Methodological and Technological Issues in Technology Transfer

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13.4 Enhanced Technology Transfer within Countries Extensive technology transfer in the waste management sector is underway. In developing countries, the principal activities focus on expanding waste management services and upgrading existing systems. Countries with economies in transition (CEITs) tend to have a more extensive infrastructure in place, but require substantial investments in upgrading and maintenance. Even in developed countries, many waste management systems are aging and must be upgraded to meet community demands or increasing regulatory requirements.

Expanded investment will provide numerous opportunities to incorporate mitigation technologies, which can be readily integrated into many projects. To date, however, most projects have not specifically considered the climate-related impacts of different waste management systems. When these impacts are considered, it is usually late in the process, and the focus is on possible "add-on technologies" such as methane recovery systems. In part this is a function of timing; in countries with an existing waste management infrastructure, addressing climate issues in the near-term will likely involve significant deployment of add-on technologies. Where there is a long history of waste disposal in landfills, for example, add-on methane recovery will be an important element of mitigation strategies. There are also design and operating procedures that help increase the amount of methane recovered for existing control systems. Both developing and industrialised countries can significantly expand investments in alternative waste management technologies that avoid GHG emissions. In particular, local composting and recycling programmes can reduce the need for large centralised landfills, with their GHG emissions and other environmental implications. The potential of alternative technologies is largest in developing countries, where the choice of lower cost, less complex waste management systems can be more acceptable to local communities and impose fewer institutional, technical and financial burdens on governments than conventional integrated waste management systems. Industrialised countries are also focusing increasingly on alternative waste management systems, however, and are promoting composting and recycling projects as an alternative to continued reliance on large centralised landfills.

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