Designing an economic instrument for sustainable solid waste management in the household sector

  • Indunee Welivita

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    Household Solid Waste Management has become problematic in urban areas especially in developing countries like Sri Lanka due to increased waste generation and financial constraints. The main objective of this research was to design an economic instrument with policy suggestions in order to address the household solid waste management problem in Dehiwala – the Mt. Lavinia Municipal Council area in Sri Lanka. In order to reduce the quantity of waste by encouraging sustainable solid waste management practices, the importance of a bag-based waste collection charge was identified. This study was undertaken using a sample of 300 households using a face-to-face questionnaire survey and a waste quantification study.
    The average daily household waste generation was found to be 1783.3g with daily per capita waste generation of 404.5g. The average composition of waste was; 85.6% organic, 4.9% paper, 2.8% plastic, 0.7% glass, 0.9% metal and 5.1% other waste. The determinants of daily per capita waste quantity in the regression models were; income, education level and the size of household. Waste separation practices are not at satisfactory levels. For the waste separation model; income, job percentage and the education level, frequency of waste collection, regularity of the collection and door-to-door collection were found to be the significant determinants.
    The linkage between awareness, attitudes and the behavioural intentions of the households regarding sustainable waste management practices were obtained by a principal component analysis. The Choice Experiment method indicated that households’ highest preferences were for “a source separated waste collection, a three times per week door-to-door waste collection with a zero monthly charge”. The average willingness to pay for an improved waste collection service was obtained using Contingent Valuation Method as Rs.9.49 per 5kg waste bag. The determinants of the willingness to pay were; income, quantity of waste, respondent’s age over 60 years, vehicle collection, once a week collection and twice a week collection.
    The charge level for a 5kg waste bag was determined as Rs.35.00 by considering the total cost of waste management, which was Rs.34.50. The average willingness to pay value of Rs.9.49 can be used in policy decisions in order to determine the charge level at the implementing stage and to subsidize low income households.
    Date of AwardSept 2014
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Portsmouth
    SupervisorPremachandra Wattage (Supervisor) & Michelle Bloor (Supervisor)

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