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Of Practices and (Micro)politics: Challenges of Organic Waste Segregation in Dschang, Cameroon

Published inThe journal of environment & development, 10704965241246708
Publication date2024-04-17
First online date2024-04-17
Abstract

Waste generation in Sub-Saharan Africa is increasing rapidly. While biodegradable waste remains predominant, it is rarely treated separately by municipal solid waste management systems, thus foregoing the possibility to reduce the volume going to landfills or dumpsites. This paper discusses the unique case of the small city of Dschang, Cameroon, where the municipality operates two central composting plants that treat about 20% of the city’s household and restaurant waste. Using Urban Political Ecology and Social Practice Theory, this article studies waste flows, waste practices, material arrangements, power relations, social norms, institutional dynamics, and policies to identify opportunities and obstacles for organic waste sorting at the level of households and restaurants. Our analysis draws upon qualitative and quantitative data and points to the importance of the availability of multiple waste bins and monetary compensation for organic waste sorting. These factors have also facilitated the development of an informal waste sector, which might use up to 20% of the city’s waste as animal feed and for home/farm composting. However, complex relations between multiple actors and the national policy framework complicate the emergence of organic waste segregation at source as a common practice. In this way, the study shows that solid waste management is also a matter of power and (micro)politics.

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Citation (ISO format)
KONGNSO, Eric Moye et al. Of Practices and (Micro)politics: Challenges of Organic Waste Segregation in Dschang, Cameroon. In: The journal of environment & development, 2024, p. 10704965241246708. doi: 10.1177/10704965241246708
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ISSN of the journal1070-4965
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