Next Article in Journal
Skateboards as a Sustainable Recyclable Material
Previous Article in Journal
Managing Cd Containing Waste—Caught by the Past, the Circular Economy Needs New Answers
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Recycling 2018, 3(2), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/recycling3020019

Municipal Solid Waste Management in Latin America and the Caribbean: Issues and Potential Solutions from the Governance Perspective

1
UNU-FLORES, United Nations University, Dresden 01067, Germany
2
Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture, University of São Paulo, São Paulo 13418-900, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 March 2018 / Revised: 26 April 2018 / Accepted: 9 May 2018 / Published: 10 May 2018
Full-Text   |   PDF [974 KB, uploaded 10 May 2018]   |  

Abstract

Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) management is an essential service for an urban population to maintain sanitation. Managing MSW is complex as the treatment/recovery options depend not only on the volume of waste, but also on the socioeconomic conditions of the population. This paper focusses on MSW management in the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries. Dominance of uncontrolled disposal options of MSW in the region, such as open dumps, has an adverse influence on health and sanitation. Interest in source separation practices and recycling is low in the LAC region. Furthermore, economic matters such as poor financial planning and ineffective billing systems also hinder service sustainability. Rapid urbanization is another characteristic feature in the region. The large urban centres that accommodate over 80% of the region’s population pose their own challenges to MSW management. However, the same large volume of MSW generated can become a steady supply of resources, if recovery options are prioritized. Governance is one aspect that binds many activities and stakeholders involved in MSW management. This manuscript describes how we may look at MSW management in LAC from the governance perspective. The issues, as well as the best potential solutions, are both described within three categories of governance: bureaucratic, market, and network. The governance perspective can assist by explaining which stakeholders are involved and who should be responsible for what. Financial issues are the major setbacks observed in the bureaucratic governance institutions that can be reversed with better billing strategies. MSW is still not seen by the private sector as a place to make investments, perhaps due to the negative social attitude associated with waste. The market governance aspects may help increase the efficiency and profitability of the MSW market. Private sector initiatives such as cost-effective microenterprises should be encouraged and the projects that fit under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) defined in the Kyoto Protocol should be incentivized to attract technology and capital. Lastly, network governance is at the centre of attention due to its flexibility in supporting/absorbing public-private partnerships, especially the participation of the informal sector that is important to the LAC region. Many individual waste pickers are providing their services to the LAC region by taking part in collecting and recycling under very unfavourable working conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: Municipal Solid Waste (MSW); waste management; Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC); Urbanization; urban population; financial sustainability; governance; informal sector; waste pickers; best practices Municipal Solid Waste (MSW); waste management; Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC); Urbanization; urban population; financial sustainability; governance; informal sector; waste pickers; best practices
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Hettiarachchi, H.; Ryu, S.; Caucci, S.; Silva, R. Municipal Solid Waste Management in Latin America and the Caribbean: Issues and Potential Solutions from the Governance Perspective. Recycling 2018, 3, 19.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Recycling EISSN 2313-4321 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top