Solving Solid Waste Management through composting

Composting has been identified as an effective organic waste treatment which helps to reduce the amount of methane produced as a result of degradation of organic matter and produce a soil conditioner which helps contribute to local agriculture and horticulture.

Location: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Keywords: "Composting"


In Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) is partnering with Municipal Solid Waste Initiative of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to implement a waste strategy on organic waste management from 2017- 2020. The project intends to achieve composting 50% of organic waste from fruit and vegetable markets and compost 5% of organic waste in households with garden with the basis of addressing;

  • the current status of composting in the city and lessons learnt from past projects;
  • how and where composting should evolve and extend in the future and;
  • the actions required to attain goals.

The stakeholders involved in the project and who identify with Dar es Salaam’s waste management system involved are; National Government, the Dar city council (DCC) & Local Government Authority of three (3) municipalities (Ilala, Kinondoni and Temeke), ISWA experts and other stakeholders such as BORDA, the Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association and a local NGO, Nipe Fagio).

The programme kick-started in 2014 with a scoping mission, city assessment and completion of an action plan in 2015 which focused on improving the status of waste management in the city of Dar es Salaam. This was immediately followed by phase 2 whereby ISWA received phase 2 funding to help the city conduct work plans based on city’s identified priorities in the action plan. To kick-off phase 2, a meeting was held with relevant local stakeholders to ensure for better planning of the projects to be completed. Furthermore, in order to ensure country level support, representatives from National Environment Management Council (NEMC) were invited while the UNEP local office was to learn and about opportunities to align the workplan activities with other on-going and potentially relevant projects in the city.

A capacity building event was conducted by ISWA in August 2016 wherein focus was on Pugu Kinyamwezi dumpsite, potential actions to be done for its upgrade and the basic principles for constructing a sanitary landfill. Thereafter, the work plan activity to discuss, develop and deliver a potential strategy for organic waste management commenced. This was achieved through a five (5) day event with WASTE, a Dutch NGO as the facilitator of the capacity building event and author of the strategy document on organic waste management.

The strategy distinguishes composting at two levels; centralised level and household level producing compost. The centralised level is intended to produce high quality compost for agricultural application while household level composting is to produce compost for use in vegetable or flower gardens. The centralised composting facility is intended to be constructed with support from the city of Hamburg and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The composting facility will compost organic waste from two (2) fruit and vegetable markets at the start but later on, it will accept segregated organic waste from households. Further to this, there is the opportunity for the agricultural markets to be developed with the cooperation of the company Guavay, who currently operates a small-scale composting site.

The household level composting is proposed to promote a master composter program wherein a train-the -trainer approach is employed in parts of Dar es Salaam where households own a garden. This approach is expected to reach a large group of people as the expertise is localised thus will promote environmental education on household and community level whilst supporting the waste management system.

In conclusion, it is pertinent to note that the Strategy is not intended to be a stand-alone document but rather should be integrated into the city level waste management of Dar es Salaam. However, the feasibility of the organic waste management strategy depends largely on the successful construction and operation of the Hamburg composting plant. Hence a short four (4) year timeframe has been set for the document.