BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Municipal solid waste emerges as a pressing concern for environmental management and sustainability, particularly in urban areas with high rates of population growth and limited infrastructure. This study aims to assess the outputs and benefits of a separate source collection system, which separates recyclable materials at their point of origin. The study highlights the consequences of separate source collection on the community''s economic, environmental and social context. The study forms part of a project that intends to upscale sustainable and efficient waste management approaches in a transition towards a circular economy model that utilizes and recycles waste and materials. The objectives encompass addressing urban challenges and providing key insights for environmental management and sustainability through separate source collection systems that improve efficiency, reduce cost and encourage sustainable community practices.
METHODS: The study was implemented in the Al-Radwan neighborhood in Amman, Jordan, and included 8,460 individuals and 3,124 households. Data on waste generation from residential and commercial activities were analyzed and used to design the separate source collection system, which included public awareness campaigns for individuals in the study area, waste composition investigations and maps for routes of waste collection trucks. Yellow and grey bins were used to collect recyclable and residual waste, respectively. Data on waste amount and composition were collected and interpreted for the 2020-2023 period. Data on fuel consumption, maintenance and depreciation were used to calculate the operational costs of separate source collection and the old system of municipal solid waste collection. Ground data were analyzed in terms of the individual''s and households'' adoption of waste-sorting practices. An overall assessment was carried out for the economic benefit of separate source collection.
FINDINGS: Analyses of waste generation in the study area showed that the average quantity of municipal waste was 0.89 kilogram per capita per day, and there is a trend that shows an increase in municipal solid waste quantities with respect to time. A significant amount of municipal solid waste (60 percent) has an organic composition, while recyclable waste constitutes about 12.5 percent of the total municipal solid waste. The study was a success, with a consistent increase in recyclable waste collection at 59 percent average purity and a 30 percent decrease in total yearly waste collection costs. The project contributed to job creation and improved community participation in municipal solid waste management. The beneficial impacts of awareness campaigns were the low level of required maintenance with respect to the separate source collection system and the high level of public participation and cooperation, particularly in municipal solid waste sorting.
CONCLUSION: The study highlighted the importance and effectiveness of the innovative separate source collection system and showed its economic and social benefits while considering its positive environmental impacts. The findings confirmed the system''s economic viability and applicability, showing its potential for large-scale adoption in Jordan. The adoption and implementation of separate source collection will be highly emphasized as it will be needed for solving issues associated with municipal solid waste via creative solutions that promote sustainability and community well-being.
- The implementation of the SSC system in the Al-Radwan neighborhood resulted in a significant decrease in yearly collection costs of more than 30%, demonstrating the economic sustainability of this waste management strategy;
- A steady increase in recyclable waste collection, reaching 59% average purity, showing the system''s usefulness in improving the recycling process;
- In total, 98.7% of households actively sort waste and 99.4% understand the significance of waste sorting, demonstrating the effectiveness of awareness programs and community involvement.