Item Details

Title: Municipal solid waste composting for cost recovery (Mbale Compost Plant, Uganda)

Date Published: 2017
Author/s: Charles B. Niwagaba, Miriam Otoo and Lesley Hope
Data publication:
Funding Agency :
Copyright/patents/trade marks:
Journal Publisher:
Affiliation: Government of Uganda, National
Environment Management Authority
(NEMA), Makerere University, National
Agricultural Advisory Service, World Bank


Mbale municipal Composting Plant (MCP) is a not-for-profit entity which was started with the primary
aim of reducing the quantity of solid waste landfilled and resulting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Additional key drivers have been to: a) reduce open-dumping practices and maintain cleanliness of
the city; b) provide an environmentally safe fertilizer alternative for farmers; and c) create jobs for local
inhabitants. MCP uses a windrow composting technique and converts approximately 60 tons of waste
that it receives daily into a safe organic fertilizer. This initiative is based on a cost-recovery model
where it seeks to reduce waste management costs faced by the municipality. It mainly generates its
revenue from sale of compost and recyclables such as plastics, and plans to engage in carbon trading
in the near future as an additional revenue stream. Compost is sold primarily to farmers within Mbale,
however MCP’s compost product is gradually gaining popularity and is being sold in other regions.
Plans are underway to reinvent its marketing strategy by advertising on national television to broaden
its market scope. MCP did so far not break even and receives financial support from the government to
partially cover its operational and maintenance costs. Additional subsidies are received as operational
tax waivers from the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA). MCP has great potential
to become financially self-sufficient