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Types of Solid Waste Collection System

There are various types of solid waste collection system. A wide range transport services such as large motorized vehicles or garbage trucks, can be used to collect the waste from the sources of generation, communal collection points or transfer stations to final disposal site.  Solid waste collection systems are generally classified on the basis of the availability of collection service, the mode of operation and the type of waste materials collected. The following division of collection system may help the solid waste manager to optimize the design and operation of collection services more efficiently, particularly if a wide range of collection vehicles is required for the collection of waste from different collection points.

  • Primary collection is the stage of a solid waste collection system from or near the source of generation. It is the collection of solid waste from the source of generation and transported to communal collection bins or points, processing or transfer station. Although this service is not common in the poorer parts of the developing world, increasing numbers of smaller businesses and/or community-based organizations forming in wealthier communities perform this task.
  • Secondary collection is the solid waste collection system using communal bins storage points or transfer station, and transportation to the final disposal site.

Types of Solid Waste Collection System

Communal Systems

Communal systems of collecting solid waste are common in low-income countries where cost saving is more important than service provision, as this system reduces the number of collection points. In this system, people are responsible for bringing their waste to one or a number of communal collection points or bins. The principal disadvantage of this system is that containers / collection points are located in public places which, in many situations, leads to indiscriminate disposal of waste outside the container. The effectiveness of this system depends on public co-operation. It is therefore essential to pay more attention to improving the design, operation and maintenance communal systems to increase public acceptance, and to optimize  the productivity of this system. Communal systems in many industrialized countries are common for a small selection of waste materials. For example, waste generators are expected to bring their bulky items and garden waste to central collection sites, materials bank and drop-off centers. The use of portable containers maximizes the productivity of workers  and vehicles.  This is the least effective in the solid waste collection system.

Block Collections

People are responsible for bringing their waste to the collection vehicle. The vehicle generally stops at street intersections or selected collection points. This system has low to medium labor and vehicle use and  it minimizes the spread of waste on streets. A regular and well organiszed collection service is essential so that local people know exactly when to bring out their waste.

Kerbside Collections

This is the most common and effective solid waste collection system in industrialized countries and in the wealthier communities of some developing countries. Households and businesses place the waste in containers often called wheelie bins on the kerbside on a specific day for trucks to pickup and take the waste to local recycling tips. The bins are usually designated for re-cycling of paper,cardboard or glass, another for green waste and another for general rubbish.

Door-to-door Collections

This method of solid waste collection system is more common in industrialized countries, but is becoming popular with smaller businesses and  community-based organizations in wealthier communities of developing countries. In the door-to-door collection method, people place waste containers at the back gate or in the immediate vicinity of their property on a specific day for collection. The collection crew enters each property, takes out the containers or bags and if appropriate sets the containers back after emptying waste into collection vehicles. This system involves increased cost compared to the kerbside/alley collection method as it involves entering all premises. In the dustbin exchange system each member of the collection crew starts the day with a clean standard dustbin, which is taken to be left at the first property. The full container is carried out and emptied into the collection vehicle, and this empty bin is then taken into the next property.