How to improve recycling rate in developing big cities: An integrated approach for assessing municipal solid waste collection and treatment scenarios

Navarro Ferronato, Marco Ragazzi, Marcelo Antonio Gorritty Portillo, Edith Gabriela Guisbert Lizarazu, Paolo Viotti, Vincenzo Torretta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


This paper investigates municipal solid waste management future scenarios of La Paz, developing big city of Bolivia, for improving the selective collection of recyclable materials. The objective of the paper is to suggest a multidimensional approach, both quantitative and qualitative, for planning sustainable waste management systems in areas with no data availability. The research assessed six different long-term management plans, considering all recycling settings feasible for La Paz. For that purpose, a multi-criteria decision analysis has been introduced, supported by environmental and financial impact assessment concerning transportation, final disposal, and material recovery. Results suggest that the inclusion of the informal sector could be the most feasible option from an economic and technological point of view. Moreover, the curbside collection of organic waste could be considered the best solution for reducing the global warming potential and for improving the useful life of the sanitary landfill. The approach introduced, as well as the combination of solutions evaluated, could be of interest for stakeholders of Latin America for reducing environmental impacts and introducing a new business. Though the multi-criteria decision analysis and the impact-assessment do not provide a dynamic view of future scenarios, their combination could offer a first integrated insight into the possible challenges and opportunities for developing a new municipal solid waste management system in developing cities, encouraging the circular economy and sustainable development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-110
Number of pages17
JournalEnvironmental Development
StatePublished - Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is supported by a Global Grant of the Rotary Foundation : Global Grant GG1758711 Scholarship provided by the Clubs Bassano del Grappa Castelli and Rotary Sopocachi La Paz.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier B.V.


  • Circular economy
  • Developing countries
  • Multi criteria decision analysis
  • Municipal solid waste management
  • Selective collection
  • Sustainable development


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