Sustainable options to improve the waste management of Belo Horizonte, Brazil

  • Project team:

    Fuss, Maryegli (Dissertation)

  • Funding:

    National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), Brazil

  • Start date:


  • End date:


  • Project partners: Department of Environmental Engineering and Sanitation of Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte - Brazil
  • Research group:

    Socio-Technical Energy Futures

Project description

In the last decades, municipal solid waste management has become one of the most discussed issues between the society, mainly by decision makers, non-governmental authorities and research areas. Waste is considered by many specialists as a symbol of inefficiency of any modern society and a representation of misallocated resources. While the most R&D activities have been so far carried out in developed countries, waste streams continue to rise in emerging and fastest growing economy countries with few control systems. Despite the environmental and human health problems, dumping in open space and sanitary landfill are still the most favorable alternative compared to many other methods, mainly because untreated waste can be easily disposed of with low associated cost regarding their deployment and operation. But this scenario has to be changed in Brazil. In 2010, the Brazilian Policy for Solid Waste has been institutionalized through the law 12,305/2010. From 2014 onwards, the legislation claims that all municipalities have to redesign their current waste management system and overcome the array of problems such as: low collection coverage and irregular selective collection services; non-regulated landfills (dumpsites) and burning without air and water pollution control; organization of informal waste pickers and homeless scavenger activities. To make progress with the requirements of the National Policy, instead of just adopting new technologies of waste management, many Brazilian municipalities are searching for an integrated management composed by participative appraisals, public-private partnership, sharing mechanism for measures, and delegated acts. In this context, Belo Horizonte is pointed out as a reference city to other municipalities in Brazil.

The basic objective of this study is the scientific analysis of scenarios for the selection process of different technologies; integration of social aspects within different contexts and fundamentally how this determines the sustainability of the alternatives in question. A case study of Belo Horizonte city will be taken, which, once analyzed, will act as an example of several cases that deal with similar challenges.

Administrative data

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Armin Grunwald
Advisor: Dr. Witold-Roger Poganietz
Doctoral students ITAS: See Doctoral studies at ITAS


Dr. Maryegli Fuss
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe

Tel.: +49 721 608-26241