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Environ Monit Assess DOI 10.


Municipal solid waste generation in growing urban areas in Africa: current practices and relation to socioeconomic factors in Jimma, Ethiopia
T. Getahun & E. Mengistie & A. Haddis & F. Wasie & E. Alemayehu & D. Dadi & T. Van Gerven & B. Van der Bruggen

Received: 7 June 2011 / Accepted: 14 October 2011 # Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Abstract As one of cities in the developing countries, a rapid population growth and industrial activities pose many environmental challenges for Jimma city, Ethiopia. One aspect of urban growth posing a threat on sustainable development is poor solid waste management, which results in environmental pollution. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the quantity, composition, sources of waste generated, their current disposal practices, and to recommend appropriate management technologies. The total waste generated daily in Jimma city was ca. 88,000 kg, and the average per capita generation rate was 0.550.17 kg/capita/day. Eighty-seven percent of the waste was produced by households and 13% by institutions, and a negligible fraction (0.1%) was generated by street sweepings. During the rainy season, 40% more waste was generated than in the dry season because of the increased availability of agricultural food product. Further analysis showed that biodegradable organic waste constitutes 54% by weight with an average moisture content of
T. Getahun (*) : E. Mengistie : A. Haddis : F. Wasie : E. Alemayehu : D. Dadi Department of Environmental Health, Jimma University, P.O. Box 378, Jimma, Ethiopia e-mail: T. Getahun : E. Mengistie : A. Haddis : T. Van Gerven : B. Van der Bruggen K. U. Leuven, Department of Chemical Engineering, W. de Croylaan 46, 3001 Leuven, Belgium

60% that falls within the required limits for composting. The nonbiodegradable components constitute 46% of which 30% of it was nonrecyclable material. Only 25% of the community uses municipal containers for disposal at the selected landfill site. Fifty-one percent of the households disposed their waste in individually chosen spots, whereas 22% burned their waste. Finally 2% of households use private waste collectors. The socioeconomic analysis showed that higher family income and educational status is associated more with private or municipal waste collection and less with the application of backyard or open dumping. These insights into generated waste and management practice in Jimma city allow making suggestions for improved collection, treatment, and disposal methods. A primary conclusion is that the biodegradable waste is a major fraction having suitable properties for recycling. As such an economic benefit can be obtained from this waste while avoiding the need for disposal. Keywords Ethiopia . Solid waste . Waste generation . Waste management

Introduction Rapid population growth and expanding urbanization have caused a drastic increase of the municipal solid waste generation and the variety of the waste composition (Nguyen et al. 2011). Municipal solid waste (MSW) consists of all types of solid waste generated

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by households and commercial establishments, and collected usually by local government bodies (BhadaTata and Hoornweg 2011). The majority of substances composing MSW in developing countries include paper, kitchen waste, plastics, metals, textiles, rubber, and glass. Many cities in developing countries face serious environmental degradation and health risks due to the weakly developed MSW management system (Nguyen et al. 2011). As one of the fast-growing cities in this part of the world, Jimma city, Ethiopia is also facing the same problem. Consequently, a considerable amount of waste ends up in open dumps without any sorting or treatment and is exposed to human and animal scavengers. However, there is not much or even no information to be found on the solid waste management in the Horn of Africa so far. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to carefully investigate characteristics of the waste generated in Jimma as a reference case for a growing urban center in the Horn of Africa and to explore the socioeconomic factors that lead to these waste fractions. Furthermore, suggestions for improvement are made in view of a more sustainable growth in this city and similar cities.

household was considered by a lottery method to make the representation fair (every ith chosen at an interval of N/n, systematically). In addition, there were 363 different commercial areas and 138 governmental and nongovernmental offices in Jimma city. Ten percent of these commercial areas and offices amounting to 50 were selected for this study according to their size and types and categorized as institutions (World Health Organization 1996). Sample of the generated waste data was collected from all sampling areas once a day at a fixed time for eight consecutive days and in all seasons namely: dry (March), rainy (July), and in between the two seasons (November). This was repeated three times a year because seasons may affect the composition, quantity, and peak days of the solid waste produced (World Health Organization 1996; Thanh et al. 2010).

Method of data collection To investigate the present situation of Jimmas solid waste collection, several questionnaires were prepared and used for data collection. The following socioeconomic parameters were registered for each household: household size and age, sex, educational status, monthly income, and occupation of the household head. Visual observations and available reports were also used. Manual sorting was performed to separate different classes of waste. Items for recycling were classified based on local practices. For instance, hard covers, folders, bags, decorations, and different tools are made by small-scale industries from recycled papers, plastics, and metals locally. The weight of each waste material was taken and recorded on data sheets after sorting and cleaning the waste. In addition, given the origin of the waste (mainly untreated waste from food), vegetable, food stuff peelings, paper, grass and leaves were considered as biodegradable waste. Waste density was also measured by filling a bucket of 16 l volume with waste after transporting it to the sorting site. Laboratory analysis The moisture content of the samples was determined following the standard procedure and formula (Aarne

Study methodology Sampling technique for solid waste generation Solid waste characteristics were determined by a systematic sampling of household waste and other waste in Jimma, Ethiopia. Households were selected from a total of 26,842 in the whole study area (consisting of 13 subcities). The required sample size was calculated using a standard formula (Daneil 1993), resulting in a calculated total sample size of 379 households. Expecting a 10% nonresponse rate, the required sample size was increased with an additional 38 households to a total of 417 households. At the end of the study, it appeared that 396 households were involved throughout the whole study period, which corresponds to a response rate of 95%, or 1.5% of all households. The households were randomly selected after identification of clusters of houses in slum and well-planned areas in all subcities that were believed to have a different socioeconomic status in this particular community. The sample

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et al. 1994). It was determined after drying the waste material at 105C for 24 h and expressed as a percentage of total weight. The organic content was also determined by heating the sample placed in a ceramic crucible at 350C to 440C overnight (Blume et al. 1990; Nelson and Sommers 1996; ASTM 2000). For each sample, triplicate samples were analyzed for moisture content and organic content determination. The results obtained after the analysis are presented in Table 2.

Results and discussion Relationship between solid waste generation and socioeconomic factors The daily average generation rate of solid waste was found to be 88,00012,118 kg, which amounts to an annual average generation rate of ca. 32,000 tons (Table 1). Eighty-seven percent of this waste was generated by households. Remarkably, only a negligible fraction (0.1%) was generated by street sweepings. The waste generation per household was 2.7 1.0, 3.11.1, and 3.81.1 kg/day in the dry, in between and in the wet seasons, respectively. The volume of the generated waste was observed to be 146 m3/day, and the density was 600 kg/m3. Considering the local average household size, the average per capita waste generation for Jimma city was 0.55 0.17 kg/cap/day, which is similar to that of countries such as Malaysia (0.5 kg/capita/day, Imam et al. 2008). According to Ulrich et al. (2005), the average solid waste generation rate of the low-income countries is 0.10.5 kg/capita/day as opposed to 1.1 kg/capita/day and above in fully industrialized

countries, even though differences of generation of waste are also observed among the industrialized countries as well. In this study, 13%, 45%, 28%, and 14% of households in the study area represent households with family size of 13, 46, 79, and 9 and above, respectively. Family size was positively correlated with total waste generation rate per household, which confirms the findings of Al-Momani (1994) and Sujauddin et al. (2008). According to Jones et al. (2008), the relationship between waste production and household size is not a linear, straight line relationship. Indeed, also in this study, as household size increased, the rate of increase in waste generation itself declined. The per capita generation rate for each family size (13, 46, 79, and 9 and above) was 0.58, 0.56, 0.55, and 0.52 kg/capita/day, respectively. It can be concluded that the per capita generation rate decreases steadily with family size, although to a rather small extent. Correlation analysis showed that this decrease was not significant (P>0.05, Fig. 1). On the basis of studies conducted in different cities from developing countries and various regions, Hockett and Lober (1995) did report that smaller household sizes produced more waste per capita. The relationship between per capita waste generation and household size in our case also indicates a decreasing increase in the amount of waste produced by each family member as the size of the family increases. Eighteen percent of the total households involved in this study were illiterate. The remaining 31% studied up to grade 6, 32% studied from grade 7 to 12, and 19% studied up to grade 12 and above. It appeared that the educational status of households was negatively associated with the total generation rate per household and with the per capita generation

Table 1 Daily municipal solid waste generation rate by source and season Source Season of the year and weight of waste generated (kg) Dry Household Institutions and commercial areas Street Sweeping Total 62,013 11,940 50 In between 73,264 12,314 71 Wet 92,839 10,476 148 76,00012,739 12,000729 9044 88,0001,211 87 13 0.1 100 Average weight (kg) Weight proportion (%)

Environ Monit Assess Fig. 1 Family size and per capita waste generation rate

rate (both P<0.05, Fig. 2). The highest (0.65 kg/ capita/day) waste quantity was generated by the illiterate people, and the lowest rate (0.47 kg/capita/ day) was generated by those who were in grade 12 and above. Sujauddin et al. (2008) and Afon and Okewole (2007) also reported in their study conducted in Bangladesh and Nigeria, respectively, that household waste generation rate is inversely correlated with the educational level of the household head (P<0.05). A possible explanation for this could be because education may have an effect on behavior of individuals with regard to waste generation and handling techniques as stated by Salequzzaman et al. (2000). All the other investigated socioeconomic factors appeared to be not significantly correlated with the rate of solid waste generation (P>0.05). Households in the family income of 012, 12.124, 24.135, 35.147, and 47.1 plus per month were 20%, 28%, 20%, 20%, and 12% of the total in the study area, respectively. The relationship between family size and income was found to be significant (P<0.05).This indicates that a household with higher income may have a tendency to have larger family size. In addition, family income is associated (P<0.05) with education and occupation of head of households. This is probably because employment as a source of income may depend on the level of education and occupation of individual

household head. Although these families showed marginally less per capita waste generation, yet total generation of waste from the educated and affluent households was larger than the noneducated, poorer households because the proportion of those people who were in the lower level of education (below grade 6) was 31% while the majority (51%) of this particular community studied above grade 7, which was considered as a better level of education in this study. However, the income of the household head does not show a statistical relationship with the rate of waste generation (P>0.05). Other authors also did not find a positive correlation between the income status of a family and the rate of total waste generated (Mohd et al. 2002). On the contrary, Al-Momani (1994) did find a positive correlation between MSW generation and the income levels of people, as well as other parameters such as the number of persons per dwelling, cultural patterns, and the level of education. The absence of a significant association between household income and waste generation rate could be due to cultural patterns. In Ethiopia people spend the major proportion of their income on food. Every household, regardless of their income status, consumes Injera (local bread) which is prepared from flour with homemade sauce regularly. What may be different between households with different income

Environ Monit Assess Fig. 2 Educational status of head of households and per capita waste generation rate

status are the quality and ingredients used. Since this food is prepared at home and used fresh on a daily basis, it does not need any wrapping, packing, canning, or bottling to store. Consequently, a significant difference between waste generation and income is not expected to be observed between higher and lower income families.

turn waste into valuable resources and generates income for collectors and recyclers.

Temporal variation of waste generation The daily quantity of the waste generated was observed to be ca. 74,000, 86,000, and 103,000 kg during the dry, in between, and wet season, respectively (Table 1). The moisture content of the household waste was independent of the season because it was stored in closed plastic bags inside the house awaiting daily collection for analysis: 50%, 65%, and 65% during the dry, in between, and wet season, respectively. The household waste generation rate was, however, higher during the rainy season than the dry season. This is assumed to be due to the increased availability of different kinds of agricultural food products in the rainy season compared to the dry season. This is confirmed by the fact that food peelings and vegetable/putrescibles waste generation in the rainy season was 40% higher than in the dry season. On average, food peelings and vegetable waste generated in Jimma city amounted to a total of ca. 22,000 2,912 kg over all seasons. Mohd et al. (2002) also reported that the rate of waste generation during the rainy season is higher than in the dry season. Consequently, this proves that the most seasonably variable material in the MSW stream is food waste

Solid waste properties The properties of the MSW were aggregated to the level of total waste load, making abstraction of differences between households, institutions, commercial areas, and street sweepings. Fifty-four percent of the generated waste in Jimma city appears to be biodegradable organic waste (Table 2). The amount of this fraction of waste is similar with what was observed in several cities in developing countries: India, 4060% (Sharholy et al. 2008); Nigeria, 52 65% (Imam et al. 2008); and Jordan, 5478% (AbuQdais 2007). The observed biodegradable fraction of waste had an organic and moisture content of 79% and 60%, respectively. The nonbiodegradable components and the miscellaneous inorganic waste constitute 46% that is further subdivided into 30% disposable and 16% recyclable waste materials. The recyclable materials were composed of glass, paper, plastic, and metals. Recycling these materials would

Environ Monit Assess Table 2 Type of waste generated, moisture, and organic content Component of solid waste Biodegradable organic waste Vegetable/putrescibles Paper Food stuff peelings Grass/leaves Total Nonbiodegradable organic waste Bones Textiles Plastics Leather/rubber Ashes and dust Total Inorganic waste Miscellaneous na not available 11.4 na na na na 4.7 3.9 6.7 1.1 18.0 34.4 8.5 10.5 1.5 17.0 7.8 0.4 0.4 0.1 0.2 1.4 1.5 26.5 77.0 92.5 76.5 73.2 1.3 3.0 6.2 0.9 13.2 24.6 14.7 4.4 12.0 23.1 54.2 40.5 5.5 72.3 78.5 6.0 0.2 8.7 18.1 33.0 77.5 87.5 82.1 76.0 11.4 3.9 9.9 17.6 42.8 % by weight (% of total) Moisture content (% of total class) Moisture content (% of total) Organic content (% total class) Organic content (% of total)

from households. Indeed, commercial wastes and street sweepings show almost no change during the three seasons (Table 1). Current waste collection practices According to information from the municipality, the full responsibility of solid waste collection is given to the social and economic department of the municipality. This department has a total of 33 workers (1 expert, 1 driver, 1 assistant, and 30 street cleaners), one tipper lorry with a storage capacity of 8 m3 for waste collection purpose, and 10 metallic containers with a capacity of 4 m3 for waste storage. There were no private sectors involved in solid waste collection to help the administration in this activity except few microscale enterprises (Atinkugni, Awetu Mendera, Becho Bore, and Bosa Kito) involved in very smallscale solid waste collection. The collection system in the city is currently based on the application of communal municipality waste containers and door-to-door collection by the microscale enterprises. Communal waste collection is performed by means of containers placed randomly in overcrowded residential and commercial areas. According to this study, only 25% of the community uses municipal containers for disposal by the

municipal system. This is similar to the case of Nairobi but lower than some other cities in the developing countries such as Dar es Salaam city (48%, Kassim and Ali 2006) and cities in China (36% on average, ISWA 2002). Only 2% of households use private waste collectors, while 22% of them were burning their waste at any open space (public areas). The remaining 51% of the households disposed their waste in individually chosen spots: of these 15%, 21%, and 15% were using a refuse pit, back yard, and open dumping for disposal, respectively. Relationship between waste disposal practices and socioeconomic factors According to this study, the monthly family income and educational status of the waste generators have a statistically significant relationship with the type of disposal systems applied (P<0.05). This is illustrated by Figs. 3 and 4 showing that a higher family income and educational status is associated more with (private or municipal) waste collection and less with the application of open dumping, back yard, and open burning. As the figures show, it is only 2% of households that use private collectors. Among these users, 1% of them were merchants, 0.5% government employees,

Environ Monit Assess Fig. 3 Monthly income in relation to the selected solid waste disposal option

and 0.3% was housewives. The highest percentage (7%) of the municipal waste containers were used by households with monthly income range of 4661 while the lowest percentage (2%) of the containers were used by households with monthly income range of 015. The major proportion (8%) of refuse pit disposal method was also used by government employees whereas the smallest proportion (1%) was used by daily laborers that do not have permanent income. It can be concluded that the selection of disposal option is determined by the level of household income because higher income may enable individual households to hire someone to collect or transport the waste to the site where municipal containers are placed and to have a land for disposal pit. Furthermore, it helps to live at planned areas so that it is accessible for the collection trucks to give better service than in other areas (Kassim and Ali 2006).
Fig. 4 Educational status in relation to the selected solid waste disposal option

The issue of selection of disposal options is also linked with the educational status of head of households. Among the 25% of the study population using municipal containers, 10% of the head of households have an educational status below grade 6 whereas 15% have an education above grade 7. The facility was least (2%) utilized by the illiterate families and most (8%) utilized by families of above grade 12. This is probably due to the effect of education on the change of behavior in terms of selection of waste disposal option, as confirmed by Salequzzaman et al. (2000). Outlook towards an improved solid waste management system in Jimma city The primary targets of MSW management are to protect the health of the population, promote environmental quality, develop sustainability, and provide

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support to economic productivity. To meet these goals, sustainable solid waste management systems must be embraced by local authorities in collaboration with both the public and private sectors through community-based waste management strategy (Bhada-Tata and Hoornweg 2011). Therefore, we suggest some possibilities for a more sustainable management system on the basis of the reported results. In Jimma city the biodegradable organic waste is a dominant component in MSW. Therefore, the technology to be used should concentrate on managing this fraction of waste considering its negative impact on the environment and potential economic benefit (Bandara et al. 2007; Tiquia et al. 1997). When the generated waste is land filled, a common practice in many developing countries, biodegradable organic waste lowers the quality of the leachate created (the higher the biodegradable organic waste fraction, the higher the biochemical oxygen demand or BOD of the leachate) and increases the amount of gas produced in a sanitary landfill. A waste stream with a high biodegradable organic content can alternatively be processed to produce high-quality compost which avoids land filling and enables the regeneration of poor soils (Bandara et al. 2007; Smith 2009). It appears that the biodegradable fraction has the appropriate moisture content for composting (Tiquia et al. 1997). The recyclable materials, on the other hand, should be sent to recyclers where waste pickers can get an economic benefit from it. A fully optimized waste management strategy will be further developed based on this characterization study and reported in due course.

The correlation analysis indicated that a higher family income and educational status are associated more with (private or municipal) waste collection and less with the application of open burning, back yard, or open dumping. Back yard disposal and open dumping were the most common practices among the low-income families with household heads typically being daily laborers and housewives. In contrast, private waste collectors and municipal containers were used by government employees and merchants that have a permanent and relatively higher income. This is probably due to their capacity to hire someone for collecting and transporting the waste to the place where the communal waste containers are placed. Municipal waste containers were least utilized by the illiterate families and most utilized by families with education level of grade 12 and above. This is because of the impact of education on behavior of individuals and its association with employment, income, and increased awareness on environmental protection. A management strategy will, therefore, be further developed for composting the biodegradable organic waste into material with economic benefit.
Acknowledgments The authors would like to thank the Flemish Institutional University Cooperation and Jimma University partnership program for funding this study and Jimma city administration for cooperating with researchers at the time of data collection.

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Conclusion The study showed that the daily average generation rate of solid waste was ca. 88,00012,118 kg. Substantially more waste is generated in the wet season, when more vegetables, and subsequently more vegetable waste, are available. The majority (87%) of MSW comes from households, less from commercial areas and institutions. The observed waste is composed of 54 wt.% biodegradable organic waste, 30 wt.% disposable inert materials, and 16 wt.% recyclable materials.

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