1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Municipal Solid Waste Management (MSWM) refers to the collection, transfer, treatment, recycling, resource recovery, and disposal of solid waste in urban areas (Alabastor, 1995). The first goal of MSWM is to protect the health of the urban population, particularly those of low-income groups who suffer disproportionately from poor waste management. Secondly, MSWM aims to promote healthy environmental condition by controlling pollution including water, air, soil and cross-media pollution and ensuring sustainability of ecosystem in the urban region. Thirdly, MSWM supports urban economic development by providing waste management services and ensuring the efficient use and conservation of valuable materials and resources. Finally, MSWM aim s to generate employment and income in the sector itself.
To achieve the goals of MSWM, it is necessary to establish sustainable system of solid waste management which meets the needs of the entire urban population including the urban poor. The essential condition of sustainability implies that waste management system must be absorbed and managed by the society and its local communities. The system must be tailored to the particular circumstances and problems of the city and locality, employing and developing the capacities of all stakeholders, including the households and communities requiring the services (Diap, 1995).
Sustainable solid waste management system should be approached from the perspective of the entire cycle of material use; which includes production, distribute on and consumption as well as waste collection and disposal.
Since some diversion activities were already incorporated as traditional parts of the economy, as shown by the 17 percent statewide diversion rate in 1990, the mandates of AB939 greatly expanded the number and scale of diversion opportunities offered by communities throughout the state. The Act has resulted in an increase in the amount of material shifted from disposal-based economic activities to new diversion-based activities and infrastructure, and the marketing of new sources of locally produced alternative feedstock for use by the state’s manufacturers and agricultural producers.