Managing Solid Waste in Africa

July 12, 2022

Technically, solid waste includes refuse from households, non-hazardous solid waste from institutions, industries and commercial establishments, market waste, yard waste and street sweepings. In many low- and middle-income countries, it excludes medical waste (healthcare waste), hazardous industrial waste and sewage, e-waste, radioactive waste. Management of solid waste encompasses the functions of its collection, transfer, treatment, recycling, resource recovery and disposal.

source recovery and disposal. This report is based on desk research and analysis of existing reports, policy documents, academic and research articles, documents from the UN, and news reports. The aim is to provide an overview of the municipal solid waste (MSW) management scenario in Africa, particularly some countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

However, one of the key challenges in writing this report has been the limited availability of reliable, current and comprehensive data on waste management in these countries, based on systematic sampling methods and surveys. Based on the available data and information, the writers have attempted to put together a profile, which could perhaps prove useful in identifying the gaps working towards filling them in future.


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