Achieving an integrated solid waste management system (ISWMS) is an important step towards the reduction of the municipal solid waste in a particular country or region. However, it could not be done without a research dedicated to the characterization of said waste. This study characterizes waste components according to their weight and composition. The importance of this data could not be overestimated, as it allows determining which technological decisions are suitable for the local ISWMS projects. The purpose of this paper is to characterize the municipal solid waste produced by the populace of Kuwait, compare the results to the previous baseline study and conduct an analysis in order to determine whether the seasons or efforts of particular governorates had any influence on the process (Al-Jarallah and Aleisa 952).
There are three different approaches that could be used for waste characterizations. One approach relies on the analysis of the waste products, the other – on the analysis of the products being available to the markets, while the third approach involves direct sampling. For this study, the author used the standard test method for determination of the composition of unprocessed municipal solid waste, which involves manual sorting of waste samples (Al-Jarallah and Aleisa 953).
The last baseline study done in Kuwait was performed in 1995 and is a logical point of comparison for this conducted study. The main differences between the two baselines lie in the results. The new study conducted by the author indicated that there were noticeable changes found in almost every waste category present. Only the levels of metal scrap did not experience any significant shifts. These findings are important as they indicate a change in product consumption and general lifestyle of the populace. Planning for future changes is important when considering an ISWMS project (Al-Jarallah and Aleisa 959).
The study analyzed samples obtained during summer and winter. There is a reason why the samples were collected during different periods – winters are characterized by significantly higher proportions of wood, metal, plastic, glass, and fiber wastes. Summers see a much higher proportion of organic waste. The reasons for such a difference are obvious – during summers, the population partakes in many social activities. It results in higher amounts of organic wastes. In contrast, winters are known for car crashes and household appliances breaking down. The study results support this explanation (Al-Jarallah and Aleisa 957).
From Mixed to Separate Collection of Solid Waste
Another study conducted in Bosnia and Herzegovina reflects on the benefits of source separation of the waste, using the municipality of Zavidovići as an example. The results were rather impressive and reported major environmental and economic benefits. Adopting the realistic rates of the separate collection as well as a system of domestic composting managed to reduce the occupation of the landfill needed for the housing of the waste by roughly 17%. These numbers reflect the current scenarios of landfill space usage (Vaccari et al. 284).
The economic benefits include a reduction of service costs. This allows receiving a revenue of roughly 7000-10000 euro through the adoption of separate collection and domestic composting systems. Other scenarios were proven less effective. Adaptation of expensive recycling technologies often offset any economic advantages due to how much it cost. Glass recycling and the use of specialized compactor trucks were deemed inefficient from an economic perspective. It was an important factor for Zavidovići, as the municipality strived to uphold high standards in the delivery of service of the waste collection while having scarce resources to rely upon (Vaccari et al. 285).
Al-Jarallah, Rawa and Esra Aleisa. “A Baseline Study Characterizing the Municipal Solid Waste in the State of Kuwait.” Waste Management. 34.1 (2014): 952-960. Elsevier. Web.
Vaccari, Mentore, Veronica Di Bella, Francesco Vitali and Carlo Collivignarelli. “From Mixed to Separate Collection of Solid Waste: Benefits for the Town of Zavidovići (Bosnia and Herzegovina).” Waste Management. 34.1 (2013): 277-286. Elsevier. Web.