Municipal Solid Waste Sorting in Burundi, Inventory and Perspectives: Case of Bujumbura City

  • Norbert Manirakiza Ecole Normale Supérieure, Département des sciences naturelles, Burundi
  • Théophile Ndikumana University of Burundi, Doctoral School, Center for Research in Natural Sciences and Environment; Burundi
  • C. Gisèle Jung Université Libre de Bruxelles, Ecole Polytechnique, EP-4MAT, 1050 Bruxelles, Belgique
Keywords: Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), sorting, Burundi



The sorting of municipal solid waste (MSW) by residents is a recommended and inexpensive practice that allows sustainable waste management with the recovery of homogeneous fractions for further valorization. However, MSW continues to be collected unsorted and is sent to new uncontrolled open-air landfills, despite the recommendations. The purpose of this study is to analyse the MSW management in Bujumbura city and to identify the main problems that hinder the sorting of waste by the inhabitants. Methodologically, on site visit was carried out to establish an inventory of the dispersion of MSW in the city. To assess the profile of their impact, leachate was sampled and characterized (pH, electrical conductivity and heavy metal content by ICP-MS). In addition, to understand better the MSW management in Bujumbura, a survey questionnaire was used on a random sample of 80 citizens of Bujumbura aged 10 years and over. The results showed that MSW was found in an unsorted and uncontrolled open-air landfill. The heavy metals content of the leachates sampled exceeded the limit value for Cu, Cr, Fe and Mn. Moreover, the survey realized in this study shows that the majority of Bujumbura's citizens (76.3%) do not sort MSW. They face various challenges such as the lack of adequate information on MSW management, the lack of separate containers, the collection of waste by categories and the lack of collection services. The chi-square test showed a significant dependence between the involvement of the local administration in raising awareness of sustainable management and the way in which municipal solid waste are managed (p <0.05). However, referring to coefficient of contingency (0.390), this relation is weak and additional factors would be useful to justify the actual management of MSW in Bujumbura. To ensure MSW sorting and sustainable management in Bujumbura, the specific intervention points are highlighted and concern: the wide dissemination of information through the media, local administration, the development of waste collection and recycling services, environmental education through the Burundian education system. Government and other stakeholders should invest in order to provide all the information necessary to promote the successful establishment of the city of Bujumbura.





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