Following are the factors affecting solid waste management system, its design, development, and operation:
- Institutional Factors
- Social Factors
- Financial Factors
- Economic Factors
- Technical Factors
- Environmental Factors
Institutional factors affecting solid waste management system involve law and policies that allow the government to effectively implement an Integrated Solid Waste Management. Steps that can be taken in this regard include:
- Establish a national and/or provincial policy and pass laws on SWM standards and practices.
- Identify the roles and responsibilities for each level of government.
- Ensure that the local governments have the authority and resources to implement an ISWM plan.
Social factors affecting solid waste management system involve local customs and cultural/religious practices which can generally be affected or altered by sustained public education campaigns. The knowledge of these factors can determine how the waste is generated and disposed. The local government must ensure citizen participation in all phases of management planning to help gain community awareness, input and acceptance.
This the most important factor to consider while implementing an ISWM plan. The source(s) of funds must be identified and/or created to help finance the SWM plan. In this regard, the local government should identify the sources that can provide funding for SWM, including general revenues or user fees, the private sector, and government and international agency grants and loans etc.
Economic factors affecting solid waste management system should be differentiated from the above, as these include the financial (more precisely, economical) output of the ISWM plans, for example, the jobs creation, enhancement of public trade and tourism, and political mileage etc. In order to evaluate these factors, the local government must calculate the initial capital investment requirements and long term operating and maintenance costs associated with the various waste management activities. In addition, they must evaluate the public’s ability and willingness to pay for the services and evaluate activities based on effectiveness in handling waste potential for job creation.
These factors include determination of equipment and facilities required for the implementation of the ISWM plan and more importantly, the locations where these equipment and facilities will be kept. The determination of these factors will depend on geological factors, transport distances and projected waste generation, which will then become basis for siting and design of various equipment and facilities.
Every ISWM plan has a deep impact on the natural resources, human health and the environment in general. All SWM activities such as landfilling or combustion must take into account the environmental cost of these activities and strive to minimize their effects on human health and natural resources of the area. In this regard, the local government must establish procedures to verify the protection of groundwater and drinking water, and monitor compliance with the national standards to ensure that human health risks are minimized.