Household solid waste characteristics and management in Chittagong, Bangladesh

Household solid waste characteristics and management in Chittagong, Bangladesh

Available online at Waste Management 28 (2008) 1688–1695 Household solid waste characteristics ...

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Available online at

Waste Management 28 (2008) 1688–1695

Household solid waste characteristics and management in Chittagong, Bangladesh Mohammad Sujauddin b


, S.M.S. Huda a, A.T.M. Rafiqul Hoque


a Institute of Forestry and Environmental Sciences, Chittagong University, Chittagong-4331, Bangladesh Laboratory of Ecology and Systematics (Plant Ecophysiology Section), Faculty of Science, Biology Division, University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa 903-0213, Japan

Accepted 26 June 2007 Available online 12 September 2007

Abstract Solid waste management (SWM) is a multidimensional challenge faced by urban authorities, especially in developing countries like Bangladesh. We investigated per capita waste generation by residents, its composition, and the households’ attitudes towards waste management at Rahman Nagar Residential Area, Chittagong, Bangladesh. The study involved a structured questionnaire and encompassed 75 households from five different socioeconomic groups (SEGs): low (LSEG), lower middle (LMSEG), middle (MSEG), upper middle (UMSEG) and high (HSEG). Wastes, collected from all of the groups of households, were segregated and weighed. Waste generation was 1.3 kg/household/day and 0.25 kg/person/day. Household solid waste (HSW) was comprised of nine categories of wastes with vegetable/food waste being the largest component (62%). Vegetable/food waste generation increased from the HSEG (47%) to the LSEG (88%). By weight, 66% of the waste was compostable in nature. The generation of HSW was positively correlated with family size (rxy = 0.236, p < 0.05), education level (rxy = 0.244, p < 0.05) and monthly income (rxy = 0.671, p < 0.01) of the households. Municipal authorities are usually the responsible agencies for solid waste collection and disposal, but the magnitude of the problem is well beyond the ability of any municipal government to tackle. Hence dwellers were found to take the service from the local waste management initiative. Of the respondents, an impressive 44% were willing to pay US$0.3 to US$0.4 per month to waste collectors and it is recommended that service charge be based on the volume of waste generated by households. Almost a quarter (22.7%) of the respondents preferred 12– 1 pm as the time period for their waste to be collected. This study adequately shows that household solid waste can be converted from burden to resource through segregation at the source, since people are aware of their role in this direction provided a mechanism to assist them in this pursuit exists and the burden is distributed according to the amount of waste generated. Ó 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction Industrially developed countries produce large quantities of wastes. On the other hand, developing countries generate less solid waste (SW) per capita because of their lower purchasing power and the consequent lesser consumption (Cairncross and Feachem, 1993). Bangladesh, being a densely populated country, is undergoing rapid urbanization and a huge number of rural people are migrating to urban areas each year (Salequzzaman, 2000). In 1951, the urban *

Corresponding author. Tel.: +880 31682696. E-mail address: [email protected] (M. Sujauddin).

0956-053X/$ - see front matter Ó 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.wasman.2007.06.013

population was only 4.33% of the total population. Since then the rising trend of migration has continued reaching around 24% by the year 2001 (Enayetullah et al., 2005). One of the directly related consequences of population growth is the increase in waste generation. The migration is creating unplanned urbanization and slum development, and these areas produce a lot of unmanageable quantities of SW in all major cities (Dhaka, Chittagong, Rajshahi, Khulna, Sylhet and Barisal) of Bangladesh (Salequzzaman et al., 2001). However, the total SW contribution from a large population is detrimental to environmental and sanitation conditions. Thus, solid waste management (SWM) has become a major concern for the cities and towns of

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Bangladesh. SW is irreparably degrading the urban environment and placing a serious threat to the natural resources and consequently holding back equitable sustainable development (Kumar and Bhowmick, 1998). Municipal authorities are responsible for SWM in Bangladesh. SWM in municipalities operates under the conservancy wings executed by Chief Conservancy Officer (CCO) under the direct supervision of the Mayor/Chairman of the city corporations. The most important task of these authorities is to manage the waste properly to keep the city clean and healthy. However, municipal services in most cities and towns are already over-burdened and simply cannot cope with the growing demand owing to insufficient manpower and materials, resulting in unhygienic and filthy living condition in the neighborhood (Enayetullah et al., 2005; Hasan and Chowdhury, 2005). According to available statistics, 16,380 tons of waste are produced in Bangladesh per day (Anonymous, 2004). Dhaka, the capital city, generates approximately 4500 tons of waste per day (Hasan and Chowdhury, 2005), but Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) can pick up and dispose only 42% of the SW generated (Salequzzaman et al., 1998). Practically, the city corporations have failed to manage the SW of this increasing population, mainly because of lack of financial support and willingness to pay (WTP) for overall sustainable SWM policies. But WTP for community-based waste management in some areas of some cities is highly successful (Salequzzaman et al., 2001). Chittagong is the second largest city of Bangladesh with a substantial, self-sustaining economic base (GOB, 2003). It had been a municipal city since 1863 and was upgraded first into a Municipal Corporation and finally became a City Corporation in 1990 (CDA, 1992). The average generation of solid waste in the urban areas of Chittagong is 1550 tons per day (Sinha, 2006). Of this, the quantity of household solid waste (HSW) generated is much higher than the amount of waste generated by industries and health sectors (Anonymous, 2000). Among the different types of solid wastes, residential or household waste represents about 30% of the overall municipal waste stream and the urban residents generate two to three times as much SW as their fellow rural citizens in Asia (World Bank, 1999). The SW generation of the urban areas in Chittagong city is increasing proportionately with the growth of its population, which is posing a serious threat to the management and disposal system. A considerable amount of research work on SWM has already been conducted in Bangladesh (Salequzzaman et al., 1998, 2001; Salequzzaman, 2000; Ahmed and Rahman, 2000; Alam et al., 2002; Hasan and Chowdhury, 2005; Enayetullah et al., 2005; Rahman et al., 2006; Sinha, 2006). However, no study to investigate the effect of the socioeconomic level of householders on MSW quantities and composition has yet been undertaken. The objectives of the study were, therefore, to make a move in the systematic study of residential or household solid waste management (HSWM), leading to quantification of the amount of


waste generated from the residential area, determination of its composition, correlation of waste quantity with relevant socioeconomic parameters of the households, and consideration of the management practices so as to identify the problems and future prospects. 2. Methodology The study was conducted at Rahman Nagar Residential Area under Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) of Bangladesh. There are 41 wards (administrative areas) in CCC (Rahman et al., 2006). The study area is under ward number 8 and has a population of about 3500 residents; it was selected purposely for the research. The study was conducted from May to October 2006, to understand the quantitative and qualitative aspects of residential solid waste generation. The methodology followed for the performance of research tasks involved a review of the related literature, definition of the problem, clarification of study objectives, design of the survey plan, implementation of the personal interview survey, establishment of the measurement of sample household daily solid waste and waste classification by type, processing of the survey data, analysis of the data and evaluation of findings, and finally, preparation of the final report. At the outset of the major field work, a reconnaissance survey was conducted in March 2006 to identify the socioeconomic status and solid waste generation scenario of the study area, especially the sources and sub-sources from where the SW is generated, to observe the physical composition of the study area and to collect information regarding quantity and quality of SW. A structured questionnaire was designed, pre-tested, and modified to collect household level data on socioeconomic and daily solid waste traits. In addition, the questionnaire included a number of attitudinal questions aimed at examining the households’ awareness and attitudes toward the problem of urban SW. Data were also collected through both direct observations and interviews with household members, the City Corporation Office and members of a local committee (Greenland Welfare Committee), which is responsible for the collection, transportation and disposal of HSW in the study area. Based on the reconnaissance survey carried out and following Rahman et al. (1999), the whole study area was classified into five different socioeconomic groups on the basis of the household’s monthly income: low socioeconomic group (LSEG) (monthly income < Tk. 5000) (1 US$ = BDT 70), lower middle socioeconomic group (LMSEG) (monthly income between Tk. 5000 and Tk. 10,000), middle socioeconomic group (MSEG) (monthly income between Tk. 10,000 and Tk. 20,000), upper middle socioeconomic group (UMSEG) (monthly income between Tk. 20,000 and Tk. 50,000) and high socioeconomic group (HSEG) (monthly income above Tk. 50,000). Fifteen households from each group were randomly selected and thus a total of 75 households were studied out of 450 households in the study area. During the ques-


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tionnaire survey, polythene bags (similar size and with particular coding of the respondent) were supplied to each household to place their residential wastes. Collected wastes from each household within the poly bag were weighed and recorded. Then the wastes within each bag were segregated and each segregated item was weighed separately and recorded. The same job was conducted each day for each of the 75 households. During segregation, collected wastes from each bag were spread on clean plastic sheets and the wastes sorted by hand, following the methodology of Enayetullah et al. (2005):         

Paper = paper/book/printed materials Pack = packaging materials Can = can/jar/tin/metals Plastic = plastic/polythene/rubber Textile = textile/rags/jute Glass = glass/ceramic Vegetable = vegetable/food waste Rocks = rocks/dirt/miscellaneous Wood = wood/grass/leaves

3. Results and discussion 3.1. Socioeconomic factors A number of socioeconomic variables may affect the quantity of solid waste generated each day by a household. These include religion, family size, family employment, age, education, land status and duration of stay. Tables 1 and 2 present the descriptive statistics for these variables. The data in Table 1 indicate that 90.7% respondents were found to be Muslim and the rest (9.3%) were Hindu. The average sample household had 3.39 persons and 1.77

Table 1 Frequency, mean and standard deviation of sample household (hh) characteristics Variable name



Cumulative percent

1. Religion Muslim Hindu

68 7

90.7 9.3

90.7 100.0

2. Family size (persons/hh) 1 2 2 5 3–5 37 6–8 24 >8 7 Mean = 3.39 (persons/hh), standard

2.7 2.7 6.7 9.4 49.3 58.7 32.0 90.7 9.3 100.0 deviation = 0.853 (persons/hh)

3. Family employment (persons employed/hh) 1 37 49.3 49.3 2 23 30.7 80.0 3 10 13.3 93.3 4 5 6.7 100.0 Mean = 1.77 (persons employed/hh), standard deviation = 0.924 (persons employed/hh)

employed members. The average family age was 30.11 years and the mean age of the respondents was 43.14 years. Years of schooling of the family and the respondents were found to be 8.84 and 8.05 years, respectively. Almost 56% of the respondents were tenants and the remaining 44% were the owner of the land. The mean duration of stay of dwellers was found to be 3.09 years (Table 2). Similar types of socioeconomic parameters were analyzed by Koushki and Al-Khaleefi (1998) in Kuwait. In their study, they placed emphasis on socioeconomic parameters such as family size, family employment, family income, car ownership, education of the head and age of the head. 3.2. Waste generation For determination of waste generation rate, sample wastes were collected and processed from different households of different SEGs. Table 3 shows the estimation of SW generated by an average household per day in the study area. The analysis of the 75 sample observations in the study area indicates that an average household in the Rahman Nagar Residential Area generated 1.3 kg of wastes per day. It also reveals that the rate of waste generation varies in the different SEGs studied. The trend is gradually increasing with the increase of income among the socioeconomic groups. For this reason, the waste generation rate by an average household was found to be 0.36 kg/day (minimum) by the LSEG and 3.15 kg/day (maximum) by the HSEG because of their high purchasing power and consequently high consumption practices. Table 4 reveals that the residential waste generation rate by a person in the study area was 0.25 kg/day. The study area comprises a population of almost 3500 persons. According to this study, almost 875 kg of solid waste was generated per day in the study area. However, it is estimated that the per capita waste generation rate in six major urban areas of Bangladesh viz. Dhaka, Chittagong, Rajshahi, Khulna, Sylhet and Barisal was 0.56 kg, 0.48 kg, 0.3 kg, 0.27 kg, 0.3 kg and 0.25 kg, respectively (Enayetullah et al., 2005). The World Bank (1999) explained that residential solid waste represents about 30% of the overall municipal waste stream in Asia. According to that report, the residential waste generation rate of Bangladesh was 0.15 kg/person/day. With the pace of time, the waste is increasing proportionately with the growth of population. Probably owing to this, the per capita waste generation rate stated by The World Bank (1999) differs from the per capita waste generation found in the study area, one of the representative residential areas of Bangladesh. 3.3. Physical composition of HSW Composition of solid waste depends upon a number of factors such as food habits, cultural traditions, socioeconomic status and climatic condition (Enayetullah et al., 2005).

M. Sujauddin et al. / Waste Management 28 (2008) 1688–1695 Table 2 Frequency, mean and standard deviation of sample household (hh) characteristics Variable name



Cumulative percent

1. Age (years) Average family age <20 7 9.3 9.3 20 to <30 29 38.7 48.0 30 to <40 31 41.3 89.3 40 to <50 7 9.3 98.7 > =50 1 1.3 100.0 Mean = 30.11 (years), standard deviation = 8.25 (years) Age of the respondent < =25 4 5.3 5.3 26–35 24 32.0 37.3 36–45 20 26.7 64.0 46–55 16 21.3 85.3 56–65 7 9.3 94.7 66–75 2 2.7 97.3 >75 2 2.7 100.0 Mean = 43.14 (years), standard deviation = 13.41 (years) 2. Education Average no. of years 0–5 >5 to 10 >10 to 12 >12 to 14 >14 Mean = 8.84 (years),

in school 15 20.0 20.0 29 38.7 58.7 13 17.3 76.0 10 13.3 89.3 8 10.7 100.0 standard deviation = 3.94 (years)

Years of Schooling of the respondent < =5 23 30.7 30.7 >5 to 10 26 34.7 65.3 >10 to 12 10 13.3 78.7 >12 to 14 7 9.3 88.0 >14 9 12.0 100.0 Mean = 8.05 (years), standard deviation = 3.71 (years) 3. Land status Land owner Tenant

33 42

44.0 56.0

44.0 100.0

4. Duration of stay (years) <1 6 8.0 8.0 1 to <5 30 40.0 48.0 5 to <10 17 22.7 70.7 10 to <15 4 5.3 76.0 15 to <20 9 12.0 88.0 > =20 9 12.0 100.0 Mean = 3.09 (years), standard deviation = 1.535 (years)


level (9%). Rocks/dirt/miscellaneous; glass/ceramic; wood/grass/leaves; paper/book/printed materials and plastic/polythene/rubber were found to be 6%, 5%, 3%, 3% and 2%, respectively. In urban areas of Bangladesh, SW has a very high organic content that varies from 70–85% (Anonymous, 2004). Enayetullah et al. (2005) also found that food and vegetables were dominant (66.65%) among all sorts of wastes in Bangladesh. The percentage of vegetable/food waste was found to be the highest in all of the SEGs. Among them, LSEG was the highest (88%) and HSEG was the lowest (47%) in producing vegetable/food waste. The trend of vegetable/ food waste generation was found to be increasing from the HSEG towards the LSEG. The opposite trend was recorded in the case of can/jar/tin/metals. In the case of packaging materials, the highest percentage (14%) was found in the HSEG and the lowest percentage (3%) in the LSEG. Both the MSEG and UMSEG were found to contribute the same percentage (5%) of packaging materials (Table 5). Other than these, the rocks/dirt/miscellaneous category was found to be the highest (10%) in HSEG. Both plastic/polythene/rubber (3%) and glass/ceramic (6%) were recorded as highest in UMSEG and wood/grass/leaves was recorded as highest (4%) in HSEG. The highest percentage of paper/book/printed materials (4%) was recorded in MSEG, and the highest percentage of textile/rags/ jute (2%) was found both in MSEG and UMSEG (Table 5). The above discussion reveals that a huge portion of the solid waste was compostable in the study area. The compostable portion of HSW includes food, vegetable, rags, jute, wood, grass, leaves, etc. (Enayetullah et al., 2005). The compostable and non-compostable (paper, packaging materials, can, jar, tin, metals, plastic, polythene, rubber, glass, ceramic, rock and dirt) portions of HSW in the study area were recorded at 66% and 34%, respectively (Table 5). Enayetullah et al. (2005) showed that a substantial portion (69–77%) of SW in the urban areas of Bangladesh was compostable. The large organic concentration in urban solid waste indicates the necessity for frequent collection and removal. This also suggests the good potential for recycling of organic waste. 3.4. Relationship between the quantity of SW and socioeconomic factors

Table 5 indicates the physical composition of SW varying with different SEGs. All of the nine different items of waste (viz. paper, packaging materials, cans, plastic, textiles, glass, vegetable, rocks and wood) segregated during the study varied considerably among the SEGs. Of them, seven different items (packaging materials, cans, plastic, glass, vegetable, rocks and wood) were varied significantly (p < 0.05) among different SEGs. Vegetable/food waste was found to be the highest (62%) and textile/rags/jute was found to be the lowest (1%). Both the can/jar/tin/metals and packaging materials were found to be at the same

Correlation analysis was employed to identify the degree of association between the two factors since the socioeconomic factors affect the daily quantity of SW generated by households. The generation of HSW was found to be positively correlated with family size (rxy = 0.236, p < 0.05), which means families with more individuals generate a larger quantity of solid waste per day (Fig. 1). The education level (average number of years in school) of the family (rxy = 0.244, p < 0.05) was also found to be positively cor-


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Table 3 Solid waste generated by an average household per day Socioeconomic groups

Number of hha studied

WGRb (kg/hh/day)


15 15 15 15 15

0.36 0.89 0.97 1.10 3.15



1.3 (avg.)

LSEG = low socioeconomic group; LMSEG = lower middle socioeconomic group; MSEG = middle socioeconomic group; UMSEG = upper middle socioeconomic group and HSEG = high socioeconomic group. a hh = household. b WGR = waste generation rate.

Table 4 Solid waste generated per person per day Socioeconomic groups LSEG LMSEG MSEG UMSEG HSEG Total

WGRa (kg/person/ day)

Number of persons studied 61 64 82 91 85

0.08 0.20 0.17 0.18 0.55


0.25 (avg.)

LSEG = low socioeconomic group; LMSEG = lower middle socioeconomic group; MSEG = middle socioeconomic group; UMSEG = upper middle socioeconomic group and HSEG = high socioeconomic group. a WGR = waste generation rate.

related with the generation of SW. This reveals that the higher the level of education of the family member, the larger the quantity of SW generated each day (Fig. 2). It is usually expected that a family consisting of members hav-

ing higher education generate a lesser quantity of SW each day. But, interestingly enough, the trend was totally reverse in nature in the study area. A positive correlation was also found between the income (rxy = 0.671, p < 0.01) and the generation of SW, which reveals that families earning more per month have the tendency to generate a larger quantity of SW each day (Fig. 3). Waste generation was found to be gradually increasing with the increase of income per month by the different socioeconomic groups. 3.5. Household attitudes regarding the management of HSW Household support is essential to the effectiveness of any program aimed at minimizing SW at its source. A wellinformed and concerned public greatly facilitates program implementation and ensures its success. The reverse holds true for an ill-informed or unconcerned public (Koushki and Al-Khaleefi, 1998). The responses of the sample households to a number of attitudinal questions are shown in Tables 6 and 7. 3.5.1. Existing management system of the study area Greenland Welfare Committee, a local organization, was found to be responsible for the collection, transportation and disposal of waste in the study area. Of the respondents, 80% were taking the service from the local waste management initiative. Among the households who take this service, 61.3% were satisfied with the service and 18.7% opined that they were not satisfied. A large percentage (54.7%) of the sample households stated that the payment made to the waste collector for the service was quite reasonable; 25.3% opined that the payment was not reasonable (Table 7).

Table 5 Physical composition of HSW generated by different socioeconomic groups Socioeconomic groups

Waste category (%) Non-compostable












3 3 4 2 3

3 4 5 5 14

0 2 4 9 15

2 1 2 3 2

1 4 5 6 5

2 2 2 1 10

1 1 2 2 0

88 83 76 70 47

0 0 0 2 4

Generation of waste per day by all SEGs










LSEG = low socioeconomic group; LMSEG = lower middle socioeconomic group; MSEG = middle socioeconomic group; UMSEG = upper middle socioeconomic group and HSEG = high socioeconomic group. a Paper = Paper/Book/Printed materials. b Pack = Packaging materials. c Can = can/jar/tin/metals. d Plastic = plastic/polythene/rubber. e Textile = textile/rags/jute. f Glass = glass/ceramic. g Vegetable = vegetable/food waste. h Rocks = rocks/dirt/miscellaneous. i Wood = wood/grass/leaves.

M. Sujauddin et al. / Waste Management 28 (2008) 1688–1695


Mean Total Fresh Weight (Kg)

3.5.2. Attitude of households towards SWM The study reveals the willingness by the respondent in a residential area to pay to the waste collector. Almost 44% of the respondents opined they were willing to pay Tk. 20 to Tk. <30 (1 US$ = BDT 70) to the waste collector per month (Table 7). Of the sample respondent households, 22.7% stated that they expect the waste collector to come to their residents between 12 pm and 1 pm to collect their waste; 21.3% prefer 10–11 am and 14.7% prefer 9–10 am as the preferred collection time (Table 7). As to the question on the place for dumping the waste, a large percentage of the sample households (80%) were found to dispose their waste through the waste collector. Almost 11% of the households dispose their waste to open places and 7% throw the waste into drains. Only 1% of the household dispose their waste in their own compound (Table 7). By far the largest percentage of the sample households (56%) were of the opinion that the responsibility of SWM lay entirely with municipality; 17.3% thought the local committee is enough to manage the waste problem in a residential area, 17.3% stated that the SWM system could be geared up by being a commercial venture, and 9.3% of the respondent households opined that the main responsibility for SWM would be the individual (Table 7). The respondent households were asked about their selfrole in waste management. The interesting finding is that about 29.3% of them stated that they would segregate the waste items if sufficient toolkits are supplied to them, while 12% of households stated that they often try to reuse or recycle their waste by their own indigenous techniques before its final dumping. A large percentage of sample households (42.7%) have opined that their role in SWM is limited to contributing in the collection system. The rest






0.0000 0-5





Average No. of Years in School

Fig. 2. Generation of HSW based on average years of schooling of household.

(16%) think they could dispose their waste at least to the distance of a bin or to the waste collector if they are asked (Table 7). All of the sample household respondents were asked to mention the most severe problem relating to SWM in the study area. The majority of the respondents indicated that bad odor (41%) is the most severe problem, others stated that open dumping on the roadside (33%) causes serious problems while walking along the roadside, 12% of the respondents opined that due to the dumping of waste, the natural flow of drainage is obstructed which later causes flooding during the rainy season, and another 7%

Mean Total Fresh Weight (Kg)

Mean Total Fresh Weight (Kg)








0.0000 0.0000 1


3 to 5

6 to 8


Family Size (person/ household )

Fig. 1. Generation of HSW based on family size.

>= Tk 50000

Income (BDT)

Fig. 3. Generation of HSW based on family income (1 US$ = BDT 70).


M. Sujauddin et al. / Waste Management 28 (2008) 1688–1695

Table 6 Frequency distribution of sample household’s opinions on residential solid waste Variable name



Cumulative percent

1. Willingness to take service from local waste management initiative Willing to take service 60 80.0 80.0 Not willing to take service 15 20.0 100.0 2. Satisfaction regarding the service Satisfied 46 Not satisfied 14 Do not take service 15

61.3 18.7 20.0

61.3 80.0 100.0

3. Rationality of payment Rational Not rational Don’t know

54.7 25.3 20.0

54.7 80.0 100.0

41 19 15

Table 7 Frequency distribution of sample household’s opinions on residential solid waste Variable name



Cumulative percent

1. Willingness to pay (Tk) <20 20 to <30 30 to <40 >40 No comment

10 33 6 11 15

13.3 44.0 8.0 14.7 20.0

13.3 57.3 65.3 80.0 100.0

2. Expected time for waste collection Before 9 am 3 Between 9 am and 10 am 11 Between 10 am and 11 am 16 Between 11 am and 12 pm 7 Between 12 pm and 1 pm 17 Between 1 pm and 2 pm 3 Between 2 pm and 3 pm 2 After 3 pm 1 No comment 15

4.0 14.7 21.3 9.3 22.7 4.0 2.7 1.3 20.0

4.0 18.7 40.0 49.3 72.0 76.0 78.7 80.0 100.0

3. Place for dumping Open place To waste collector Throwing into drains In own compound of house Covered dustbin

8 60 5 1 1

10.7 80.0 6.7 1.3 1.3

10.7 90.7 97.3 98.7 100.0

4. Responsibility of SW management Municipality 42 Local committee 13 Commercial venture 13 Self role 7

56.0 17.3 17.3 9.3

56.0 73.3 90.7 100.0

5. Self-role in SW management Collection Segregation Reuse/recycle Disposal

32 22 9 12

42.7 29.3 12.0 16.0

42.7 72.0 84.0 100.0

6. Severe problem related to SW Bad odor 31 Open dumping on roadside 25 Waste in drains 9 Irregular collection 5 No problem 5

41.3 33.3 12.0 6.7 6.7

41.3 74.7 86.7 93.3 100.0

(1 US$ = BDT 70).

of respondents thought irregularity in the collection system, both by the local service and the municipality, is the most severe problem regarding SWM. Municipalities or city corporations of Bangladesh have failed to manage SW properly in the urban areas due to limitations of existing logistic support and manpower, corruption, lack of WTP for public services and others (Salequzzaman et al., 2001). However, sustainable management can be accomplished with the collaboration of different concerned NGOs, local communities and private sector groups. The study conducted at the Rahman Nagar residential area showed that most households (61.3%) were satisfied with the service given by a local organization. Thus, local organization or community based organization (CBO) is the best option for the sustainable SWM in different residential areas of Bangladesh. 4. Conclusion SWM refers to all activities pertaining to the control, collection, transportation, processing and disposal of waste in accordance with the best principles of public health, economics, engineering, conservation, aesthetics and other environmental considerations. Its scope includes all attendant administrative, financial, legal, planning and engineering functions (Salequzzaman et al., 2001). To achieve the objectives of SWM and to overcome the SWM problems in Bangladesh, community-based solid waste management has to be sustainable (Salequzzaman et al., 2001). The scenario of SWM is deteriorating in Bangladesh (Hasan and Chowdhury, 2005). It is very difficult to handle the large volume of waste in different cities and towns, due to the uncontrollable migration of rural people to urban areas in search for a better life. The waste generation rate is being increased in the residential areas of Bangladesh. The study showed the per household waste generation rate is 1.3 kg per day and 0.25 kg per person per day. This finding varies from the value (0.15 per person per day) that was recorded by The World Bank (1999). Therefore the general community, which is the most important stakeholder in waste management activities, must also take an active part in solving the problems by modifying their behavior patterns for proper SWM. For example, they need to exert discipline in separating waste (in situ segregation of domestic waste), using containers properly, and exercising environmentally friendly purchasing habits. Poly bags or covered small bins/containers of different colors and shapes should be placed at every household. Physical composition of the waste shows that there is a mixture of different types of components, with a significant portion (66%) of them being compostable. The high organic content indicates the necessity for frequent collection and removal, as well as having a good prospect of organic waste recycling through composting. The study has revealed that the households that have larger earnings generate more waste. But usually, in the case of waste collection, all types of socioeconomic groups

M. Sujauddin et al. / Waste Management 28 (2008) 1688–1695

are charged the same amount of payment. The charge of waste collection and disposal should be fixed according to the quantity of waste generated. Most of the households (80%) in the study area were found to take collection service from the local organization and were highly satisfied. On the other hand, the majority of the respondents (56%) thought that the responsibility of SWM is vested on municipal authorities, but municipalities or city corporations cannot collect and dispose more than 50% of the total waste generated in Bangladesh (Hasan and Chowdhury, 2005). Therefore the study recommends initiation and enhancement of community-based solid waste management practices at each and every location in the municipalities with close collaboration of government, as well as of other national and international organizations. Eventually this will help reduce environmental pollution and health hazards significantly in the cities and towns of Bangladesh. The objectives of the study were largely met, giving what may be considered as baseline data on the solid waste situation in the residential areas of Bangladesh. This should lead to a better understanding of the solid waste management problems in Bangladesh. A waste stream assessment is not a one-time activity. As management programs are implemented, periodic waste stream assessments will be required to identify successful protocols as well as areas needing improvements. Furthermore, seasonal or temporal variations make it imperative that the waste stream assessment be carried out in widely contrasting seasons (Sha’Ato et al., 2007). Thus, it is recommended that this study be repeated during all of the seasons, to give a more complete picture of the household solid waste situation. Acknowledgement This study would not have been possible without the assistance and support of Mr. Mohammad Mosharraf Hossain (Doctoral Student, Tamiya Lab, JAIST, Ishikawa 923-1292, Japan). We would like to thank all anonymous reviewers for their inspiring and constructive comments on the paper. We also would like to thank Mr. Mainul Hasan Chowdhury (Assistant Professor, Department of English, Chittagong University, Bangladesh) for his valuable suggestions to improve the English language of this manuscript. References Ahmed, M.F., Rahman, M.M., 2000. Solid Waste Management: Water Supply & Sanitation – Rural and Low Income Urban Communities. ITN – Bangladesh, Center for Water Supply and Waste Management, BUET, Dhaka, Bangladesh with contribution from IRC, International Water and sanitation Center, Delft, The Netherlands.


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