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Opportunities and challenges of a Sustainable Solid Waste Management in Tsumeb, Namibia
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Industrial Ecology.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The handling of wastes is an eternal problem, all societies are confronted to this issue. Their origins are very diverse, they could come from industrial activities, power production, shops, retail or household for instance. While in developed countries the collection is generally efficient and the disposal safe, the situation in developing countries is different. The municipal budget does not allow the construction of advanced and expensive methods of disposal and the collection suffer from the age of vehicles. This generalisation is nevertheless not totally truth as the situation is extremely depend on the country but also of the city considered. Each city will need to adapt its waste management according to its size, climate, wealth, culture, etc...

This report will focus on a Namibian medium town, Tsumeb. The aim is to be able to draw a clear picture of the waste management currently achieved. When the situation is well known, new directions to make Tsumeb refuse management more sustainable can be decided. Implementing progressively an integrated waste management (IWM) is a solution to the waste problem as it is considering economic, social and environmental impacts. A waste characterization was done in order to know the exact amount and composition of the waste generated in Tsumeb to implement afterwards the most suitable solution. The refuse of Tsumeb are surprisingly very similar to high income country. Moreover the stakeholders involved in recycling were investigated. A small informal sector is already making a living by recycling a few materials as glass bottle and cans. There is also a possibility to include extra stakeholder in the recycling process in Tsumeb. Recycling companies, recycling organization or investors are also important stakeholder who can be include in Tsumeb recycling plan.

Developing recycling in Tsumeb is facing some challenges but it is also full of opportunities. The main issue when it comes to recycling in Namibia is the long transportation distances what makes it expensive. Furthermore, most of the recovered materials have to be sent in South Africa because Namibia does not possess the necessary industries to recycle paper and glass for instance. On another hand the presence in Tsumeb of a small informal sector already working with waste is promising. The workers could be more organized and the municipality can also helping them with logistic and storage to improve the recycling done. The dump site will also be close within the next years and a new sanitary landfill will be open. It will be a great opportunity to implement a recycling facility on site. Informal workers working on the landfill will be more controlled, to avoid for instance children labour. Some stricter health and safety measure can be decided, to give better working condition to the informal manpower. The development of recycling activities in Tsumeb will be highly beneficial to the community. It will create jobs for the poorest part of the population, decrease the cost of the waste management, reduce the pollution and stimulate the local economy. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Waste management, recycling, informal sector, waste characterization, Namibia, Tsumeb, integrated waste management
National Category
Environmental Management
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-155386OAI: diva2:760986
Available from: 2014-11-05 Created: 2014-11-05 Last updated: 2014-11-05Bibliographically approved

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