The present paper provides a detailed analysis of the current situation on municipal solid waste (MSW) management in Kazakhstan with focus on the two major cities, Astana and Almaty, the current and former capital of the country. Untill recently, ninety-seven percent of the MSW was disposed in open dumps and substandard authorized landfills. Ninety-three percent of the 4530 municipal waste disposal landfills were not permitted, while from the 307 authorized waste disposal facilities, only the one in the city of Astana was designed in accordance with international standards (2015). Core legislation, current management policy, existing and planned facilities and infrastructure, as well as solid waste quantity and composition are discussed. The analysis is complemented by the implementation of a decision support software tool, which provides insights in waste management needs and evaluates the alternative waste management plans. Six alternative scenarios were evaluated, and the results obtained demonstrate that the optimum scenario is separation at source for both biowaste, which is composted and packaging waste processed via the materials recovery facility. Regarding the residual waste, the optimum scenario for Astana is mechanical biological treatment (MBT)-composting-recyclables and waste-to-energy for the refuse-derived fuel (RDF). For Almaty, 80% of the waste should be processed through MBT-composting-recyclables, and 20% via incineration and RDF. The results obtained can contribute to solid waste management planning in Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries.
- decision support software tool
- municipal solid waste