Some municipal policies advocate the use of controlled tipping of waste, but considering the changes throughout the years in the refuse composition with new toxic components, and the high organic matter content (around 68%, see Table 1), controlled tipping is no longer a cheap method of disposal. Recycling, reuse, minimisation, integrated systems, are the new key words in solid waste management. However, the question is can they operate in developing countries or in low-income areas of these countries? Our answer is yes.
Studies have been carried out by the Universidade Federal de Viçosa (Solid Waste Research Group – LESA), over the last 12 years, using appropriate and low cost technologies. The progress made is reflected in a big governmental solid waste programme which in its first phase intends to build Low Cost Recycling Plants in 300 towns of the state and in the second phase to build more than 400 plants. The University of Viçosa is the main technical coordinator for the programme.