BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Establishing a good sound waste management system for a community requires a comprehensive knowledge of the current status and issues involved in present waste management system. This research was conducted to identify and prioritize waste management weaknesses in Saravan village of Guilan province, Iran.
METHODS: Data were gathered through a descriptive-analytical approach using a purposive sampling and researcher-made questionnaire method. Waste management weaknesses were prioritized by Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process (FAHP), and Analytic Network Process (ANP).
FINDING: The most important weakness of rural waste management in the study area was waste management structure, equipment, and infrastructures weakness (index C) with relative importance values of 38.1% in AHP, 37.3% in FAHP, and 38.2% in ANP approaches. The village inhabitants' weakness (index B) with relative importance values of 16.5% in AHP, 17.2% in FAHP, and 1.4% in ANP had the lowest priority among studied weaknesses. Workforce weakness (index A), and educational and cultural weakness (index D) were the second and third important weaknesses, respectively. The most important sub-indices weakness of these weakness indices were non-compliance of Rural Municipality Manager (RMM) with waste management standards, rules, and regulations; Waste disposal by the village inhabitants at the nearest site; failure to establish a solid waste fix station in the village; and lack of training and awareness of villagers about waste management.
CONCLUSION: In order to establish a successful waste management system in rural areas, it is recommended to develop a comprehensive strategy that involves aspects such as; establishing proper waste management infrastructures, employment of skilled staff, and conducting training plans and motivational programs for staff and inhabitants.
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