Municipal solid waste management challenges in developing regions: a comprehensive review and future perspectives for Asia and Africa

Zhechen Zhang, Zhonghao Chen, Jiawen Zhang, Yunfei Liu, Lin Chen, Mingyu Yang, Ahmed I. Osman*, Mohamed Farghali, Engui Liu, Dalia Hassan, Ikko Ihara, Kun Lu, David W. Rooney, Pow-Seng Yap*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The rapid urbanization witnessed in developing countries in Asia and Africa has led to a substantial increase in municipal solid waste (MSW) generation. However, the corresponding disposal strategies, along with constraints in land resources and finances, compounded by unorganized public behaviour, have resulted in ineffective policy implementation and monitoring. This lack of systematic and targeted orientation, combined with blind mapping, has led to inefficient development in many areas. This review examines the key challenges of MSW management in developing countries in Asia and Africa from 2013 to 2023, drawing insights from 170 academic papers. Rather than solely focusing on recycling, the study proposes waste sorting at the source, optimization of landfill practices, thermal treatment measures, and strategies to capitalize on the value of waste as more pertinent solutions aligned with local realities. Barriers to optimizing management systems arise from socio-economic factors, infrastructural limitations, and cultural considerations. The review emphasizes the importance of integrating the study area into the circular economy framework, with a focus on enhancing citizen participation in solid waste reduction and promoting recycling initiatives, along with seeking economic assistance from international organizations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number172794
Number of pages17
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume930
Early online date02 May 2024
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 02 May 2024

Keywords

  • Asia and Africa
  • Challenges
  • Municipal solid waste
  • Policy
  • Waste treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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