Solid waste management in East Africa


Testing and designing innovative systems for treatment, disposal and reuse of municipal solid waste in low income communities in East Africa

PhD Research: December 2006 - 2010

Social Impact

In many developing countries, the amount of solid waste generated is continuously increasing due to the expansion of the urban population through growth and through rural - urban migration. In developing countries like Tanzania in East Africa, disposal by way of crude dumping has been the only option that is taken for the management of such wastes. The current management system is based on the "end of the pipe" solution, i.e., collection - transportation –dumping out of the city boundaries in conformity with the “out of sight out of mind philosophy” following centralized systems approach with limited recycling and resource recovery.

Technological challenge

The target is to develop compact and environmentally sound technologies but characterized by mixed solutions for treatment of municipal solid waste which are easy to operate, robust and cost-effective with promising and direct benefits to the community and the public sector on a mutual understanding of protection of the environment and the people.

A promising option for such mixed modernized solutions include a more organized collection method from the primary to the secondary collection of wastes focusing on the existing capacities of collection and transportation bearing in mind the envisaged treatment and disposal methods to be employed. It is the aim of this research to come forward with ultimate choice for the solution(s) or configuration(s) and their modus of operandi. This research will focus on quantitative and qualitative characterization of the wastes generated as well as the current solid waste management practices in place with respect to their environmental and their technological and institutional resilience. Furthermore, an evaluation of the aerobic and anaerobic biodegradability of the organic fraction of the waste generated and the potential for resource (i.e. material, nutrient and energy) recovery will also be carried out. Pilot scale reactors will be constructed and operated at an extended time period in order to establish their performance and pliability.


Name:             Fredrick Salukele
Promoter:       Prof. Dr. Ir. Wim. H. Rulkens
Supervisor:     Ir. Joost C. L. van Buuren
Graduated:     BSc. Environmental Engineering (2001), University College of Lands and Architectural Studies (UCLAS), Tanzania MSc. Environmental Engineering (2005), University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania