The role of municipalities, especially city managers, in the expansion of the cities and towns is very crucial and important in today's framework when urbanization is moving at a very rapid pace. The city managers in spite of their efforts are often incapable to perform better in terms of financial administration and efficient delivery of urban services. Consequently, the need of the hour is to strengthen and reengineer the urban local bodies which will perform better in terms of maximizing revenue generation and at the same time deliver the services in a better and efficient way. The only alternative which could bring such results can mainly be achieved through the introduction of innovative practices which openly targets these two issues, which mainly revolve around maximization of proceeds and better serviceability (Ogra, n.d.).
There is an assortment of core areas where city managers are involved for providing their services for the betterment of a city. These services are often explained as the obligatory and the mandatory tasks. It is with these functions where city managers have to execute in a way that they could maximize revenue generation and perform and deliver the services in an improved way. One of the important things which are missing in the system is that data is not managed properly. Because of the inappropriate management of the data and records, it often becomes hard to know about the functioning of the system in an efficient way. The basis of a solution to maximize profit creation and efficient delivery of the urban services lies in the overall management of the data system within the organization. The data is often linked to other data which then lies in a remote form. It is very significant to manage the data in an integrated way so that difficulty of the various systems can be reduced in order to solve the various issues that are related to the functions of the cities (Ogra, n.d.).
The most important task for solid waste management rests with city authorities who are the single most important actors to utilize the activities that are needed to deal with this issue. Successful results will necessitate the allocation of special responsibilities and financial resources to the local authorities by central governments. In many cases, this will involve policy changes, legal reform, institutional capacity-building, the use of modern management approaches and appropriate technologies in order to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of current solid-waste management practices that are being used (Solid Waste Management and Sewage Related Issues, 1999).
In many cities, solid and liquid waste management is carried out by the private sector by way of agreement with the local authorities. The trend of comparable private sector association also appears to be increasing in developing countries as well. There are, nevertheless, risks that are related to the infrastructure preceding such privatization. An inadequately run public service, which is often the case in waste collection, is vulnerable to being replaced by a private monopoly over which a city manager would have little control. In this context, use of competitive tendering, retaining several different companies for the service needed and monitoring of contractor's performance ensure acceptable and effective services (Solid Waste Management and Sewage Related Issues, 1999).
The U.S. EPA defines municipal solid waste to include waste generated in the residential, commercial, and institutional sectors. Of the 232 million tons generated in 2000, approximately
55.4% was disposed of in landfills, 23% was recovered for recycling, 7.1% was recovered for composting, primarily yard waste, and 14.5% was combusted in waste-to-energy facilities. In addition to MSW, many other nonhazardous wastes are managed in these same facilities, including construction and demolition (C&D) waste, water and wastewater treatment plant sludge's, and nonhazardous industrial wastes ranging from food processing wastes to foundry sands (Barlaz, Cekander and Vasuki, 2003).
We often find that the best way to analyze waste management is to understand how the money flows. For waste generated in the residential and institutional sectors, the cost of solid waste management is typically borne by residents through a unit of government, which means that the costs for collection, recycling, composting, combustion, and disposal are constantly competing for always scarce tax revenue. MSW management may also be funded through user fees. Some have advocated the implementation of "pay as you throw" (PAYT) systems, in which waste generators are charged for refuse collection in proportion to the volume discarded. Conceptually, this should encourage people to reduce waste generation and to recycle wherever possible. The implementation of such systems is increasing in the United States. Of course, PAYT is standard practice for commercial waste generators (Barlaz, Cekander and Vasuki, 2003).
MSW is frequently managed by a combination of public and private entities. The local government's responsibility for protection of public health and the local environment is cost-effectively discharged through public-private partnerships. Thus, the waste management infrastructure consists of numerous public-private partnerships that together are charged with protecting human health and the environment in a cost-effective manner. The EPA identified a hierarchy for waste management in which source reduction is considered to be most favorable, followed by recycling, treatment, and ultimately landfill disposal. While seemingly intuitive, we suggest that this hierarchy is most useful when both economic feasibility and environmental sustainability are considered (Barlaz, Cekander and Vasuki, 2003).
As the population continues to grow and more and more people live in or near the city the task of waste management becomes a more important function than it ever has been before. In most cities this job is one of the city manager. They are responsible for figuring out the best ways to deal with the waste that is produced. They must decided what the best options are for not only getting rid of it, but getting rid of it in the most efficient and cost effective way possible. Everyone wants it gone, but no body wants to pay for dealing with it.
There are many new techniques that have been introduced over the years in order to help city managers to better deal with this part of their job. There are new and improved data management programs that allow for those in charge to better be able to know what is working and what it not and to make appropriate changes as they are needed. The major issue that those who deal with waste today is not just the process of getting rid of it, but of they effects that those processes have in the long run on the environment. All of these things have to be taken into account so that they most viable plans can be put into place today that will be most beneficial for the generations to come.
Barlaz, Morton, Cekander, Gregory C. And Vasuki, N.C. (2003). Integrated Solid Waste
Management in the United States. Journal of Environmental Engineering. 129(7), p.583.
Down in the dumps. (2009). Economist. 390(8620), special section p.5-9.
National 3R Strategy for Waste Management. (2009). Retreived July 26, 2010, from Web site: