The term solid waste is a broad termthat includes the unwanted or useless solid materials produced fromresidential, industrial and commercial activities in a specific area. Solidwaste can be classified according to its origin (domestic, industrial,commercial, institutional and construction), according to its potential hazard(toxic, non-toxic, radioactive, flammable, infectious, etc.), as well asaccording to solid waste contents (organic material, glass, metal, plasticpaper, etc.) (Femi and Oluwole, 2013). Increasing affluence, improvingstandards of living, increasing rates of population growth, together withincreasing levels of commercial and industrial activities in urban areas aroundthe world, are the main reasons for a significant increase in quantities ofwaste production.
More effective disposal of solid waste is necessary; even incountries that burn or recycle a large share of their waste and thereforetreatment of ashes resulting from burning solid waste remains an issue(Brockerhoff, 2000; Proske et al., 2005). Improper solid waste managementcauses air, soil and water pollution and is often the result of a lack offinancial resources. The problem of solid waste is very serious in third-worldcountries, where 80% of the world population lives and this often relates to alack of financial resources (Al-Ansari, 2013). Waste-related diseases are themain cause for the loss of 10% of each person’s productive life.
The presentday municipal solid waste (MSW) generated reaches 277 million tonnes per year(United Nations, 2010). Low and middle income countries generate 12.2% and57.1% of that waste, while high income countries generate 30.7% (UnitedNations, 2010).
This figure is expected to increase to 677 million tonnes in2025. The percentage of waste generated in high income countries will be 12.7%,while it will be 16.
4% and 70.9 % in middle and low income countries,respectively (United Nations, 2010)..
Management of MSW involves severalprocesses, including reducing quantities of waste, reusing, recycling andrecovering energy, as well as the incineration and burial of waste in landfills(Moeinaddini et al., 2010).