit buildings and landscaping. access and service roads. together with the pertinent palliative measures. The detailed engineering plan (master plan) should therefore take into account those requirements and incorporate the concepts contained in the environmental impact control and minimization plans recommended in the environmental assessment. The master plan should also include a detailed operational plan covering the operation of the sanitary landfill.Once completed. EIS presentation at a public hearing should be accompanied by all available audio-visual aids as the participating public will mostly be lay people who will better be able to understand proposed solutions if they can see visual images of them. and after the necessary environmental impact compensatory measures are established.

planning should include an efficient and responsible environmental management strategy. Fulfilling the relevant environmental requirements and installing systems and devices in accordance with the project plans are essential for obtaining the environmental license that will authorize the operation of the sanitary landfill. Consequently. and showing the location of accesses. in addition to covering the work itself. ! geotechnical research and test results.13. access road construction. In this phase the applicant has to take into account that works should be carried out in a way that rigorously respects not only the engineering plan but also control plans and programs resulting from the environmental impact study that conditioned the approval of the project by the environmental control body.3 Master plan The sanitary landfill master plan should maximize the useful life of the available area. minimizing installation costs and ensuring appropriate environmental monitoring and safeguards. with contour lines representing each metre. 13. overseers and all professionals involved. the master plan begins to be put into practice. the regulation of the internal combustion engines and the dispersion of suspended particles in the work area. constructions and other significant features. amongst other aspects. In general it takes from 90 to 120 days to formulate a sanitary landfill master plan. is carried out. water quality analysis results for surrounding bodies of water and the water table. earth works. plateaus. which has to rigorously comply with technical norms and environmental legislation. drainage. The master plan should include the following documents: ! planialtimetric plan for the landfill in an appropriate scale. excavation. Solid waste final disposal the stage I license have been met. Therefore. etc. the environmental body will issue the license that authorizes commencement of sanitary landfill installation works. STAGE III Authorization for commencement of sanitary landfill operation Once the environmental license authorizing the commencement of works is obtained. paying attention to the circulation of vehicles and machines during the work. that is. If they have. ! 213 . fully utilizing the natural characteristics of the land. should be part of the daily routine of engineers.3.

sanitary landfill closure plan. ! Once the master plan has been approved. the benefits of appropriate solid waste disposal and the compensatory measures applicable to residents of the area. electricity and rainwater drainage systems. pumping network and treatment plant. security and others. including water table monitoring wells. 214 . ! ! external network plans for water. including the slope of the platforms both for the landfill’s intermediate stages and for the final stage. ! technical specifications of all equipment. including the calculations for foundations and structures. services and materials involved in the work. including leachate treatment plant operations and rainwater drainage network maintenance. ! ! ! ! a record of the calculations made for landfill and construction stability studies. ! superficial drainage plans for the landfill. vehicle and labour requirements for landfill operation and maintenance. water drain pipes and discharge structures. landfill operational manual covering the routine activities of solid waste disposal. construction plans. electricity and water installations. showing cross-sections and details. landscaping and structures related to water and electricity provision. Such an approach will help to avoid problems during the installation and operation of the sanitary landfill. informing citizens about the nature of a sanitary landfill.! access and service roads plan. the biogas collection and burning network and quantification of machine. architectural design. including layout. communications. including post-closure environmental monitoring plan. sewerage. the contamination control measures that will be taken. ! layout plan for terraces. biogas collection and burning system plans. construction structures. superficial and deep water drainage networks. surfacing and drainage. bottom drainage network. drainage of the definitive berms. it is essential that it is presented to the community using simple and direct language and the best audiovisual aids. including bottom and top waterproofing layers (where applicable). embankments and the final configuration of the sanitary landfill and plans for each annual filling stage with cross sections. ! plans for the collection and treatment of leachate. environmental monitoring plan. ! delimitation plans of sanitary landfill plots. earth works.

fire control and others). A barrier of vegetation should be planted along the wire fence with a minimum width of 15 metres. telephone. electricity. bushes etc.13. land clearing and constructing the foundations for a weighbridge (where applicable). government bodies that establish employment and work safety policies. wherever possible preserving landscape composition elements even if this does not appear in the plans.4 Landfill installation When the master plan has been approved and authorization for installation has been obtained. as well as with the requirements of technical norms.3. The objectives of this are to block the line of sight to the operational area. Works should always comply with technical specifications and all the other conditions set out in the master plan. and scrapping off the vegetation layer on operational areas such as the landfill area that will receive domestic and public waste and the effluent treatment plant area. 215 . work on the landfill can begin with fencing. horses. INITIAL LAND CLEARING WORKS This includes the removal of natural vegetation (clearing and stump removal) by cutting trees. Solid waste final disposal 13. An approximately two metre high fence is recommended made of concrete or wood posts and galvanized wire with small spaces in the lower part so that small animals cannot enter. In medium-sized and large landfills the sequence of construction is in general as follows: SITE FENCING Site fencing is necessary to discourage the entrance of non-authorized people and animals such as dogs. environmental control bodies. contain airborne particles and help to reduce the dissemination of characteristic waste odours. grass. cows or pigs. environmental legislation and norms and directives issued by public service concessionaires (water.

EARTH WORKS Earth works should rigorously respect the plans for them and excess material from cuts should be stored in an appropriate place to be used in the future as cover material for landfill cells. The recommended thickness for a landfill’s internal road surfaces is from 30 to 50cm. They should have a uniform incline towards one side to direct rainwater to a drainage system that runs along the side of the road. which should ideally be located close to the landfill operational area. As a naturally occurring formation of this type is quite rare. Layers that need to be compacted should be dampened until “ideal humidity” is achieved. special attention has to be paid to the surfacing of external access roads and their capacity to support heavy vehicles right from the stage when alternative sanitary landfill sites are being evaluated. WATERPROOFING WORKS A 3m layer of clayey soil (k<10-7cm/s) between the bottom of the landfill and the top of the water table provides an excellent protection against the contamination of underground water. Earth works finish with the organization of the storage area for materials. construction rubble or quarry products. In smaller landfills internal roads can have different types of surface: brick dust. gravel. Road maintenance should be a priority in planning for the entire projected operational life of the sanitary landfill in order to ensure the regular flow of collection vehicles to the landfill and. These roads have to be easily passable in all seasons of the year and must have appropriate surfacing and road signs so that they are safe for the heavy vehicles that will use them and for the local residents. As has been previously explained. ACCESS AND SERVICE ROAD WORKS Sanitary landfill access roads are categorized as external or internal and permanent or temporary. therefore. Internal access and service roads should be built with a primary surface of gravel or selected rubble. sound sanitary and environmental conditions. 216 . depending on the volume of traffic and therefore the landfill’s size. compacted in layers of 15 to 25cm. a technical solution that may be applied is the use of geo-membrane (plastic membrane) lining to waterproof the bottom of the sanitary landfill.

In some cases. the quantity of effluent and the anaerobic reaction in the mass of buried waste.” This principle requires the installation of three drainage systems for liquids: Peripheral interception drainage that stops rainwater entering the landfill and contaminated water exiting it.13. Once the waterproofing work is completed the network of leachate collection pipes should be laid. Superficial drainage installed during the operational stage minimizes rainwater infiltration and consequently reduces the flushing of contaminants. The passing of the leachate collection pipes through the plastic membrane is done by means of a special union already incorporated in the membrane that is soldered to the body of the tube. the bottom of the landfill can be waterproofed with an at least 80cm thick layer of compacted clay with a permeability coefficient of less than 10-6cm/s. it is covered with a layer of earth to protect it against perforation and cutting by materials contained in the waste. Landfill bottom drainage leading effluent and contaminated water to the treatment unit. The viability of this solution should be verified by specific technical studies carried out by the project management and its approval depends on compliance with the relevant environmental body’s regulations and norms. The soldering of the membrane sections should be done by a specialized team and it is recommended that the supplier provides this service. such as smaller sanitary landfills or where soil conditions are relatively favourable and underground bodies of water are deep. Solid waste final disposal The bottom of the domestic waste sanitary landfill should be waterproofed immediately after removing the superficial layer of soil from the operational area and this work consists basically of laying the high density polyethylene (HDPE) membrane on the compacted clayey soil. The collection of percolated leachate should be done through pipes laid on the waterproofing layer at the bottom 217 . to avoid the use of buried pipes. Whenever possible rainwater drainage should be through ditches lined with cement soil. DRAINAGE WORKS “Water does not enter a landfill plot from outside or come out from inside of it without being controlled. etc. Once this geo-membrane is installed. Access roads (permanent or temporary) have their own drainage systems that also serve service roads. grass.

The liquid flows to a storage pit from where it is pumped to a treatment plant. with secondary pipes that conduct the collected leachate into the main pipe. This system is the most frequently used for a sanitary landfill’s secondary drainage lines. Geo-textile membranes can be used instead of the layers of sand. see figure 121. These pipes should be bedded on gravel or crushed stone (blind drainage) and covered by large grain.5m PLOT 1 30m PLOT 1 60m PLOT 2 PLOT 2 Secondary drainage pipe L Principal drainage pipe Pumping unit LANDFILL Bidim ® Principal drainage pipe Collection pit LANDFILL To ETU Percolated liquid minimum level Sumergible pump PVC pipe Clay protection layer PVC pipe HDPE membrane Figure 121 . should be wrapped in geo-textile membrane to avoid silting. A more effective alternative is to install a Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC) or HDPE perforated tube in the gravel bed. formed by the pipe and the gravel. This is used for the sanitary landfill’s principal percolated liquid drainage lines.of the landfill in a zigzag pattern. The whole.Leachate drainage system 218 . and then medium grain sand in order to avoid the silting of the pipes by solids suspended in substantial quantity in the leachate. Effluent treatment unit (ETU) Pumping unit PVC pipe See enlargement Secondary drainage pipe Collection pit 1.

the decomposition of which tends to intensify with the addition of micro organisms contained in the effluent.13. Solid waste final disposal The following figure shows cross sections of these two types of underground pipe. This circumstance does not prevent. storage pit and primary treatment plant. Figure 122 . physico-chemical. 219 . At the same time the mass of waste functions as a filter. A low cost process that can be used is the recirculation of the effluent through the mass of buried waste. The effluent treatment process can be biological. Another advantage is the reduced volume of effluent to be treated due to evaporation by sun and wind. reducing the contaminating potential of the re-circulated effluent. the inclusion in the sanitary landfill project of an initial treatment facility (for at least primary treatment) and a final monitoring lagoon before discharge into the receptor body.Types of underground leachate drainage pipe INSTALLATION OF EFFLUENT TREATMENT SYSTEM The determination of the best leachate treatment system and its dimensions for a particular landfill requires a previous study of the characteristics of the actual effluent generated in the sanitary landfill. but on the contrary requires. This stage of effluent treatment system works should therefore include at least the installation of a leachate recirculation system. physical. thermal or a mixture of these (combined processes).

adapting them to some condition of the site that may have been overlooked during the formulation of the master plan. It is obligatory that a weighbridge is mounted on pillars so that the weighing platform does not settle and therefore remains level. 220 . Any modification or adjustment of the plan should ideally be made by the planning company. for example modifications in the route of internal roads may be necessary where they are incompatible with the location of support units. because it holds all the information and technical specifications covering the overall context of the work. Once installed the weighbridge should be officially calibrated in the presence of the supervision team. adjustments often have to be made due to difficulties that arise on site. Before works commence it is very important to check the location of these buildings again as this is the last opportunity to modify plans. It is recommended that the planner is on site during construction work. ELECTRO-MECHANICAL INSTALLATIONS The assembly of the weighbridge should meticulously follow the manufacturer’s instructions and the weighing platform should be perfectly level.Figure 123 – Leachate treatment lagoon CONSTRUCTIONS WORKS Construction works include the foundations and superstructure of support buildings and the treatment plant. or at least it should be consulted. As in all works of a certain size.

Solid waste final disposal DIGGING OF ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING WELLS At least three monitoring wells should be dug. excavated earth) Padlock Sanitary Protection slab protection Sanitary seal Ø Hole 8” Ø Pipe 4” Cement seal WT (Water Table) Perforated or grooved pipe Pre-filter (washed sand or quartz gravel) Fixed cap (pressure or thread) Impermeable layer Figure 125 . Flow of underground water Landfill Operational area Watercourse Monitoring well Surface water sample collection points Figure 124 .Location of environmental monitoring wells Protecting structure Thread cap Cover Internal lining (Ø 4” rigid PVC pipe) Filling (impermeable material: clay. incorporating the elements shown in figures 124 and 125.Outline cross-section of a monitoring well 5.00 221 .13. Surface water should also be monitored at different points along any nearby body of water upstream and downstream from the sanitary landfill area of influence. one upstream and two downstream from the sanitary landfill operational area.

The vehicle then goes to the operational area to unload the waste it is carrying. three main factors have to be taken into account: ! ! ! topography. 13. Depending on the location of the landfill. If there is no weighbridge. Arrangements should be made so that machines and vehicles necessary for particular tasks arrive on the site in accordance with the work schedule. Construction materials should be bought from traditional market suppliers that are if possible located close to the site. The operational plan should be simple and cover all the routine activities carried out at a sanitary landfill while at the same time making provisions for their safety. the vehicle goes to the entry checkpoint where the responsible person writes down data identifying the truck and its load.3. the acquisition of materials and machines can present difficulties. including landscaping and general cleaning work. LANDFILL OPERATIONS When the construction method for a landfill is being determined.5 Sanitary landfill operation Once the installation work is finished and the operational authorization has been obtained. the sanitary landfill can begin receiving loads of waste in accordance with the pre-established operational plan.COMPLEMENTARY WORKS Finishing works on the landfill site. soil type. The basic activities carried out at a sanitary landfill are listed below: WASTE RECEPTION CHECKING On entering the landfill site the collection vehicle goes directly to the weighbridge where it is weighed and all the information relating to its load is registered. 222 . including an estimate of its weight (or volume). water table depth.

223 . dry and with a type of soil suitable for use as waste covering material. Subsequently procedures are the same as for the ramp method.13. A natural embankment against which cells can lean inspires the name of this construction method. Solid waste final disposal In general there are three possible methods of construction and the choice depends on the concept behind the particular sanitary landfill project and. in the last analysis. the site conditions. The construction methods are: Trench or ditch method – this is the most appropriate technique for land that is flat or has only a slight incline and where the water table is relatively deep. Figure 126 – Trench method Ramp method – this is appropriate where the landfill site is flat. Figure 127 – Ramp method Area method – this is the most appropriate technique for a completely flat site and begins with a berm (artificial embankment) of clayey soil against which the first cells of waste lean.

! the ideal thickness of the coverage soil layer is between 20cm and 30cm for the daily covering of waste. with an incline of 2% towards the edges. including a truck manoeuvring area with primary surfacing that is big enough for trucks to unload their waste and make the necessary turning manoeuvres to return. ! to obtain good compaction the waste should be distributed in not very thick layers and a bulldozer should pass over the mass of waste of each layer three to six times. The procedures to be followed for each cell in each of the operational plots of the sanitary landfill. ! with a provisional 20cm thick layer of soil cover the top of the cell. the cell should be as narrow as possible but wide enough to allow the simultaneous unloading of a certain number of trucks depending on the sanitary landfill’s capacity (or the demands of collection) so that queues do not form and collection is not delayed. ! ! the final layer of covering material should be at least 50cm thick. ! the height of the cell should be between four and six metres to provide optimum decomposition conditions for the buried waste. ! the usual incline of operational slopes is one metre of base for each metre of height in an active cell and three metres of base for each metre of height in a finished cell. ! cover the external slopes with the definitive 50cm thick layer of clay. 224 . on each of the levels (superimposed layers) are: ! prepare the work face. The basic rules of operation for a sanitary landfill are: ! the distribution and compaction of waste should be done if possible from the bottom to the top to achieve better results. and the internal slopes.BERM RUBBISH 1st Cell 2nd Cell Figure 128 – Area method Solid waste disposal processes are almost identical in the three methods.

Table 24 shows the range of parameter variation for some sanitary landfill percolated liquids in Brazil and is presented here as an example of the difficulties involved in a definitive pre-establishment of the type of effluent that will be produced in a particular sanitary landfill.0 0. make the final coverage of the completed cells with a layer of 50cm thick compacted clay.9 15.000.0 225 . Table 24 Range of leachate composition variation Parameters pH (un.0 0. Consequently. due to progressive exhaustion of the biodegradable organic matter.1 2.) Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen Nitrate Nitrogen Nitrite Nitrogen Ammoniacal Nitrogen COD Range of variation Minimum 5. ! ! as cell 1 is being filled the gas venting system should be progressively built into it.13. These difficulties arise because the type of effluent produced depends on the particular characteristics of the waste (determined by its component substances) deposited in the landfill and on a series of specific factors that influence the decomposition process in the mass of organic waste.900. ! repeat the sequence of operations until all plots on all levels are completely filled. repeat the operations for filling each cell and preparing the next one until plot 1 is entirely filled. ! when burying the cells of the last level.0 5. 3 and so on until the lower level is completed. Solid waste final disposal ! some days before completing cell 1. the high contaminating potential of “new leachate” gradually reduces over a period of ten years to a point when it does not need treatment. prepare the work face for unloading waste into cell 2 in the same way as for cell 1. ! fill cell 1 of the upper level following the same operational sequence used on the lower level. ! repeat the same operations to fill plots 2.5 0. with an incline of 2% towards the edges.140. EFFLUENT TREATMENT The main characteristic of sanitary landfill effluent is its changing composition over time.0 966.0 6.7 3.0 Maximum 8.0 28.

the nature of the cell coverage material and in particular its permeability.800.0 230. Note: all values are in mg/l. Another procedure is the “Swiss method” that calculates the flow of sanitary landfill percolated liquid by means of an equation involving the dimensions of the operational area.0 0. the annual rainfall and a factor determined by characteristics of the land. Brazil). 1993. The volume of percolated liquid produced by a sanitary landfill registers seasonal variations depending on climatic conditions in the region and the local drainage system. except where another unit is indicated.0 50. evapotranspiration.3 1. It is influenced by temperature.7 x 108 Source: Data compilation.0 1.Table 24 (cont. Stabilization lagoons One of the most frequently used forms of treatment involves lagoons into which leachate effluent is discharged after passing through a grate or a mechanical sieve and 226 . the vegetation cover on the sanitary landfill area.0 49.3 6. COMLURB (Rio de Janeiro.) Range of variation Minimum 480. rainfall quantity.2 0.7 0.6 0. Another more complex procedure calculates the production of sanitary landfill percolated liquids through the water balance.0 11.0 0.0 26.0 14.000.2 2. and many other factors.000.0 Maximum 19.1 0.9 4. A way of calculating the potential flow of effluent from a new sanitary landfill is by direct correlation with percolate generation data obtained from measurements in similar but already operating landfills located in regions with similar climatic conditions.) Total Coliform (un.1 0.9 x 107 1.2 3.0 3.0 0. However distortions may occur.0 35.) Parameters BOD5 Chlorides Sulfates Total Phosphorus Copper Lead Iron Manganese Zinc Cadmium Total Chromo Faecal Coliform (un.800.0 0.

sludge should be periodically removed so that the effectiveness of the treatment is not impaired. Lagoon borders should be treated so that no vegetation grows in the air-effluent intermediate zone. In general aerobic stabilization lagoons have the following basic characteristics: ! ! ! form – truncated pyramidal. This lagoon is also aerobic and has the same physical characteristics as the previous ones but only retains the effluent for seven days.13. depth – 1. Entry to the lagoons should be through a two pipe system to improve the flow of effluent in the lagoon avoiding dead zones and short cuts. The following figure presents an outline of a typical leachate treatment system employing aerobic lagoons.5 metres. retention time – 25 days minimum. 227 . The height of the effluent overflow outlet should be adjustable to ensure that leachate remains inside the lagoons for the minimum required time irrespective of the flow volume. In addition.Treatment in aerobic lagoons It is recommended that a superficial aeration device is installed in the equalization tank to improve the homogenization of the liquid mass and the aerobic condition of the effluent to be treated. Solid waste final disposal remaining for at least 24 hours in an equalization tank to homogenize its composition as much as possible. Percolate drainage Equalization tank Sanitary landfill Grates First aerobic lagoon Overflow outlet Second aerobic lagoon Finishing lagoon Receptor body Figure 129 . This series of lagoons ends with a smaller one where the effluent receives a finishing treatment. as such vegetation could harbour mosquitoes and other vectors.

228 . thus making it possible for recirculation to take place only once a day and preferably during the eight hour period that the operator is present at the sanitary landfill. In addition part of the re-circulated effluent evaporates and to encourage this sprinkler nozzles should be adjusted to produce a fine spray. In determining the type of treatment to use the more correct procedure is a laboratory study of the effluent’s characteristics. gross effluent will inevitably drain into some body of water producing environmental damage. while the liquid can be directly discharged into the receptor body. The disadvantages of this process stem from its high electricity consumption together with its dependence on a constant supply of electricity and the functioning of the pump. It can also be used in other regions during dry seasons as an auxiliary procedure complementary to the principal method being used. Ideally the pit should be designed to hold one complete day’s production of leachate during the rainy season. tank trucks or infiltration beds. In this process the effluent gradually looses its toxicity (basically its organic content) due to airing and the biological action of micro organisms present in the mass of waste. thus increasing the rate of evaporation. Another important aspect to consider is that the leachate storage pit should have enough capacity to store a sufficient amount of liquid for the recirculation pump not to have to be used at very short intervals. Recirculation Another commonly used treatment of sanitary landfill percolated effluent is its recirculation through the mass of waste using sprinklers. If the electricity supply or the recirculation pump fail. It is not advisable to use only documented data to calculate the necessary dimensions of a treatment unit.This removed sludge should be put to dry in a drying bed and then deposited in the sanitary landfill. Evaporation is an important factor in leachate recirculation and it functions better in regions with a negative water balance. that is. regions where the rate of evaporation is higher than that of rainfall. Effluent flow measurement should be carried out at a minimum of two points on the treatment system: ! ! immediately after the storage pit or immediately before the equalization tank immediately before the point of discharge into the receptor body Gross effluent and treated effluent should be periodically monitored.

which generates a secondary sludge that remains in suspension. It then goes to an aeration tank where aerators. The following figure shows a recirculation system using infiltration beds.13. Suction pit overflow Drainage valley Submergible pump Ditch for percolated liquid Pumping pipe PVC Ø 02” Service roads Recirculation area Perforated PVC pipes Ø ½” Landfill Suction pit Landfill Ditch for percolated liquid Nº 2 gravel beds Figure 130 . such as stabilization lagoons or an activated sludge system. from where it is discharged into the receptor body.Infiltration bed recirculation Activated sludge Other processes that can be used in the treatment of sanitary landfill percolated liquids are the activated sludge system and evaporation. usually on the surface. Solid waste final disposal Ideally recirculation should serve as a complementary procedure to one of the conventional effluent treatment processes. In the activated sludge system effluent passes through a preliminary treatment generally in the form of a chamber with bars after which it is directed to a primary settling tank where solids settle. The dried sludge is taken back to the landfill for disposal. inject air into the liquid mass allowing the aerobic bacteria to stabilize the organic matter. 229 . The effluent from the aeration tank passes to a secondary settling tank where the previously generated sludge precipitates. From the secondary settling tank the liquid part goes to a finishing lagoon similar to the one at the end of the aerobic lagoons process. A part of that sludge then returns to the aeration tank while the settled sludge is put together with the sludge from the primary settling tank and goes to a drying bed.

The great advantage of this process is its low operational cost as the fuel used to evaporate the effluent is biogas from the sanitary landfill itself. The sludge. into the atmosphere. The hot vapour leaving the evaporator passes through a filter that retains humidity and then goes to a final heating chamber from where it is discharged. where it is heated to a temperature of 80ºC to 90ºC causing part of the liquid to evaporate and consequently the effluent to become more concentrated. now more dense with 30% of it being solid material. Treated air outlet Burner Biogas inlet T= 80ºC to 90ºC Percolated liquid inlet Thermal lining Humidity filter Temperature of departing air 750ºC to 900ºC Chimney Evaporator Concentrated sludge Sludge outlet Average concentration 30% solid Sludge pump Biogas inlet Combustion air Supporting base Figure 132 .Leachate evaporator 230 .Primary settling tank Aerators Preliminary treatment Aeration tank Secondary settling tank Finishing lagoon Flow measurement Receptor body Figure 131 . the evaporator. comes out through the lower part of the evaporator and is disposed of in the landfill. dry.Activated sludge Evaporation In the evaporation process effluent is sent to a metal tank.

Figure 133 . The gas venting system should be constantly monitored so that burners are always alight. RAINWATER DRAINAGE SYSTEM The rainwater drainage system should be kept clean and free of obstructions. It is important to constantly make adjustments to the system accommodating to these movements in the mass of the landfill. the ground around it should be covered over a radius of approximately two metres with a 50cm thick layer of clay to avoid the dispersion of gas into the atmosphere. the decomposition process that gradually takes place in the mass provokes frequent settlings of the surface. In both cases the pipe should be high enough to serve as a guide for its further extension when work begins on the next level up. particularly underground conduits. at its edges. and on the slopes. comprising mostly organic matter. As the sanitary landfill is constructed with solid waste. in order to promptly correct potentially damaging effects on the rainwater drainage devices. Once the well is installed. located at a distance of 50m to 60m from each other. GAS VENTING The gas venting system comprises vertical wells surrounded by gravel or gross ground stone. A burner should be installed in the mouth of the well. Solid waste final disposal Whatever treatment option is selected.Installation of gas drainage wells 231 .13. There are two methods for installing a gas drainage system: extending the pipe as the landfill evolves (recommended) or excavating the completed cell to install the pipe. treated effluent should meet all discharge standards established by the environmental control body.

Careful attention should also be paid to topographical aspects in determining the incline of percolated liquid drains to ensure optimum drainage conditions after collection.ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING The monitoring of water in the area surrounding the sanitary landfill should begin before the commencement of its operational phase with the collection and analysis of samples from nearby bodies of water and the water table. Example of an environmental monitoring program: ! Monthly . These frameworks should be read monthly. concrete frameworks should be installed in the work faces for the purpose of monitoring the differential settling of the buried layers. 13. In addition to these considerations. The frequency of sampling and the parameters that are analyzed must comply with regulations established by the environmental control body. analyzing results for the same parameters in each case. 232 . including tests for pH.3. The quality of these samples is evaluated so that they can be compared with future samples.for the distribution. Every three months . up to and including the creation of the final covering surface incline.for transporting coverage material and material for surfacing internal access roads.analysis of water from the monitoring wells and from water body sampling sites both upstream and downstream from the sanitary landfill. The reading of these frameworks will also be useful to monitor the geotechnical stability of the sanitary landfill through the measurement of horizontal displacement. dump truck . BOD.6 Equipment Commonly used machines and vehicles for the operation of a sanitary landfill are: ! ! bulldozer . total and fixed sedimentary residues and colimetry tests. COD. ! GEOTECHNICAL AND TOPOGRAPHICAL MONITORING At all times during the filling of sanitary landfill cells attention must be paid to topographical alignment. and the frequency of readings should be increased when significant settling is observed. compacting and covering of waste. chemical and bacteriological analyzes of gross and treated effluent in the treatment system.physical. The second phase of environmental monitoring commences when effluent generated by the sanitary landfill begins to be stored for treatment and gases begin to be produced.

plastics. etc. Such definitions tend to focus on specific aspects of particular projects rather than providing a wider conceptual description. in spite of all these obstacles it is necessary to deal with the problem of solid waste disposal as it has such serious consequences for sanitary and environmental conditions in cities. a rigorous system controlling its use should be established not only in relation to the number of hours that machines are operating for. 233 .13. As this equipment represents the most significant operational expenditure for a sanitary landfill. from the planning and installation phase to the final disposal of urban solid waste. The sanitary landfill’s operational method is the principal factor that determines the selection and dimensions of machinery needed for landfill operations. with the waste duly isolated and covered. the extensive range of technical components involved in them can be appreciated as can the amount of resources that it is necessary to allocate.for digging and maintaining drainage ditches. not only for installation but also for their ongoing operation in compliance with all the technical requirements and applicable regulations. and the wear and tear on their load trucks. The most appropriate definition of a controlled landfill is: “A controlled landfill is a modified version of a sanitary landfill where the rigorous technical requirements applicable to the latter are more flexible in order to facilitate urban solid waste final disposal on the ground. mechanical digger . Solid waste final disposal ! ! ! mechanical loader . In Latin American and Caribbean countries the limited availability of public resources and the great demands made upon them create a situation in which it is very difficult to establish sanitary landfills. specialized labour for maintenance and spare parts for immediate delivery.4 Controlled landfills With everything that has been previously explained about sanitary landfills. but also in regard to their correct operation during daily tasks in order to optimize their use and minimize unproductive procedures. Factors that have to be taken into account when selecting machinery are: the availability of financial resources. even when the necessary financial resources are available for installation there can be difficulties in obtaining sufficient resources and qualified labour to operate a sanitary landfill in a way that meets its rigorous technical requirements. In addition. tank truck – to supply water for reducing dust on internal roads and dampening lighter waste (papers. 13. Nevertheless. In this context the alternative “controlled landfill” option arises. to such a degree that only a few municipalities can install them.) to avoid it being scattered. a type of landfill that is often misunderstood or badly defined even by the technical community itself.

as the more effective that system is the less effluent will be produced in the landfill.Cross section of a controlled landfill h>3. Where the soil type is not appropriate the controlled landfill project should make provision for the installation of an at least 50cm thick waterproofing layer of clayey soil brought from the nearest deposit. The cells of a controlled landfill are also built with compacted layers of waste but without necessarily using specialized machines (bulldozers. that is. There is no exact definition of a “controlled landfill”. a bulldozer exclusively and permanently allocated to final waste disposal. waste can be manoeuvred using lighter equipment or manual tools. the principal characteristics of which should be: soil that is not very permeable (clayey) and a deep water table (at least 3 metres below the level of the natural land).0m Water table 234 . It is common for controlled landfills to be used in small cities that collect up to 50 tons of solid waste per day and where municipalities are not in an economic condition to maintain. or to implement.complying with minimum sanitary control requirements through the selection of a site. In this respect it is also important that the waste coverage layers are of clayey earth and particular attention should be paid to the top covering when the landfill reaches its maximum height. for example. Upper waterproofing Controlled landfill Lower waterproofing Maximum water level Flow of underground water Impermeable soil Figure 134 .” The key to a successful controlled landfill project is therefore the choice of the land where it will be installed. operate and maintain some of the systems required by the norms that regulate sanitary landfills. and in doing so demonstrates the principle “the ideal can be the enemy of the good”. A controlled landfill offers municipalities with limited investment and budgetary capacity a relatively immediate opportunity to operate a low cost urban solid waste disposal system that eliminates the environmental and social aggression of refuse dumps. self-propelled waste compactors). though it must be routinely covered with earth. as they vary from very simple installations to ones that are similar to sanitary landfills. the natural characteristics of which minimize the risk of negative environmental impacts. Of these systems it is the absence of effluent treatment that causes such municipalities most problems. Consequently special care should be taken with the rainwater drainage system of controlled landfills.

In such a case resultant material would be stored in a nearby place for later use in the covering operation. pitchforks and forks. Waste compacting can be done with mallets. Manoeuvring and coverage work is done manually as described below. This is not a realistic possibility for most small-sized municipalities in Latin America and the Caribbean with their budgetary limitations and the significant under use of equipment that this would imply due to the relatively small amount of waste to be disposed of. An entirely manual operation is recommendable only for a daily waste volume of up to 40m³ or approximately 10 tons. For such municipalities a controlled landfill allows for alternative solutions such as the periodic and programmed use of machines from other municipal sectors .13. Figure 135 . The waste can be manoeuvred and the top surface and lateral sloped (1:1) surfaces can be levelled using hoes. as well as the drain on equipment resources needed for other municipal services. The ideal in such a case is a small dry natural hollow.Manual compaction of waste in a cell 235 . the selection of the site becomes fundamentally important for an effective functioning of the controlled landfill. When it is not possible to guarantee even the infrequent programmed availability of machines to do the heavier work involved in landfill routines (such as excavating earth). A practical alternative for small-sized municipalities is to use easily obtainable manual tools for landfill operations. In this case additional compaction can be achieved by collection vehicles being driven over filled areas as the cell advances. compaction and covering of the preparation of the weekly work face. rakes. The covering of waste should be done at the end of each working day.for example those used for road maintenance . Solid waste final disposal One of the requirements for a sanitary landfill is the permanent presence of specialized machines for the manoeuvring. A mechanical digger for example could excavate trenches for future waste cells where the land type permits the employment of this method of solid waste landfill construction. mallets.

Where a landfill is manually operated it is indispensable that workers engaged in the manoeuvring and covering of waste have. shoes and gloves that guarantee their protection and safety. a refuse dump is an inappropriate form of urban solid waste disposal as it produces a series of negative environmental impacts and poses sanitary risks for the population. especially in cities with restricted financial resources. the recuperation of the degraded refuse dump area and the installation of a new final disposal system on another site. so it will naturally opt for undertaking the latter and leave aside remedying the environmental liability incurred by the refuse dump. Another aspect to consider is the availability of resources. in addition to the appropriate tools. subsequently recuperating the excavated area by filling it with natural soil from the region. In practice however this procedure is not usually economically viable and in most cases it is anyway impossible to implement due to the physical characteristics of the dump site. In this way the municipality can avoid generating negative impacts on a virgin site before exhausting the waste disposal capacity (useful life) of the area previously used as a refuse dump. in order to optimize the use of resources and maximize sanitary. An analysis of these alternatives is fundamental to appropriate planning for future solid waste final disposal. On rainy days they should wear plastic waterproofs. that is. It is always recommended. thus allowing for the continued disposal of waste there but in sanitary conditions. clothing. 13. Areas degraded by refuse dumps should therefore be recuperated by containing such impacts and re-establishing healthy conditions there. technical-operational and economic results. 236 . that investment in the environmental recuperation of a dump is combined with the creation of disposal service and environmental protection infrastructure in the same place.5 Environmental recuperation of refuse dumps As has been explained. It should be noted that the strategic context of a refuse dump environmental recuperation exercise can be: ! ! that the area will be recuperated after it is closed for the dumping of waste. or that the area will be recuperated in such a way that it will be able to continue receiving waste but on a sound sanitary and environmental basis. Therefore whenever possible the refuse dump site or neighbouring land should be used to install a new final disposal system. Often a municipality does not have access to sufficient finance for carrying out two works. Theoretically the correct way to recuperate land degraded by a refuse dump is to collect all the waste inappropriately disposed of there and transfer it to a sanitary landfill. environmental.

g) after they have been levelled. including the lateral slopes.13. Solid waste final disposal When a refuse dump is permanently closed. in general 1:3 (V:H). k) construct vertical wells for gas venting. m) sow grass and native plant species with short roots. f) give the top surface an incline as indicated in the section on drainage. The recuperation of a refuse dump does not finish with the implementation of these procedures. d) remove the waste from the parts of the site where the layer of waste is thinner (in general less than one metre) and deposit it on the part of the refuse dump where the layer of waste is thickest. previous urban cleaning personnel should be consulted to determine as precisely as possible the extent of the area affected by waste and the principal physical characteristics of the natural land. as should the surface water in nearby bodies of water. h) recuperate the excavated area by filling it with natural soil from the region. thus ending any type of waste disposal there. c) carry out probes to measure the thickness of the layer of waste throughout the degraded area. and the quality of underground water should be checked through the monitoring wells. and site recuperation is undertaken. j) dig one or more storage pits for effluent collected by the leachate drainage devices. b) delimit the affected area in situ. e) form lateral slopes with an appropriate incline. n) use three of the previously made probe holes to install water table monitoring wells: one on the upstream side of the area of the recuperated dump and two on the downstream side. the basic procedures are: a) if there is no reliable cadastral data. l) spread a layer of top soil over the layer of clay on the top surface and slopes. 237 . gas vents should be periodically checked so that those extinguished by wind or rain can be relit. through sprinklers (similar to those used for grass watering) or infiltration beds. cover the exposed waste surfaces with an at least 50cm thick layer of good quality clay. Leachate that accumulates in the storage pits should be periodically recirculated in the mass of waste. i) install rainwater and leachate drainage devices appropriate for the particular project.

waterproofing it with good quality clay and installing underground pipes to collect leachate. as the landfill evolves build vertical wells for gas venting. ! dig water table monitoring wells. either due to a lack of alternative options for parents who do not have anybody to take care of them while they are engaged in segregation work. Even though recyclable waste segregation in refuse dumps and streets is an unhealthy activity. compaction and covering operations. but rather requires articulated action involving various governmental sectors. it has become an “alternative job” as a result of the now endemic large-scale social crisis. the sequence of procedures listed in the previous paragraph is modified after point “g” in the following way: ! prepare the excavated area to receive more solid waste. together with collection trucks and scrap dealers.6 The situation of segregators In the present situation of Latin American and Caribbean countries there are not enough employment opportunities in the formal work market to allow universal entrance into it by a growing population. ! ! ! excavate one or more storage pits for effluent generated in new cells. Even more serious is the presence of children at dumps. 238 . and such activity hinders distribution. but as a landfill. due to the difficulty of finding new sites appropriate for sanitary landfills. in addition to creating a serious risk of accidents involving the working machines and vehicles. Segregators tend to circulate freely in the operational area of a refuse dump. compaction and covering as if it were a sanitary landfill. which together with low work training levels leads people to seek any activity that at least provides a means of survival for themselves and their families. In this case.As has been previously explained. whenever possible a recuperated dump site should continue to be used. ! install the necessary rainwater drainage channels to stop rain water run off reaching future work faces. establish procedures for distribution. Refuse dump recuperation projects are therefore not limited to engineering issues but also have to solve a complex social problem that cannot and should not be the sole responsibility of the body providing urban cleaning services. 13. or because the children themselves are segregating materials in order to increase family income. one upstream and two downstream from the future operational area. ! install a leachate recirculation system and (depending on the climatic conditions of the zone) an effluent treatment system with stabilization lagoons.

1 Construction rubble disposal As has been explained in the chapter on solid waste treatment. for example).7. when it could be disposed of in more simple landfills at a lower cost.7 Special domestic waste disposal 13. cooperation with non-governmental institutions and private companies. Disposing of construction rubble in a sanitary landfill is not economical as it is inert waste that is being deposited in a specialized system surrounded by technical resources designed to protect the environment. Figure 136 – Recycling plant operated by a segregator cooperative 13. could be used for the recuperation of excavations resulting from the extraction of materials used in the construction industry. However when a municipality does not have this option. Solid waste final disposal Some of the initiatives that should be implemented to gradually change this situation are the development of alternative income and employment programs (such as segregator cooperatives. it is disposed of at the bottom of a landfill. the provision of technical training for segregators so that they can engage in other activities in the formal labour market. 239 .13. Depositing this type of waste in a sanitary landfill is also not economical from an environmental perspective as the useful life of the landfill will be diminished by waste that. programs that provide children with integral fulltime places in schools or sports and recreational centres and a compensatory system for parents whose children cease to engage in segregation work. the ideal destiny for construction rubble is recycling. with effective management.

who should be responsible for financing such a process. ! develop a project together with associations of authorized technical service providers for the installation of battery collection containers on their premises. treatment and final disposal. particularly due to the presence of heavy metals in their composition.3 Disposal of fluorescent tubes Often small pieces of broken tubes are accidentally discarded together with common waste in sanitary landfills.7. especially in large amounts. its use for the temporary covering of urban waste when there is a scarcity of the usual covering material in the zone. However. dealers and other players in this economic sector. 240 . This waste should be regarded as waste from the industrial process of its producers. ! establish an agreement with mobile phone producers under which they set up a discarded battery collection program that includes the provision of a telephonic information centre providing the location of places where there are special containers for used batteries. In this case too the “polluter pays” principle applies. Batteries collected in this way would be removed once a month and taken to a treatment or recycling site. Corresponding regulations should be brought into force in support of this type of model to avoid the risk that the municipality will be left with responsibility for costs associated with production process waste from private sector enterprises. with a view to recycling or another form of treatment and final disposal. is in a landfill designed specifically for industrial waste with this risk classification.2 Disposal of batteries As used batteries constitute hazardous waste. 13. the body responsible for urban cleaning should ensure the participation of producers.The only appropriate types of rubble disposal in a sanitary landfill are: ! ! its use as base material for internal roads and unloading areas.7. as there is mercury in them the appropriate final disposal of such waste. 13. Two initiatives are presented below as examples of measures that the private sector can adopt for the collection and final disposal of batteries. who should therefore be responsible for its collection. their final disposal should be managed with the same criteria as are applied to industrial waste that carries the same type of risk. Before organizing a system for battery separation at source.

Solid waste final disposal 13. In support of this current perspective on the problem national legislation is needed to facilitate a progressive reduction in the quantity of such waste through a policy that fosters recycling by the industry and suppliers. which should be the responsibility of producers and distributors as it is their economic activity that generates this waste.1 Industrial waste disposal Soil bio-regeneration (land farming). SOIL BIO-REGENERATION Soil bio-regeneration (land farming) is a biological treatment through which the organic part of waste is decomposed by the micro organisms that live in the upper layer of soil. This treatment is very much used for the final decomposition of oil by-products and organic compounds. they can be disposed of in sanitary landfills after being ground so that they do not cause structural problems in the landfill. Although the same land can be used repeatedly the disadvantage of this method is its need for large areas of land as the layers are not thick. for example. Finally it is necessary to pay attention to the import of used but still usable tyres as together with these goods the companies of exporter countries are also exporting the problem of disposal when they are of no further use. waste barrages and other forms of disposal are commonly used for industrial waste.7.8 Disposal of waste from special sources 13.8. and so on. 13. repeating the same steps. a new layer of waste can be treated in the same soil. 241 . The following figure shows an outline cross section of a bio-regeneration area. industrial landfills.13. The treatment consists of mixing and homogenizing waste with the upper layer of soil (to a ploughing depth of 15cm to 20cm). Once the micro organisms complete the degradation work. The body responsible for urban cleaning should not have to take on the problematic final disposal of used tyres.4 Disposal of tyres When it is not possible to recycle used tyres or use them in cement industry furnaces.

for example. In Brazil. 242 .Periodic application and mixing of waste and soil Containment of rainwater that falls on the treatment area Evaporation Diversion of rainwater that falls outside the treatment area 200 m Infiltration Water course Aerobic decomposition. only inert waste. non-inert waste.Flow of water in a landfill In order to reduce the amount of effluent to be treated. the incursion of rainwater falling outside the limits of the landfill that would otherwise increase the volume of effluent percolating inside the landfill.Soil bio-regeneration outline INDUSTRIAL LANDFILLS Industrial landfills are classified according to the hazard presented by the waste to be deposited there. as demonstrated in the following figure. landfills for Class I waste can receive hazardous industrial waste. by means of barriers and drainage ditches. the first step is to avoid. Rain Evaporation Superficial drainage Leaching Waste landfill Leaching Percolation Maximum water level Flow of underground water Non-saturated zone Wastewater Impermeable soil Figure 138 . and those for Class III. absorption and adsorption in the upper layer Figure 137 . those for Class II. In any type of industrial waste landfill a rainwater drainage system and bottom waterproofing are essential to avoid soil and water table contamination from rainwater that has percolated through the waste.

Consequently. on the reduction of waste production and its treatment so that only unusable refuse is deposited in industrial landfills.00m Intermediate coverage (soil – t = 25cm) Plastic membrane t = 20 to 30cm Waste Waste Vegetation coverage Pumping unit Blind drainage I = min 0. wastes that do not react in contact with each other or with infiltrated rainwater.5mm h > 3m Leakage detection layer (t = 25cm) Figure 139 . Solid waste final disposal The second step is waterproofing the bottom of the landfill with a plastic membrane in order to stop leachate contaminating the soil and the water table. When operating an industrial landfill special precautions have to be taken to control the type of waste unloaded there as only chemically compatible wastes can be disposed of in any given landfill. The operational cost varies according to the waste’s degree of toxicity.13.0 to 2.60 to 1. dissolution of toxic substances and violent polymerization. that is. The most common phenomena produced by the mixture of incompatible wastes are: heat generation.5% Physical protection layer t = 30cm Waste Storage pit Maximum water level To the effluent treatment unit PVC tube Plastic membrane (double layer) t =1.000 tons requires an initial investment of approximately two million dollars and involves operational costs of 50 to 150 dollars per ton. fire or explosion. The main disadvantage of an industrial landfill as a means of final waste disposal is that it requires a large area of land in order to be economically and operationally viable and it should be taken into account that the waste continues to be potentially dangerous until it can naturally incorporate itself in the environment. An industrial landfill with a capacity of 15. production of smoke and gases that are toxic and inflammable. before waste is unloaded at the landfill the list of compatible wastes published by environmental control bodies must be consulted. In this context the best course of action is to concentrate efforts on earlier stages.typical cross-section 243 . that is. Industrial landfill for Class I waste Final coverage layer I = 2% Rainwater drainage Drainage layer t = 25cm h = 4 to 6m Waste t = 0.Industrial landfill for Class I waste .

Industrial landfill for Class II and Class III waste Final coverage layer I = 2% Rainwater drainage Drainage layer t = 25cm h = 4 to 6m Waste t = 0. top waterproofing layer.6cm/s. drainage layer on top of the top waterproofing layer (t = 25cm).5m above the highest level of the water table and going from bottom to top this type of landfill usually consists of the following layers: ! ! ! ! bottom waterproofing with PEAD membrane. ! 25cm thick sand drainage (necessary only where there is top waterproofing).0m thick) with 25cm thick layers of soil between them. Beginning at least 1.Industrial landfills for Class I waste require more rigorous waterproofing than those for Class II and III.8 to 1. a top waterproofing layer of plastic membrane or good quality clay (k = 10 . ! although it is not obligatory.0m to 6.7cm/s). physical protection for the plastic membrane. thickness > 50cm) is recommended.Industrial landfill for Class II and Class III waste – typical cross-section Industrial landfills for Class II and Class III waste are similar to domestic waste sanitary landfills but do not usually have a gas venting system.00m Vegetation coverage Pumping unit Blind drainage Waste Storage pit Maximum water level t = 20 to 30cm Waste Waste I = min 0.5% Physical protection layer t = 30cm To the effluent treatment unit PVC tube Plastic membrane t = 0. 244 . ! ! ! leakage detection layer between the bottom waterproofing layers. layers of waste (from 4.5m Figure 140 . percolates drainage system.5mm h > 1.60 to 1. A minimum water table depth of three metres is required and the following layers are compulsory: ! double layer of bottom waterproofing: PEAD membrane and clay protection layer (k < 10 .

Solid waste final disposal ! ! organic soil (thickness > 60cm). After the closure of the landfill. when the top layer of waste has solidified. A top waterproofing layer is not required as the surface serves to evaporate off part of the liquid content.8. or can be injected into exhausted oil wells. These landfills are not deep and cover an extended area. the surface is waterproofed with a layer of clay to reduce rainwater infiltration and thus the need for ongoing treatment of percolated liquids. vegetation coverage with short root plant species.13. Such barrage systems use a double layer of waterproofing only on the bottom. followed by a conventional biological process (stabilization lagoons or activated sludge). OTHER FORMS OF DISPOSAL Highly hazardous waste can be disposed of in underground saline or calcareous caves. should be led to a treatment unit.2 Radioactive waste disposal There are three final disposal processes for nuclear waste. all very expensive and sophisticated: ! construction of special shelters with double walls of high resistance concrete. The percolated liquid. collected through a drainage system similar to the one in the previous figure. The type of treatment depends on the characteristics of the waste deposited in the landfill but usually a complete physicochemical process is applied. 245 . ! encapsulation in an impermeable concrete covering followed by dumping in the deep ocean (this process is very much criticized by environmentalists and in some countries is prohibited). WASTE BARRAGES Waste barrages are used for the disposal of liquid waste as well as sludgy waste that has a humidity content of more than 80%. 13. They have a filtration and drainage system at the bottom (flute) to collect and treat the liquid part while containing the solid matter inside the barrage. preferably underground.

a distinct plot should be separated for medical waste disposal. six months or a year). the surfaces of which should be covered daily. Port and airport waste not at risk of being contaminated by contact with waste generated in boats or planes arriving from areas with endemic diseases can be disposed of in sanitary landfills. trenches should be excavated with dimensions appropriate for receiving waste generated over a pre-determined period (a month. In recent years the sanitary vigilance authorities of several countries have begun to implement measures that increase controls in ports and airports out of a concern for the potential economic impact of diseases such as foot-and-mouth or mad-cow disease being “imported” from other countries or regions. It is therefore essential that an effective and safe solid waste storage.3 Port and airport waste disposal In some countries it is required by law that port and airport waste is disposed of by incineration.1. 13. Top waterproofing should begin as soon as the volume of waste reaches its final height and should progress at the same rate as the filling of the trench. Conceptually a septic trench is in reality a Class II industrial landfill. which involves the daily covering of waste and obligatory waterproofing but no leachate collection. There are two types of septic trench: individual ones such as may be used by large hospitals and ones that are annexed to a municipal sanitary landfill. a method that is very much questioned by most professionals but.4 Medical waste disposal The only final disposal process for this type of waste in the ground is the septic trench.! disposal in saline underground caves that are sealed so as not to contaminate the biosphere. as described in 13. The bottom and sides of the excavated trench are then waterproofed and waste begins to be deposited there.8. 246 . This plot should be fenced and isolated from the rest of the landfill. due to its low investment and operational costs. is a viable option for cities with budgetary limitations.8.8. When the septic trench is annexed to a municipal landfill. in many of these countries only some ports and airports comply with such environmental legislation while in the others no special attention is paid to waste disposal. 13. However. In the first type. handling and internal transport system is implemented in order to avoid contact between common waste and waste that is contaminated or represents a potential sanitary risk.

the atmosphere.13. The unpleasant appearance and the bad odour that they emit discredit city administrations where waste is not appropriately disposed of. auditing tribunals and public prosecutors for poor urban cleaning management. The simplest and cheapest option for solving the problem of refuse dumps is undoubtedly the installation of sanitary landfills. Many mayors have been held directly accountable by environmental bodies. Solid waste final disposal The procedures for waste disposal and waterproof layer installation are similar to those previously described. both of which are beyond the capacity of municipalities that lack financial resources and specialized personnel. provided they are well built and correctly 247 . especially in relation to the final disposal of waste.9 Sanitary landfills and carbon credits: Opportunities to help resolve environmental problems The environmental damage resulting from refuse dumps and irregular dumping always causes significant problems for municipal administrations.Septic trench installed in a sanitary landfill 13. they require significant financial investment and their operation involves a high level of complexity. surface and underground water and represent a potential source of epidemics and fires as well as being susceptible to disintegration. in spite of spectacular promotional offers by equipment manufacturers. Attempting to resolve urban solid waste final disposal problems through the installation of recycling or incineration plants is often not feasible as. From an environmental perspective dumps are a real calamity as they contaminate the soil. Final coverage Drainage layer Plastic membrane Fence Waste 3m to 4m Waste Waste Top coverage Lateral slopes coverage Plastic membrane Figure 141 .

impedes the release into space of heat generated by the incidence of the sun’s rays on the Earth’s surface. This new opportunity is beginning to receive support from the World Bank and other international development bodies. the average 248 . If this phenomenon did not exist. according to which the percentage of cities that still have refuse dumps is very high. carbonic gas and methane. This combustible gas can be used to fuel boilers. for example. Sanitary landfills do not contaminate or emit unpleasant odours and after their final closure they can be used for the construction of sports complexes or public parks. Consequently.operated. which are offering resources and information for the installation of sanitary landfills with systems that recover and exploit “waste biogas”. As a result of this situation the problem of solid waste disposal in Latin America is far from being solved. as established in the Kyoto Protocol the objective of which is to reduce the proportion of gases that provoke the greenhouse effect in the earth’s atmosphere. principally water vapour. with the additional advantage that its producers will receive Certified Emission Reductions (CERs). the presence of certain gases in the atmosphere. while if it existed to a greater degree the Earth would be similar to Venus. in which case they should be replaced by a sanitary landfill elsewhere that will then receive the city’s domestic waste. 13. approximately 50% of which is methane. As with the glass panels of a greenhouse. as is revealed by PAHO reports on basic sanitary services (see chapter 1). The naturally occurring “greenhouse effect” is a phenomenon of the Earth’s particular type of atmosphere that ensures climatic conditions favourable for life as we know it. principally due to the intensive use of fossil fuels such as coal and oil in domestic and industrial activities and in transport.9.1 Greenhouse effect: causes and consequences This phenomenon is similar to the one produced by the glass panels of a greenhouse that retain heat produced by the sun. sterile and with an extremely high ambient temperature. our planet would be as cold and sterile as Mars. In this chapter we will try to clarify the question of carbon credits as the recovery and use of biogas for fuel has already been dealt with in many technical publications. One potentially positive economic factor being studied with increasing attention as a solution to this problem is the exploitation of biogas naturally produced during organic waste anaerobic decomposition processes. Over recent decades the concentration of these gases in the atmosphere has increased. Refuse dumps can be eliminated either by transforming them into sanitary landfills or by eradicating them altogether in an environmentally sound way. However such initiatives involve investment and operational costs that in general are beyond municipalities’ financial means. furnaces and vehicle internal combustion engines or to generate electricity. which is then reflected outwards.

Consequently commitments were established that defined greenhouse gas emission reduction goals for developed countries listed in Annex 1 of the Protocol and a program of reduction quota commercialization. thus endangering the delicate balance that makes our environment liveable.00 per ton of CO2. the Kyoto Protocol came into force on 16th February 2005. Countries not included in Annex 1 of the Protocol. which established the “Framework Convention on Climate Change” that finally became the Kyoto Protocol 6 signed in 1997 in the Japanese city of that name. Global carbon markets have therefore begun to form and several international funds have been created to support the development of projects that reduce anthropogenic 6.2 The “logic” of carbon credits The interest in buying Certified Emission Reduction credits is due to differences between countries in the cost of emission reduction through processes applied to installations. are not obliged by the Protocol to reduce emissions but rather can transfer to Annex 1 countries credits corresponding to emission reductions produced by projects implemented for that purpose that qualify as what are called CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) projects. As a result of these cost differences the Emissions Reduction Market was created where the current value of a ton of CO2 or equivalent that is not emitted.9. In developed countries these costs can reach to values higher than US$ the acceleration of this process the UN called a summit. Following its ratification by Russia in November 2004. Available on the Convention on Climate Change website http://unfccc. 13.13.00. is approximately US$ 10. The Protocol defined a baseline criterion separating the group of surplus emission producing countries (credit buyers) and the group of sub-baseline producing countries (credit sellers). The Kyoto Protocol established that between 2008 and 2012 countries listed in its Annex 1 (developed countries) should reduce their emission of green-house gases (GHG) to a level approximately 7 % below that of 1995. or is captured.00 per ton of carbon while in countries not included in Annex 1 of the Protocol they vary from US$ 1. such as Latin American and Caribbean countries. Rio 92. the moment at which the timeframe for commitments taken on in that international agreement became applicable. Solid waste final disposal temperature on Earth is increasing. disappeared when a layer of dust was raised by the impact of a meteorite on the surface of the Earth provoking a drastic fall in global temperatures. or at least reduce.php 249 . Out of a concern to stop. according to the most accepted theory. A dramatic example of what a change in the Earth’s climate can imply is the extinction of the dinosaurs that once lived all over the planet and.00 to US$ 30.

already approved by the Brazilian government through the Inter- 250 . requires low investment. In relation to the greenhouse effect it should be noted that each ton of methane is equivalent to 21 tons of CO2. that is. For CERs to be issued.5 per ton) and its first client is the government of the Netherlands.5 million tons of carbonic gas (US$ 4. Latin American cities are beginning to invest in urban waste treatments that reduce methane emissions and generate income through CERs linked to sanitary landfill projects implemented in accordance with CDM. The application of CDM to sanitary landfills is very effective for emission reduction. a process called fixation in plants) can be traded on the global market in the form of the above mentioned CER credits. transforms for example into vegetable matter. the concession for the collection and treatment of methane produced by the large sanitary landfill at Villa Dominico. Another Brazilian project for implementation in the Salvador Centre Metropolitan sanitary landfill (Bahia).carbon emissions. taking into account: ! ! ! whether the project is entered into voluntarily. whether emission reductions are additional to those that would take place if the project was not implemented (baseline). The project is expected to capture the equivalent of 2. is aligned with public policies for the improvement of sanitary and environmental conditions and results in a better quality of life for the urban population by contributing to the transformation of refuse dumps into sanitary landfills. whether there are real measurable long term benefits. In consequence CERs are generated to the degree that the combustion of methane takes place and the emission of CO2 equivalent is therefore diminished. it is not required by law. Each ton of CO2 that a developing country does not emit or captures (that is. The first CDM project approved by the Executive Council is in Brazil: an electricity generating station fuelled by methane from landfill biogas in Nova Iguaçu (Rio de Janeiro). This is the first Argentinean project that has been presented to the Kyoto Protocol Executive Council as a CDM. To take advantage of this new economic opportunity. In Argentina for example. implementation and operation of a project should be certified and audited by independent bodies authorized by the UN. the planning. Buenos Aires. has been put to tender with the support and assistance of the World Bank.

the company operating the sanitary landfill where that service is subcontracted. an organizational agreement should be established between the different institutions involved in the project such as the municipality. the electricity distribution company or gas consumer company where there is energy or gas generation using biogas. as well as a specific annual budget allocation to municipal solid waste management large enough to cover the system’s investment and operational costs. provincial or municipal environmental conservation bodies. Maldonando province.3 Circumstances in which biogas from a sanitary landfill can be utilized For an effective implementation of a biogas recovery and utilization project. Solid waste final disposal ministerial Climate Commission. is at present awaiting the evaluation of the Kyoto Protocol Executive Council. there are requirements that have to be met. with its consequent reduction of methane emission into the atmosphere. headed by the Science and Technology Ministry.9. Finally. with the objective of capturing 18. It is therefore clear that the carbon credit market is rapidly expanding and adapting to the CDM principles established by the Kyoto Protocol. Institutional The mayor and secretaries of departments related to municipal solid waste management and the environment should clearly and unequivocally demonstrate their intention to implement a permanent program of domestic waste collection and final disposal that covers the entire urban population (universal coverage) in order to ensure healthy conditions for everybody and the protection of the local environment. and national.962 tons of methane over the course of 15 years. Here we present some of the essential conditions that the various sectors involved in the operation of an urban cleaning system should fulfil in order to achieve the established objective. 251 . To achieve these objectives there must be a separate management unit within the municipal administration with sufficient training to carry out these functions. The first pilot project in Latin America was implemented in Uruguay at Las Rosas sanitary landfill. There should also be a national policy for solid waste management establishing minimum service provision standards and requiring the implementation of final waste disposal systems that are both sanitarily and environmentally sound. 13.13.

Disposal operations should preferably continue on the site of the old refuse dump. provided that the ownership. that is. 252 . by a 10m high prism with sides of 60m). the surface of the landfill and its slopes are covered with clay except for the work face where trucks unload. by the national body responsible for climate change issues.Physical and operational The existence of a sanitary landfill principally dealing with the disposal of domestic waste with a high organic matter content that has already received a minimum quantity of 15. considering a density of 0. Social A public awareness raising program should be instigated focusing on the issue of urban cleaning with a view to informing all citizens about sanitary problems in their region. the resources needed to solve them and the responsibilities that each party has in the process. 13.7t/m³. where relevant. in order to avoid the difficulties involved in the implementation of a new landfill in an urban area even when it will be operated on a sound basis. the possibility of recuperating the land at the same time as sanitary or controlled operations begin on it should be examined. to give an idea. Consequently the formulation of a table of conditioning factors is recommended that can be filled in according to the specific characteristics of each project and subsequently analyzed to determine if a given project can receive preliminary approval from the national body responsible for the environment and later. so that they can be analyzed and given different degrees of priority by the Interministerial Commission on Global Climate Change. which occupies a volume that can be represented. with a view to the possible allocation of public resources or investment by the private sector at a national or international level. In addition guarantees are required not only for an effective collection of the biogas and the transformation of its methane into carbon dioxide (CO2) but also for the long term continuity of the process as biogas continues to be produced during a period of more than 15 years after the closure of a landfill as a waste disposal site.9. If the site is not operated in a sanitary way. urban zoning and minimum environmental conditions are appropriate. the layer of waste is at least 10 metres deep.200 cubic metres. the waste is not covered with clay and there is no leachate and biogas collection. and there is a regular reception of at least 50 tons of domestic waste per day.000 tons of waste (corresponding to 25.4 Requirements for the implementation of GHG emission reduction projects in solid waste landfills The implementation of emission reduction programs for methane produced in urban waste landfills should comply with CDM requirements.

Such sanitary landfill projects are therefore likely to be of interest to large international corporations as a way of obtaining cheaper CERs. ! ! a sub-contraction of the landfill operation. ! no depositing of industrial waste in the landfill.000 inhabitants. are less onerous than other GHG emission reduction options. ! an effective body of municipal regulations applicable to urban cleaning that may be part of a general body of municipal regulations. a qualified technical team within the responsible body.13. a landfill growth plan that is followed. where applicable. Even though income from CERs is not received immediately after the transformation of a refuse dump into a sanitary landfill. a landfill operation that is ongoing and functions in a regulated way: a sufficiency of machines. a daily waste collection delivered to the site of at least 50 tons. ! a political decision on the part of the mayor to recuperate the existing refuse dump.5 General considerations The relation between sanitary landfills and carbon credits is based in the fact that landfill biogas capture and utilization projects. a collection and either treatment or recirculation of leachate.9. a waste collection system coverage of at least 80% of the population. involving burning and transformation into CO2. in the medium term it can represent real financial assistance for municipalities enabling them to ensure the correct operation of urban 253 . the existence of a body responsible for urban cleaning in the municipality. ! the existence of land owned by the municipality that meets the environmental conditions necessary for installing a sanitary landfill. ! a municipal urban cleaning or waste collection rate that covers more than 40% of service costs. the compaction of waste and its regular coverage with a layer of clay. ! an existing or planned public awareness raising campaign on environmental issues in general or urban cleaning in particular. a municipal budgetary allocation specifically for urban cleaning services that is big enough to maintain the quality of those services at an appropriate level. more than 10 metre thick layers of waste. 13. and install a new sanitary landfill. Solid waste final disposal The following is a list of project related characteristics that will facilitate the analysis of a given project prior to a decision on whether or not basic CDM requirements are met: ! ! ! ! ! ! an urban population of more than 30.

This offers municipalities a definitive and low cost way of fulfilling their constitutional and moral duty to appropriately dispose of waste produced in urban concentrations and provide basic sanitary conditions for the inhabitants of the city they administer. 254 . reducing leachate generation and avoiding methane emissions.solid waste final disposal installations. This is of interest as it can facilitate the viability of projects that add this form of waste treatment to the operation of sanitary landfills thus extending their useful life. Finally it should be noted that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has recently approved a new methodology for calculating the emissions avoided by composting processes. which can lead to CER income.

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GLOSSARY OF ACRONYMS ABNT – Brazilian Institute of Technical Standards ASCE – American Society of Civil Engineers BOD – Biochemical Oxygen Demand CEPIS/PAHO – Pan American Center for Sanitary Engineering and Environmental Sciences CER – Certified Emission Reduction CDM – Clean Development Mechanism CNEN – National Nuclear Energy Commission. Brazil COD – Chemical Oxygen Demand COMLURB – Rio de Janeiro Urban Cleaning Company CONAMA – National Commission on the Environment. 1992) SISNAMA –National Environmental System. Brazil TGW –Total Gross Weight UN – United Nations VDC – Voluntary Drop-off Centres WCR – Waste Collection Rate 258 . Brazil EIS – Environmental Impact Study EMS – Environmental Management Secretariat. IDRC GHG – Green-House Gas HDI – Human Development Index HDPE – High Density Polyethylene IADB – Inter-American Development Bank IBAM – Brazilian Institute of Municipal Administration IDRC – International Development Research Centre of Canada IPCC – Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPE – Individual Protection Equipment ISWM – Integrated Solid Waste Management ISWMP – Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan LAC – Latin America and the Caribbean Region LDPE – Low Density Polyethylene MoU – Memorandum of Understanding NGO – Non-Governmental Organization PAHO – Pan-American Health Organization PET – Polyethylene Terephtalate PVC – Poly Vinyl Chloride Rio 92 – United Nations International Conference on Environment and Development (Rio de Janeiro.

This phenomenon stops heat from the sun leaving the atmosphere and returning to space. Composting: procedures for the transformation of biodegradable organic municipal solid waste into organic compounds. Clean technology: technology that does not produce secondary effects or impact on the environmental balance or natural systems. treatment or rehabilitation.GLOSSARY Biogas: combustible gas naturally generated during the organic matter putrefaction process. 259 . Compensatory measures: measures to compensate communities or social groups for the use of non-renewable environmental resources. medical centres and all other establishments where any level of human or animal healthcare is practiced with a view to prevention. Environmental impact assessment: a procedure aimed at identifying and interpreting the effects of public or private actions or projects that may cause environmental impacts or alter the quality of life. laboratories. or for unavoidable negative environmental impacts. diagnosis. Intermediary agents: agents involved in the commercialization of recyclable materials in general as intermediaries in sales by segregators to recycling companies. Healthcare institutions: public and private hospitals. replicating on a planetary scale an effect similar to the one observable in a greenhouse. Governing plan: a fundamental legally binding policy instrument for the development and organization of the municipal territory aimed at guaranteeing an appropriate social functioning of the city. Final disposal: the final process applied to solid waste resulting in its ultimate placement. clinics. Greenhouse effect: the absorption by the Earth’s atmosphere of infrared radiation emitted by its surface. which implies a reduced financial income for segregators. Domestic waste: residential waste and waste from small commercial generators. veterinary clinics. Indivisible service: a public service available to all tax-payers that cannot be measured on the basis of the amount used by individual citizens. resulting in increased heat on the Earth’s surface and thus an increase in the average temperature of the planet. Integrated solid waste management plan: a technical planning instrument for activities linked to urban cleaning.

Municipal Treasury: the resources of a municipality out of which the municipal budget is financed. works and added features. Urban cleaning service: all activities relating to solid waste management: preparation and storage. recyclable material recovery. 260 . Organic law: a municipality’s foundational law defining the areas of jurisdiction and responsibility for its executive. Segregator: a person engaged in the separation of recyclable material from refuse. transport. of residential. legislative and judicial branches. design and evaluation. Solid waste management: all technical and administrative activity. small industries and the sweeping and cleaning of public spaces. collection. healthcare institutions. structures. Master plan: a document containing all of the necessary elements for the complete implementation of a project in accordance with relevant technical regulations. Recycling company: a company specializing in the recycling of material. Plant: a solid waste processing site including the land. contains materials in solution or in suspension and results from the decomposition process plus the infiltration of rainwater.Leachate: liquid that drains through solid waste. street cleaning. including planning. Municipal waste: solid or semisolid waste generated by activities in population centres. treatment and final disposal of solid waste. transfer. Refuse: all waste produced by human activity that is not reused. that is related to appropriate solid waste management. Medical waste: all waste generated by healthcare institutions. or from markets. commercial or institutional origin. also called scavenger or waste picker. Refuse dump: a place where waste is indiscriminately dumped in the open air without the application of any sanitary treatment.

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