The delivery of urban basic infrastructure services is often guided by the modern infrastructure ideal, which aims for technical innovation, economic efficiency and uniformity through long-term, centralized management approaches. In rapidly growing urban centres of the global South, however, heterogeneous infrastructure configurations have long involved multiple systems in varying degrees of coexistence. This paper explores how community-based enterprises – organizations that aim not to turn a profit but rather to generate human well-being – contribute to, complement or conflict with wider municipal solid waste management strategies. It does so through two case studies, focused on Luchacos, a local enterprise turning waste into briquettes in an informal settlement of Kampala, Uganda; and the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), a cooperative of waste pickers in Ahmedabad, India. Drawing on empirical data and policy analysis, the research finds that, given the necessary state support, community-based enterprises can contribute to a range of sustainability and development objectives.
- community-based enterprises
- municipal solid waste management (MSWM)
- urban service delivery