Waste Management System Assessment in the North of Argentina

Detta är en Master-uppsats från KTH/Hållbar utveckling, miljövetenskap och teknik

Sammanfattning: During the last decades, solid waste management has been going through a lot of changes regarding, regulation and applications of models and systems. New practices to solve environmental problems have been approached in different scenarios, situations and in different countries. Today the problem of waste management requires the application of broader approach including new methodologies, systems, practices and models to continue the development toward sustainable systems. The objective of this thesis to assess the waste management situation in the Provinces of Jujuy (Municipality of San Salvador de Jujuy) and Salta (Municipality of Salta Capital) located in the north of Argentina and to provide technical recommendations to implement or improve their waste management system. To carry out the technical and environmental assessment of the waste situation in the municipalities in Jujuy and Salta, the Integrated Waste Management (IWM) approach from UN-HABITAT and UNEP, Global Waste Management Outlook is applied; as well as the chronological and practical methodology WHAT (Waste Holistic Assessment Tool) from the Municipal Association in Sweden “Gästrike Återvinnare” based on ten (15) aspects that, according to praxis in Sweden, are considered relevant in order to assess the waste management system in a municipality. The Province of Jujuy and Salta are facing environmental problems as contamination of soil and groundwater, landfills producing greenhouse gas emissions and social problems of people living at the landfill that need to be addressed. The result of this thesis shows that in the province of Jujuy the waste management situation need to be prioritized. At the capital of Jujuy, there are produced 400 tonnes of household waste per day. The level of knowledge of the system perspective is very low and they need the creation of goals, objectives and policies for the implementation of a sustainable system. It is also necessary the assessment of the type and quality of the waste produced, to have a picture of the situation based on facts. The collection and transport need improvements on infrastructure and regarding the workers at the landfill. There is a lack of sorting system or sorting stations. Sorting of waste and recycling is only based on the activity of the informal workers living at the landfill. The construction of a sorting plant at Chanchillos is positive but the lack of separation system limit the usefulness of the equipment. Regarding the financing aspects, there is a system in place for charging the customers for services provided regarding collection of waste, but there is a problem with financing, to cover not only the costs for the daily services but to secure financing for needed investments in infrastructure, treatment facilities etc. In conclusion, the most important aspects with high priority In Jujuy to start with the implementation of an integrated waste management system in Jujuy are: system goals, source and quality of waste, waste sorting, waste treatment, cooperation, planning, financing, knowledge, socio economic aspects and environmental aspects. The results with lower priority are collection and transport, law and regulations, public awareness and business opportunities. On the other hand, the legislative framework shows that the legislation is in place concerning the issues of waste and environmental protection as well the legislative framework at national and provincial level. However, it is necessary to develop a specific legislation, regarding waste management practices, considering, waste hierarchy as well as the development guidelines regarding extended producer responsibility (EPR). In relation to the technical aspects of the landfill, the results show that there is a potential to implement two different solutions for waste treatment a) The capturing of the landfill gas to reduce gas emissions from the landfill. b) Possibility to build up a biogas plant with electricity generation or biodiesel production taking advantage of the raw material of the place as manure. The results in the Province of Salta shows the implementation of an integrated system is in place but it is necessary the improvement of the system. At the capital of the Province of Salta, there are produced 600 tonnes waste a day, that is deposited in a controlled landfill with biogas extraction and only a small percentage of the waste is sent for recycling. Regarding the waste collection and separation there are similarities with the problems of infrastructure described in the Province of Jujuy, such as the lack of trash cans, that makes the collection difficult and the lack of a separation system is a common deficit. The municipality does not have an update data of the quality and quantity of waste since 2003. In relation to public awareness there is a cooperative in cooperation with a private company that oversees the waste sorting. This program is a good initiative but it only covers 2000 blocks of the city and 14 000 households representing only the 10% of the total area. Regarding the financing there is a problem with financing, to cover not only the costs for the daily services but to secure financing for needed investments in infrastructure, treatment facilities, etc. The waste is transported to the landfill, which is using the cell method and is well constructed, considering important aspects as the size of the cells, quantity and variation of rainfall, the absorptive capacity of the waste as well as the control of the capacity of the cells for high degree compaction. However, the controlled landfill has technical problems during the extraction of biogas with leachates and oxygen that ingress into the holes where methane gas is extracted. In conclusion, the aspects with high priority in Salta are: classification of source and type of waste, cooperation, planning, financing, business opportunities and socio-economic aspects. The aspects with low priority are: system goals, collection and transport, waste treatment, law and regulations, public awareness, knowledge, environmental aspects. This shows that the government strategy is working positively regarding instruments and legislation. However, the control and financial system need improvement to afford the costs of the waste management system. The controlled landfill has technical problems during the extraction of biogas with leachates and oxygen that enter the holes where methane gas is extracted. There is also a potential to a) upgrade the biogas to biofuel or b) for generation of energy which is highly demanded in the Province. The conclusions of the assessment show that today the problem of waste management requires a broader approach and new methodologies to understand the situation of the decision makers in the area of waste management. Where not only the physical or technical aspects on a waste management system are considered but also broader and deeply oriented aspects that include other factors that describe the cause of the problems. The methodology applied in this thesis called WHAT (Waste Holistic Assessment Tool) can be used as a practical assessment tool in the future, for the analysis of the conditions for the establishment and development of integrated waste management system in a municipality. After the application of the WHAT methodology in this thesis it can be noticed that there is a potential of future improvements of the methodology as a) the inclusion of the Swedish knowledge and knowhow in the area.  b) potential to development of a software to provide a quick assessment in a municipality. c)  the inclusion of a database for the implementation of waste management. d) potential to include a financial tool with cost and benefits of the investments. According to the concept of sustainable waste management, the system needs to ensure health and safety aspects but in addition it must also be environmentally, effective, economically affordable and socially acceptable.

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