Ethiopia - 3.7 Ethiopia Waste Management and Recycling InfrastructureAssessment


Ethiopia lacks proper solid waste management practices and protocols. About 20 to 30 percent of the waste generated in Addis Ababa remains uncollected  

In Addis Ababa, waste generation is rising at a rate of five percent each year. It is estimated that solid waste is generated at about 0.45 kg per capita per day. The physical composition of solid waste includes: 17.4% recyclable, 74.3% biodegradable organic, and 8.3% potentially hazardous waste1. Inadequate solid waste management increasingly threatens the health and livelihoods of the city’s inhabitants and the environment.  

In Addis Ababa, community awareness of Solid Waste Mamagement (SWM) has been improving, with more than 70 percent of community members willing to pay for door-to-door solid waste collection services (Dika, 2019). 

Municipal waste management companies collect municipal waste and bring it to landfills while informal collectors and so-called “Korales” gather recyclables from streets and landfills “ 

Solid waste handling is regulated in the Government’s “Solid Waste Management Proclamation” from 2007, empowered by its Environmental Protection Agency. Responsibility is passed down to the lowest administrative levels of the local governments, with the objective also to include private households and public participation in waste segregation (GIZ, 2020). 

In 2011, the Government of Ethiopia introduced a ban on the production and importation of non-biodegradable plastic bags 

Both the government and private companies provide the services.  

In 2018, the country transformed the Koshe dump site, the only landfill in Addis Ababa, into the first waste-to-energy plant in sub Saharian Africa, it is operated by Cambridge Industries Ltd. The plant has plans to incinerate up to 1,400 tons of waste every day—roughly 80 percent of the city’s waste (UNEP, 2019).The unsorted Municipal Solid Waste will be delivered to the facility where the waste will be combusted.  

Several companies are involved in waste management and recycling in Ethiopia, but most of them operate exclusively in populated areas in and around Addis Ababa due to transportation, technology, supply, and other factors. 

Ethiopia has a long culture of reuse, although popular culture has recently started to erode this system of reuse 

Korales' are the first-hand informal workers who collect household recyclable or reusable items. They are the backbone of the recycling sector in Ethiopia. Their main challenges are safety, child labour, the unavailability of sorting and storage areas, the unavailability of technology, and weak collection and transportation systems 

Non-Hazardous Waste Disposal 

Non- hazardous waste is collected in the same manner as other waste and disposed in the landfill where informal groups collect for recycling especially plastic bottles, papers and scrap metal 

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) issued the Environmental Policy of Ethiopia which refers to waste management in three different articles, The primary national policy on waste management is the Solid Waste Management Proclamation No. 513. Released in February of 2007, the proclamation’s main goal is to increase community participation. 

Jump to top