Aug 24, 2012
Global municipal waste volumes set to rise sharplyBack
Africa|Aluminium|Generator|Urban|Waste|Waste Management|World Bank Economics|Africa|China|USD|Plastics|Products|Services|Environmental|Dan Hoornweg|Waste|Eastern Europe|Middle East|Southeast Asia|Southern Africa|Sub-Saharan Africa
© Reuse this
With a high correlation between income levels and the rate of urbanisation, a recent report by the World Bank on solid waste management has determined that, as disposable income and standards of living increase, so too do the consumption of goods and services, as well as the subsequent generation of waste.
Interestingly, as a country urbanises and the wealth of its population increases, the consumption of inorganic materials – such as plastics, glass and aluminium – increases, while the relative organic fraction decreases.
Waste generation in Southern Africa amounts to around 62-million tons a year, with an indivi- dual generating between 0.09 kg and 3 kg of municipal waste a day – an average of 0.65 kg per person a day.
This is considerably lower than the international average of 1.2 kg.
In addition, the report predicts a sharp rise in the generation of MSW by urban residents between 2012 and 2025, with figures expected to rise from the current 1.3-billion tons a year to 2.2-billion tons a year.
Much of this increase is expected to originate in the rapidly growing cities of developing States.
The fastest growing waste generator is China, followed closely by areas of Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
The yearly global cost of solid waste manage- ment is projected to rise from the current $205- billion a year to $375-billion a year, with costs increasing most dramatically in developing countries.
Tellingly, the World Bank Economics and Urban Development Department lead urban specialist Dan Hoornweg says that while these results are not surprising, they should be considered a wake-up call for national policymakers.
“The challenges surrounding MSW are going to be enormous and will be on par with the current challenges we are experiencing with regard to climate change,” he warns.
Critical to the formulation of an effective and integrated solid waste management plan in urban centres is consultation with and input from stakeholders, including citizen groups, environmental organisations and public health specialists.
Further, the report advocates that government response to municipal waste management challenges should include a dedicated public awareness campaign and the application of pricing mechanisms to stimulate consumer behaviour in reducing waste generation and increasing recycling.
Further policy recommendations include linking the user charges to the quantity of waste disposed and promoting preferential procurement policies and pricing to stimulate demand for products made with recycled post-consumer waste.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Waste Management and Recycling News
International consulting engineering company Royal HaskoningDHV (RHDHV) has appointed Salani Sithole as South African MD, effective March 1. Sithole has been with the company for six years and, prior to joining RHDHV, held various positions in engineering consulting,...
Recent Research Reports
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
This Week's Magazine
National flag carrier South African Airways (SAA) is in an advanced stage of renegotiating its deal with European airliner manufacturer Airbus to acquire A320 single-aisle (or narrow body) aircraft. The aim is to replace ten of the aircraft still on order with five...
Worldwide, the main thrust in the ports industry over the past decade or more has been to increase efficiency. Traditionally, ports have been run by engineers and mariners and, in the past, increasing a port’s capacity was achieved by expanding the harbour. “That has...
What do you do when an elephant has a toothache? You call Dr Gerhard Steenkamp from the University of Pretoria’s (UP’s) faculty of veterinary science, Onderstepoort, one of only two elephant ‘dentists’ in the world.
The 2015 Sanlam/Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year (EOY) competition was launched earlier this month in Johannesburg, with the main focus on creating and inspiring entrepreneurs to create jobs and boost the economy.
In a recent letter to the editor that I sent to Engineering News (Concerns regarding South African portion of Square Kilometre Array) and in a follow-up article elaborating further (We must start preparations to build our own synchrotron light source), I stated my...