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An investigation into the reduction of greenhouse gases associated with the disposal of municipal solid waste for the development of an institutional framework in developing countries.

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Municipal solid waste in landfills releases the greenhouse gas (GHG), methane. This study aimed to develop an institutional framework that could assist municipalities in developing countries to adopt an integrated waste management strategy to maximise the reduction of GHG emissions using appropriate technologies. The results of key informant interviews and a systematic literature review informed the selection of the case studies. The case studies involved a waste stream analysis in two developing countries in order to determine the level of the waste diverted from landfills and the most appropriate treatment technologies. These included a waste stream analysis of the Deonar landfill site in the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) which receives waste volumes of 6 800 tonnes per day and the Newcastle landfill site, a medium-sized landfill in South Africa. The findings of the case study in Newcastle Municipality provide the basis for recommendations to municipal managers on potential alternatives processes for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) diverted from municipal solid waste. It focuses on the importance of Separation at Source including the effect of zero PET into landfills and their contribution to GHG reductions for the production of hollow woven fibre. Finally, an integrated waste management system is presented which sets out an institutional framework that illustrates the interrelationship between waste and energy, best practices and bottlenecks to guide municipalities in their efforts to utilize appropriate technologies. South Africa is challenged to find sustainable solutions that are aligned with government objectives in identifying appropriate technologies for prevailing waste streams. The institutional framework is based on the planning process, risks and learning curves associated with the uncertainty of landfill gas to energy technologies. The reduction of GHG emissions in municipal solid waste is of concern due to the pressure of non-renewable energy. GHG emitted due to waste management in developing countries’ cities creates problems in accounting and reporting these gases. Reducing the volumes of waste landfilled will also reduce methane emissions and other environmental impacts associated with landfills that will in turn contribute positively to climate impacts and the national carbon footprint.


Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Howard College 2015.


Greenhouse gases -- Developing countries., Sewage disposal -- Developing countries -- Management., Landfill gases -- Developing countries., Greenhouse gas mitigation -- Developing countries., Theses -- Civil engineering.