Municipal Solid Waste Management in Developing Countries

Eawag-Sandec, EPFL Solid Waste Management

Target Audience

Students and practitioners in low- and middle-income countries.


Have you come across large piles of garbage in neighborhoods and streets, or smelly waste disposal sites polluting the environment of low and middle income countries? Are you also convinced that improvements are necessary and do you want to know what kind of sustainable solutions are appropriate to better manage waste and enhance recycling and recovery? If yes, this course is for you!

This course provides an overview of the municipal solid waste management situation in developing countries covering key elements of the waste management system, with its technical, environmental, social, financial and institutional aspects. Besides understanding the challenges you will learn about appropriate and already applied solutions through selected case studies. The course also covers strategic planning and policy issues discussing future visions for waste management and the aspect of a circular and green economy. Considering the importance of the organic waste fraction, the course covers several organic waste treatment technology options such as composting, anaerobic digestion, and some other innovative approaches.

Learning Objectives

– Understand the different steps required for an appropriate management as well as the main challenges existing in developing countries
– Understand the governance aspects of a solid waste management system
– Understand the basics of different organic waste treatment technologies
– Know assessment and planning methods for solid waste management