Influence of Handling Practices on Material Recovery from Residential Solid Waste
Material recovery from municipal solid waste (MSW) is becoming widely adopted in several developing countries. Residential solid waste is one of the most important components of MSW and the handling practices of the MSW by the generators have a major impact on the quality and quantity of the materials for recovery. This article analyzes the generation and composition of residential solid waste and the handling practices by users in three municipalities in Colombia that have a solid waste management plant (SWMP). The findings show that, although there are significant amounts of useful materials, their handling of the materials as “garbage”, the low recognition of recovery work, and the inadequate storage and source management practices, affect material recovery and the operation of SWMPs. These results may be taken as a reference for this type of municipality, because the solid waste management system and the type of operation of the SWMPs analyzed is similar to all of the SWMPs in the country as well as in other countries in the region.
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