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Towards sustainable solid waste management in Jordan

  • Mohammad Aljaradin
Publiceringsår: 2013
Språk: Engelska
Dokumenttyp: Doktorsavhandling
Förlag: Water Resources Engineering, Lund University


Popular Abstract in English

Jordan is a country with a rapidly growing economy, modernization and growing population. The rapid increase in volumes of solid wastes and a steady increase in the cost and logistical difficulties with the associated risk to human health is a source of concern. The increasing solid waste generated in Jordan has not been accompanied with adequate sanitation facilities and management programs. This has put increasing pressures on the infrastructure and authorities responsible for the management of solid waste. Through analyzing and reviewing the existing SWM system we found many factor are affect and causes of the poor state of SWM in the country. Mismanagement of solid waste leads to more public health risks, adverse environmental impacts and other social and economic problems. The detrimental financial status of municipalities constitutes an obstacle to modern solid waste collection, recycling and successful landfill management. Mixed waste is collected without limited efforts for source separation, open dumping and co-disposal of wastewater is practiced. The migration of uncontrolled gas and leachate from the landfill body into the surrounding environment was found to present a serious environmental concern, for the groundwater, air, climate and human. Recycling is very limited and undertaken by single initiatives. Lack of trained man power and qualified machinery. The lack of a national solid waste management (SWM) strategy and law has also led to more difficult conditions. There are no defined objectives, priorities or standards for SWM in the country. Also, there is overlap and uncertainty in the legal responsibilities. It has also a political influence too; since the management costs are prohibitive and often involve a major portion of the budget of municipalities. The total dependent on the external sources of funds that help to establish waste management programs is not helping to maintain the running of these programs and the future needs for operating and maintenance. These changes urge the need for finding proper ways of making the living conditions for the people more sustainable. One part of sustainability is to take care of and manage solid waste streams of the society properly. Jordan have no alternative but to plan for a sustainable development processes acknowledging the importance of encountering the problems in persistence and facing the development challenges with an active participation of stakeholders including the public. The best approach for dealing with solid waste sector is by implementing an sustainable management approach that ensures the good health of the society and the environment and the active participation of the society. Sustainable SWM involves evaluating local needs and conditions, and then selecting and combining the most appropriate waste management activities for those conditions. The major sustainable SWM activities are waste prevention, recycling, and disposal in properly designed, constructed, and managed landfills. For this reason we have identified feasible approaches and procedures with which at least a degree of sustainability could be achieved in the management of solid waste in the country. Different waste management scenarios were suggested; understanding of the fact that a substantial percentage of the waste in Jordan is biodegradable and therefore potentially recyclable for energy extraction. To convert the waste into useful resources, the appropriate technology and resources have to be employed. Anaerobic treatment of the solid waste provides the optimum benefits to society and the environment. Thus anaerobic digestion of solid waste, which is an engineered process of SWM when practiced, can provide a range of benefits in addition to the valuable renewable energy from the biogas. With these benefits, the logic for digestion over other techniques is recommended. Source separation and sorting plays a vital role in the waste management system since it determines the feasibilities of recycling and landfilling in an economically and environmentally sustainable way. It also significantly influences the quality of the recovered materials, and in turn the quality of the recycled products and their market values. Public participation is considered to be an important part of waste management plans. Since waste generators are important factor in the waste management system, their precipitation and awareness is very important the role of informal sector in waste management in term of waste reduction, minimization and material recovery was described.
Jordan is a country with a growing population that is undergoing rapid modernization. The increased volume of solid waste and associated logistical difficulties, the steady growth in the cost of waste management and the risk to human health are sources of concern. The increasing amount of solid waste generated in Jordan has not been accompanied by adequate sanitation facilities or management programmes. The poor financial situation of municipalities constitutes an obstacle to modern solid waste collection, recycling and successful landfill management. Mixed waste is collected without source separation, in addition to which open dumping and co-disposal of wastewater are practised. Solid waste mismanagement leads to public health risks, adverse environmental impacts and other social and economic problems that put increasing pressure on the infrastructure as well as the authorities responsible. The objectives of the present work were to; (1) investigate and evaluate the existing solid waste management (SWM) system as well as the current policy, institutional, legal and financial framework, (2) review regulations, compare options and identify needs, (3) determine the problems associated with current practices, especially landfilling and source separation, with focus on the environmental impact of municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills and describe the main obstacles to developing this sector to a sustainable level in the future, and (4) suggest design parameters and operational methods for sustainable landfill operations in the light of the current financial, social and environmental situation in Jordan. Field and laboratory experiments, numerical simulation as well as surveys were used to achieve these objectives. The field experiment was conducted to gather information about the sanitary status of Mafraq landfill by investigating the leachate and groundwater quality in its surroundings. Laboratory experiments on typical Jordanian waste were undertaken to explore the effects of landfill practices and climate on emission potential from landfills in Jordan and similar regions. Modelling and numerical simulation were used to compare different waste management options and their effects on climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) production. The daily landfill cover of Mafraq landfill was studied, while in Akaider landfill a water balance equation was applied to predict the leachate generated by the co-disposal of wastewater (liquid sewage mixed with municipal waste) and its possible effect on groundwater. Two surveys were conducted; The first was designed to explore the public perception and awareness of as well as willingness to recycle MSW and to determine best SWM practices. The aim of the second was to describe the role of scavengers in waste management in terms of waste reduction and material recovery. Field experiments clearly demonstrated that Mafraq landfill does not meet the standards of a sanitary landfill, as the leachate is free to interact with the groundwater aquifer. Furthermore, the leachate analysis revealed that the soil under the landfill is contaminated. Groundwater from wells in the vicinity is unsuitable for household use due to high concentrations of fluoride and mercury which, if ingested, can cause serious health problems in humans. Laboratory results provided evidence of the production of a significant quantity of leachate and landfill gas during wet seasons. However, the gas and leachate production rate was negligible in summer. Significant traces of heavy metals were found in the leachate due to mixed waste disposal, indicating that the landfill design and operation could be improved. Modelling of various waste management options revealed a vast reduction in GHG emissions when organic waste was separated and either composted or treated in anaerobic bio-reactors. The numerical simulation of landfill daily cover demonstrated that clay loam was suitable for Mafraq landfill cover as well as for sites with similar soil and climatic conditions, as it had the lowest penetration depth at the end of the simulation period, is available in sufficient quantities in the landfill, does not waste landfill space and effectively seals the waste. The simulation result for the suggested water balance equation illustrated that the co-disposed wastewater plays a major role in controlling the rate and magnitude of contaminants percolating from MSW leachate and increases groundwater contamination. Finally, the survey revealed that people in Jordan had a very low level of knowledge about recycling, albeit a positive attitude towards and willingness to learn more about it. Satisfaction with municipal waste collection services was very high. Thus, source separation at the point of generation will be difficult to achieve in the immediate future in Jordan. Scavengers play an important role in informal SWM, especially in terms of waste reduction and material recovery. The value of the scavenged material makes scavenging a relatively profitable business for poor people and could attract more in the future.


Lecture hall A:B, A-building, Sölvegatan 24, Lund University Faculty of Engineering
  • Genevieve Feuillade (Professor)


  • Water Engineering
  • Other Social Sciences
  • Solid Waste Management
  • Public Participation
  • Recycling
  • Landfilling
  • Jordan


  • Water Resources Engineering-lup-obsolete
  • Kenneth M Persson
  • ISBN: 978-91-7473-464-5

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