Printer Friendly

R+3R and PAYT in Solid Waste Management: A combined Approach.


Solid Waste management (SWM) has been a major concern lately. The environmental restrictions in recent years have led to multifold increase in the cost of treating waste, and especially the Solid Waste (SW). Though the developing countries may currently generate lower amounts of SW per capita, but the rate of increase is high (Athanasios A et al., 2014). Their current SW management practices may not be as advanced as those used in developed countries. However, the developing countries could benefit from adopting SW management technologies used by the developed countries.

Basel convention in 1989 defined waste as any substance or object, which is supposed to be disposed or intended to be disposed by the provisions of the law. Waste creation of mankind is inevitable as far as the manipulation of the chemical environment continues (Prasanna, 2001). Solid waste is most often an urban phenomenon. In rural communities there are fewer packaged products, less food waste and less manufacturing. A city resident generates twice as much waste as their rural counterpart of the same affluence. If we account for the fact that urban citizens are usually richer, they generate four times, as much of SW.

Practicing R+3R with skillful measures and techniques can reduce the volume of waste materials that are to be discarded and disposed. The main nitty-gritty here is to reduce the waste at the source wherever possible; then try to recycle the waste only when it cannot be reused. Instead of buying new containers and items from the market, use the ones that are already there. Refuse to buy new items, though one may think they are prettier than the ones you already have.

The well-known Polluter-Pays and the Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) principles are worldwide and widespread practices. The Polluter-Pays is directly related to the economic responsibility for producing one's own waste defined by (EC 2014). Depending on the actual waste the citizen threw off, the citizen should economically contribute; which means the citizen or user is charged on the consumption of the service he uses. Thus there will be a paradigm shift to service based rather than cost based.

To reduce the MSW, R+3R approach combined with PAYT may be one of the strategic approaches used in the management of SW in the developing countries and not limited to the developed countries.

The main objective should be to help individuals and businesses reap the benefits of reducing waste, developing sustainable products and using resources in an efficient way. It helps savings in waste management costs due to reduction in levels of final waste for disposal and better business opportunities and economic growth.

Solid Waste Management


Recyclable items represent 60% of the total waste volume (US EPA, 2006). Without proper retrieval process, these valuable materials will be disposed-off into landfill. This practice causes implications and leads to the loss of resources and in turn increases the rapid consumption of the landfill space thus reducing the life-span of landfills.

The existing waste disposal habit among the citizens is diverting waste through recycling. The MSW is highly commingled and is the major obstacle for the material recovery practice. The highly commingled waste contains high moisture content and consequently reduces the value of the recyclable items.

Sources and Types of Solid Waste

Urban or Municipal Solid waste which is the scope of this paper can be broadly classified into:

a. Bio-degradable wastes- Those wastes that can be degraded by microorganisms are called bio-degradable wastes Ex: Food, vegetables, dry leaves, etc.

b. Non-biodegradable wastes- Urban solid waste materials that cannot be degraded by microorganisms are called non-biodegradable wastes. Ex: Polythene bags, scrap materials, glass bottles, etc.

Other classifications include Municipal Solid Waste, Industrial Waste, Hazardous Waste, Hospital Waste, Construction and Demolition Waste, Waste from electrical and electronic equipment, Agricultural Waste, etc.

Effect of Improper Solid Waste management

Due to improper disposal of municipal solid waste on the roads and immediate surroundings, biodegradable materials undergo decomposition producing foul smell and become a breeding ground for diseases. Burning of non-biodegradable domestic wastes (cans, pesticides, plastics, radioactive materials and batteries) produce furans, dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls that are harmful to human beings.

Gaps in Effective Waste Management

The enactment act of the SWM in 2007 which provided a legislative framework for SWM, is still powerless because it has not been enforced (Agamuthu et al, 2011b). This is a significant policy gap between theory and practice since without the formal adoption or enforcement of the policies.

* Low public awareness among its users who are from diverse socio-economic and cultural segments.

* Financial and technical constraints.

* Poorly managed waste handling mechanism by operators and its concessionaires.

* Lack of uniform policies and strategies on solid waste management across the country.

* Shattered responsibilities amongst operators, concessionaires and other agencies.

* Lack of centralized monitoring system and punitive regulations.

* Being a low priority item to the licensing authorities and economic regulators.

* Lack of technically trained manpower.

* Lack of planning for waste management.

* Lack of community involvement.

IT in Waste Management

IT plays an important role in the transportation of waste. Using spatial database and GIS techniques helps us in decision making and planning of routes in the collection of waste. We can optimize the routes and also forecast the number of transport vehicles needed to transport the waste. Solid waste management involves waste generation, mode of collection, transportation, segregation of wastes and disposal techniques.

According to (Nikolaos V. Karadimas, et al, 2007), in the traditional Travelling Salesman Problem (TSP), the cost of traveling (distance) between two waste bins does not depend on the direction of travel. Hence, the cost (distance) matrix representing the parameters of the problem is symmetric. However, the problem, which this work refers to, is modeled as an Asymmetric TSP (ATSP) problem due to road network restrictions. An ATSP problem considers that the bidirectional distances between a pair of waste bins are not necessarily identical. The ATSP problem can be solved to optimality using various algorithms. Application of a Genetic Algorithm for the identification of optimal routes in the case of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) collection.

Existing Systems

3R System

In various geographical locations or countries we see the hierarchy similar to the one shown in Figure 2, with the ascending order of highest priorities.

The hierarchy is a useful policy tool for conserving resources, for dealing with landfill shortages, for minimizing air and water pollution, and for protecting public health and safety. In many developing countries, some aspects of this hierarchy are already in place, since traditional practices revolving around waste management prevent the reuse and recycling approach. (UNEP, 2005). According to (US EPA, 2006), source reduction can:

* Save natural resources

* Conserve energy

* Reduce pollution

* Reduce the toxicity of our waste and

* Save money for consumers and businesses alike.

PAYT System

A paper by (Kontogianni et al., 2014) through a prototype application has outlined in a Greek municipality, the relevant contribution of current innovative technological solutions in supporting PAYT applications, especially in identifying the system users. This analysis has helped to point out some relevant issues about the current application of PAYT systems in SWM such as:

* Several types of benefits could be reached by adopting the PAYT schemes: from economic (by reducing service costs), to environmental (by both reducing waste quantity and increasing diversion rate) and social (by increasing citizen participation) points of view

* The diffusion of PAYT schemes is increasing all over the world, although its application is not massive. Several reasons are highlighted: starting from a more complex cost model (e.g. based on fully cost accounting) to the high transparency and reliability requested to the waste measurement system. Furthermore, its diffusion is also influenced by the collection service applied. Currently, door-to-door systems have been outlined as the most effective levers to support PAYT application in a municipality

Designing SW services for PAYT is a complex issue as the system has to be transparent, well and clearly defined. Based on framework defined by (Bilitewski, 2008), main processes required for calculating the service fee in a PAYT system are: the definition of the unit pricing model; the identification of the SW service user (e.g. private citizen, firms, etc.) and the measurement of the waste quantity produced/collected by each user (see Figure 3).

Traditionally, residents pay for waste collection through property taxes or a fixed fee, regardless of how much or how little trash they generate. Households pay a variable rate depending on the amount of service they use. PAYT charge residents a fee for each bag or can of waste they generate. In a small number of communities, residents are billed based on the weight of their trash. Either way, these programs are simple and fair. The less individuals throw away, the less they pay.

Proposed System

Reduction in SW can be achieved by Treating Waste as RESOURCE.

* Refuse, Recycle, Repair and Reuse as much of our waste as possible.

* Better design and be more informed consumption level.

* Recover as much value as we can from the waste we collect.

* The less we waste, and the longer we can keep resources moving round the economy.

* Give Rewards interms of Monetary Benefits to the people who produce very less or zero waste.

The hierarchy in Figure 5 is similar to the one shown is Figure 2 except for the addition for new R (Refuse).

The most important strategy in SWM new hierarchy is to refuse wasting of items which can be used again. This concept can be difficult because we currently live in a world with many disposable items and it takes some imagination and creativity to see how items can be refused and reused.

There are two main ways that the concept of refusing can be applied to reduce waste. First, when want to purchase a new item, think and look over for an existing product that can be used instead of a version that is only used once and thrown away. The second way to is to buy an item secondhand, borrow, or rent an item, instead of buying the product new.

Although the items you refuse may eventually end up being waste, by refusing them you are reducing the overall amount of waste produced by giving the item a second function and expanding the typical lifespan of the item. The process of refusing can also be fun because it gives you the opportunity to take an old or used item and turn it into something new to you.

There are many ways that you, as an individual, can refuse items. Some common examples include shopping at thrift stores or yard sales for second hand items. You can also donate items you no longer need to thrift stores so that someone else can use them. Another common method of reuse is to bring your own reusable shopping bags instead of using plastic or paper bags provided at the store.

PAYT also called as trash metering, unit pricing, variable rate pricing or user-pay is a usage-pricing model for disposing of municipal solid waste. Users are charged a rate based on how much waste they present for collection to the municipality or local authority. So the amount of waste generated is charged accordingly using either of the methods discussed earlier.

The life-cycle begins with consumption of natural and recycled resources. The consumption could be direct or through some products. There are options and ways to reduce the waste at this stage with the help of 3R techniques which helps in the reduction of waste. The REFUSE and reuse mechanism can be used at the consumption stage to control the amount of waste generated as explained earlier. The waste that cannot be recycled is disposed of for treatment where energy recovery or resource recovery takes place. The PAYT method is applied at this stage depending on the amount of discarded or disposed waste. Each of the above stages of the life-cycle offers opportunities for policy reconsideration, rethink the need for the product reuse and extend its life. Optimization in the use of the world's limited resources by avoiding the unnecessary generation of waste is the key in life-cycle of a product.


Strategic implementation of reduction, reuse and recycle of solid waste becomes every one's responsibilities, which means for R+3R to be a success participants throw away culture of byproduct should be changed through awareness and practice. Furthermore, the perception is that residents who refuse to recycle should be punished and laws should be made to enforce recycling activities. This could be achieved by reengineering current practice of solid waste management. Combining PAYT and R+3R is proposed to be a major change in SWM.


Athanasios A. Rentizelas, Athanasios I. Tolis, Ilias P. Tatsiopoulos. (2014). Combined Municipal Solid Waste and biomass system optimization for district energy applications, Waste Management 34: 36-48.

Prasanna, S. (2001). The Basel Convention of 1989 A developing country s perspective. Visiting Research Scholars Liberty Institute India.

EC, 2014. Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directives 2008/98/EC on waste, 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste.

Nikolaos V. Karadimas, Katerina Papatzelou and Vassili G. Loumos (2007). Genetic Algorithms for Municipal Solid Waste Collection and Routing Optimization. IFIP The International Federation for Information Processing, pp 223-231

UNEP. (2005). Integrated Waste Management Scoreboard; A Tool to Measure Performance in Municipal Solid Waste Management.

US EPA, O. (2006). Solid Waste Management Hierarchy. Overviews & Factsheets. Retrieved August 31, 2012, from

Agamuthu, P, Santha C, Fauziah SH, Dennis V. (2011b). 3R Related Policies for Sustainable Waste Management In Malaysia. IT APN International Conference "Innovation and sustainability transitions in Asia" held on 9-11 January 2011 at University of Malaya, Malaysia.

Kontogianni, S.K., Feleki, E., Somakos, L., Aravossis, K., Moussiopoulos, N., 2014. Pay-as-you-throw; modern pilot application in Greece. In: Fifth International Symposium on Energy from Biomass and Waste. CISA Publisher, San Servolo, Venice.

Bilitewski, B. (2008). From traditional to modern fee systems. Waste Manage. 28 (12): 2760-2766.

Jibril Dan azimi Jibrila, Ibrahim Bin Sipanb, Maimunah Sapric, Suleiman Aliyu Shikad, Mona Isae & Shahabudin Abdullah. (2012). 3R s Critical Success Factor in Solid Waste Management System for Higher Educational Institutions, Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 65: 626-631.

Valerio Elia, Maria Grazia Gnoni, Fabiana Tornese. (2015). Designing Pay-As-You-Throw schemes in municipal waste management services: A holistic approach. Waste Management. 44: 188-195.

Shrikant Athanikar (*)

Department of Computer and Information Science Universiti Teknologi Petronas, Tronoh, Perak, Malaysia Email:

Vish Kallimani

Department of Computer and Information Science Universiti Teknologi Petronas, Tronoh,Perak, Malaysia Email:

Low Tan Jung

Department of Computer and Information Science Universiti Teknologi Petronas, Tronoh, Perak, Malaysia Email:

(*) Corresponding Author
COPYRIGHT 2017 Global Business and Management Research: An International Journal
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2017 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Paper type: Conceptual paper
Author:Athanikar, Shrikant; Kallimani, Vish; Jung, Low Tan
Publication:Global Business and Management Research: An International Journal
Geographic Code:9MALA
Date:Jan 1, 2017
Previous Article:An Exploratory Review of Retirement Savings Investment Decisions: A Malaysian Perspective.
Next Article:Community Engagement Program: Bringing about Community Well-being.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters