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CITIES TO FACE SHARPLY RISING COSTS FOR GARBAGE TREATMENT

Oranjestad - June 11, 2012 – According to the World Bank, a new report on the state of municipal solid waste around the world predicts a sharp rise in the amount of garbage generated by urban residents between now and 2025.  The report estimates the amount of municipal solid waste (MSW) will rise from the current 1.3 billion tonnes/year to 2.2 billion tonnes/year, with much of the increase coming in rapidly growing cities in developing countries. The annual cost of solid waste management is projected to rise from the current $205 billion to $375 billion, with cost increasing most severely in low income countries.

The report, What a Waste: A Global Review of Solid Waste Management, for the first time offers consolidated data on MSW generation, collection, composition, and disposal by country and by region. In itself, this is an accomplishment because, as the report states, reliable global MSW information is either not available or incomplete, inconsistent, and incomparable. Nevertheless, the authors of the report point to a looming crisis in MSW treatment as living standards rise and urban populations grow.

The report spells out policy recommendations for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, many of which emanate from inefficient solid waste management practices. Post-consumer waste is estimated to account for almost 5% of total global GHG, while methane from landfills represents 12% of total global methane emissions. The report says that a number of practical approaches could be applied in most cities, including:

·         Public education to inform people about their options to reduce waste generation and increase recycling and composting;

·         Pricing mechanisms (such as product charges) to stimulate consumer behaviour to reduce waste generation and increase recycling;

·         User charges tied to the quantity of waste disposed of, with (for example) consumers separating recyclables paying a lower fee for waste disposal; and/or

·         Preferential procurement policies and pricing to stimulate demand for products made with recycled post-consumer waste.

For a link to the report, click here: http://go.worldbank.org/BCQEP0TMO0

To read the entire article go to http://web.worldbank.org

 

By orbitalnets.com