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Designing effective waste management practices in developing economies: the case of Suriname.

Oke, Adekunle; Pinas, Chantay Jennifer; Osobajo, Oluyomi A.


Adekunle Oke

Chantay Jennifer Pinas


Local authorities are responsible for the exponential increase of waste, estimated to be about 9 billion tonnes annually. However, developing economies face enormous waste management challenges compared to developed economies, suggesting the lack of effective waste management approaches in most developing economies, including the small island developing states (SIDS). This study explores waste management practices and behavior in Suriname in support of the government's ongoing efforts in developing a framework to integrate sustainable development goals into its national policies and strategies. The current research adopts a two-stage data collection method involving observation and semi-structured interviews. 15 key informants were purposively recruited and interviewed using the semi-structured interview method to understand the current perceptions and behavior towards waste production and management in Suriname. The results show that Suriname lacks a structured and formal waste management system like many other developing countries. Open dumping and uncontrolled incineration are the dominant waste treatment methods in the country. The semi-structured interviews show that many factors, such as the lack of government commitment, ineffective policies and regulations, lack of investment and infrastructure, and citizens' social-economic status, contribute to Suriname's current unsustainable waste management practices. Although the country faces many challenges, people, especially in villages, have positive attitudes towards the environment, enhancing their engagement in managing waste if the right schemes and facilities are installed. The study argued that the government should improve their participation and commitment to waste management, especially through installing, implementing and enforcing effective waste management policies and strategies. The study further demonstrates the need for collaborations between the government and other institutions, especially NGOs and private firms, to improve waste management investment and efforts. Using the ontology perspective, key findings are synthesized to highlight the practical and theoretical implications of the study. Limitations and future research are discussed.


OKE, A., PINAS, C.J. and OSOBAJO, O.A. 2022. Designing effective waste management practices in developing economies: the case of Suriname. Cleaner waste systems [online], 3, article 100030. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 7, 2022
Online Publication Date Sep 7, 2022
Publication Date Dec 31, 2022
Deposit Date Sep 9, 2022
Publicly Available Date Sep 12, 2022
Journal Cleaner waste systems
Print ISSN 2772-9125
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 3
Article Number 100030
Keywords Waste management; Recycling; Behavior; Circular economy; Sustainable; Development goals; Open dumping; Uncontrolled incineration
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