Solid Waste Management

Concerning sanitation infrastructure, the safe and environmentally friendly disposal of municipal solid waste perhaps ranks least on the priority list of local governments and national authorities. Reasons for this are the seemingly minor disadvantages of waste disposal at dumpsites and the comparatively high construction and operation costs of sanitary landfills. The construction of a sanitary landfill frequently is only started when cheap external funds are made available for this purpose e.g. as is the case with the EU-IPA funds for EU candidate countries. Another reason can be when community pressure as a result of increased environmental awareness makes the construction of sanitary landfills unavoidable.

Whenever external funding for the implementation of solid waste management (SWM) projects is made available the organizations responsible for project operations usually are obliged to raise cost-recovery SWM fees in accordance with the polluter-pays principle, unless this is not already the case. Given the frequent complete absense of specific SWM fees, this poses quite a challenge to the respective local and national authorities. In addition to the funds made available for financing the investive measures and implementation consultancy services funds therefore also have to be made available for financing capacity building measures with the organization in charge of project operations.

For many years cogito pdm is delivering consultancy services of different nature in the field of Solid Waste Management. Some of the topics we have specific knowledge on in this context are:


  • Determination of the ideal mix of grant-funds (e.g. of the EU) and loans of international and national financing institutions to secure overall project financing by taking the financial effects on the project cash flow into account
  • Establishment and institutional strengthening of municipal SWM unions (by-laws, business plans, staffing, organization of SWM services, cost-recovery fees by taking the polluter-pays principle and affordability criteria into account)
  • Concepts for division of responsibilities between SWM unions and their members regarding waste collection, transport and disposal
  • Step-wise introduction of the 'waste separation at source' scheme on the household level and organization and implementation of related public awareness campaigns
  • The social impacts of introduction of the 'waste separation at source' scheme and proposals for avoiding negative impacts (integration of waste scavengers into the formal system)