While municipalities are generally responsible for solid waste services, the private sector has long been involved in the municipal solid waste sector through outsourcing arrangements and informally through waste picking and sorting.
Recent trends in involvement of the private sector in the municipal solid waste sector in developing countries are partly driven by more stringent environmental standards and the recognition that the private sector can play a significant role in improving environmental and hygiene issues around solid waste collection and disposal. They include:
- regularizing of waste picker initiatives as part of the public-private partnerships (PPP) solution
- introduction and promotion of more output focused contracts for street cleaning and solid waste collection
- involvement of the private sector in treatment and disposal projects to introduce technical innovation into through sanitary landfill technology, recycling and in waste to energy projects
- involvement of the private sector in financing capital investment.
Navigate the following subsections for more information and sample laws and agreements:
Initiatives to promote micro-enterprise to regularize informal sector
A major challenge in the solid waste sector in developing countries is the informal sector and waste picking and finding ways to incorporate or regularize these activities into the private sector solution. One solution that creates livelihood for urban poor is through the incorporation of micro-enterprises and informal waste recycling cooperatives into the municipal solid waste management system. Research has shown that the promotion of micro-enterprises is an effective way of extending affordable services to poor urban communities. An example of where this has been achieved successfully is in Argentina (pdf).
For guidance on some of the solutions being adopted for regularizing the informal sector, go to the PPIAF Gridline The informal recycling sector in developing countries, organizing waste pickers to enhance their impact.
- Waste PPPs, Handshake, International Finance Corporation's (IFC's) quartely journal on public-private partnerships, Issue # 12, 2014.
- Encap Africa has developed a section on solid waste in its Environmental Guidelines for Solid Waste Activities in Africa, which includes a number of links and useful references for decision makers and planners in the solid waste sector
- Collaborative Working Group on Solid Waste Management in Low and Middle Income countries – Private Sector Management In Solid Waste Activities – booklet
- Managing municipal solid waste in Latin America and the Caribbean – PPIAF
- Toward Sustainable Municipal Organic Waste Management in South Asia – Asian Development Bank (ADB)
- The Garbage Book: Solid Waste Management in Metro Manila – Asian Development Bank (ADB)
- Partnerships for Better Municipal Management – Asian Development Bank (ADB)
- Municipal Solid Waste Treatment: Case Study of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in Wenzhou– Asian Development Bank (ADB)
- World Bank's Urban Solid Waste Management Toolkit