Integration of the official and private informal practices in solid waste management
Solid waste management in low income developing countries is generally the responsibility of the official sector, such as municipal corporations. However, there are extensive inputs from the from the private informal sector in waste collection, separation and recycling. Four different activities in the private informal sector have been studied to identify the potential of their integration with the official system. Where integration means that the official sector accepts those practices and incorporates them into existing practices and future plans. All the cases have been selected from the city of Karachi, Pakistan. A multiple case study approach was adopted to assess the potential for integration, constraints to integration, attitudes, relationships and dependencies. It has been concluded that under the present circumstances, the private informal activities in solid waste management cannot be integrated formally with the official system. The main constraints to integration are public and municipal attitudes, the interrelationships and dependencies, interference by politicians and the lack of understanding on the wide range benefits of integration. Future models must be developed on the private informal practices within the official systems, such as primary collection of waste through municipal sweepers. A number of benefits of the private informal practices were also highlighted by the research which may be considered as opportunities once integration takes place. The recommendations include a number of actions and potential policy changes which could be done to promote integration and a better partnership between the private informal and the public sector.