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<Municipal Solid Waste Management>

Sound Practices
Collection and transfer

1.3.7 An example or sound practice

The Latin American model for integration of small-scale waste collection enterprises with the formal waste collection system is an example of sound collection practice. These systems were developed in the Andean countries and are increasingly being copied in some Central American countries.

The enterprises are paid by the municipal government or by a community organization to provide collection using muscle-powered or semi-motorized carts. They serve marginal or hilly areas which are not currently served and which collection trucks cannot reach.

Due in part to the low cost of the equipment used, collection tends to cost approximately two-thirds as much as standard motorized collection methods. Administrative costs are minimal, particularly because members of the enterprise take part in its administration as well as in its operation. Finally, operation and maintenance of the equipment is quite simple and inexpensive and can usually be done by a member of the enterprise.

What qualifies this model as a sound practice is its wide reach in terms of creating benefit. The community benefits since it gets waste removal service. The city benefits, since it secures collection service at 65% of the "normal" cost and satisfies its mandate to maintain public cleanliness. Local individuals, especially single mothers, are often the first to respond to a call for the formation of such an enterprise, and benefit through creating jobs for themselves.

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