Improving household waste management through a door-to-door collection in Ruaka Town, Kenya

  • Sylvester Ngome Chisika International School of Urban Sciences, University of Seoul
  • Chunho Yeom Professor, International School of Urban Sciences, University of Seoul
Keywords: sustainable development, citizen participation, door-to-door waste collection, willingness to pay, financial constraints


This study explores ways of improving household waste collection in urban areas through a door-to-door waste collection system in Ruaka town, Kenya, by comparing the collection practices between households served by door-to-door waste collection and those without it. Literature review, random sampling technique with semi-structured questionnaires, and direct observation were used. The case results confirm that door-to-door solid waste collection at households has the capacity to induce positive behavioural changes towards sustainability at waste generation points. Waste separation and recycling, which accompanies this system, can help improve revenue streams in the waste management value chain, which may help to plug the waste financing gap facing many governments. However, the study notes that in Ruaka town, the current practice of door-to-door waste collection is unsustainable and could reinforce inequality amongst users seeking to access waste collection facilities. Apart from more household surveys to document the correlation between individual household demographic attributes and effectiveness of door-to-door waste collection, the study calls for developing robust regulations for door-to-door service, increased citizen participation in waste management matters, including the need for waste separation at the source to measure the system’s maximum impact.

Original Papers