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Sustainability of private sector in solid waste collection - a case of Dar es Salaam Tanzania

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posted on 30.08.2006 by Salha M. Kassim
This research examines the sustainability of private sector participation in urban service delivery in developing countries. The solid waste collection service in Dar es Salaam – Tanzania was used as a case study. Municipalities in Tanzania have not been able to cope with the rapid generation rate of solid waste coupled by the rapid urbanization. This resulted in a relatively large quantity of solid waste remaining poorly managed and uncollected, which left an obvious gap for other stakeholders to participate in service provision. The private sector took the opportunity, in the early 1990s, to fill the gap left by the public sector in service provision. The private sector in Dar es Salaam (DSM) was initiated under the Global Sustainable City Development Programme (GSCDP). Several cities, including DSM, are part of this sustainable cities network in which the GSCDP is promoting demonstration projects world-wide. Privatizing the solid waste collection service in DSM is a partnership arrangement between the public and private sectors. The private sector provides service and charges the service recipients the amount set by the public sector. But this approach of privatization has raised a question mark; will such an approach be sustainable over a long period of time or will it fail? Particularly, if such an approach is going on without proper and appropriate appraisal of the existing solid waste collection practices in Dar es Salaam. The purpose of this research is to develop workable guidelines for urban areas in developing countries with similar characteristics to DSM- Tanzania. Primary data for the research were collected from public sector officials responsible for solid waste management, private sector organizations involved in solid waste collection and households that represented service recipients, through individual discussions, interviews, focus group discussions, survey questionnaires and observation. The research found that there are factors affecting the sustainability of the private sector, which include: support from the public sector; capacity from the private sector in terms of collection vehicles and equipment; households’ attitudes and behaviour regarding the privatization of the service; the awareness and participation of households in the service; and involvement of households in decision-making. The research also identified that there is a missing-link between the households, public sector administration and the private sector. The research concludes that, taking into consideration the above factors, the proposed guidelines formulated in this study illustrate ways in which private sector involvement in solid waste collection in urban developing countries will be sustainable.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering


© Salha M. Kassim

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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