Towards sustainable solid waste management in Jordan

University dissertation from Water Resources Engineering, Lund University

Abstract: Popular Abstract in English Jordan is a country with a rapidly growing economy, modernization and growing population. The rapid increase in volumes of solid wastes and a steady increase in the cost and logistical difficulties with the associated risk to human health is a source of concern. The increasing solid waste generated in Jordan has not been accompanied with adequate sanitation facilities and management programs. This has put increasing pressures on the infrastructure and authorities responsible for the management of solid waste. Through analyzing and reviewing the existing SWM system we found many factor are affect and causes of the poor state of SWM in the country. Mismanagement of solid waste leads to more public health risks, adverse environmental impacts and other social and economic problems. The detrimental financial status of municipalities constitutes an obstacle to modern solid waste collection, recycling and successful landfill management. Mixed waste is collected without limited efforts for source separation, open dumping and co-disposal of wastewater is practiced. The migration of uncontrolled gas and leachate from the landfill body into the surrounding environment was found to present a serious environmental concern, for the groundwater, air, climate and human. Recycling is very limited and undertaken by single initiatives. Lack of trained man power and qualified machinery. The lack of a national solid waste management (SWM) strategy and law has also led to more difficult conditions. There are no defined objectives, priorities or standards for SWM in the country. Also, there is overlap and uncertainty in the legal responsibilities. It has also a political influence too; since the management costs are prohibitive and often involve a major portion of the budget of municipalities. The total dependent on the external sources of funds that help to establish waste management programs is not helping to maintain the running of these programs and the future needs for operating and maintenance. These changes urge the need for finding proper ways of making the living conditions for the people more sustainable. One part of sustainability is to take care of and manage solid waste streams of the society properly. Jordan have no alternative but to plan for a sustainable development processes acknowledging the importance of encountering the problems in persistence and facing the development challenges with an active participation of stakeholders including the public. The best approach for dealing with solid waste sector is by implementing an sustainable management approach that ensures the good health of the society and the environment and the active participation of the society. Sustainable SWM involves evaluating local needs and conditions, and then selecting and combining the most appropriate waste management activities for those conditions. The major sustainable SWM activities are waste prevention, recycling, and disposal in properly designed, constructed, and managed landfills. For this reason we have identified feasible approaches and procedures with which at least a degree of sustainability could be achieved in the management of solid waste in the country. Different waste management scenarios were suggested; understanding of the fact that a substantial percentage of the waste in Jordan is biodegradable and therefore potentially recyclable for energy extraction. To convert the waste into useful resources, the appropriate technology and resources have to be employed. Anaerobic treatment of the solid waste provides the optimum benefits to society and the environment. Thus anaerobic digestion of solid waste, which is an engineered process of SWM when practiced, can provide a range of benefits in addition to the valuable renewable energy from the biogas. With these benefits, the logic for digestion over other techniques is recommended. Source separation and sorting plays a vital role in the waste management system since it determines the feasibilities of recycling and landfilling in an economically and environmentally sustainable way. It also significantly influences the quality of the recovered materials, and in turn the quality of the recycled products and their market values. Public participation is considered to be an important part of waste management plans. Since waste generators are important factor in the waste management system, their precipitation and awareness is very important the role of informal sector in waste management in term of waste reduction, minimization and material recovery was described.