The analysis of municipal solid waste (MSW) selective collection (SC) scenarios is compulsory for planning future policies and actions towards circular economy. The use of geographic information system (GIS) is appropriated for obtaining reliable data about SC yields and management costs. However, in low-middle income countries, advanced assessments are difficult to introduce due to the lack of technical knowledge, financial support and the presence of the informal recycling sector. This research aims to assess the main potentialities of the introduction of SC systems in a Bolivian developing city taking into account the informal SC system in place. The study was conducted with QGIS3.8 software in order to evaluate the main advantages of the implementation of formal and informal recycling chains. Results reported that, comparing the implementation of formal SC of MSW with the scenario that considered the inclusion of the informal recycling, the activity of waste pickers allows reducing the expenses of about 10%, increasing the recycling rate of about 3.5%, and reducing the distances traveled with compactor trucks of about 7%. It means that, the annual path traveled by the collection trucks for gathering about 16,000ty−1, is reduced by 2734kmy−1, reducing the waste disposed to landfill of about 543.6ty−1 and the expenses of about €59,000 per year. The presentation of these results to policy-makers can support decision-making boosting the implementation of recycling activities including waste pickers. The study provided a contribution to the scientific literature assessing the main challenges and opportunities for implementing the circular economy in developing regions.
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