DELGOSEA Members Concerned about Waste Management in their Communities

DELGOSEA Members Concerned about Waste Management in their Communities
14/04/2016

Results of a recent survey amongst the DELGOSEA membership showed that for the vast majority waste management was a priority issue – but only 11% felt that their municipality was tackling the issue very well.

The DELGOSEA network had decided to focus on the topic of waste management in 2016 since this is a relevant and urgent issue to many of the network members. But what is the situation actually like on the ground, how well does waste management work in the various municipalities and what should be done to improve the situation? The DELGOSEA communication office asked all members and friends to participate in a short survey; the results confirmed how strongly the DELGOSEA community feels about the topic.

While all respondents agreed that waste management was very important (92%) or somewhat important (8%) as an issue for their community, there was the distinct impression that most respondents were disappointed in how their municipalities were rising to the challenge: 42% felt that waste was not managed very well while 14% even thought that there were serious problems.

Suggestions of what could be improved were forthcoming (more than one answer was possible): 75% of respondents were enthusiastic about turning waste into alternative energy or composting, and 70% also agreed with the statement that encouraging people and businesses to reduce waste was a good way to deal with the problem. The simplest approach, i.e. to improve solid waste collection to ensure less rubbish visible on the streets was seen as a solution by only 36% of participants, suggesting that respondents were well aware of the need for more long-term and sustainable actions.

Recycling, which was favoured as a method for dealing with waste by 60% of respondents, is currently encouraged in less than half of the communities which points to a gap between expectations of citizens and the reality they experience.

The question of whether efforts in waste reduction and recycling should be voluntary or enforced through legislation yielded mixed responses: 43% felt that a voluntary approach would be most appropriate, enforced through legislation only when it is not showing results, whereas 41% took the slightly more pessimistic, but perhaps more realistic view, that such schemes should be enforced through legislation and policing. Only 16% felt that an entirely voluntary approach with good practices promoted through education and information would be successful.

The survey showed clearly that there is a large majority of people who are keen to see waste reduction and recycling schemes as well as other innovative waste management methods implemented in their municipalities; as a network, DELGOSEA is keen to support communities through the exchange of best practices and advocacy for better legislation.

For more information on resources and good practices for waste management on ww.delgosea.eu:

Turning Waste into Alternative Energy in Kendari, Indonesia

Cambodia Prepares for Decentralisation of Waste Management

Chiang Rai City, Thailand

DELGOSEA Resources on Waste Management

Case study – Innovative Waste Management in Thailand