Online Course on Solid Waste Management

IHE Delft Solid Waste Management

Target Audience

Junior and mid-career professionals at the management, decision-making and educational level, related to waste handling, urban infrastructure and urban environmental management and engineers and planners dealing with promoting, designing, operating or managing solid waste systems, in low-income countries or countries in transition.

Course participants are typically employed by government departments, private companies, NGOs, universities, research institutions, aid agencies or international bodies such as WHO, UNICEF or UNDP.


The aim of this course is to enlighten the state of the art in technology, organizational and legislative developments and practices and financial burdens and benefits of handling solid wastes.

Course content

The course includes the following topics:

  • Introduction to Solid Waste Management: waste quantity and quality, generation of waste per capita and region; composition of waste; small scale industry waste, organic agricultural waste (some specific cases as examples);
  • Waste Collection & Transport: collection of mixed waste or of source separated waste, collection logistics, transfer stations; machine park planning; Sub-contractors;
  • Treatment/disposal Technologies: dumping, sanitary landfills, mechanical-biological treatment, incineration, anaerobic digestion, composting; recycling of plastics, batteries, e-waste, Green House Gas emission and emission modeling, CDM, energy recovery;
  • Financial, Social and Institutional aspects: costs of collection, separation, management; equipment costs; social costs, stake holders, scavengers, public health issues, policy and legislation.


Active participation in life and learning platform-based discussions and group activities, and submission of all assignments valued at or above 40% will result in receiving a certificate of course completion issued by IHE Delft. In addition, passing the on-line course examination results in receiving 5 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System). In many Master’s or Doctorate programs in European Institutions for higher Education including IHE Delft, ECTS can be looked at as educational currency: you can earn ECTS in one course so as to obtain an exemption for another course.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
  • Present an overview of the steps of SWM from waste generation to final use/disposal
  • Select the most suitable SWM options in a specific local context
  • Conceptually design waste conversion/treatment processes
  • Assess the environmental impact of SWM options and criticize the results
  • Assess the economic impact of SWM options and criticize the results
  • Develop innovative solutions of SWM in urban areas