Institutional Arrangements for Composting and Compost Use in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Yousif, Dave Faris
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The staggering levels of growth and development resulting in a more populous and affluent society that Vietnam is experiencing have resulted in greater levels of consumption and environmental damage from agricultural intensification (over-use of chemical fertilizers) and solid waste pollution. A traditional method touted as a modern solution is organic solid waste recycling and composting. This thesis seeks to determine the potential of compost use in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam based on a decentralized community-based composting scheme. In recent decades, in Vietnam and other developing countries, there has been an emphasis on large-scale, mechanized composting processes using mixed waste as the input material and technologies that are inappropriate for use in a developing country. These processes face high operational costs and a lower quality final product, leading to more problems than they promise to cure. This study examines three institutional models currently advocated in the literature to mange organic waste in developing countries: decentralization, privatization, public-private partnerships. This thesis focuses on how to redefine the manner in which organic waste is composted and concludes in favour of small-scale community-based composting. A small-scale community-based model currently in use in Quy Nhon, in central Vietnam is examined to determine its applicability in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The major contribution of this thesis is the use of institutional models (community-based management, decentralization, privatization, and public-private partnerships) to further understand the system of composting using municipal solid waste in developing countries. This understanding is used to present a framework that outlines the necessary institutional change to facilitate the development of initiatives that would manage organic solid waste.