The aim of this course in Solid Waste Management (SWM) is to enlighten the state of the art in technology, organizational and legislative developments and practices and financial burdens and benefits of handling solid wastes.
The materials presented will help participants to make informed decisions in their professional activities; it will assist them in defining and implementing integrated solutions to the challenges posed by solid wastes in - primarily - urban environment. The course will support participants to establish a solid waste management (SWM) system that is capable of functioning not only in situations where sufficient resources are available but also under the more challenging conditions usually prevailing in (large) cities in low-income countries.
Upon completion of the online course, the participants will be able to:
- quantify and characterize MSW and understand properties commonly associated with MSW;
- describe the tasks and logistics of MSW collection, analyze collection systems, and be familiar with the principals and theory behind the use of transfer stations;
- describe the components of a landfill and the processes which taking place in a landfill;
- make basic design and operational calculations associated with landfills and with the release of Green House Gases from landfills;
- describe the most common waste processing techniques and their application areas;
- identify concepts of reduction of the generation, reuse and recycling of waste;
- design a solid waste management system that is capable of functioning not only in situations where sufficient resources are available but also under the more challenging conditions usually prevailing in low-income countries.
Junior and mid-career professionals at the management, decision-making and educational level, related to waste handling, urban infrastructure and urban environmental management and engineers and planners dealing with promoting, designing, operating or managing solid waste systems, in low-income countries or countries in transition.
Course participants are typically employed by government departments, private companies, NGOs, universities, research institutions, aid agencies or international bodies such as WHO, UNICEF or UNDP.
Participants complete the course in part-time, distance learning mode over a period of 16 weeks with a total workload of 142 hours (equivalent to 3 weeks full-time). They spend about 9 hours per week reading, listening to voice recordings, watching video clips, participating in (a-)synchronous discussions, obtaining advice and guidance from the mentors and teacher and working (jointly) on assignments. Learning is with and from each other.
The course includes the following topics:
- Introduction to Solid Waste Management: waste quantity and quality, generation of waste per capita and region; composition of waste; small scale industry waste, organic agricultural waste (some specific cases as examples);
- Waste Collection & Transport: collection of mixed waste or of source separated waste, collection logistics, transfer stations; machine park planning; Sub-contractors;
- Treatment/disposal Technologies: dumping, sanitary landfills, mechanical-biological treatment, incineration, anaerobic digestion, composting; recycling of plastics, batteries, e-waste, Green House Gas emission and emission modeling, CDM, energy recovery;
- Financial, Social and Institutional aspects: costs of collection, separation, management; equipment costs; social costs, stake holders, scavengers, public health issues, policy and legislation.
Active participation in life and learning platform-based discussions and group activities, and submission of all assignments valued at or above 40% will result in receiving a certificate of course completion issued by UNESCO-IHE. In addition, passing the on-line course examination results in receiving 5 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System. In many Master's or Doctorate programs in European Institutions for higher Education including UNESCO-IHE, ECTS can be looked at as educational currency: you can earn ECTS in one course so as to obtain an exemption for another course.