A combined approach to improve municipal solid waste management in upper‑middle‑income countries: the case of Sabana Centro, Colombia
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In developing countries, the lack of specific knowledge of the local context and complex interactions among variables influence effective solid waste management. As a result, the formulation of effective strategies to improve waste management is still a challenge. This study draws on the principle that an adequate formulation of recommendations can be achieved through deep knowledge of the context of implementation, specific for each country. This research designs and applies a novel impact analysis combined with participatory workshops to formulate recommendations to enhance municipal solid waste management. The approach includes four components: (i) a systematic literature review to identify the factors that affect municipal solid waste management in upper-middle-income countries; (ii) participatory workshops to collect information directly from relevant stakeholders; (iii) an impact matrix to systematize valuable information obtained from (i) and (ii), and (iv) an impact analysis to classify the obtained information and develop recommendations to improve municipal solid waste management. The combined approach can be applied to upper middle-income countries. This was exemplified using a region in Colombia (Sabana Centro), which is composed by 11 municipalities, as a case study. Key recommendations to improve sustainable waste management in Sabana Centro emerged from this study, i.e., the need for multiple funding schemes and new public–private partnerships, the promotion of waste treatment technologies, the encouragement of public involvement in source separation activities, and the alignment of local waste management plans in Sabana Centro and with the national waste management policy.
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