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Waste Manag. 2009 Apr;29(4):1438-48. doi: 10.1016/j.wasman.2008.08.025. Epub 2008 Dec 9.

Sustainable solid waste management: an integrated approach for Asian countries.

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Nagpur Institute of Technology, Mahurzari, Katol Road, Nagpur 445304, India.


Solid waste management (SWM) has been an integral part of every human society. The approaches for SWM should be compatible with the nature of a given society, and, in this regard, Asian countries are no exception. In keeping with global trends, the systems are being oriented to concentrate on sustainability issues; mainly through the incorporation of 3R (reduce, reuse and recycle) technologies. However, degree and nature of improvements toward sustainability are varying and depend on the economic status of a country. High-income countries like Japan and South Korea can afford to spend more to incorporate 3R technologies. Most of the latest efforts focus on "Zero Waste" and/or "Zero Landfilling" which is certainly expensive for weaker economies such as those of India or Indonesia. There is a need to pragmatically assess the expectations of SWM systems in Asian countries. Hence, in this paper, we analyze the situation in different Asian countries, and explore future trends. We conceptually evaluate issues surrounding the sustainability of SWM. We propose a multi-pronged integrated approach for improvement that achieves sustainable SWM in the context of national policy and legal frameworks, institutional arrangement, appropriate technology, operational and financial management, and public awareness and participation. In keeping with this approach, a generic action plan has been proposed that could be tailored to suit a situation in a particular country. Our proposed concept and action plan framework would be useful across a variety of country-specific scenarios.

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