ISWA warns of global waste crisis | Source: Resource, Feb 24 2016 |
The International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) is calling on governments and organisations to broaden their understanding of the global waste crisis following a recent focus on the issue of marine plastics.
The issue of marine plastic pollution has received significant attention recently, with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation Report, ‘The New Plastics Economy’ estimating that there will be more plastics than fish (by weight) in the world’s oceans by 2050, and the documentary A Plastic Ocean investigating the global effects of plastics disposal.
However, ISWA emphasises that marine plastic is just one type of waste seeping into the land, sea and air, often from unregulated sites. With the growth in population far greater than the implementation of waste management systems to service them, the association, an international network of waste management associations, warns that the problem is likely to deteriorate unless coordinated action is taken on a global level.
In a statement released last week (19 February), ISWA expressed its wish to remind governments and organisations that the waste generated by nearly three billion people is not collected into a formal waste management process. Approximately 40 per cent of the world’s total waste is dumped in unregulated ‘open sites’ such as the banks of rivers or stretches of coastline.
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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.