Modeling Municipal Solid Waste Management in Africa: Case Study of Matadi, the Democratic Republic of Congo


The purpose of this article is to present the key elements for best performance and profitability of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) management in a low-income city. The research provides an overview of methods and models for integrated planning of a two-phase program: MSW collection and transportation, and MSW treatment. We present the case study of Matadi (the Democratic Republic of Congo) that has a low level of the MSW management compared to other African cities. We develop a spreadsheet model for collection and transportation of MSW which is relevant for low-income cities and enables determining the waste collection fee. A CDM decay model is used to predict the GHG emissions in disposal site. The MSW treatment plant in case of Matadi is evaluated. For the anaerobic digestion technology selected as appropriate for this plant, the key factors that ensure profitability of the plant are as follows: tipping fee from the municipality (19% of total revenue), amount of carbon credits which can sum up to 16% of the total revenue, expansion of waste collection range from 25 to 50 km. The methods of this study can be used for solving waste problem in other low-income cities where the budget for municipal services is scanty, particularly when starting from a very low level of MSW management.

Share and Cite:

G. Din and E. Cohen, "Modeling Municipal Solid Waste Management in Africa: Case Study of Matadi, the Democratic Republic of Congo," Journal of Environmental Protection, Vol. 4 No. 5, 2013, pp. 435-445. doi: 10.4236/jep.2013.45052.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] E. Friedrich and C. Trois, “Quantification of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Waste Management Processes for Municipalities—A Comparative Review Focusing on Africa,” Waste Management, Vol. 31, No. 7, 2011, pp. 1585-1596. doi:10.1016/j.wasman.2011.02.028
[2] T. Karak, R. M. Bhagat and P. Bhattacharyya, “Municipal Solid Waste Generation, Composition, and Management: The World Scenario,” Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology, Vol. 42, No. 15, 2012, pp. 1509-1630. doi:10.1080/10643389.2011.569871
[3] OECD, “Municipal Waste,” In: OECD, Ed., OECD Factbook 2010: Economic, Environmental and Social Statistics, OECD Publishing, 2010, pp. 172-173.
[4] D. C. Wilson, L. Rodic, A. Scheinberg, C. A. Velis and G. Alabaster, “Comparative Analysis of Solid Waste Management in 20 Cities,” Waste Management and Research, Vol. 30, No. 3, 2012, pp. 237-254. doi:10.1177/0734242X12437569
[5] World Development Indicators, “The World Bank,” 2012.
[6] A. Coynel, P. Seyler, H. Etcheber, M. Meybeck and D. Orange, “Spatial and Seasonal Dynamics of Total Suspended Sediment and Organic Carbon Species in the Congo River,” Global Biogeochemistry Cycles, Vol. 19, No. 4, 2005. doi:10.1029/2004GB002335
[7] A. Abel, “An Analysis of Solid Waste Generation in a Traditional African City: The Example of Ogbomoso, Nigeria,” Environment and Urbaniztion, Vol. 19, No. 2, 2007, pp. 527-537. doi:10.1177/0956247807082834
[8] R. Oyoo, R. Leemans and A. P. J. Mol, “Future Projections of Urban Waste Flows and Their Impacts in African Metropolises Cities,” International Journal of Environment Research, Vol. 5, No. 3, 2011, pp. 705-724.
[9] N. Regassa, R. D. Sundaraa and B. B. Seboka, “Challenges and Opportunities in Municipal Solid Waste Management: The Case of Addis Ababa City, Central Ethiopia”, Journal of Human Ecology, Vol. 33, No. 3, 2011, pp. 179-190.
[10] M. Coffey and A. Coad, “Collection of Municipal Solid Waste in Developing Countries,” 2nd Edition, UN-Habitat, Nairobi, 2010.
[11] C. Ezeah and C. Roberts, “Analysis of Barriers and Success Factors Affecting the Adoption of Sustainable Management of Municipal Solid Waste in Nigeria,” Journal of Environment Management, Vol. 103, 2012, pp. 9-14. doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2012.02.027
[12] A. Scheinberg, D. C. Wilson and L. Rodic, “Solid Waste Management in the World’s Cities,” 3rd Edition, UN-Habitat’s State of Water and Sanitation in the World’s Cities Series, Earthscan for UN-Habitat, London and Washington DC, 2010.
[13] S. Cointreau-Levine and A. Coad, “Guidance Pack on Private Sector Participation in Municipal Solid Waste Management,” SKAT, St. Gallen, 2000.
[14] A. K. Yahaya and O. S. Ebenezer, “Challenges of Privatizing Waste Management in the in Wa Municipality of Ghana: A Case of Zoomlion Ghana Limited,” Journal of Environment and Earth Science, Vol. 2, No. 11, 2012, pp. 68-79.
[15] M. Oteng-Ababio, J. E. Melara Arguello and O. Gabbay, “Solid Waste Management in African Cities: Sorting the Facts from the Fads in Accra, Ghana,” Habitat International, Vol. 39, 2013, pp. 96-104. doi:10.1016/j.habitatint.2012.10.010
[16] L. Parrot, J. Sotamenou and B. K. Dia, “Municipal Solid Waste Management in Africa: Strategies and Livelihoods in Yaoundé, Cameroon,” Waste Management, Vol. 29, No. 2, 2009, pp. 986-995. doi:10.1016/j.wasman.2008.05.005
[17] C. Collivignarelli, M. Vaccari, V. Di Bella and D. Giardina, “Techno-Economic Evaluation for the Improvement of MSW Collection in Somaliland and Puntland,” Waste Management and Research, Vol. 29, No. 5, 2011, pp. 521-531. doi:10.1177/0734242X10384431
[18] N. D. Dixon and R. V. Jones, “Engineering Properties of Municipal Solid Waste,” Geotextiles and Geomembranes, Vol. 23, No. 3, 2005, pp. 205-233. doi:10.1016/j.geotexmem.2004.11.002
[19] P. A. Vesilind and W. A. Worrell, “Solid Waste Engineering,” 2nd Edition, Cengage Learning, Stamford, 2011.
[20] K. R. Reddy, J. Gangathulasi, H. Hettiarachchi and J. Bogner, “Geotechnical Properties of Municipal Solid Waste Subjected to Leachate Recirculation,” In: M. V. Khire, A. N. Alshawabkeh and K. R. Reddy, Eds., Geo-Congress: Geotechnics of Waste Management and Remediation (GSP 177), American Society of Civil Engineers 2008, pp. 144-151.
[21] B. Seng, H. Kaneko, K. Hirayama and K. Katayama-Hirayama, “Municipal Solid Waste Management in Phnom Penh, Capital City of Cambodia,” Waste Management and Research, Vol. 29, No. 5, 2011, pp. 491-500. doi:10.1177/0734242X10380994
[22] Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories,” IGES, Japan, 2006.
[23] X. F. Lou and J. Nair, “The Impact of Landfilling and Composting on Greenhouse Gas Emissions—A Review,” Bioresourse Technology, Vol. 100, No. 16, 2009, pp. 3792-3798. doi:10.1016/j.biortech.2008.12.006
[24] Eskom, “Integrated Report 2010: On the Path to Recovery,” 2013.
[25] E. A. Mohareb, H. L. MacLean and C. A. Kennedy, “Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Waste Management—Assessment of Quantification Methods,” Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association, Vol. 61, No. 5, 2011, pp. 480-493. doi:10.3155/1047-3289.61.5.480
[26] C. Berglund and P. Soderholm, “An Econometric Analysis of Global Waste Paper Recovery and Utilization,” Environmental and Resource Economics, Vol. 26, No. 3, 2003, pp. 429-456. doi:10.1023/B:EARE.0000003595.60196.a9
[27] R. Couth and C. Trois, “Sustainable Waste Management in Africa through CDM Projects,” Waste Management, Vol. 32, No. 11, 2012, pp. 2115-2125. doi:10.1016/j.wasman.2012.02.022
[28] W. N. Mbav, G. Coppez, S. Chowdhury and S. P. Chowdhury, “Energy Production from Landfill Gases in African Countries,” Power System Technology (POWERCON), 2010 International Conference, 24-28 October 2010, pp. 1-8.
[29] J. Okot-Okumu and R. Nyenje, “Municipal Solid Waste Management under Decentralisation in Uganda,” Habitat International, Vol. 35, No. 4, 2011, pp. 537-543. doi:10.1016/j.habitatint.2011.03.003
[30] J. N. Fobil, N. A. Armah, J. N. Hogarh and D. Carboo, “The Influence of Institutions and organisations on Urban Waste Collection Systems: An Analysis of Waste Collection System in Accra, Ghana (1985-2000),” Journal of Environmental Management, Vol. 86, No. 1, 2008, pp. 262-271. doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2006.12.038
[31] S. Kathiravale and M. N. Muhd Yunus, “Waste to Wealth,” Asia Europe Journal, Vol. 6, No. 2, 2008, pp. 359-371. doi:10.1007/s10308-008-0179-x
[32] J. O. Babayemi and K. T. Dauda, “Evaluation of Solid Waste Generation, Categories and Disposal Options in Developing Countries: A Case Study of Nigeria,” Journal of Applied Sciences & Environmental Management, Vol. 13, No. 3, 2009, pp. 83-88.
[33] A. M. Mshandete and W. Parawira, “Biogas Technology Research in Selected Sub-Saharan African Countries—A Review,” African Journal of Biotechnology, Vol. 8, No. 2, 2009, pp. 116-125.
[34] T. Getahun, E. Mengistie, A. Haddis, F. Wasie, E. Alemayehu, D. Dadi, T. Van Gerven and B. Van der Bruggen, “Municipal Solid Waste Generation in Growing Urban Areas in Africa: Current Practices and Relation to Socioeconomic Factors in Jimma, Ethiopia,” Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, Vol. 184, No. 10, 2011, pp. 6337-6345. doi:10.1007/s10661-011-2423-x

Copyright © 2024 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.