18.4 Compare the different waste management methods
There are a range of sanitation technologies currently in practice that you may want to recommend to institutions, communities and households in your area. ‘Sanitation technologies’ is a general term used to describe any kind of waste treatment and disposal. It can refer to specific infrastructure, methods or services that are designed to contain, transform or transport waste. It therefore includes the facility used by the person, such as pit latrines, WCs, etc. and also the storage/treatment processes such as septic tanks, biogas reactors etc. The effectiveness and efficiency of waste management facilities varies greatly because of the advantages and disadvantages each one of them has in terms of capacity to remove pathogenic organisms, cost of the technology, acceptability of the sanitation technology by the end users such as families and individuals, and the skill level needed for proper operation and maintenance of the scheme. If you have a good understanding of the different sanitation technologies then you will be able to identify those that are appropriate for your community. An appropriate sanitation technology is one that is economically affordable, socially acceptable and environmentally sustainable. You will then be in a good position to offer advice to household heads, community leaders, kebele leaders, sectoral government officers, local institutions such as schools and private firms about their choice of technology.
In later sessions we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different solid and liquid waste disposal methods that can be used at communal and individual household level so that you can apply your knowledge to your local situation.