Self-Assessment Questions (SAQs) for Study Session 22

Now that you have completed this study session, you can assess how well you have achieved its Learning Outcomes by answering these questions. Write your answers in your Study Diary and discuss them with your Tutor at the next Study Support Meeting. You can check your answers with the Notes on the Self-Assessment Questions at the end of this Module.

SAQ 22.1 (tests Learning Outcome 22.1)

Which of the following statements is false? In each case, say why it is incorrect.

A  Recycling is the best approach to solid waste management.

B  Composting is an aerobic decomposition process for converting organic solid waste into useful compost.

C  Reusing plastic water bottles is an example of waste recovery.

D  Controlled tipping is so called because only a limited quantity of waste can be tipped at any one time.


A is false. Recycling is a good method of waste management but reducing the amount of waste produced in the first place or reusing the waste without reprocessing is preferred.

B is true. Composting of solid waste is an aerobic decomposition process that produces compost.

C is false. Waste recovery means that something useful is recovered from the waste; reuse of waste simply means using the item again in the same way it was used in the first place.

D is false. Controlled tipping is called ‘controlled’ because the waste is regularly covered with soil rather than just left in the open.

SAQ 22.2 (tests Learning Outcome 22.2)

Categorise the different kinds of waste listed below as hazardous or non-hazardous, and as compostable or non-compostable.

Tin cans, manure, grass, obsolete herbicides, paper bags, plastic festal, expired drugs, potato peelings.


CompostableManure, grass, paper bags, potato peelings
Non-compostableObsolete herbicides, expired drugsTin cans, plastic festal

SAQ 22.3 (tests Learning Outcomes 22.3 and 22.4)

List the functional elements of solid waste management. Which of these are relevant to rural settings? Explain why these are relevant but the others are not.


The functional elements of waste management are: onsite handling, storage and processing; collection; transfer and transport; resource recovery and processing; and disposal. In rural areas, waste is not normally collected or transported, so the second and third elements are not relevant. Most waste in rural areas is organic and there is plenty of space. Onsite handling, resource recovery in the form of recycling or composting and final disposal are found in rural areas.

SAQ 22.4 (tests Learning Outcome 22.4)

Briefly describe the preparation of compost.


Compost can be made from household kitchen food waste, leaves, grass, kitchen waste, and any other organic biodegradable material. The compostable waste must be separated out so it contains no plastic or metal. The waste is put in a pit or heap at least 1 m x 1 m x 1 m. It needs a little water and it should be turned over regularly to provide air for the composting organisms. The resulting compost should be like soil and have a good earthy smell.

SAQ 22.5 (tests Learning Outcome 22.5)

Identify two important indicators used to monitor solid waste management in a community. Describe how you would assess them.


There are several possible indicators that can be used to assess waste management practices. These include the number of households with a compost pit, whether there is a communal refuse pit, the number of people using a communal pit, if there is one, whether the refuse pits are fenced and managed, and others. You would assess these indicators by visiting the community, observing people’s practice and discussing with them what they did with their solid waste.

Summary of Study Session 22