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Doctoral thesis, 2015

Assessment of urban solid waste logistics systems: the case of Kampala, Uganda

Kinobe, Joel


Many cities, especially in developing countries, are facing challenges in the management of solid waste. The aim of the study was to develop effective logistics systems for solid waste management in urban areas of developing countries, with a specific focus on Kampala, Uganda. This thesis contains an assessment of the reverse logistics systems that enable effective recapturing of valuable products from urban solid waste. The study mapped the waste collection systems in Kampala using a geographic information system (GIS), i.e. ArcGIS software, and examined the existing models of waste collection to the final disposal destinations. It was found that food and yard wastes constitute 92.7 % of the waste that reaches landfills in Kampala. Recyclables and other special wastes constitute only 7.3 % of the total waste. The generation rate of solid wastes on average from poor areas, upscale wealthier areas, business centres and market areas was 582, 169, 105 and 90 tonnes/day respectively. The study optimised travel distances, number of vehicles and collection time, while maximising total waste collection for environmental sustainability. Results showed that, an increase from a 6-tonne truck to a 10-tonne one reduced the travel distance by 39 %, while an increase from a 10-tonne truck to an 18-tonne truck reduced the travel distance by 34 % considering the current 40 % waste collection. Suggestions regarding the best waste collection routes and a suitable vehicle fleet and capacity to be used by Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) have been provided in this study. The research study further developed an overview of reverse logistics at the Kiteezi landfill. The study analysed in detail the collection, re-processing, re-distribution and final markets of these products into a reversed supply chain network of products delivered to the landfill. Of the products at the Kiteezi landfill, 14 % was channelled into the reverse chain, 63 % could be included in the distribution chain but were left out and disposed of while the remaining 23 % was buried straightaway. The main conclusion of the work was that solid waste management in Kampala is characterised by inefficient collection methods, insufficient coverage of the collection system and improper disposal of municipal solid waste. The existing system pertaining to reverse logistics suffers from unfavourable economics and legislative, technical and operational constraints that affect the recycling rate in Kampala compared to developed countries. This study presented large-scale data that can be used to improve solid waste management in other cities in developing countries.


logistics; reverse logistics; waste management; optimisation; waste collection models; GIS; Kampala

Published in

Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
2015, number: 2015:94
ISBN: 978-91-576-8386-1, eISBN: 978-91-576-8387-8
Publisher: Department of Energy and Technology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Authors' information

Kinobe, Joel
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Energy and Technology

UKÄ Subject classification

Environmental Management
Transport Systems and Logistics

URI (permanent link to this page)