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A GIS-based study of sites for decentralized composting and waste sorting stations in Kumasi, Ghana
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Developing countries are facing a great challenge to collect, treat and dispose their waste in a more sustainable way. Today, most of the produced waste ends up on landfills, where they pose a great threat to the environment and human health. Kumasi, the second largest city in Ghana, faces the same issues as other cities in developing countries; waste management is run poorly and most waste ends up on the cities largest landfill, Dompoase, which will be full in a few years time. Issues such as low financial resources, bad urban planning and a growing population aggravate the implementation of a more sustainable development. Since most solid waste in developing countries is organic, composting is a good option towards a more sustainable waste management. There are numerous amounts of articles stating that decentralized composting is the best option for developed countries. Decentralized compost facilities are less costly to install and maintain, they require less technology and decrease the cost of waste transportation. Transportation poses a large expense when it comes  to waste management in developing countries. There is an advantage in integrating a more sustainable waste management in to the existing waste infrastructure since cities often are densely built up and there is a shortage of land. Therefore this thesis has investigated the possibilities of having waste sorting stations and decentralized compost facilities at public dumping sites in the Bantama area, one of ten sub--‐metros in Kumasi. Based on literature and observations during field visits in the Bantama area, a classification scheme was developed. The classification scheme was designed to simplify identification and differentiation of the sites. It contains thirteen criteria to consider when planning for organic waste sorting stations and decentralized compost facilities. Suitable sites for sorting stations and decentralized compost facilities were selected by a SQL analyzes in a Geographic Information System (GIS). The analyzes was based on the classification scheme. The result shows that of twenty--‐one public dumpingsites, seven were suitable as sorting stations and two sites were suitable for a decentralized compost facility. The expectation is that in due time and with infrastructure improvements, more than only seven communal sites can become sorting stations. When it comes to sites for composting the result reveals an issue in many cities  there is just not enough land to build as many decentralized facilities as would be necessary to recycle all organic waste. However, due to the advantages of having decentralized facilities, the recommendation is that Kumasi should start with a decentralized approach and as finance and technological skills exists the organic waste management can extend to also include larger facilities. Further this thesis shows the advantage of having decentralized composting when it comes totransportation costs. A transport analyzes was done in a GIS,  which showed the difference intransportation distances between having decentralized and centralized composting. The result showed that waste recycled close to its source, i.e. having decentralized waste management, is transported shorter distance compared to having centralized composting and  thus saving on cost for transportation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Sustainable development, sustainable waste management, developing countries, organic waste, decentralized composting, sorting stations, waste transportation, GIS
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-161158OAI: diva2:454749
Educational program
Master Programme in Sustainable Development
Life Earth Science
Available from: 2012-01-23 Created: 2011-11-08 Last updated: 2012-01-23Bibliographically approved

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