ISWA CALLS OPEN DUMPS A ‘GLOBAL HEALTH EMERGENCY | | Source: by Thomas Dimech | Resource, 8 September 2015 |
A new report by the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) is highlighting the ‘global health emergency’ affecting tens of millions of people in developing countries who lack good sanitation infrastructure.
The report, ‘Wasted Health: The Tragic Case of Dumpsites’, illustrates how the issues surrounding open dumpsites in the developed world 40 years ago are still prevalent in developing countries, but are also being compounded by unprecedented issues such as the unregulated accumulation of discarded electronics, mobile phones, and medical waste.
Some of the main problems identified in the report include:
- open dumpsites receive roughly 40 per cent of the world’s waste and serve about 3.5 to 4 billion people;
- there has been a substantial rise in unregulated dumping of mobile devices, electronic appliances, medical and municipal waste, accelerating the scale of the threat and health risks;
- uncontrolled burning of waste releases gases and toxins into the atmosphere;
- open waste sites in India, Indonesia and the Philippines are more detrimental to life expectancy than malaria;
- 64 million people’s lives (equal to the population of France) are affected by world’s 50 largest dumpsites;
- in addition to the human and environmental impacts, the financial cost of open dumpsites runs into the tens of billions of US dollars.
UN: Treated Waste Could be ‘Gold Mine’ | Source: Environmental Leader – Oct 10 2013
Recycling and waste treatment can be a “gold mine,” perhaps literally, according to a UN report that finds treated waste can be put to profitable use.
For example, 1 metric ton of electrical and electronic wastecontains as much gold as 5 to 15 metric tons of typical gold ore, and amounts of copper, aluminum and rare metals that exceed by many times the levels found in typical ores. As a result, printed circuit boards are probably the “richest ore stream you’re ever going to find,” according to the Guidelines for National Waste Management Strategies: Moving from Challenges to Opportunities.
Many waste products can be reused and, if waste is separated at source, the uncontaminated organic fraction can be composted or digested anaerobically, the report says.
Miranda Wang and Jeanny Yao have identified a new bacteria that breaks down nasty compounds called phthalates, common to flexible plastics and linked to health problems. And they’re still teenagers.
Dec. 1, 2011 – Entrepreneur turns Pakistan’s tons of garbage into a handsome profit while saving the environment.
Clean” and “green” are words not usually associated with the streets of Lahore, but a garbage collecting business is changing the image of the Pakistani city.
And it is making millions of dollars in the process, by turning waste into liquefied petroleum products and fertiliser for farmlands.
Discarded plastic, industrial waste and unwanted fishing nets are still a growing problem for the world’s oceans, despite decades of efforts to reduce such marine debris. However, a new set of commitments – set out during the recent Fifth International Marine Debris Conference – hope to encourage the sharing of technical, legal and market-based solutions to reduce marine debris.
One of the key findings of the conference was the need to improve waste management practices globally. It was said that improvements to national waste management programmes not only help reduce the volume of waste in the world’s seas and oceans, but can also bring real economic benefits.
The impacts of marine debris are far-reaching, with serious consequences for marine habitats, biodiversity, human health and the global economy. According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), at least 267 marine species worldwide are affected by entanglement in, or ingestion of marine debris, including 86% of all sea turtle species, 44% of all seabird species and 43% of all marine mammal species.
A common pass book we know is one that contains cash deposits and withdrawal amounts in detail, but in the Entrepreneurs Multipurpose Cooperative in the town of Pavia, they issue pass books indicating kilos of bottles, plastics, and recyclables items as deposits.
The pass books belong to women entrepreneurs called Eco-Savers, majority women vendors and microenterprise operators, who in partnership with the local government of Pavia, are discharged with the responsibility of managing the town’s solid wastes, especially those generated in the public market.
Joy Palmada, manager of the cooperative, proudly shows the bundles of pass books to visitors and clients and those interested how the scheme works and how it has made Pavia a garbage-free municipality.