Characterization of solid wastes in higher education institutions: the case of Kotebe Metropolitan University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

  • G. D. GebreeyessusEmail author
  • D. Berihun
  • B. Terfassa
Original Paper


The issue of Integrated Solid Waste Management is not limited to campus sustainability, but it is primarily a concern of public health and aesthetic impression to Higher Education Institutions in Ethiopia and elsewhere. To manage such wastes in an integrated approach, characterization of waste is a critical step. Knowledge of the sources and types of solid wastes, along with data on the composition and generation rate, is basic to the design and operation of the later management. In that regard, this study attempts to determine the composition and generation rate of solid waste in Higher Education Institutions. To do that, a standard sorting sheet and methods from related published sources have been applied. Accordingly, the major components of the waste in the university are food (84.41%), other organic (8.99%), paper (3.65%), plastic (1.83%), and the rest accounted 1.12%. The corrected solid waste generation rate is 0.093 kg/capita/day. The major sources of generation were the students’ canteen, the duplication center, laboratories, offices and the general workshop. The solid waste generation and composition studied in two phases did not show a significant difference between seasons (p value > 0.05, on a 5% significance level), while over 93% of the waste generated is compostable. Therefore, the university and other Higher Education Institutions can target a minimal waste policy and stable management plan toward sustainability.


Compostable Generation rate Management Sorting Sustainability 



The authors are grateful to Kotebe Metropolitan University for the general support and people who participated in sorting the solid wastes.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that there is no conflict of interest among authors and/or other associated in this current research work.

Ethical statement

Before commencing the work, the research proposal was evaluated and approved by the Institutional Research Ethics Board of Kotebe Metropolitan University Institutional Ethical Review Committee that is run by: Dr. Elazar Tadesse Bala: Chair person, Mr. Daniel Zewde: Secretary, Mr. Engida Tade: Member, Dr. Tadesse Gemechu: Member, Dr. Teferi Bogale: Member, Dr. Teshome Belay: Member. The above-mentioned committee approves also that it does not have any objection to the submission of the manuscript for the International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology.

Informed consent

All authors declare that they have consented on the work fully to be submitted to the International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology.

Supplementary material

13762_2018_1953_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (606 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (XLSX 606 kb)


  1. Al-Khatib IA, Monou M, Zahra ASFA, Shaheen HQ, Kassinos D (2010) Solid waste characterization, quantification and management practices in developing countries. A case study: Nablus district, Palestine. J Environ Manag 91:1131–1138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arega Y (2016) Quality of education in private higher institutions in Ethiopia: the role of governance. SAGE Open 6:2158244015624950Google Scholar
  3. Armijo de Vega C, Ojeda-Benitez S, Ramirez M (2008) Solid waste characterization and recycling potential for a university campus. Waste Manag 28:S21–S26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Changara MC, Bangira C, Sanyika WT, Misi SN (2018) Characterisation of pit latrine sludge from shackleton, a peri-urban residential area of Zimbabwe. J Water Sanit Hyg Dev. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Coker A, Achi C, Sridhar M, Donnett C (2016) Solid waste management practices at a private institution of higher learning in Nigeria. Procedia Environ Sci 35:28–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Desta H, Worku H, Fetene A (2014) Assessment of the contemporary municipal solid waste management in urban environment: the case of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. J Environ Sci Technol 7:107–122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gakungu NK, Gitau AN (2012) Solid waste management in Kenya: a case study of public technical training institutions. J Eng 5:127–138Google Scholar
  8. Gakungu N, Gitau A, Njoroge B, Kimani M (2012) Solid waste management in Kenya; a case study of public technical training institutions. ICASTOR J Eng 5:127–138Google Scholar
  9. Ghazvinei PT, Mir MA, Darvishi HH, Ariffin J (2017) Waste-composition investigation. In: Ghazvinei PT, Mir MA, Darvishi HH, Ariffin J (eds) University campus solid waste management: combining life cycle assessment and analytical hierarchy process. Springer, ChamCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Han Z, Liu Y, Zhong M, Shi G, Li Q, Zeng D, Zhang Y, Fei Y, Xie Y (2018) Influencing factors of domestic waste characteristics in rural areas of developing countries. Waste Manag 72:45–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hara Y, Furutani T, Murakami A, Palijon AM, Yokohari M (2010) Current organic waste recycling and the potential for local recycling through urban agriculture in Metro Manila. Waste Manag Res 29:1213–1221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hoornweg D, Bhada-Tata P (2012) What a waste : a global review of solid waste management. Urban development series; knowledge papers no. 15. World Bank, Washington, DC.
  13. Kassaye AY (2018) Contemporary institutional solid waste management practices of Haramaya University, Eastern Ethiopia. Afr J Sci Technol Innov Dev 10:219–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kiely G (2007) Environmental engineering. Tata McGraw-Hill Education, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  15. KUC (2015) Annual abstract. KUC: Kotebe University College, Addis AbabaGoogle Scholar
  16. Lagerkvist A, Dahlén L (2012) Solid waste solid waste generation solid waste generation and characterization solid waste characterization. In: Meyers RA (ed) Encyclopedia of sustainability science and technology. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  17. Lohri CR, Camenzind EJ, Zurbrügg C (2014) Financial sustainability in municipal solid waste management—costs and revenues in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. Waste Manag 34:542–552CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Martin JH, Collins AR, Diener RG (1995) A sampling protocol for composting, recycling, and re-use of municipal solid waste. J Air Waste Manag Assoc 45:864–870CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Mbuligwe SE (2002) Institutional solid waste management practices in developing countries: a case study of three academic institutions in Tanzania. Resour Conserv Recycl 35:131–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ministry of Education of Ethiopia M (2016) Higher Education Institutions and colleges [Online]. MoE, Addis AbabaGoogle Scholar
  21. Ministry of Urban Development and Construction of Ethiopia M (2012) Solid waste management manual: with respect to urban plans, sanitary landfill sites and solid waste management planning. Ministry of Urban Development and Construction, Addis AbabaGoogle Scholar
  22. Nagawiecki T (2009) University of Idaho waste characterization. University of Idaho, MoscowGoogle Scholar
  23. Oberlin AS, Szántó GL (2011) Community level composting in a developing country: case study of KIWODET, Tanzania. Waste Manag Res 29:1071–1077CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Owamah IH, Izinyon OC, Igbinewekan P (2017) Characterization and quantification of solid waste generation in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria: a case study of Ogbe-Ijoh community in Delta State. J Mater Cycles Waste Manag 19:366–373CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Palanivel TM, Sulaiman H (2014) Generation and composition of municipal solid waste (MSW) in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. APCBEE Procedia 10:96–102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Phuntsho S, Dulal I, Yangden D, Tenzin UM, Herat S, Shon H, Vigneswaran S (2010) Studying municipal solid waste generation and composition in the urban areas of Bhutan. Waste Manag Res 28:545–551CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Pokhrel D, Viraraghavan T (2005) Municipal solid waste management in Nepal: practices and challenges. Waste Manag 25:555–562CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ren X, Zeng G, Tang L, Wang J, Wan J, Wang J, Deng Y, Liu Y, Peng B (2018) The potential impact on the biodegradation of organic pollutants from composting technology for soil remediation. Waste Manag 72:138–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Smyth DP, Fredeen AL, Booth AL (2010) Reducing solid waste in higher education: the first step towards ‘greening’ a university campus. Resour Conserv Recycl 54:1007–1016CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Spinazzè A, Borghi F, Rovelli S, Cavallo MD (2017) Exposure assessment methods in studies on waste management and health effects: an overview. Environments 4(1):19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Techobanaglous G, Theisen H, Vigil SA (1993) Integrated solid waste management: engineering principles and management issues. McGraw-HillGoogle Scholar
  32. UNEP (2009) Developing integrated solid waste management plan. Volume 1: waste characterization and quantification with projections for future. In: Division of Technology IAEIETC (ed) United Nations Environment Prohram, OsakaGoogle Scholar
  33. United Nations Environment Program U (2005) Solid waste management. ISBN:92-807-2676-5Google Scholar
  34. Vasanthi P, Kaliappan S, Srinivasaraghavan R (2008) Impact of poor solid waste management on ground water. Environ Monit Assess 143:227–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Vrancken C, Longhurst PJ, Wagland ST (2017) Critical review of real-time methods for solid waste characterisation: informing material recovery and fuel production. Waste Manag 61:40–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Weichgrebe D, Speier C, Mondal MM (2017) Scientific approach for municipal solid waste characterization. In: Goel S (ed) Advances in solid and hazardous waste management. Springer, ChamGoogle Scholar
  37. Zhao S, Liu X, Duo L (2012) Physical and chemical characterization of municipal solid waste compost in different particle size fractions. Pol J Environ Stud 21:509–515Google Scholar
  38. Ziraba AK, Haregu TN, Mberu B (2016) A review and framework for understanding the potential impact of poor solid waste management on health in developing countries. Arch Public Health 74:55CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Islamic Azad University (IAU) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Urban Environmental ManagementKotebe Metropolitan UniversityAddis AbabaEthiopia
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryKotebe Metropolitan UniversityAddis AbabaEthiopia

Personalised recommendations