About this Course
Have you come across large piles of garbage in neighborhoods and streets, or smelly waste disposal sites polluting the environment of low and middle income countries? Are you also convinced that improvements are necessary and do you want to know what kind of sustainable solutions are appropriate to better manage waste and enhance recycling and recovery? If yes, this course is for you! This course provides an overview of the municipal solid waste management situation in developing countries covering key elements of the waste management system, with its technical, environmental, social, financial and institutional aspects. Besides understanding the challenges you will learn about appropriate and already applied solutions through selected case studies. The course also covers strategic planning and policy issues discussing future visions for waste management and the aspect of a circular and green economy. Considering the importance of the organic waste fraction, the course covers several organic waste treatment technology options such as composting, anaerobic digestion, and some other innovative approaches. MOOC SERIES “SANITATION, WATER AND SOLID WASTE FOR DEVELOPMENT” This course is one of four in the series “Sanitation, Water and Solid Waste for Development". Please visit the course page for more information.
Globe

100% online course

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Intermediate Level

Intermediate Level

Clock

Approx. 13 hours to complete

Suggested: 5 weeks of study, 1-2 hours/week
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English, Spanish, Indonesian, French
Globe

100% online course

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Intermediate Level

Intermediate Level

Clock

Approx. 13 hours to complete

Suggested: 5 weeks of study, 1-2 hours/week
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English, Spanish, Indonesian, French

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

1

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

Week 1: Introduction to Solid Waste Management in Developing Countries

The course begins with an overview of the current waste situation in developing countries. We will introduce the Integrated Sustainable Waste Management (ISWM) framework that provides a general overview of SWM systems and will guide us though this course. The modules of this first week deal with the physical components of a SWM system. At the end of this week we expected you to understand the different steps in the municipal solid waste management chain, the key requirements for an appropriate management as well as the main challenges in developing countries. Real study case examples will be introduced to support the understanding....
Reading
12 videos (Total 110 min), 6 readings
Video12 videos
1.1 Overview of the course7m
1.2 Why is this course important?6m
1.3 Municipal waste generation and characterization13m
1.4 Waste collection and transport10m
1.5 Optimization of waste collection and transport11m
1.6 The special case of primary collection5m
1.7 Recycling municipal waste16m
1.8 Treatment Options9m
1.9 Waste disposal / Landfills - part 18m
1.10 Waste disposal / Landfills - part 211m
1.11 Key messages Week 15m
Reading6 readings
Important information to succeed in this course10m
Key and further readings10m
Connect with your peers10m
How to give feedback to the course team?10m
Suggested readings - Week 110m
Slides - Week 110m

2

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

Week 2: Introduction to Solid Waste Management in Developing Countries

In the second week, the course will focus on the governance aspects also referred as the “soft” aspects of a municipal solid waste management (MSWM) system. The different stakeholders and their roles and responsibilities will be explained as well as legislative issues and financial mechanisms. ...
Reading
10 videos (Total 110 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video10 videos
2.2 The role of the public sector11m
2.3 The role of the private sector11m
2.4 Integrating the informal sector12m
2.5 The Role of Community Members12m
2.6 Public Awareness Campaigns - Case study India10m
2.7 Financing Mechanisms - part 19m
2.8 Financing mechanisms - part 29m
2.9 Example of cost and tariff model16m
2.10 Key messages Week 24m
Reading2 readings
Suggested readings - Week 210m
Slides - Week 210m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Week 1&230m

3

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Week 3: Organic waste treatment technologies

The third week will focus on the treatment of organic waste. In this week you will learn the basics of two very common organic waste treatment technologies: composting and anaerobic digestion. Study case examples will be presented as well as some practical exercises. This will help consolidate your knowledge to better understand the underlying treatment principles and processes, the key issues in operation and maintenance of such treatment facilities and the benefits of the value products from the treatment....
Reading
10 videos (Total 90 min), 2 readings
Video10 videos
3.2 Composting technologies6m
3.3 Operating the Composting Process10m
3.4 Case Study Composting - Dhaka, Bangladesh13m
3.5 Case Study Composting - Temesi, Bali, Indonesia10m
3.6 The Basics of Anaerobic Digestion of Biowaste11m
3.7 Anaerobic Digestion Technologies and Operation9m
3.8 Using the Products of Anaerobic Digestion8m
3.9 Calculating the size of an anaerobic reactor8m
3.10 Key messages Week 33m
Reading2 readings
Suggested readings - Week 310m
Slides - Week 310m

4

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Week 4: Organic waste treatment technologies

Week four will continue with an introduction to other organic waste treatment technologies. Although currently less common in practice, the treatment by vermicomposting, Black Solider Fly larvae or options of thermochemical conversion are explained and their potential for waste management in developing countries are discussed. The week then ends with two modules on special waste types, hazardous and health care waste as well as electronic waste, explaining the key challenges and opportunities for improvement in a low and middle income setting. ...
Reading
6 videos (Total 64 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video6 videos
4.2 Biowaste Processing with Black Soldier Fly Larvae10m
4.3 Thermochemical Conversion of Biomass13m
4.4 Hazardous Household Waste and Health Care Waste12m
4.5 E-waste13m
4.6 Key messages Week 43m
Reading2 readings
Slides - Week 410m
Suggested readings - Week 410m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Week 3&430m

5

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Week 5: Assessment and planning methods for Solid Waste Management

During the last week, the modules will focus more on strategic aspects of MSWM. Methods on how to integrate organic waste management into the municipal SWM system will be explained. Furthermore a standardized method to evaluate and compare systems with regard to their performance will be presented as well as the relevance of waste management and its impacts on climate change. Finally, the course will conclude with some reflections on the future of waste management introducing the concept of circular economy....
Reading
5 videos (Total 47 min), 3 readings, 1 quiz
Video5 videos
5.2 Comparing cities' performance12m
5.3 Waste and climate change11m
5.4 Circular economy and solid waste management9m
5.5 Key messages Week 52m
Reading3 readings
Suggested readings - Week 510m
Slides - Week 510m
Please share your views with us!10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Final exam0m
4.8
Direction Signs

32%

started a new career after completing these courses
Briefcase

83%

got a tangible career benefit from this course
Money

15%

got a pay increase or promotion

Top Reviews

By YLAug 22nd 2016

Me encanta la simplicidad con la que están explicados cada uno de los temas. Incluso las cuestiones de ingeniería se vuelven bastante lógicas y fáciles de entender a partir de los ejemplos brindados.

By ESFeb 27th 2017

Great introduction. It covers a wide range of issues concerning waste management and I thought the material was relevant and reflected my own observations of waste management in developing countries.

About École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

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