/participatory solid waste management masterplan in the union of municipalities of jurd el kaite – akkar – lebanon

The Union of Municipalities of Jurd Al Kaitee (UoMJK) is located in the Akkar governorate. The UoMJK is located in the eastern part of the governorate. The area is characterized by a mountainous landscape. The governorate is bordering to North and Northeast with Syria, to Southeast with the Governorate of Hermel, South with the Minieh Donnieh governorate and the Bared river and to West with the Mediterranean sea. Despite being a rural area, Akkar is characterized by a high population density compared to other part of Lebanon this is particularly true along on costal plain where the major urban agglomerates are located. The majority of the residents in the Akkar District are composed by a majority of Sunni Muslims, followed by a large minority of Greek Orthodox Christians.

According to studies developed by MoSA and UNDP, Akkar is the most economically deprived region in Lebanon, with the highest overall poverty rates in the country. The main economic activities are connected to agriculture and a significant part of the local population is directly and indirectly involved in agricultural activities. In the mountainous region of this governorate, where the UoMJK is located, agriculture consists mainly of cultivation of olive trees and many other types of fruit trees. The overwhelming majority of farms are small in size. Livestock production (sheep, goats, bees, poultry) makes a minor but significant contribution to the livelihood coping mechanism of HHs

Introduction: Participation and Inclusion in Solid Waste Planning

There is a great deal of confusion about what participation and inclusion mean when applied planning processes around solid waste and recycling, and of course also in relation to planning a number of other socio-technical systems, such as water, sanitation, transport, energy, education, housing, or food systems. These systems are the building blocks of local (and sometimes regional) governance, because the users of the systems will judge their governments by the extent to which they have access to water, food and housing, can educate their children, can keep warm or operate their refrigerator, or can rely on having their waste or excreta removed in a convenient and safe way.

This short guidance document is designed as a bridge between the theories about participation and the practice of participatory planning. The text is not referenced, but at the end are a few key resources that we use to explain key concepts to decision-makers and planners. This document is built up around several “hooks,” English expressions or quotes that are used as topic headings and present the topics succinctly. If this document is translated, the translator should seek for equivalents, rather than translating these headings directly.

Nothing about us without us (Banner carried by the Indian Association of Disabled Persons at the first UN Social Forum, likely a paraphrase of Ghandi: Whatever you do for me, without me, you are doing against me).

This is the main supporting idea for participatory planning, and it relates closely to saying, “the client is king.” In our planning work, we also refer this as treating the users of the system (or the persons you are consulting with) as subjects, not objects, of the planning process. That means that the job as a planner is to understand the current situation (“the baseline”) through their eyes, and based on their experiences and opinions. And it means that the word “objectivity” or the concept “objective truth” is not a guiding principle for participatory processes, because the opinions and experiences of users of the system are based on practice, not on theory. And it also means that the clients or users of the system are an important component of making the baseline or zero-measurement, at the time the intervention begins.

Users and Providers

This paper analyses solid waste management system as a system of provision, in parallel with (inter alia) energy, water, sanitation and transportation systems. Systems of provision are socio-material systems that provide citizen-consumers with services and goods. Solid waste management systems basically provide two services: the removal of waste to prevent health hazards, nuisance or environmental threats; and the recovery of materials and organic wastes, associated with separate collection, valorisation, composting and recycling. The solid waste part is referred to as “the service chain” and the valorisation and recycling part as “the value chain”.

In analysing environmental developments and changes in systems of provision, Spaargaren has developed a useful analytical model: the so-called social practices model (Spaargaren 2003; Spaargaren and van Vliet, 2000).

The core idea behind this model is that changes in social practices – and in this case waste management practices, as shown in Figure 1 – can best be understood by analysing both the institutional system characteristics and the behaviour of actors. Social practices around solid waste – like other social practices – belong neither exclusively to the social structure and its technical provisioning system, nor solely to the social actors and their customs, perceptions and behavioural routines.

Social practices should be placed – and thus understood – at the intersection between household (and commercial) users, and public and private-sector providers. Hence, to understand the logic of solid waste management, and especially to analyse changes in solid waste management practices and routines, we have to concentrate on relations between the systems of provision on the one hand, and the users of the system on the other.

Integrated Waste Management in High-income countries

In the language of the social practices model, most solid waste planning is done by and for the providers, that is, the politicians tasked with public services, and the public cleaning companies and public works departments who are legally in charge of solid waste management. Technical and engineering ideas and concepts dominate traditional solid waste planning, and perhaps for this reason, plans are often prepared based on “best practices” and “best available technology,” which means that the standard that is used to plan is based on the technical knowledge developed in high-income early adopter countries such as Denmark, Canada, the USA, Germany, Australia and Japan (among others) in the 1970s and 1980s.

In the 1980s the main drive in improving and modernising solid waste provision, shifted from collection to disposal. This emphasis replaced the previous generation of public-health-driven innovations that focused on collection, that is, removing waste and related disease and nuisance threats) from urban areas in efficient ways. As a result, the focus of modernisation shifted from better and more efficient collection vehicles – especially compactor trucks – and smart routing, to controlling the environmental impacts of disposal. In this phase of modernisation households were encouraged to throw all fractions together so that the compactor could collect them efficiently. This focus on modernising disposal, often referred to as “environmental sanitation,” gave priority to protecting groundwater, and reducing emissions of hazardous materials to water, air, and land. The resulting focus on improving disposal by closing open dumps, and building sanitary landfills, dominated solid waste development in the 1970s to late 1980s. The resulting sanitary landfills required engineering, perimeter fencing, leachate collection and treatment, and regular controls, and as a result proved to be up to 30 times more expensive than open dumps, creating a financial shock in high-income-country public cleansing organisations.

The project, after the baseline phase is entering in the planning phase. Technical Working Groups have been established to identify the main options and scenarios of the strategic planning process…..

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