Detailed municipal solid waste composition analysis for Nur-Sultan City, Kazakhstan with implications for sustainable waste management in Central Asia

Abylkhani, Bexultan and Guney, Mert and Aiymbetov, Berik and Yagofarova, Almira and Sarbassov, Yerbol and Zorpas, Antonis A. and Venetis, Christos and Inglezakis, Vassilis (2020) Detailed municipal solid waste composition analysis for Nur-Sultan City, Kazakhstan with implications for sustainable waste management in Central Asia. Environmental Science and Pollution Research. ISSN 1614-7499

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    Abstract

    A detailed characterization of municipal solid waste (MSW) beyond a standard compositional analysis may offer insights useful for improving waste management systems. The present paper contributes to the scarce literature in the field by presenting new data from a rapidly developing Central Asian city, the capital of Kazakhstan, Nur-Sultan. Three sampling campaigns (each 1 week long) have been conducted at the city landfill over a 1-year period (2018–2019), and a detailed characterization for selected waste components and sub-components has been performed. The major fractions of MSW were organics (46.3%), plastics (15.2%), paper (12.8%), and diapers (5.9%). The detailed composition analysis showed high LDPE (low-density polyethylene) content (5.5%) mostly comprised of plastic bags (4.5%), transparent glass (3.2%), pharmaceuticals (0.4%), and fine (i.e., < 12 mm) organic fraction content (29%). The MSW generation rate of Nur-Sultan was estimated as 1.47 kg capita−1 day−1 based on the field collection as well as literature data. Among sustainable waste management recommendations addressed for Nur-Sultan and applicable to other cities in Central Asia, composting is recommended due to high organics fraction in MSW and its great potential to reduce the landfilled waste volume and to help valorizing the waste.