About this Course
4.8
1,159 ratings
458 reviews
Have you come across large piles of garbage in neighborhoods and streets, or smelly waste disposal sites polluting the environment of low and middle income countries? Are you also convinced that improvements are necessary and do you want to know what kind of sustainable solutions are appropriate to better manage waste and enhance recycling and recovery? If yes, this course is for you! This course provides an overview of the municipal solid waste management situation in developing countries covering key elements of the waste management system, with its technical, environmental, social, financial and institutional aspects. Besides understanding the challenges you will learn about appropriate and already applied solutions through selected case studies....
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Calendar

Flexible deadlines

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Intermediate Level

Intermediate Level

Clock

Suggested: 5 weeks of study, 1-2 hours/week

Approx. 13 hours to complete
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English, Spanish, Indonesian, French

Skills you will gain

EnergyEconomyNatural ResourcesEnvironmental Protection
Globe

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Calendar

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Intermediate Level

Intermediate Level

Clock

Suggested: 5 weeks of study, 1-2 hours/week

Approx. 13 hours to complete
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English, Spanish, Indonesian, French

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

1

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

Week 1: Introduction to Solid Waste Management in Developing Countries

The course begins with an overview of the current waste situation in developing countries. We will introduce the Integrated Sustainable Waste Management (ISWM) framework that provides a general overview of SWM systems and will guide us though this course. The modules of this first week deal with the physical components of a SWM system. At the end of this week we expected you to understand the different steps in the municipal solid waste management chain, the key requirements for an appropriate management as well as the main challenges in developing countries. Real study case examples will be introduced to support the understanding....
Reading
12 videos (Total 110 min), 6 readings
Video12 videos
1.1 Overview of the course7m
1.2 Why is this course important?6m
1.3 Municipal waste generation and characterization13m
1.4 Waste collection and transport10m
1.5 Optimization of waste collection and transport11m
1.6 The special case of primary collection5m
1.7 Recycling municipal waste16m
1.8 Treatment Options9m
1.9 Waste disposal / Landfills - part 18m
1.10 Waste disposal / Landfills - part 211m
1.11 Key messages Week 15m
Reading6 readings
Important information to succeed in this course10m
Key and further readings10m
Connect with your peers10m
How to give feedback to the course team?10m
Suggested readings - Week 110m
Slides - Week 110m

2

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

Week 2: Introduction to Solid Waste Management in Developing Countries

In the second week, the course will focus on the governance aspects also referred as the “soft” aspects of a municipal solid waste management (MSWM) system. The different stakeholders and their roles and responsibilities will be explained as well as legislative issues and financial mechanisms. ...
Reading
10 videos (Total 110 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video10 videos
2.2 The role of the public sector11m
2.3 The role of the private sector11m
2.4 Integrating the informal sector12m
2.5 The Role of Community Members12m
2.6 Public Awareness Campaigns - Case study India10m
2.7 Financing Mechanisms - part 19m
2.8 Financing mechanisms - part 29m
2.9 Example of cost and tariff model16m
2.10 Key messages Week 24m
Reading2 readings
Suggested readings - Week 210m
Slides - Week 210m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Week 1&230m

3

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Week 3: Organic waste treatment technologies

The third week will focus on the treatment of organic waste. In this week you will learn the basics of two very common organic waste treatment technologies: composting and anaerobic digestion. Study case examples will be presented as well as some practical exercises. This will help consolidate your knowledge to better understand the underlying treatment principles and processes, the key issues in operation and maintenance of such treatment facilities and the benefits of the value products from the treatment....
Reading
10 videos (Total 90 min), 2 readings
Video10 videos
3.2 Composting technologies6m
3.3 Operating the Composting Process10m
3.4 Case Study Composting - Dhaka, Bangladesh13m
3.5 Case Study Composting - Temesi, Bali, Indonesia10m
3.6 The Basics of Anaerobic Digestion of Biowaste11m
3.7 Anaerobic Digestion Technologies and Operation9m
3.8 Using the Products of Anaerobic Digestion8m
3.9 Calculating the size of an anaerobic reactor8m
3.10 Key messages Week 33m
Reading2 readings
Suggested readings - Week 310m
Slides - Week 310m

4

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Week 4: Organic waste treatment technologies

Week four will continue with an introduction to other organic waste treatment technologies. Although currently less common in practice, the treatment by vermicomposting, Black Solider Fly larvae or options of thermochemical conversion are explained and their potential for waste management in developing countries are discussed. The week then ends with two modules on special waste types, hazardous and health care waste as well as electronic waste, explaining the key challenges and opportunities for improvement in a low and middle income setting. ...
Reading
6 videos (Total 64 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video6 videos
4.2 Biowaste Processing with Black Soldier Fly Larvae10m
4.3 Thermochemical Conversion of Biomass13m
4.4 Hazardous Household Waste and Health Care Waste12m
4.5 E-waste13m
4.6 Key messages Week 43m
Reading2 readings
Slides - Week 410m
Suggested readings - Week 410m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Week 3&430m
4.8
Direction Signs

32%

started a new career after completing these courses
Briefcase

83%

got a tangible career benefit from this course
Money

15%

got a pay increase or promotion

Top Reviews

By ESFeb 27th 2017

Great introduction. It covers a wide range of issues concerning waste management and I thought the material was relevant and reflected my own observations of waste management in developing countries.

By OSSep 30th 2016

great course and content, it gives you a clear view of how waste management is done nowadays in developing countries and prepares you to innovate on the upcoming future of a circular economy

Instructors

Dr. Christian Zurbrügg

Sanitation, Water and Solid Waste for Development / Eawag

Imanol Zabaleta

Sanitation, Water and Solid Waste for Development / Eawag

Félix Schmidt

Sanitary Engineering, Water and Waste Management / EPFL

About École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you purchase a Certificate you get access to all course materials, including graded assignments. Upon completing the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

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