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Socio economic aspects of informal solid waste recovery and management in mbabane city, swaziland

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Vusi M. Matsebula

P.O. Box A980

Swazi Plaza, Mbabane,


Email address:

Cell phone number: +268 6083859

Oral Presentation.

Sub-theme: Water and Environment


Most developing cities lack the resources to meet the demand for services such as water, sanitation and solid waste management. The insufficient collection and inappropriate disposal of solid waste represent a source of water, land and water pollution, posing a risk to human health and the environment. With the rapid urbanisation, economic growth, the diversity and the increasing waste stream experienced by the developing cities, the situation can only be expected to get worse. The objectives of the study were to: determine the socio-economic background of the people involved in informal solid waste, examine the socio-economic benefits of recovering solid waste, examine the various strategies of informal solid waste management and their effectiveness and lastly to determine the links between informal solid waste management and the recycling industry.

It was found that in Mbabane the people who participate in waste recovery come from all the age groups, have a low-education level and reside in low-income areas in rented houses and most of them are females. The study also revealed that informal solid waste management helps in generating income for the waste recovers, decrease the amount of uncollected waste which play a role in the blocking of drains during storms resulting to the flooding of shopping malls and overflowing of sewerage systems which are washed into the rivers. Waste recovers also help in decreasing the amount of waste to be land filled which helps in decreasing the amount of leachate produced at the landfill.
The study concludes that informal solid waste management plays a major role in the provision of recyclable waste to the recycling industry and cleaning of the environment. Hence, there is a need for policymakers and planners to show scavengers a degree of respect, by integrating the scavengers to the solid waste management system so as to determine and fully utilise the accruing socio-economic and environmental benefits.

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