Resource Recovery from Waste: Business Models for Energy, Nutrient and Water Reuse in Low- and Middle-income Countries, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Resource Recovery from Waste

Business Models for Energy, Nutrient and Water Reuse in Low- and Middle-income Countries, 1st Edition

Edited by Miriam Otoo, Pay Drechsel


816 pages | 653 Color Illus.

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pub: 2018-03-29
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Humans generate millions of tons of waste every day. This waste is rich in water, nutrients, energy and organic compounds. Yet waste is not being managed in a way that permits us to derive value from its reuse, whilst millions of farmers struggle with depleted soils and lack of water. This book shows how Resource Recovery and Reuse (RRR) could create livelihoods, enhance food security, support green economies, reduce waste and contribute to cost recovery in the sanitation chain.

While many RRR projects fully depend on subsidies and hardly survive their pilot phase, hopeful signs of viable approaches to RRR are emerging around the globe including low- and middle-income countries. These enterprises or projects are tapping into entrepreneurial initiatives and public ̶ private partnerships, leveraging private capital to help realize commercial or social value, shifting the focus from treatment for waste disposal to treatment of waste as a valuable resource for safe reuse.

The book provides a compendium of business options for energy, nutrients and water recovery via 24 innovative business models based on an in-depth analysis of over 60 empirical cases, of which 47 from around the world are described and evaluated in a systematic way. The focus is on organic municipal, agro-industrial and food waste, including fecal sludge, supporting a diverse range of business models with potential for large-scale out-and up-scaling.


"The catalogue fills a significant gap in the literature and should prove useful not only for today’s investors and policy makers but also for the curricula of engineering, economics, environmental and business schools. This will help sensitize the next generation of decision makers to the opportunities inherent in the Circular Economy." - taken from the Foreword, Guy Hutton, Senior Advisor at UNICEF, and previously a Senior Economist at the World Bank

"It is my strong belief that this handbook is a vital resource for all those seeking to help the world grow sustainably and equitably through the 21st century and beyond. I am confident that it will soon become the standard reference for all those who study and practice these important issues, in developed and developing countries alike." - taken from the Epilogue, Professor Jaideep Prabhu, Professor of Business and Enterprise at the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge, UK, and author of Jugaad Innovation (Wiley, 2012)

Table of Contents

Foreword by Guy Hutton

Section I Business models for a circular economy: Introduction

1. Business Models for a Circular Economy: Linking Waste Management and Sanitation with Agriculture

Pay Drechsel, Miriam Otoo, Krishna C. Rao and Munir A. Hanjra

2. Defining and Analysing RRR Business Cases and Models

Miriam Otoo, Solomie Gebrezgabher, Pay Drechsel, Krishna C. Rao, Sudarshana Fernando,

Surendra K. Pradhan, Munir A. Hanjra, Manzoor Qadir and Mirko Winkler

Section II Energy Recovery from Organic Waste

Edited by Krishna Rao and Solomie Gebrezgabher

3: Business Models on Solid Fuel Production from Waste

Case: Briquettes from Agro-waste (Kampala Jellitone Suppliers, Uganda)

Business Model 1: Briquettes from Agro Waste

Case: Briquettes from Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) (COOCEN, Rwanda)

Case: Briquettes from Agro-waste and MSW (Eco-Fuel Africa, Uganda)

Business Model 2: Briquettes from MSW

4. Business Models for in-house Biogas Production for Energy Savings

Case: Biogas from Fecal Sludge and Kitchen Waste at Prisons

Case: Biogas from Fecal Sludge at Community Scale (Sulabh, India)

Case: Biogas from Fecal Sludge at Kibera Communities (Umande Trust, Kenya)

Business Model 3: Biogas from Fecal Sludge at Community Level

Case: Biogas from Kitchen Waste for Internal Consumption (Wipro Employees Canteen, India)

Business Model 4: Biogas from Kitchen Waste

5. Business Models for Sustainable and Renewable Power Generation

Case: Power from Livestock and Agricultural Waste for Rural Electrification (Santa Rosillo, Peru)

Case: Power from Swine Manure for Industry’s Internal Use (Sadia, Brazil)

Case: Power from Animal and Slaughterhouse Waste for Industry’s Internal Use (SuKarne, Mexico)

Business Model 5: Power from Manure

Case: Power from Agro-waste at Greenko’s Ravikiran Power Project, India

Case: Power from Rice Husk for Rural Electrification by Husk Power, India

Business Model 6: Power from Agro-waste

Case: Power from MSW (Pune Municipal Corporation, India)

Business Model 7: Power from MSW

Case: Combined Heat and Power from Bagasse (Mumias Sugar Company, Kenya)

Case: Power from Slaughter house Waste (Nyongara Slaughter House, Kenya)

Case: Combined Heat and Power and Ethanol from Sugar Industry Waste (SSSSK, India)

Case: Combined Heat and Power from Agro-industries Wastewater (TBEC, Thailand)

Business Model 8: Onsite Combined Heat and Power from Agro-Waste

6. Business Models on Emerging Technologies/Bio-fuel Production from Agro-Waste

Case: Bio-Ethanol from Cassava Waste (ETAVEN, Venezuela)

Case: Organic Binder from Alcohol Production (Eco Biosis S.A., Mexico)

Business Model 9: Bio-Ethanol and Chemical Products from Agro and Agro-industrial Waste


Section III Nutrient and Organic Matter Recovery

Edited by Miriam Otoo

7. Business Models on Partially Subsidized Composting at District Level

Case: MSW Composting for Cost Recovery(Mbale Compost Plant, Uganda)

Case: Public Private Partnership-based MSW Composting (Greenfields Crops, Sri Lanka)

Case: Fecal Sludge and MSW Composting for Cost Recovery(Balangoda Compost Plant, Sri Lanka)

Business Model 10: Partially Subsidized Composting at District Level

8. Business Models on Subsidy-Free Community Based Composting

Case: Cooperative Model for Financially Sustainable MSW Composting (NAWACOM, Kenya)

Business Model 11: Subsidy-Free Community Based Composting

9. Business Models on Large-Scale Composting for Revenue Generation

Case: Inclusive, Public Private Partnership-based MSW Composting (A2Z, India)

Case: MSW to Compost and Carbon Credits for Profit (IL&FS, India)

Case: Partnership-Driven MSW Composting (KCDC, India)

Case: Franchising Approach to MSW Composting (Terra Firma, India)

Case: Socially driven MSW Composting for Profit (Waste Concern, Bangladesh)

Business Model 12: Large-Scale Composting for Revenue Generation

10. Business Models on Nutrient Recovery from own Agro-Industrial Waste

Case: Agricultural Waste to High Quality Compost (DuduTech, Kenya)

Case: Enriched Compost Production from Sugar Industry Waste (PASIC, India)

Case: Livestock Waste for Compost Production (ProBio, Mexico)

Business Model 13: Nutrient Recovery from own Agro-Industrial Waste

11. Business Models on Compost Production for Sustainable Sanitation Service Delivery

Case: Fecal Sludge to High Nutritive Compost from Public Toilets (Rwanda Environment Care, Rwanda)

Business Model 14: Compost Production for Sanitation Service Delivery

12. Business Models for Outsourcing Fecal Sludge Treatment to the Farm

Case: Fecal sludge for on-farm use (Bangalore Honey Suckers, India)

Business Model 15: Outsourcing Fecal Sludge Treatment to the Farm

13. Business Models on Phosphorus recovery from Excreta and Wastewater

Case: Urine and fecal matter collection in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Business Model 16: Phosphorus Recovery from Wastewater at Scale


Section IV Wastewater for Agriculture, Forestry and Aquaculture

Edited by Pay Drechsel and Munir A. Hanjra

14. Business Models on institutional and regulatory pathways to cost recovery

Case: Wastewater for fruit and wood production in Egypt

Case: Wastewater and biosolids for fruit trees in Tunisia

Case: Sub-urban wastewater treatment designed for Reuse and Replication, Morocco

Business Model 17: Wastewater for Greening the Desert

15. Business Models beyond Cost Recovery

Case: Wastewater for the production of fish feed in Bangladesh

Case: A private-public partnership linking wastewater treatment and aquaculture in Ghana

Business Model 18: Leapfrogging the value chain through aquaculture

16. Business Models for Cost sharing and Risk Minimization

Case: Viability Gap Funding in As-Samra, Jordan

Business Model 19: Enabling private sector investment in large scale wastewater treatment

17. Business Models on Rural-Urban Water Trading

Case: Fixed wastewater-freshwater swap in the Mashhad Plain, Iran

Case: Flexible wastewater-freshwater swap in the LIobregat delta, Spain

Business Model 20: Inter-sectoral Water Exchange

Case: Growing opportunities for Mexico City to tap into the Tula aquifer

Case: Revival of Amani Doddakere Tank near Bangalore, India

Business Model 21: Cities as their own downstream user

18. Business Models for increasing Safety in Informal Wastewater Irrigation

Business Model 22: Corporate Social Responsibility as driver of change

Business Model 23: Wastewater as a commodity driving change

Business Model 24: Farmers’ innovation capacity as driver of change

Section V Enabling Environment and Financing

19. The Enabling Environment and Finance of Resource Recovery and Reuse Luca di Mario, Krishna C. Rao, and Pay Drechsel

Frugal Innovations for the Circular Economy – An Epilogue by Prof. Jaideep Prabhu

About the Author/Editors

Miriam Otoo is a Research Economist, leading the Research Group on Resource Recovery and Reuse at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI).

Pay Drechsel is a Principal Researcher at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), leading IWMI’s Strategic Program, on Rural-Urban Linkages and the related Research Flagship of the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Industries / Agribusiness
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Industries / Energy Industries
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Environmental / Waste Management

Q&A Session with Editors Miriam and Pay

Routledge is pleased to share with you our author Q&A session with Miriam Otoo and Pay Drechsel, about their new title Resource Recovery from Waste!

Read our interview with Miriam Otoo and Pay Drechsel and discover their passion for resource recovery.