A novel approach to quantify and apply the municipal solid waste management hierarchy is presented in this study. In this study, weights were assigned to the treatment methods using the analytical hierarchy process. The consistency ratio was found to be within the allowable range (0.10), indicating that weights assigned met the requirements of the analytical hierarchy process. The assigned weights for the municipal solid waste hierarchy treatment methods were prevention = 0.44, reduction/minimization = 0.27, reuse = 0.12, recycle = 0.08, incineration = 0.05, and landfilling = 0.04. The highest benefits were derived when all the treatment methods in the municipal solid waste hierarchy were applied based on the optimum weights generated by the analytical hierarchy process. It was, however, observed that a combination of reduction/minimization, reuse and recycling, was more effective and beneficial. Also, selecting only one treatment method gave the least benefits except for reduction/minimization. Also, applying up to two treatment methods yielded much benefit in some instances compared to a combination of three. When the proposed model was applied to data obtained from the Accra Metropolitan Assembly in Ghana on population and total municipal solid waste received at selected landfill sites over a period of 7 years, it proved to be ultimately effective. The developed municipal solid waste hierarchy model equations, when properly applied will ensure sustainable treatment and provide for the exploitation of municipal solid waste resources. It is therefore a new promising module for effective planning, decision making, and sustainable municipal solid waste management.
Hierarchy process Management Model equations Municipal solid waste Treatment methods
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Our heartfelt thanks go to Mr. Victor Neequaye Kotei of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, for providing relevant data for this study.
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