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Converting urban solid wastes into compost forms will have social, economic and environmental benefits; and helps to reduce GHG emissions



Stop Generating Electricity by Burning Urban Solid Wastes! Instead, Produce Compost out of it.

With rapid increases in urban population in Africa and world, large amounts of organic solid wastes (UOSWs) are generated every day causing social, economic and environmental problems. They are also sources of potent GHGs. But, UOSWs are trouble making materials the way they are being handled currently. Otherwise, they are invaluable materials which can be converted into useful products. Compost is the immediate useful product that can be obtained from UOSWs. The question is how can it be done? For obvious reasons, the job can’t be done by government alone. Thus, there must complementary strategy of doing it. Making compost production from UOSWs a business activity is one strategy of meeting the challenge. Meaning that private sectors and groups can be engaged in compost production and selling business. The compost product will be sold to rural farmers and for customers of urban agriculture. With this strategy, there will be several opportunities such job creation to Youths and Women, income generation, GHG emission reduction etc. Moreover, the business will be permanent as UOSWs which is a feedstock for compost production are available all the time.

This proposal outlines a business plan to engage unemployed Youths and Women in production and marketing of compost from UOSWs. It is seen to be started as pilot project in three capital cities of Africa. Piloting the project requires the following key actions.

  • Organizing unemployed Youths and Women into groups comprised 50 people/group in 3 sub-cities of each piloting city
  • Identifying financial sources and securing money.
  • Offering intensive training of groups on compost production techniques.
  • Availing compost production and storage sites.
  • Creating markets for compost products.

Based on lessons and experiences obtained from piloting work, approaches for scale up of this business plan will be developed.




Contribution of this project to SDGs and for minimizing tradeoffs

When fully implemented, this project will contribute to SDG1, 2, 3, 5, 11, 13 and 17. It will also helps to greatly minimizing the tradeoff between SDG2 and SDG13. This is due to the facts that increased uses of compost (organic fertilizer) from UOSWs along with inorganic fertilizer in rural areas will greatly increase agricultural productivity per unit area of land. Increasing productivity per unit area in turn leads to decreasing demand for more and more land for agriculture. This will ultimately result in increased land availability for expansions of forest for fostering carbon sequestration.

Proposal Integration

Waste Business Hub “ Nurturing waste business entrepreneurship (Wastepreners)”


It aims at empowering young people to exploit business opportunities available in wastes specifically from textile wastes. They will be trained to produce different products out of textile wastes which will generate income to them, decrease pollution, GHGs etc.

Rwandan Cities toward waste GHG emissions-free by 2035 with Rwanda Blue!Points (

This and the above proposals integrate to contribute to achievement of SDG1, 3 and 13. They share common idea of creating opportunities out of wastes from different sources, and contribute to GHG emission reduction, generate income, create jobs etc.







What actions do you propose?


With unprecedented increases in urban population in Africa and in other developing countries of the world, there is increasing concern that large amounts of urban organic solid wastes (UOSWs) are generated every day and dumped in landfill sites causing environmental, social, and economic and health problems. Especially, UOSWs are increasingly becoming source of potent GHGs and pollutants adversely affecting sustainability of cities and health of urban communities. To this end, we have witnessed last year or so in Beijing, China that people to be starved of clean oxygen to breath due to high level of air pollution over Beijing city caused by pollutants and GHGs generated from urban and industrial wastes. People were buying industrially produced clean oxygen and breathing it to get relived of polluted air. What happened in China and elsewhere in the world teaches us that we value little for something like clean air which we get it easily and free? But we start to value such wonderful gifts of nature when there is limitation in quantities and qualities of such life supporting materials. Thus, cities will remain sustainable provided that they fulfill all life support systems like clean air and water, sustainable and safe energy sources etc. to its inhabitants.

Thus, it is crucial that sources of pollutants such as UOSWs are properly managed and disposed. At this juncture, it is worth to note that UOSWs are causes of diverse types of problems the way they are being handled currently. Otherwise, they can be converted into useful materials like compost. This is because UOSWs account for the largest proportion of urban solid waste (USWs) which is rich in plant nutrients that can be recycled back to fertilize rural lands. For instance, it was reported that some 7 years ago more than 200, 000 mt of USWs were used to be generated every year in Addis Ababa (AA) City and 60 % of which was UOSWs and currently the figure has grown to > 350, 000mt/yr. On the other hand, increasing costs of inorganic fertilizers are limiting their uses to adequately replenish nutrients lost from rural farming lands in Africa through various pathways leading to depletion of soils organic matter (SOM) and soil nutrient reserve ultimately compromising agricultural productivity. Especially, SOM is one of the key factors for inorganic fertilizers to be effective in increasing crop productivity. Thus, SOM content should be increased by applying organic fertilizers including compost. Otherwise, even markets for fertilizers will be at stake in future as farmers won’t buy fertilizers unless they get satisfactory yield increases due to fertilizers. On the other hand, majority of Africa farmers don’t have sufficient biomass locally for compost production and neither do have sufficient manure to increase SOM contents. Thus, compost from UOSWs should be produced and applied to rural soils not only for the purpose of replacing nutrients exported to cities as food and others items but also to increase the SOM contents which is a key for fertilizer effectiveness and profitability. Thus, there should be a mechanism in place that ensures these purposes.

 Organizing and engaging unemployed Youths and Women in the business of converting UOSWs into compost (Compost Business) that will be sold to fertilize soils of rural areas or so is one approach to bridge the existing gap between urban and rural areas with respect to nutrient flows. Compost business will also serve as source of employment and income to unemployed Youths and Women and private sectors. In this regard, these days there are indication that private sectors are getting in compost production business from UOSWs. For instance, a private firm named as integrated bio-farm enterprise (IBE) which is based in AA city is engaged in compost production and selling business. IBE produced 265.8 mt of compost from 534 mt of USW and sold in 2006; and earned a gross profit of US$36, 752. Moreover, production of compost from UOSWs has several advantages such as saves cost and spaces needed for landfill sites, reduction of pollutions and GHG emissions etc. In line with this, Babel and Vilaysouk (2016) found that recycling of recyclable wastes and composting UOSWs reduced GHG emission by 47% over emissions from landfills in Vientiane, Lao PDR. Moreover, application of compost will increases carbon (C) sequestration ability of soils offsetting energy and GHG emissions occurring during transportation to rural areas. According to Mulugeta et al. (2011), compost applied at 4 t/ha increased amount of C sequestered in soil by 0.55 and 0.91 t/ha CO2eq in southern Ethiopia in yr 1 and 2 respectively. If we assume that 10 ton compost was transported by truck to 100 km away from AA and applied to a ha of land; and 70 lt (0.07 t) of fuel was consumed (round trip), amount of C sequestered in yr 1 and 2 could be 1.4 and 2.3 t/ha CO2eq respectively. If we compare these figures we conclude that GHG emission from 0.07 t of fuel, it will be far lower than C sequestered by soil and will result in positive energy balance. According to Biala (2011), annual application of mature biowaste compost at 10 t DM ha-1 yr-1 increases soil C by 0.97 t ha-1 yr-1.

Main goals’ of the project:

  • To empower and engage urban unemployed youths and women in compost business from UOSWs so that jobs will be created to them.
  • To design self sustaining and lasting solution to urban solid waste disposal.
  • To contribute to pollution and GHG emission reduction efforts in cities.
  • To ensure bidirectional flow of nutrients exported from rural areas to cities back to rural areas.
  • To encourage policy makers to create enabling environment for this project.
  • To serve as effective model to be adopted for urban solid waste management (USWM) in world.
  • To indicate important actors and define their roles to the pilot project.

To realize goals and impacts of this project, the following key actions need to be taken:

Establishing project piloting professional task force

This project is envisaged to be launched in three capital cities of three African countries: Addis Ababa, Nairobi and Kampala. In each city, it will be piloted in 3 sub-cities which will be selected based on established criteria. Then the first action to be taken is to establish task force in each country drawn from relevant stakeholders which will be described in appropriate sections below. The task force will be hosted by leading organization such as ministry of environment, forest and climate in the case of Ethiopia and will be responsible to execute all actions needed to successfully launch this pilot project (Fig 1.).

Awareness creation and training of urban residents and waste pickers on USWM

Selected piloting sub-cities should ensure organic (UOSWs) and inorganic solid wastes (ISWs) are collected separately at sources and then assembled at village levels in separate containers from which UOSWs will be transported to landfill sites where it will be used to produce composts. This requires awareness creation to urban residents, organizing and training of solid waste pickers’ etc. Moreover, currently, there are communal USW discharging containers at predetermined locations in villages in AA which are used to transfer all kinds of solid wastes. Thus, it is crucial to have two waste discharging containers side by side labeled one for disposal of UOSWs and another for ISWs to which residents shall transfer sources separated USWs accordingly.

Organizing and establishing compost business groups (CBGs)

In the selected sub-cities, unemployed Youths and Women will be identified and organized into groups comprising 50 people for compost business purpose based on predetermined criteria that include willingness to be involved in the work. Doing these needs to use the existing city and sub-city administration in each country where this project is seen to be piloted. Modalities and regulations being used currently in Ethiopia for establishment and administration of micro-enterprises will be adopted for this purpose.

Training of established CBGs

After groups have been established, next step will be to offer intensive training to CBGs on techniques of compost production from UOSWs, its handling, packaging etc.

Sites and facilities for compost production and storage

Parallel to the above activities, in collaboration with selected cities and sub-cities administrations, sites for production and storage of compost from UOSWs near to existing landfill sites need to be availed to CBGs. Moreover, facilities such as shovels, watering canes, respirators, special clothes, water sources, sacks, storehouses etc. should also be fulfilled ahead of starting compost production.

Demand creation for compost marketing

Compost produced by envisaged CBGs should be sold and should have sustainable markets. Thus, it is important to create markets for it. Rural areas could be big and sustainable market because in most African countries like Ethiopia with decreasing rural land holding, there is inadequate biomass for compost preparation and shortage of manure. Thus, the majority of farmers (poor and rich) relay on fertilizers to increase crop productivity as they get little or no yields without it.  Not only this, these days declining SOM content is becoming a serious challenge to crop productivity in Africa. As a result crop yield gains due to fertilizers are decreasing with time despite increasing per capita fertilizer consumption because SOM is a key for fertilizer effectiveness. Thus, compost, in addition to being sources of nutrients; increases SOM content making fertilizers effective. Overall, increasing costs and decreasing yield gains from fertilizers, shortages of composting materials and manure in rural areas coupled with supply of compost at relatively low prices will compel rural farmers to purchase compost from UOSWs.  But it is crucial to demonstrate benefits and impacts of compost to farmers as they are driving force behind adoption of any technology by farmers.

Moreover, Ministry of agriculture could be one of the potential markets for compost from UOSWs. Because every year the ministry prepares millions of tons of compost itself to use it as potting media in nursery seed beds for raising forest, coffee and fruit tree seedlings. Thus, if it stops producing compost and start buying it from CBGs, it will be a big market itself. This should be considered as one strategy of creating market until rural famers adopt and start purchasing compost.

Financial resources

To organize and establish CBGs; and for piloting this project, financial resources are required. Youths and Women embraced in CBGs also need seed money to subsidize them until the business starts generating income. Thus, it is a must that financial sources are identified, money secured and managed properly. Coordinating institute shall develop mechanisms for securing financial resources.

Monitoring GHG emission reduction and project evaluation

Contribution of this project to GHG emission reduction due to conversion of UOSWs to compost will be calculated following 2006 IPCC guidelines (IPCC, 2006). Accordingly, CH4/N2O emissions from composting will be estimated using default method given in following equation:

CH4 Emission = (Mi x EFi) x 10-3 - R                                       

Where, CH4 Emissions  =  total CH4 emissions in inventory year, Gg CH4

Mi   = mass of organic waste treated by biological treatment type i, Gg

EF  =  emission factor for treatment i, g CH4/kg waste treated   

i   =   composting or anaerobic digestion

R  =  total amount of CH4 recovered in inventory year, Gg CH4

Amount of carbon sequestered by rural soils due to compost will also be monitored and calculated. Moreover, successes of this project in terms of job creation, income generation etc. will be evaluated by using indicators such as No. of people employed, amount of compost produced and sold/yr, income etc. Detailed M & E frame work will be worked out later.


Who will take these actions and which types of actors are involved?

Some key actors required for launching of this pilot compost business plan along with their responsibilities are described below taking Addis Ababa and Ethiopia as one of piloting cities and countries respectively.


  • Governments of selected countries shall create enabling  environment for successful piloting of this Project.  Ethiopia has already Solid Waste Management Proclamation No. 513/2007 that encourages any person to engage in all aspects of USWM. But the proclamation needs to be improved to include legal framework dealing with waste pickers and cyclers and other important issues.

Ministry of forest, Environment and climate change (MFEC)

  • Play leadership role in bringing all relevant professionals from different stakeholders’ institutions together so that they will organize unemployed Youths and Women in the selected sub-cities in to CBGs based on predetermined criteria.
  • Together with other relevant stakeholders, organize and offer training on compost production, marketing etc techniques
  • Contribute financial and materials to start compost production.


  • Avail land near landfill sites to the CBGs for production of compost.
  • Contribute to awareness creation to urban HHs on handling of wastes.
  • Develop a mechanism whereby organic and inorganic solid wastes are source separated  at HH levels aggregated at village levels and disposed in separate landfill sites.
  • Contribute material and financial resources etc.

Piloting sub-city administrations

  • Shall cooperate in all aspects of piloting of this project

Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • Assign relevant professionals to involve in organizing CBGs.
  • Involve in preparation of training materials and delivery of training to CBGs
  • Work on verifications and demonstrations of benefits of compost to farmers in rural areas.
  • Develop mechanisms for marketing of compost products.
  • Serve as one of the customers for buying compost product from CBGs

Small scale enterprise Agency

  • Involve in organizing CBGs.
  • Avail existing modalities and regulations to be adopted for establishment and administration of CBGs.

Micro-finance enterprise

  • Avail seed money for CBGs on credit basis

UN environmental Agency

  • Shall play significant role in convincing governments of selected countries so that they will  create

      enabling environment for piloting this  project

  • Recognize the CBGs.


  • NGOs like GIZ which has extensive experiences on compost production techniques can offer training to CBGs.

Private companies

  • Private firms such as IBE can share knowledge and skills on compost production, storage, marketing techniques.

Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs

  • Assists in organizing Youths and Women into CBGs.
  • Register and legalize CBGs.

Custom Authorities

  • Allow duty free import of equipment, protection clothes etc. to be used by CBGs

Author of this proposal

  • Shall provide advisory services during piloting of this project
  • Assist in promoting this project.

Where will these actions be taken and how could they scale?

This project will be piloted in three capital cities of three countries in Africa. These include Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Kampala, Uganda and Nairobi, Kenya. Kampala city has already developed climate change action plan/annual forum with a focus on: participation and communication for waste management and urban agriculture (farming) which is also being decentralized and privatized against weak capacity, urban-rural divide, multiple gaps in information, knowledge, technology, south-south-north partnerships, community engaged scholarship research, ICT and internet access, communication services, citizen science approach, climate change mitigation issues, and gender equality mainstreaming. This will be used as an entry point for piloting this project in Kampala, Uganda.

After successfully piloting of this project, lessons and experiences gained in the course of piloting this project, will be documented and exploited for scaling up and scaling out of results of compost business project across all African countries and possibly to other countries outside Africa. The scale up and scale out work will employ combinations of tools and approaches. These include publishing results from piloting work of this project in Journals, policy brief papers, working papers so on, promotion and dissemination of results through online platforms such as web sites and social Medias, promotion through workshops and conferences, uses of mass media such as TV, Radio and News papers.

In addition, specify the countries where these actions will be taken.


Country 2


Country 3


Country 4

No country selected

Country 5

No country selected


What impact will these actions have on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and/or adapting to climate change?


Following are some benefits from implementing this project:

  • With high unemployment rates in developing countries, engaging unemployed Youths and Women in compost business will create jobs for them.
  • Decreased pollution of cities due to UOSWs resulting in improving health of urban societies
  • Demand for more land to establish new land fill sites will be decreased.
  • Production, marketing and transportation of compost  will generate income to all those who will involve across value chains
  • Compost increases SOM content and it is a source of plant nutrients  thus; its soil application increases crop productivity,  increases effectiveness of inorganic fertilizer and  soil sustainability
  • Compost increases carbon sequestration ability of soils.
  •  Converting UOSWs into compost decreases GHG emission.
  • In long term world society will be aware of the values of solid wastes
  • Strengthen partnership among stakeholders

What are the most innovative aspects and main strengths of this approach?

Some of the innovative aspects of my proposal include:

  • I proposed a mechanism through which opportunities will be created out of problem (UOSWs) such as jobs for unemployed Youths and Women, income to all those who will involving across value chains of compost production up to deliver to users.
  • Designed a method by which plant nutrients exported to cities from rural areas to be back to fertilize rural soil.
  • Indicated most effective ways of pollution and GHG emission reduction in cities and increase carbon sequestration in rural areas.
  • I designed self sustaining and lasting solution to managing USWs which will be applicable anywhere.
  • Indicated an approach that will bring all relevant stakeholders along with their roles together towards effective USWM nurturing culture of partnership.
  • Most important is that lessons obtained from piloting this project will be used to convince policy makers so that they will give directives to stop generating electric city by burning  USWs.





What are the proposal’s projected costs?

Estimated budget for piloting this project across the three proposed cities is shown in crude form below.

  • Estimated cost for organizing unemployed Youths and Women into CBGs =US$5000/group X 3 groups x 3 cities = US$ 45,000.00
  • For training of CBGs on techniques of compost production, handling etc. = US$5000/groups x 3 groups X 3 cities = US$45,000.00
  • For purchasing of materials required for compost production= 2000/group x 3 groups x 3 cities = US$ 18,000.00
  • For preparation of compost production site = US$4500/group x 3 groups/city x 3 cities = US$ 40,500.00
  • Estimated cost for professional committee members ( For fuel, transport etc.) who will be engaged in establishing  CBGs = US$ 3000/city x 3 cities = US$ 9000.00
  • Subsistence allowances for CBGs until they start to generate (1 Year) income from selling their products = US$ 50/person/month for one year x 50 people/group x 3 groups x 3 cities = US$ 270, 0000.00

Total budget estimated for three Cities = US$427,500.00 which is = US$142,500/City

Note that Cash Flow statement, income etc. of envisaged business plan will be worked out later.

Proposed sources of budget

I propose the following sources along with proportion of total budget that they should contribute for piloting this project. I have also indicated logic/reasons as to why they shall contribute money for this project.


I propose Municipality of each piloting capital city shall cover 30 % of total budget estimated for piloting the project in their respective cities. This is because when this business plan becomes fully operational, Municipalities will save very a lot from their annual spending for disposing USWs, benefit from fast and efficient waste disposal activities etc.

Ministry of Agriculture of piloting countries

The ministry agriculture of each country shall cover 15 % of total budge estimated for each country because the compost product from UOSWs will be taken back to fertilizer rural soils to improve its health and sustainable productivity, increase effectiveness of inorganic fertilizers etc.


It should contribute 15 % of the budget as it there to protect the environment.


They shall cover 20 % of total budget as loans to CBGs to make the group committed and responsible for success of the project.

Urban societies

Urban societies shall cover 10 % of budget as they will be the immediate beneficiaries from this project such as from reduced pollution, diseases etc.


Donors who have concerns over deteriorating environment shall cover 10 % of the budget.


The only challenge for successful implementation of this project could be insufficient commitments of stakeholders which will only be overcome by very high commitments of some stakeholders who will be there naturally.

Finally, I have English version of Amharic (Ethiopian language) proverb entitled “Fifty pieces of lemons are load for a single person but they are beauty for 50 people”. Thus, let us join hands and make it happen!


About the Authors

Dr. Wassie Haile Woldeyohannes is currently working as an associate Professor of soils science in college of agriculture, Hawassa University, Ethiopia. He holds PhD degree in soil science from Kastesart University, Thailand. He has over 25 years of extensive teaching and research experiences in soil science, natural resources management etc. He published more than 20 articles in peer reviewed Journals. He also published more than 15 proceeding, working papers and policy brief papers. 


He also involves in supervision of graduate students working for their PhD and MSc degrees in disciplines of soil science, agronomy etc., He has experiences in developing and coordinating grant winning research and development projects which had national and international orientations and serving as consultant in the field of soil science, environmental science so on. He involved in developing the 15 years national soil improvement strategic plan of Ethiopia and he has in experience  reviewing manuscripts submitted to diverse Journals.

Leadership Position

  • Served as head department of natural resources research division of Hawassa research Center
  • General Manager of academic support for Africa web site:

You all are kindly invited to visit the page, please.

International Experiences

  • He worked as fellow scientists of UN-IAEA in Dakar Senegal for six months in 2001.
  • Served as visiting scholar of UNU-INRA for four months at Accra Ghana in 2012.



  • Dr. Wassie Haile received Gold Plate award from International Potash Institute (IPI) in 2014 for his contribution to potash research in Ethiopia and for his collaboration with IPI.
  • Received certificate of recognition from Agricultural Institute of Canada for his contribution to ETCANSOL project in 2011.


Professional Membership status

  • Member of Researchgate web site with > 6500 reads
  • Member of LinkedIn web site with > 1600 followers

Prof. Wilson Okaka is a Ugandan communication specialist who is dedicated to public policy awareness communication, education and research communication services. He was educated and trained in:
Environmental Education (EE), New and Renewable Sources of Energy and Environment Studies (Italy), Political Science and Public Administration, Journalism, and Communication (UK, Uganda, and USA),
Project Management (Sweden). He has written and presented a multitude of conference papers, published books, peer-reviewed international journal articles, and peer-reviewed conference proceedings papers. He joined East African Inter-University’s interdisciplinary research initiative in 2005. He is a reviewer many international peer-reviewed journals. In addition, he is a member of many research and education networks. He was appointed Coordinator of Research and Education Network for Uganda for Kyambogo University (Uganda). He teaches mentors, consults, and supervises at various levels of students.




Addis Ababa City Administration (2010): Overview of Addis Ababa city solid waste management system February, 2010, Addis Ababa.

Babel S and Vilaysouk X (2016): Greenhouse gas emissions from municipal solid waste management in Vientiane, Lao PDR. Waste Management & Research 34(1): 30 –37.  

Biala J (2011): Short report: The benefits of using compost for mitigating climate change. Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water NSW. website:

Dias SM (2011): Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing. WIEGO Policy Brief (Urban Policies) No 6.

Fairhurst T (2012): Handbook of integrated soil fertility management. African Soil Health Consortium, Nairobi.

Gezahegn D, Seyoum M and Jorge D (2012): Vermi-composting as a sustainable practice to manage coffee husk, enset waste (Enset verticosum), khat waste (Catha edulis) and vegetable waste amended with cow dung using an epigeic earthworm Eisenia Andrei. Int. J. Pharm. Tech. Res. 4:15–24.

FPRI (2010): Fertilizers and soil fertility potential in Ethiopia: Constraint and opportunities for enhancing the system, working paper, Washington

IPCC (2006): 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, Prepared by the National Greenhouse Gas Inventories Programme Japan:IGES, Vol. 5, pp. 6-40.

Integrated Biofarm Enterprise (IBE) (2007): Solid Waste Recycling in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Making a business of waste management.

Mulugeta L, Karltun E and Tolera M (2011): Crop yield and soil Organic Matter Effects of four years of soil management Intervention in Arsi Negelle, South-central Ethiopia. Proceedings of the 12th conference of ESSS, March 17-18, 2011, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Nigatu R, Sundaraa RD, and Bizunesh Bogale BS (2011): Challenges and Opportunities in Municipal Solid Waste Management: The Case of Addis Ababa City, Central Ethiopia. J Hum Ecol. 33(3): 179-190.

Sabiti EN (2011): Utilising agricultural waste to enhance food security and conserve the environment .African J. Food, Agric. Devt. 11 (6): 1-9.

Sánchez A, Artola A, Font X.,  Gea T, Barrena R, Gabriel D, Ángel M, Monedero S, Roig A, Cayuela ML and Mondini C (2015):Greenhouse gas from organic waste composting: Emissions and Measurement.  In: E. Lichtfouse et al. (eds.), CO2 Sequestration, Biofuels and Depollution, Environmental Chemistry for a Sustainable World, Springer. Pp. 34-64.

Wassie H and Abebe  A (2013): Potential of local plants as a source of NPK on Small holder fields in Southern Ethiopia. UNU-INRA Working paper NO. 4, Accra, Ghana.




What enabling environment would be required in order to implement this proposal?

Enabling environments (policy, laws and regulations; and incentives) which are necessary toward effective management of urban or municipal solid wastes and for achievement of goals and objectives of this project are briefly described below:


I propose the leading policy statement towards integrated urban or municipal waste management to read as “Urban/municipal solid wastes (USWs) are important national resources that can be converted into many useful products and hence shall be treated accordingly” Therefore:

  • Proper handling, sorting, recycling and reuses of products from USWs such as compost from organic fraction of USWs and different recyclable materials from non inorganic fraction of USWs should be encouraged.
  • Individuals, cooperatives, private firms etc. engaged in collection, sorting, recycling etc. of USWs should be encouraged and recognized.
  • Uses of compost produced from organic fraction of USWs by rural farmers and by people involved in urban agriculture as a key component of integrated soil fertility management (inorganic + Organic fertilizers)  strategy should be promoted and encouraged.

Laws and Regulations

Laws and regulations that:

  • prohibit open disposal and burning of USWs,
  • prohibit generation of electricity by burring USWs,
  • Recognize and protect individuals, groups, cooperatives, private firms etc. involved in waste collection, sorting, recycling, selling etc., (Extensive experiences and knowledge focusing on legal frame work for social protection and inclusion of waste pickers and cyclers found in shall be use as a base for this purpose)
  • Define roles and accountability of urban dwellers, households, societies etc. towards USWM and
  • For establishment and functioning of compost product squality monitoring and certifying authority Shall be drafted and approved.


  • Groups, individuals, cooperatives, private sectors who will be engaged in USWs collection, cycling,  compost production and selling business shall be tax exempted..
  • Duty free import of materials required for solid waste recycling, compos production etc. shall be  allowed to all those who are involving the business.  
  • Creating access to credit facilities for those who will involve in USWM business.
  • Creating markets for selling of compost products from UOSWs.
  • Arrangements of premium prices for crop products to farmers who are using compost from  UOSWs.

With regard to Ethiopia, it has already Solid Waste Management Proclamation No. 513/2007 which addresses most of the issues indicated above but still, it needs to be revised and amended to include the missing points and also to include statement that prohibit generation of  electricity by burning UBSWs which is being practiced in Addis Ababa city currently. It is against the recent strategy by ministry of agriculture that encourage production and use of compost out of UOSWs.