Conference Proceeding

Municipal solid waste generation across socioeconomic strata

Characterizing municipal solid waste (MSW) at the source of generation is a difficult task in large urban areas of developing countries. In order to understand this problem and devise comprehensive strategies for characterizing waste streams in Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC), Nepal, this paper utilizes two- and three-stage cluster sampling of strata. A pilot study of 200 households formed the basis for a field study that was conducted using 336 households. The pilot study provided 161.2 g capita-1 day-1 of average household solid waste generation in KMC, composition of organic wastes was at 63%, recyclables were in decline, construction debris was on the rise, and hazardous wastes was at 0.4%. The field study found that household solid waste generation was at 497.3 g capita-1 day-1 and MSW at 0.66 kg capita-1 day-1. Organic wastes was the greatest component, while recyclables were on the rise along with hazardous wastes. The positive relationship between income and waste generation were held by all of the six strata in the pilot study and the first three strata in the field study; however the last stratum was an exception in the field study. The stratified generation of waste stream could be a better measure for future reformation of waste management practices in the KMC.