The collection and disposal of solid wastes are not going well. Some residents suffer from irregular collections; others have no collection service at all and live in an environment of flies, mosquitoes and rats. They are accustomed to frequent flooding and the stench of clogged drains; the pervasive, choking smoke from burning refuse is inescapable. Other residents are unhappy about the charges they are asked to pay for an inadequate service. Who is to blame? The mayor and other senior political and administrative leaders are tired of receiving complaints from residents and businessmen about the solid waste collection service. Some important citizens seem to complain every week about delays in collection or the behaviour of the waste collectors; there are frequent complaints about waste scattered on the streets. Central government transfers of finance are often late and are never for the full amount requested. Why are there so many problems? Villagers living near the disposal site complain about its appearance, the smell, smoke and flies. University lecturers and environmental groups claim that water resources are being polluted by the waste and demand that the site be closed. The municipal sanitation manager hears all these complaints again and again. He did not ask for this job, and he has not been trained to do it. He is trying to arrange to be transferred to any other part of the municipal organization. He works long hours, and receives no thanks. There are insufficient funds to provide a good service, and he is not free to decide how the money that he does have should be spent. He has inherited a large workforce of men who are willing to work only four hours a day, and he cannot dismiss those who refuse to do even that much work. Most of his vehicles are old, and the few new ones are always breaking down and spend most of their time in the workshop, awaiting repair. He knows that the disposal site is unsatisfactory and is looking for a new technology to solve his problems. He is sitting in the hot seat.