Selective collection of recyclable waste in Universities of low-middle income countries: Lessons learned in Bolivia

Navarro Ferronato, Edith Gabriela Guisbert Lizarazu, Jorge Marcelo Velasco Tudela, Jimena Karen Blanco Callisaya, Gianluca Preziosi, Vincenzo Torretta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The implementation of solid waste selective collection (SC) systems is quite difficult in low-middle income countries. Lack of awareness, infrastructure, administrative support and knowledge about recycling are the main barriers for its operation, reducing the possibility of successes. This paper introduces the methodological approach for assessing a recyclable waste SC project in a Bolivian public University. The waste fractions generated before (2016) and after (2019) the action were assessed, as well as the opinion and knowledge of the students, providing reliable indicators of the improvements and benefits obtained. Results of the waste characterization analysis reported that, after one month of implementation of the system, about 15 kg of plastic and 37.1 kg of paper and cardboard were collected, about 8 wt% and 42.9 wt% of the recyclable waste produced. At the same time, the questionnaire survey allows demonstrating that the SC behavior of the students improved considerably from 2018 to 2019, (t[608] = −7.654, p < 0.05***), as well as the satisfaction about the waste collection service provided (t[608] = −6.6224, p < 0.05***) and about the diffusion of information with awareness campaigns (t[608] = −8.708, p < 0.05***). The project and the phases followed for its implementation can be of reference for other local and international stakeholders, for replicating the study in other Universities and public areas. The novelty of the study is the introduction of a step by step methodology for assessing the SC of recyclable waste for supporting the recycling policies of developing cities in low-middle income countries and for boosting sustainable development according to the principle of the circular economy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-210
Number of pages13
JournalWaste Management
StatePublished - 15 Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by The Rotary Foundation , grant number GG1758711 Scholarship provided by the Clubs Rotary Bassano del Grappa Castelli and Rotary Sopocachi La Paz.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd


  • Circular economy
  • Developing countries
  • Municipal solid waste management
  • Questionnaire survey
  • Sustainable development
  • Waste valorization


Dive into the research topics of 'Selective collection of recyclable waste in Universities of low-middle income countries: Lessons learned in Bolivia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this