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Waste management


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Waste management

  1. 1. AccountingAdvertising Industry as a partner forAluminium sustainable developmentAutomotiveAviationChemicals Waste ManagementCoal International Solid Waste Association (ISWA)ConstructionConsulting EngineeringElectricityFertilizerFinance and InsuranceFood and DrinkInformation andCommunications TechnologyIron and SteelOil and GasRailwaysRefrigerationRoad TransportTourismWaste Management Developed through a multi-stakeholder process facilitated by:Water Management
  2. 2. This report is released by the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) and the UnitedNations Environment Programme. Unless otherwise stated, all the interpretation and findings setforth in this publication are those of the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA)The designations employed and the presentation of the material in this publication do not imply theexpression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the International Solid Waste Association(ISWA) or the United Nations Environment Programme concerning the legal status of any country,territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.The contents of this volume do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the United NationsEnvironment Programme, nor does citing of trade names or commercial processes constituteendorsement.This publication may be reproduced in whole or in part and in any form for educational or non-profit purposes without special permission from the copyright holders, provided acknowledgementof the source is made.The International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) and the United NationsEnvironment Programme would appreciate receiving a copy of any publication that uses thispublication as a source.First published in the United Kingdom in 2002.Copyright © 2002 International Solid Waste Association and United Nations Environment ProgrammeISBN: 92-807-2194-2ProductionDesign by Beacon Creative+44 (0) 1825 768811Printed by The Beacon Press using their environmental print technology that is both water andalcohol free. No film processing chemicals were used and 90% of the cleaning solvent was recycled.The electricity was generated from renewable resources and vegetable based inks were used.Registered to the environment management system ISO14001 (Certificate No. E.9586) and EMAS the EcoManagement and Audit Scheme (registration no. UK-S-00011), and the printer holds FSC Chain of Custodycertificate number SGS COC 0620. Over 85% of any waste associated with this product will be recycled.
  3. 3. 1Industry as a partner for sustainable developmentWaste ManagementA report prepared by:International Solid Waste Association (ISWA)Overgaden Oven Vandet 48 EDK-1415 CopenhagenDenmarkTel: +45 32 96 15 88Fax: +45 32 96 15 84E-mail: iswa@inet.uni2.dkWeb site: http://www.iswa.orgDisclaimerIn a multi-stakeholder consultation facilitated by the United Nations Environment Programme, anumber of groups (including representatives from non-governmental organisations, labour unions,research institutes and national governments) provided comments on a preliminary draft of thisreport prepared by the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA). The report was then revised,benefiting from stakeholder perspectives and input. The views expressed in the report remain thoseof the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations EnvironmentProgramme or the individuals and organisations that participated in the consultation.
  4. 4. 2 Waste Management
  5. 5. Contents 3Contents5 Foreword9 Executive summary13 Part I: Introduction13 1.1 ISWA – The International Solid Waste Association14 1.2 Scope of the report17 Part 2: Implementing the three dimensions of sustainable development17 2.1 Environmentally sound management of solid wastes18 2.2 Description of the waste industry19 2.3 Facts and figures on the municipal waste industry23 2.4 Hazardous waste management25 Part 3: Different approaches to waste management in different parts of the world25 3.1 The European Union26 3.2 The United States26 3.3 Other high and medium income countries26 3.4 Economically developing countries31 Part 4: Implementation of sustainable development practices31 4.1 Waste management and sustainable development32 4.2 Waste management today – social dimension34 4.3 Waste management today – economic dimension37 4.4 Waste management today – environmental dimension39 Part 5: Means of implementation39 5.1 Regulatory framework41 5.2 Market-based initiatives43 5.3 Economic instruments45 5.4 Informative instruments49 Part 6: Future challenges and goals49 6.1 Key areas of progress achieved49 6.2 Key areas for future progress51 6.3 Specific areas of attention53 6.4 Roles of other stakeholders54 Annexe 1: Case study 1: Sustainable development in Switzerland. An example of good practice with regard to electronic scrap disposal56 Annexe 2: Case study 2: Waste management in Metropolitan Cape Town A case study – the challenges facing a developing city65 Annexe 3: Case study 3: Management of municipal solid wastes in China70 References
  6. 6. 4 Contents List of figures 20 Figure 1: Waste generation rates from 1960 to 1999 in the United States 20 Figure 2: 1999 total waste generation in the United States 21 Figure 3: Management of MSW in the United States 21 Figure 4: Total waste generation by sector – EEA countries, 1992 to 1997 22 Figure 5: Is there still a correlation between economic growth and waste generation? 22 Figure 6: Waste generation from daily household and commercial activities 59 Figure 7: Desirability hierarchy in integrated waste management 60 Figure 8: Typical elements of a waste management system Tables: 23 Table 1: Generation and transport of MSW in China 28 Table 2: Statistics of MSW generation and transport in 11 large cities in China 35 Table 3: Urban expenditure, total and on waste, selected cities and years
  7. 7. Foreword 5 ForewordSince the 1992 World Summit in Rio de practices, the need for increased efficiency,Janeiro, professional waste management has quality management and occupational healthmade significant technological and managerial aspects.contributions to the protection of theenvironment. However, we are still facing The impact of waste management on thenumerous and serious problems.The 1990s environment has been widely recognised incan be seen as a period of better less developed regions, as well. Getting controlunderstanding regarding the position and of the various waste streams from households,function of the waste management sector as small shops, from the industry, the healthcarespecialist in the ecological, economic, and social sector, and numerous other sources, allowsframework.The new decade offers an their proper handling, treatment and disposal.opportunity – and at the same time shows the Furthermore, it has been recognised that verynecessity – to proceed with the simple solutions for waste management oftenimplementation and consolidation of have tremendous effects on the health andenvironmental regulations. Focused action is safety standards in developing countries.required as soon as possible, especially indeveloping countries. Waste collection is the basis for all subsequent managerial measures and treatmentThis document summarises contributions from technologies.The early stages we hope toa number of International Solid Waste envisage comprise the establishment of a basicAssociation (ISWA) national members.The regulatory framework, of collection schemes,ISWA is well aware of the fact that the and of appropriate treatment and disposaloverview provided is far from being complete. facilities to prevent further damage to theNevertheless, the document clearly shows the environment.Training of operators and staff issignificant change of the role of waste a key element in this context. Local operatorsmanagement from the sector’s limited scope and authorities can definitely benefitof dealing with wastes to the new task of considerably from international support andmanaging our society’s metabolism. the transfer of know-how, so that they can run at least basic collection and recyclingWaste management has for quite some time operations, landfills or compost plants in thebeen understood as a key area in global best possible way under the givenenvironmental protection. Beyond that circumstances.integrated waste management may beregarded as an interface between the ISWA has recently entered into co-operationproduction, distribution and consumption of with UNEP and is now able to offer traininggoods on the one hand, and soil, groundwater, courses in developing countries. Furthermore,air and climate on the other.Thus, it is an a special training pack for hazardous waste isimportant partner in the context of being developed in order to support thissustainable development. training programme.The tasks and challenges we face today in our business and field ofIndustrialised countries are currently fine- research are the result of decades, if nottuning their regulatory framework and waste centuries, of economic and socialmanagement infrastructure.The waste industry deals with considerablyrising environmental and legal standards, best
  8. 8. 6 Foreword Our behaviour as consumers, as well as our economic growth by increased eco-efficiency roles as managers, operators or regulators, are as well as the problems caused by the trend of determined by our specific set of values, our rapid urbanisation. Given our present emotions, our culture, our cognitive production and consumption patterns, waste background, and by our personal degrees of generation is closely tied up with population freedom. Both education and legislation are growth and economic development. Many of required to change behavioural patterns. the most rapidly growing conurbations and Education will create awareness and support mega-cities are located in developing countries the development of a new frame of mind in a where funding is still a critical issue. While the mid-term perspective. Legislation, however, has introduction of fees for waste collection and to lay out the rules, to enforce them and to treatment services raises people’s awareness, it prevent violations as a short term measure. may push consumers and businesses to illegal practices.This makes education an even more In view of the variety and complexity of important factor in this context. products and consequently of wastes, by- products, and residues, there is no single Today, the waste management industry is well solution to the waste treatment demands of aware of the importance of social aspects. today. An appropriate mix of technologies is These include, among others the siting of needed in order to meet the various technical, facilities and the introduction of new collection ecological and economic requirements of schemes, training workers and staff and integrated waste management on a regional educating consumers, establishing and level. As long as industry and consumers promoting business, business relations and produce waste, we need an infrastructure that international dialogue, etc. Since the waste allows for their proper treatment and management sector of today has a wider detoxification and for the safe long-term scope, an increased potential and a sense of disposal of residues.This system may become growing responsibility, it needs to create trust less extensive once we achieve good results in in its management approaches, business the fields of waste detoxification and waste practices and technical operation.Trust as a minimisation. long-term commitment will be supported by high standards, transparency, documentation, The concept of producer’s responsibility was and an honest policy to fight offenders. realised by shifting the financial burden for the proper treatment or recycling of end-of-life As part of this programme, ISWA initiated the products to manufacturers.This has established development of a Waste Convention as a a new line of communication between the code of ethics for the waste management environmental sector and manufacturers. business worldwide to raise the level of Waste managers relay information regarding performance in this field. ISWA extends an the design for recycling and the design for invitation to other international bodies to disposal upstream to producers and contribute to this initiative. manufacturers, thus advocating the cause of the environment’s capacities and ISWA’s practical experience gathered in more environmental constraints.This communication than 30 years of international co-operation of will still be developed and further improved, practitioners and planners, regulators and but it can be regarded as a first step taken by operators, scientists and researches in the field the waste management sector. of waste management in more than 90 countries around the world proves how much Two main challenges for the future are the developing countries and economies in task of decoupling waste generation from transition can benefit from this transfer of
  9. 9. Foreword 7know-how. Of course, immediate support that efficient measures with the biggest possiblefacilitates the implementation of sound waste benefit for the environment?management strategies and practices is mostvaluable. In many cases, a small amount of Ten years after the World Summit of Rio demoney invested in training and education will Janeiro, environmental policy-makers now haveenable local staff and regional regulators to tools like environmental impact assessment, orsolve the problem themselves. cost-benefit analysis, life cycle analysis, material flow analysis etc. for improved and scientificallyIf the industrialised countries are willing to based decision making.The professional wastedonate just a minuscule fraction of the waste management sector anticipates that the 2002management industry’s profits for this purpose, Johannesburg Summit will address the macrothis sum – allocated under acknowledged measures that will help us to overcome theinternational auspices – will make a stall we may face due to financial constraints intremendous difference. With its unique and the developing world.balanced membership structure thatrepresents the public and the private sector as With this common goal in mind, we willwell as the academic and scientific world, the assume our shared responsibility for theISWA is ready to take the lead in this effort. future.The more the waste management sector I would like to thank all ISWA members,understands and accepts the paradigm of experts and staff involved in the preparationsustainable development, the more it of this document and especially Helenabecomes obvious that our traditional Bergman, ISWA general secretariat, for herapproaches and common tools will soon have dedicated work.reached their limits. Present planning andregulation in waste management still focus on Christoph Scharff,micro measures. On the other hand, very high President, ISWA January 2002standards have been successfully achieved inmany technical areas, from emission control toworking conditions.This know-how, thesetechnologies and practices have not beenimplemented in many parts of the world –not for technical reasons in the first place,though.Despite all efforts, there are huge areas inwhich no progress can be expected in thenear future due to other political priorities, toa lack of awareness or to poverty.Yet, we have a common goal – anenvironmentally sound, responsible andsustainable management of wastes with aminimum of detrimental effects on humanhealth and life, and on the eco system. And wehave a common restriction – limited financialresources. So we have to ask ourselves: whichare the key priorities and which are the most
  10. 10. 8 Waste Management
  11. 11. Executive summary 9 Executive summaryWaste management is an important part of vast majority of countries are busy strugglingthe urban infrastructure as it ensures the with such basic issues as ensuring sufficientprotection of the environment and of human collection services and implementing a minimalhealth. It is not only a technical environmental degree of control at disposal sites at the sameissue, but also a highly political one. Waste time as they are facing increasing wastemanagement is closely related to a number of amounts due to the trend of urbanisation.issues such as urban lifestyles, resource They also lack the technical and financialconsumption patterns, jobs and income levels, resources to safely manage solid wastes –and other socio-economic and cultural factors. which includes adequate provisions for storing the waste at the point of generation as well asThe present report gives a brief review of the efficient and sufficient collection services. Finaldevelopment of the waste sector since the disposal in those countries is usually a matter1992 Rio World Summit, as well as a status of transporting the collected wastes to thedescription of the situation of waste nearest available open space and thenmanagement today and of future challenges. discharging them.The scope of the report is limited to themanagement of municipal solid wastes (MSW). However, important progress has been made in the waste sector over the last few years.This report is divided into five parts. Part 2, The most important improvement is thedescribes the status quo in the field of waste increased level of awareness among both themanagement and presents relevant facts and public and politicians.This is the first step tofigures. Part 3 takes a look at the differences in ensure that action is taken and resources arewaste management in different parts of the allocated accordingly. On the other hand, theworld. Part 4 deals with the implementation of availability of resources is closely connected tothe three dimensions of sustainable the economic situation and wastedevelopment in the waste industry. Part 5 management still holds a weak position in thisexplains different means of how to implement context compared with other public services.sustainable waste management systems. Some And since economic development is alsoof the instruments are widely applied whereas closely linked to the generation of waste, theothers mainly concern a few countries that are last couple of years with strong economicin the forefront of waste management. Part 6 development have resulted in increasing wastelooks into future challenges and goals for the quantities.waste industry. A number of case studies canbe found in the annexes to the report. It has become more common to use different instruments to reach environmental targets.One characteristic feature of sustainable waste Legislation plays an important role inmanagement is that it is achieved by using the establishing the framework for these targets; ittechnical, organisational, and financial resources is complemented with a number of marketavailable in a particular locality. based, economic and information related instruments.Their application and effectivenessThe waste management situation in the depends on the situation. During the last tencountries around the world is by no means years, new communication technologies anduniform. It is easy to forget that the category networking have played an increasinglyof countries that are now ‘fine-tuning’ their important role in the process of sharing know-waste management systems is a minority.The how and experience across borders.
  12. 12. 10 Executive summary One major drawback for the industry is the investment in waste management systems. difficulty to get acceptance for the siting of This is especially important in those new waste treatment facilities.The NIMBY- countries where public health is adversely syndrome (‘not in my backyard’) makes the affected by insufficient or non-existent siting of facilities lengthy and costly all over the services. world. • It is of highest priority to achieve a The most important challenge for the industry reduction in the amount of waste is the prevention of waste, followed closely by generated and to decouple the link of the need to obtain clear, transparent and economic growth and waste generation. reliable data. Another task is the increased For this purpose, a uniform waste industry cooperation across industrial sectors to approach to raise public and political achieve the overall goal of improved resource interest is required in all parts of the world management and to render waste less to establish sustainable waste management hazardous. Solutions for those two goals will systems. have to be found in the conception, design and production phases of goods. • A most pressing area for future progress is the field of information and education. It seems clear that the tail (waste There needs to be a co-ordinated strategy management) cannot wag the dog (the entire with regard to information provision and economy).The tools of material and substance considerable work needs to be done to flow analysis, life cycle analysis and cost-benefit change people’s attitudes towards waste analysis have to be applied more widely, since management as a whole and increase focusing on the waste end only is the wrong participation in recycling and minimisation approach in many cases.The combined schemes. Once the public is participating in application of these methods for the recycling schemes it is important to comprehensively defined systems will result in give them feedback on what happens with concrete concepts of the optimal mix of the recycled waste to keep up their measures.The goals of dematerialisation and interest in participation. detoxification of all economic activities in a long-term perspective have to become more • Information and education are also needed important than goals just restricted to waste to allay the fears that people have with management. regard to waste management and to encourage them to take responsibility for The resulting concept could be called the waste they generate. One major goal ‘sustainable integrated resource and waste that needs to be achieved is increasing management’.The main future challenges and public confidence in the waste goals for realising this concept are: management sector. Extensive work needs to be done to remove negative • National waste policies have to be made perceptions and replace emotive views more coherent; the legal framework, its with views based on sound science and implementation and enforcement need to agreed facts. be improved in all parts of the world. Especially in developing countries, substantial • Future progress is also needed in improving efforts are of greatest importance in that the markets for recyclables. Producers must field. Waste management plans at national be encouraged to incorporate life cycle and local level are needed; these can serve assessments in the development stages of as the basis for the improvement of and their products and consider waste
  13. 13. Executive summary 11 management issues in the design stages – • The practical experience of practitioners something that does at present not happen and planners, regulators and operators, as a general rule. scientists and researches in waste management must be made more available• Alternatives have to be made available so to developing countries and economies in that consumers are encouraged to transition. Immediate support and transfer minimise their waste or buy products that of know-how are most valuable, as they are of a comparably high standard and facilitate the implementation of sound price but less harmful to the environment. waste management strategies and practices. In many cases, a small amount• Accessible and transparent data is crucial if invested in training and education can strategies are to be successful and enable local staff and regional regulators to sustainable waste management practices help them effectively. achieved.The industry needs to have access to clear, transparent and replicable • From a global point of view, the most data and information.The availability and urgent need is to close the gap between the quality of waste data cause difficulties developed and developing countries.The already at a national level; at an first priority in this context is to make sure international or regional level, these that there are collection services available to difficulties are even greater. as large a part of the world’s population as possible and to raise the quality of landfills.• We need to create standards for the whole waste industry that include new and The key priorities and the most efficient emerging technologies and also the measures with the biggest possible benefit for management of specific waste types such the environment have to be identified on the as agricultural waste. Considerable basis of the relevant facts and figures.Tools investments should be made in emerging such as environmental impact assessment, technologies and support should be given material flow analysis, or macro-economic to research and development (R&D). cost-benefit analysis must be applied more widely for improved and scientifically based• While progress has been encouraging to decision-making. A broad range of date, partnerships need to be developed stakeholders must be involved to achieve continually, so that all stakeholders can substantial progress in the minimisation and work together towards a common goal. detoxification of waste. Participation by all parties in the decision- making process is an important issue.The Step by step the isolated ‘end of pipe’ view of waste industry has to encourage and take waste management must be transformed into part in multiple stakeholder involvement. a concept of integrated resource and waste management.This will help to realise genuine• The waste industry must set and achieve sustainable development.The system sustainability targets. definitions of analyses used in decision- and policy-making must include the global picture• There needs to be access to training and of waste generation and resource education for everyone involved in waste consumption outside national systems.This is management. An increasing awareness of especially important in developing countries. networking opportunities is required to facilitate the information flow.
  14. 14. 12 Executive summary To achieve the objective of integrated resource and waste management, new ways of policy-making will be needed that include a structured dialogue between numerous stakeholders. Waste management institutions will be challenged to contribute to that dialogue, the topics of which will include the whole picture and range from the supply of primary resources, production and trade, to transport and consumption. As a result of this comprehensive approach, the goals of waste minimisation and decoupling of economic growth and waste generation may finally be achieved.
  15. 15. Introduction 13 Part 1: IntroductionWaste management is an important part of ‘The total lapse of more than a century from thethe urban infrastructure, as it ensures the first clear stirrings of public interest in urbanprotection of the environment and of human waste services to the present time in high-incomehealth. It is not only a technical environmental countries suggests that a comparable change inissue, but also a highly political one. Waste low-income countries, where public interest is notmanagement is closely related to a number of yet fully aroused, is not likely to be swift. Untilissues such as urban lifestyle, resource public interest is aroused, additional publicconsumption patterns, jobs and income levels, funding for improved waste service is unlikelyand other socio-economic and cultural factors. unless accompanied by increased prosperity.’Lately there has been a trend to enlarge the (WHO, 1998) The organisation of efficientscope of waste management and include it waste collection in western Europe and Northwithin the larger concept of resource America took around 20 years, as public andmanagement.Today, waste management must political interest in waste management ‘wasbe seen in its full context. It cannot be solved delayed to the 1960s and 1970s in the wakewith merely technical end-of-pipe solutions. of another period of economic growth.’ (MacFarlane, 2001).When we employ a long-term wastemanagement strategy to ensure sustainable Due to this complex situation, it is indeed adevelopment, this will not only affect a number challenging task to come to a satisfyingof different dimensions; there are also different solution. On the following pages, we havelevels of decision-making and action involved. prepared a general report on the componentsDecision-making and action take place at necessary to attain sustainable wastevarious levels – nationwide, regional, local and management and we have included severalfinally in households. All aspects and all actors relevant examples.The information used in thismust be considered when we develop a waste report was provided by a number of ourmanagement system and implement it in daily national members and by a large number oflife. other sources (as referred to in the bibliography). A UNEP reference group hasThere are also large differences in the level of also contributed to this text by providingproficiency in the countries of the world. It is material input and giving comments.The ISWAeasy to forget that the category of countries Scientific and Technical Committee and anthat are now ‘fine-tuning’ their waste internal ISWA reference group have also beenmanagement systems is a minority.The vast helpful with advice.majority of countries is busy struggling withsuch basic issues as ensuring sufficient collectionservices and implementing a minimal degree of 1.1 The International Solidcontrol at disposal sites at the same time as Waste Associationthey are facing increasing waste amounts due to The International Solid Waste Associationthe trend of urbanisation.There is an interesting (ISWA) is a global body concerned withparallel to draw between the problems faced professional waste management. ISWA is aby the cities of today’s low-income economies non-political and non-governmental associationand those of 19th century North America and by statutes and follows the mission statementwestern Europe. In both cases, the pace of to promote and develop professional wastepopulation growth outstripped the capacity to management worldwide as a contribution tomanage urban services. sustainable development.
  16. 16. 14 Introduction ISWA’s objective is the worldwide exchange • Working Group on Developing Countries of information and experience on all aspects Issues, of waste management. ISWA promotes the • Working Group on Economic Analyses for adoption of acceptable systems of professional Sustainable Development, waste management and of public cleansing • Working Group on Hazardous Wastes, through technological development and • Working Group on Healthcare Waste, improvement of practices for the protection of • Working Group on Legal Issues, human life and health and of the environment • Working Group on Recycling and Waste as well as the conservation of materials and Minimisation, energy resources. • Working Group on Sanitary Landfill, • Working Group on Sewage and The association is active in a variety of areas, Waterworks Sludge, including conferences, meetings, training • Working Group on Thermal Treatment. programmes, information development and dissemination, and technical assistance on a 1.2 Scope of the report global scale. The scope of this report is limited to the ISWA has a total of more than 1,200 management of municipal solid waste (MSW). members in 93 countries. Its network expands Hazardous waste will only be touched upon in to countries with more than 80% of the general terms.The delimitation of the scope world’s population. ISWA has three corresponds to Chapter 21 of Agenda 21 membership categories: national members, excluding sewage sludge issues.The definition organisation members and individual of MSW as referred to in Chapter 21.3 of members. At present, there are 32 national Agenda 21, is as follows: members or incoming national members that represent their country on solid waste issues. ‘Solid wastes, as defined in this chapter, include ISWA’s national members represent countries all domestic refuse and non-hazardous wastes with 48% of the world population and 87% in such as commercial and institutional wastes, terms of global GNP. street sweepings and construction debris. In some countries, the solid wastes management system ISWA’s members represent all aspects of our also handles human wastes such as night-soil, field and most regions worldwide: from ashes from incinerators, septic tank sludge and practitioners and industry to communities, sludge from sewage treatment plants. If these from associations, research institutes and wastes manifest hazardous characteristics they academics to regulatory authorities.The should be treated as hazardous wastes.’ association is the global forum for waste management, with 12 technical working groups The general descriptions of individual sectors covering all relevant aspects of sustainable reflect the state-of-the-art standards waste management and with special interest in characteristic of the most advanced countries developing countries issues: even if this is not representative of standards common on a global scale. Certainly, the • Working Group on Biological Treatment of disparities between developed and developing Wastes, countries are much more obvious than those • Working Group on Collection and between countries of the industrialised world. Transport Technology, A large number of people around the world • Working Group on Communication and are without adequate waste collection and Social Issues, disposal services.
  17. 17. Introduction 15It remains an important goal for all countriesto adopt general waste management policies,to allocate sufficient funds to ensure thesetting up of collection systems and wastetreatment facilities under controlled health andenvironmental conditions. It also remains amajor challenge for the waste managementsector to ensure the transfer of information,technology and experience to developingcountries. In this report, consideration will begiven to the different aspects and problemsencountered in the field of waste managementin developing countries.
  18. 18. 16 Waste Management
  19. 19. Implementing the three dimensions of sustainable development 17 Part 2: Implementing the three dimensions of sustainable development2.1 Environmentally sound Another important component is waste planning and the co-ordination of othermanagement of solid wastes policies on a national, regional and local level.Environmentally sound waste management is Waste planning makes it possible to take intorecognised by most countries as an issue of consideration the large number of differentmajor concern. For both developing and factors that have an impact on the wastedeveloped countries, waste management is an management system.important factor in ensuring both humanhealth and environmental protection. Article The overall policy is linked by the objectives21.4 of Agenda 21 states that ‘Environmentally and targets that form the regulatorysound waste management must go beyond framework for the industry.The complexity ofthe mere safe disposal or recovery of wastes the framework differs from one country tothat are generated and seek to address the another, but it sets the scene for the industry.root cause of the problem by attempting to In most developed countries, the industry ischange unsustainable patterns of production strictly regulated with regard to licensing,and consumption.’ authorisation and compliance with the law of the different waste treatment facilities. WasteSustainable waste management is realised by planning is also often subject to legislation: theusing the technical, organisational and financial general contents of a plan and the procedureresources available in a particular locality. of how to realise it are established by the law.Definitions of sustainable waste management Enforcement of the law and the powers of thewill differ depending on the circumstances.The regulatory authorities to ensure that thefollowing components are indispensable for regulatory framework is respected arethe purpose of guidelining the implementation necessary tools for efficient legislation.This is aof a system that will be able to achieve the weak point in most countries. Non-complianceoverall environmental objectives of countries with environmental legislation is not alwaysand/or regions: deliberate. But there is still a tendency in society to consider this kind of violation less• waste policy, including a waste hierarchy; serious than the violation of other laws.The• waste planning; lack of efficient enforcement of such laws is• regulatory framework; often due to the lack of financial and human• enforcement of the law. resources.Waste management is usually regulated by a In the last few years, the concept of integratednational and/or regional waste policy.The waste management has evolved. In such afollowing hierarchy is generally accepted in this system, the technical solution of disposing ofcontext: waste is not the only focal point. Instead, it relies on a number of different means to• waste prevention and minimisation; manage waste. It aims at a holistic approach to• reuse and recycling; the chain of waste management from• environmentally safe waste treatment generation to disposal and all stages in including disposal. between. All actors participating in and
  20. 20. 18 Implementing the three dimensions of sustainable development affected by the waste management system are and support programmes. In those countries, considered as well as cultural, social and separating and treating waste with economic factors. intermediate technology is a truly sustainable alternative to doing nothing at all. But since Since the Rio summit in 1992, the focal point healthcare waste goes well beyond the scope of waste management has shifted from raising of this report, there will be no further specific the level of public awareness to taking action. consideration of this waste stream.That does In most developed countries, the development not mean that the issue is not of a high has gone from improving the technical priority in the achievement of sustainable solutions of waste management to waste management. understanding the importance of an integrated waste management system.The fine-tuning of The individual steps in the waste management the system will continue and technical chain can be divided into the following: solutions are going to be complemented by increased activities on social and • waste prevention, waste minimisation and communication aspects. waste detoxification; • collection, transfer, transport and storage; 2.2 Description of the waste • reuse and recycling; • waste treatment including waste disposal. industry Over the years, the waste industry has Waste can be treated and recycled using a developed into three main groups depending large number of different technologies. But the on the type of waste dealt with: following categories specify the main groups of treatments: • municipal solid waste: this group often includes commercial and institutional • biological treatment, for example wastes, composting and anaerobic digestion; • industrial waste: industry-specific waste • incineration with or without energy depending upon the industrial activity recovery; concerned, • landfilling. • hazardous waste. Apart from those controlled treatment Household hazardous waste is usually included methods one cannot ignore the fact that a in MSW. In developing countries there is often considerable amount of waste is still done no distinction made between the different away with in an unacceptable way. Waste is still sources of waste; it is simply all mixed. disposed of by dumping it in the open or into the ocean, or by burning it on-site. Such ways Healthcare waste is a small, but highly of disposal have irreversible and potentially significant waste stream with a highly rated harmful effects on both human health and the perception of risk. It contains a wide range of environment.These are clearly not methods hazardous materials, as well as infectious that belong to sustainable waste management. materials. In this field, there is a significant Nevertheless, such disposal methods are potential for improvement in all countries frequently employed in an estimated 175 regarding waste prevention, segregation and sovereign nations and territories (Rushbrook, recycling.This is especially true in developing 1999). countries where there is a lack of special management and an urgent need for training As mentioned earlier, there are a number of different actors within the industry.These
  21. 21. Implementing the three dimensions of sustainable development 19range from policy-makers and legislators on a municipal waste is normally within thenational level, to citizens taking part in the responsibility of the respective public authority.waste collection schemes.The role of the local The system is set up according to theauthorities is to deliver sustainable waste demands of an overall waste policy and itsmanagement to the citizens. Many of those targets.The amount of freedom to achieve setwho work in the field of waste management targets varies from one regulatory frameworkare elected and appointed for a limited period to another.of time.This is another factor that has animpact on the decisions taken and on long- A number of different factors such asterm planning. environmental, cultural, social, economic, and technical aspects must be taken intoThe fact that the industry is dealing with the consideration in the setting up of a sustainablepublic, influences the way industry works. waste management system.That is why wasteChanging and directing public behaviour in a management schemes vary substantially fromcertain direction takes a long time and a large one country to another and also from oneinformation campaign. Once a system is set up, region/city to is difficult and costly to make changes to it.Furthermore, if citizens are required to behave The patterns of waste generation, itsin a certain way, they want to be informed on composition and treatment are highly diverseand assured of the environmental benefit of in the different regions, countries and parts oftheir efforts.The public willingness and capacity the world. We have put together someto pay for waste management are other statistical information illustrating thosefactors that limit the scope of waste differences in the figures on pages 20 to services.2.3 Facts and figures on themunicipal waste industryWe can only comprehend the currentsituation, assess future trends, set targets, anddetermine the means to reach those targetsefficiently, if we have precise information onwaste amounts and on its composition. Acommon terminology is also an importantelement in the waste industry. However, thewaste industry is still characterised byinconsistent and non-comparable data and theabsence of a common terminology, ofparameters and monitoring standards.Municipal waste includes domestic refuse andnon-hazardous waste from commercialactivities and the public sector. But asmentioned earlier, this is not true fordeveloping countries where different kinds ofwaste are usually mixed.The organisation ofthe collection and treatment systems for
  22. 22. 20 Implementing the three dimensions of sustainable development Figure 1:Waste generation rates from 1960 to 1999 in the United States Total waste generation Per capita generation (millions) (Ibs/person/day) 250 10 Total waste generation (Y1) 200 8 150 6 100 4 Per capita generation (Y2) 50 2 0 0 1960 1970 1980 1990 1999 Source: US EPA, 2000 Figure 2: 1999 total waste generation in the United States - 230 million tonnes Yard Food waste waste 10.9% 12.1% Paper 38.1% Plastics 10.5% Metals 7.8% Other 3.2% Rubber, leather Wood and textiles Glass 5.3% 6.6% 5.5% Source: US EPA, 2000
  23. 23. Implementing the three dimensions of sustainable development 21 Figure 3: Management of MSW in the United States Recovery 28% Land disposal 57% Combustion 15%Source: US EPA, 2000 Figure 4:Total waste generation by sector - EEA countries 1992 to 1997 Other 5% Municipal waste 14% Construction and demolition 22% Energy production Mining 4% and quarrying Manufacturing 29% 26%Note: Sewage sludge is included under other waste. EEA countires are the 15 member states ofthe EU and Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.Source: US EPA, 2000
  24. 24. 22 Implementing the three dimensions of sustainable development Figure 5: Is there still a correlation between economic growth and waste generation? Waste generation in tonnes per capita 5 Construction waste 4 3 Manufacturing industries 2 Household waste 1 0 0 5 10 15 20 25 1,000 Euro per capita Source: EEA, 2000 Figure 6:Waste generation from daily household and commercial activities kg per capita Mixed bagged waste Separate collection Austria 96 Iceland 96 Netherlands 96 Finland 94 Denmark 96 Denmark 98 Belgium 96 Norway 98 Sweden 94 Germany 93 Luxembourg 96 Greece 96 EEA-Average 96 France 95 Ireland 95 Ireland 98 Portugal 96 United Kingdom 96 Spain 96 Italy 96 Italy 98 0 100 200 300 400 500 Note:The variations in waste generated from daily household and commercial activities between member countries are limited, except for Austria and Iceland, which have slightly lower generation rates.The increase in Ireland can be related to such themes as improved collection of waste and a more firm registration of waste or in changes in some of the household activities. Such as, the number of single households and the lifestyle change towards pre-prepared food and take-away restaurants. Source: EEA, 2000
  25. 25. Implementing the three dimensions of sustainable development 23 Table 1: Generation and transport of MSW in China Year Actual Statistical Urban Area of Quantity Quantity Per capita Total refuse number number population road swept of refuse of faeces refuse generation of cities of cities (million) (million m2) transported transported generation (million (million tonnes)(million tonnes) (kg/ tonnes) 1986 353 348 122.34 445.07 50.09 27.10 1.12 136 1987 381 371 128.93 511.41 53.98 24.22 1.15 147 1988 434 424 139.70 588.76 57.51 23.53 1.12 156 1989 450 441 143.78 64.71 62.91 26.03 1.21 174 1990 467 455 147.52 691.98 67.67 23.85 1.26 186 1991 479 473 149.21 782.51 76.36 27.64 1.40 209 1993 570 552 165.50 924.10 87.91 31.68 1.45 240 1995 640 633 184.90 1110.40 106.71 30.66 1.59 294 1996 1227.88 108.25 29.31 Source: UNEP-Infoterra China National Focal PointFrom the few examples given, one can draw management systems in place, other countriesthe conclusion that worldwide waste with a long-term industrial base have not yetproduction is still growing.That goes for EU developed hazardous waste managementcountries as well, despite the fact that a waste systems to the same extent.reduction policy was adopted and despite arelatively low growth in economic activity and In the developed world, hazardous wastea balanced population growth. Part of this management programmes were startedincrease in waste quantities is due to an around 30 years ago.They were prompted byimprovement in statistical data collection and a number of pollution incidents. Some of thosemonitoring, part of it is real growth. early mistakes turned out very costly, and the task of cleaning up old pollution can be a veryThe examples above may also be regarded as long one. In the United States of today, morean indicator of the difficulty to obtain reliable money is spent on dealing with past pollutionand comparable data on waste generation and than on managing the current disposal oftreatment methods. hazardous wastes, even though the quantities of newly generated waste are greater.2.4 Hazardous waste While each country’s hazardous wastemanagement(1) management system is different, the nationalAll countries generate hazardous waste.The systems have some common features. Perhapsquantities generated and their potential the most important of those are the stagedimpacts depend on many factors, including the introduction of controls and the graduallevel of industrial development, the way in development of facilities. While the proper (1) The source of thewhich wastes are managed, the existing state controls and facilities are put in place, interim information in this chapter isof the local environment and the capacity of solutions are employed. Some environmentally the ISWA Training Resource developing countries have already started to Pack for Hazardous Wastethe receiving media. While many developed Management incountries now have effective hazardous waste develop a comprehensive system for the Environmentally Developing Countries.
  26. 26. 24 Implementing the three dimensions of sustainable development environmentally sound management of 1. Controlling transboundary shipments – hazardous wastes. Many are considering how particularly controlling exports from the to start, while others have not yet realised the developed world to the developing world necessity to begin at all. (viz. the Basle Convention). 2. Controlling trans-national companies – There is a number of lessons to be learned controlling the behaviour and operating from the experiences and the mistakes made standards of trans-national corporations to in developed countries during the ensure that they employ the same implementation phases of their hazardous standards worldwide and do not lower waste management systems.These include: their environmental standards where regulations may be more lax. Under some • wide-ranging hazardous waste management circumstances, relatively small quantities of control cannot be introduced overnight, it hazardous wastes produced may make the must be introduced in stages; best available technology uneconomic. • legislative and enforcement measures must 3. Helping environmentally developing be developed at the same time as facilities countries to control their own wastes – and support services are established; the use of shared expertise and technology • as controls on emissions to air, land and transfer to assist developing countries in water are gradually tightened, specific areas the management of their own hazardous of pollution can be identified and taken wastes. care of; • waste minimisation should be addressed at an early stage, as any reduction in the quantity or toxicity of the waste will affect the number and size of treatment facilities needed as well as the economics of the waste management system. Since the development of legislation and establishment of long-term treatment and disposal facilities will take ten to 15 years, it is important to develop interim or transitional facilities in the short-term to allow the rapid phasing out of uncontrolled dumping. Industrialising countries cannot wait until they have detailed waste data and an infrastructure in place before taking action. It is better for them to do something now than to investigate for too long.Transitional technologies offer that short-term solution. There are three main objectives, which need to be addressed if environmentally developing countries are to improve their control and management systems for hazardous wastes.
  27. 27. Different approaches to waste management in different parts of the world 25 Part 3: Different approaches to waste management in different parts of the worldThe current status of waste management is by Environmental Action Programme (EAP), theno means uniform in different parts of the waste issue is being incorporated into theworld. For the purpose of showing these management of natural resources. In thedifferences, it seems sensible to divide the communication for the 6th EAP, drafted by theglobe into the following four geo-political areas: Commission, the waste issue is part of a chapter called ‘The sustainable Use of Natural• the European Union, Resources and Management of Waste’.The• the United States, Commission has also announced that it will• other high and medium income countries, launch a resource and recycling strategy during• economically developing countries. this year, which will be the framework for future waste regulation within the EU.3.1 The European Union Furthermore, it became clear that the integrated product policy (IPP) is theThe member states of the European Union cornerstone of the 6th EAP.This will set the(EU) have reached the most advanced state in agenda for European environmental legislation.waste management in the world. Extensivesource separation and material and energy The fact that the waste management unit inrecovery from wastes have led to a constant DG Environment no longer exists may bedecrease of landfilled material.The landfill regarded as a visible sign for this reorientation.directive in force will reduce the landfilled A new unit called ‘Sustainable Resources –amounts to a minimum and at the same time Consumption and Waste’ was established in itsreduce the content of organic carbon. An place.This change demonstrates that a moreimportant part of waste legislation is based on integrated approach is taken that considersthe concept of priority waste streams.(2) entire life cycles of products. Furthermore, theIndividual directives set concrete targets for general objective of attaining sustainablereduction, recycling, recovery and development shall be the guideline to widendetoxification.The gap between more and less the perspective from a mainly environmentaladvanced member states is getting smaller. focus to the inclusion of economic and social aspects.In the EU, policy-making in the field of wastemanagement is primarily driven by Maybe this change will also lead to a new wayenvironmental objectives. Economic of applying the European waste managementconsiderations are mostly restricted to hierarchy (minimisation – material recycling –statements like ‘economically reasonable’ energy recovery – disposal) in a morewithout concrete valuation.The resulting high- comprehensive way to find the optimaltech solutions are rather expensive.The final combination of options.The concept ofgoal is reducing landfilling to a minimum.The priority waste streams will probably remain,question of whether or not the environmental but this new approach (which is more lifebenefits outweigh the financial costs is hardly cycle oriented) could lead to the revision ofever asked. existing regulations.The increasing consideration of economic aspects willWaste management policies in the EU are probably lead to more cost-effective solutions (2) Packaging waste, end-of-currently subject to remarkable changes. In the life vehicles, electric and for existing and new regulations. electronic equipment,Commission’s proposal for a 6th batteries
  28. 28. 26 Different approaches to waste management in different parts of the world It is obvious, however, that the tail (waste 3.3 Other high and medium management) cannot wag the dog (the entire economy). Since focusing on the waste end income countries alone is certainly the wrong approach in many Some high- and medium-income countries cases, material and substance flow analyses will obviously follow the approach of the EU, some be more widely applied.The goals of follow that of the United States. Limited dematerialisation and ‘detoxification’ of all availability of land normally leads to more economic activities in a long-term perspective ‘European’ solutions (for example, Hong Kong, will become more important than goals in the Singapore, Japan). Countries where this field of waste management. limitation does not exist tend to follow the pragmatic course of the United States (for Thus, new ways of policy-making are needed. example, Australia). These may result from a structured dialogue between a broad range of stakeholders. Waste management institutions will be challenged to 3.4 Economically developing contribute to that dialogue, the topics of which countries will be the whole picture and issues like supply 3.4.1 General overview of primary resources, production, trade, Economically developing countries generally transport and consumption. As a result of this lack policies aimed at the management of solid comprehensive approach, the goals of waste wastes. In addition, most countries do not have minimisation and decoupling economic growth modern regulations; existing regulations are and waste generation may finally be achieved. antiquated and rarely enforced. Within the next ten years, several accession However, solid waste management has candidates will become member states of the become an issue of concern for public health EU.They will have to fulfil the EU’s legal and environmental protection agencies in framework for waste (and resource) many developing countries.There are large management, probably with specified extended differences in the waste management deadlines. standards of developed countries.This gap is even greater between developed and 3.2 The United States developing countries.The waste produced by human settlements and the resulting problems Compared with the EU, a more pragmatic are mainly the same – but there are approach is used in the United States. differences between regions and locations due Economic considerations based on cost- to variables such as climatic, cultural, industrial, benefit analyses play an important role in geological, legal and environmental factors.The policy-making. Due to this approach, landfilling waste management systems in different continues to be the most common solution in developing countries vary substantially and are the United States.Two factors play an in some cases virtually non-existent. important role in this context: a relatively low population density, and incomplete cost Most developing countries do not have the accounting on waste management alternatives. technical and financial resources to manage solid wastes safely.This means that storage at the point of waste generation is often inadequate and collection services are inefficient and insufficient. Final disposal in those countries is usually a matter of
  29. 29. Different approaches to waste management in different parts of the world 27transporting the collected wastes to the the basic principles of occupational health andnearest available open space and then in some instances cause significantdischarging them. In some cases, the waste is environmental problems such as the recoveryset on fire in order to reduce its volume and and reprocessing of automobile batteries atto minimise the attraction of animals and the ‘home level’. Resource recovery orvermin. scavenging, as it is commonly called, takes place in most urban areas in developing countries.Developing countries in the process of The process is carried out at various stages ofindustrialisation have to cope with larger the waste management system and in differentquantities of more diverse materials.They are manners. Some of the most common methodsoften hosting industries which are hazardous are briefly described in the following sections.waste-intensive such as oil-refining,petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals manufacture In large urban areas with an active and well-and metal production. But the method for defined commercial area or an area with awaste disposal is still the same as mentioned large number of apartment buildings occupiedearlier – uncontrolled dumping.The challenge by people earning a high income, scavengersin those cases is to get from ‘no control’ to a typically sort through the waste before themanaged situation, and the first step towards authorised collection vehicle arrives.The mostthat is through so-called transitional common materials that are recovered includetechnologies. various types of paper products (cardboard, newspaper, and office papers), some plasticsIn many developing countries, the rapid and aluminium containers. In most cases, thepopulation growth and the increasing scavengers use carts or similar units for theeconomic activity combined with a lack of storage and transport of the recoveredtraining in modern solid waste management materials. In areas where there is a relativelypractices complicate the effort to improve the high generation of recyclable materials, thesolid waste service. Some improvements have scavengers store the materials in specificbeen made or are under planning, for example locations for their eventual collection byextending the waste collection system and commercial trucks.There are isolated casesstoring the wastes under improved conditions. where scavengers travel from house to houseTable 2 (page 28) illustrates the problems buying secondary materials.posed by the rapid growth of urban areas inChina. Another method of scavenging takes place during the collection process. In this particular3.4.2 Resource recovery in developing method, the collectors themselves and/orcountries(3) helpers conduct a certain amount ofMost developing countries have various segregation during the loading of the wasteprocesses aimed at the recovery of materials into the collection vehicles.The segregationfrom the solid waste stream. Studies have process is facilitated in the situations whereshown that local industries are, in some cases, open trucks are used which allows for somestrongly dependent on the availability of of the collectors to be stationed inside thesecondary materials for re-processing. Some of vehicle.The recyclable materials are storedthese materials include: cardboard, various either inside the truck or on the sides of thepaper products, different types of plastics and vehicle.metals. The last and the certainly the most onerous (3) This chapter is an inputUnfortunately, the methods used to recover by L. F. Diaz , G. M. Savage and type of scavenging is the one that takes place L. L. Eggerth, CalRecovery, Inc.,secondary materials are inefficient, disregard at the disposal site. Disposal sites, particularly Concord, California, USA.
  30. 30. 28 Different approaches to waste management in different parts of the world Table 2: Statistics of municipal solid waste generation and transport in 11 large cities in China Cities Year Area of road Area of road Quantity Quantity Urban Per capita that should actually swept of refuse of faeces population refuse be swept (million m2) transported transported (million) generation (million m2) (million tonens) (million tonnes) (kg/ Beijing 1990 35.26 32.44 3.45 2.05 5.54 1.70 1993 36.30 4.10 2.08 5.75 1.95 1995 39.14 4.40 2.42 5.94 2.03 Tianjin 1990 42.98 42.98 2.17 0.25 4.54 1.32 1993 46.37 2.03 0.22 4.58 1.21 1995 46.94 1.80 0.19 4.65 1.07 Shanghai 1990 26.67 23.15 2.78 2.43 7.50 1.10 1993 26.86 3.34 2.34 8.94 1.01 1995 26.47 3.72 2.16 9.22 1.10 Chongqing 1990 4.94 2.89 0.40 0.15 2.27 0.49 1993 9.42 0.80 1.23 2.34 0.93 1995 9.82 0.95 1.42 2.75 0.96 Haerping 1990 30.23 30.23 1.50 0.35 2.44 1.67 1993 36.66 1.80 0.42 2.58 1.92 1995 38.42 2.06 0.41 2.67 2.11 Shenyang 1990 39.07 37.95 2.08 0.81 5.54 1.04 1993 41.19 2.03 0.90 5.75 0.96 1995 46.60 2.33 1.22 5.94 1.07 Dalian 1990 14.80 14.45 0.70 0.18 4.54 0.41 1993 14.99 0.67 0.14 4.58 0.41 1995 17.93 0.77 0.14 4.65 0.47 Xian 1990 9.51 9.51 0.58 0.10 7.50 0.22 1993 11.39 0.66 0.09 8.94 0.19 1995 12.64 0.70 0.05 9.22 0.22 Nanjing 1990 4.40 42.8 0.61 0.30 2.27 0.74 1993 4.87 0.71 0.21 2.34 0.82 1995 6.87 0.77 0.25 2.75 0.77 Wuhan 1990 22.80 17.34 1.42 0.36 2.44 1.59 1993 18.45 1.55 0.38 2.58 1.64 1995 19.98 1.66 0.38 2.67 1.70 Guangzhou 1990 21.13 21.09 1.05 0.31 2.91 1.00 1993 23.06 1.55 0.34 3.04 1.40 1995 23.72 1.55 0.33 3.17 1.34 Source: UNEP-Infoterra China National Focal Point
  31. 31. Different approaches to waste management in different parts of the world 29those located in medium and large Adequate modifications to the existingmetropolitan areas attract hundreds and in the scavenging systems must be made so thatmegacities thousands of individuals for the resource recovery is limited to specificrecovery of a variety of materials for sale. locations and those that conduct the processSome of the scavengers live on or near the do so under safe and ‘clean’ conditions. Mostdisposal site. Living in disposal sites is not only importantly, children and the elderly must bedetrimental to the health of the scavengers, absolutely prohibited from conducting any kindbut, as it has been shown in several instances, of scavenging can be dangerous due to slides and fires.The relative closeness of the disposal site tothe scavengers’ dwellings and other factorsmake it easy for them to allow theparticipation of their children and other familymembers in segregation activities.Thescavengers work at the landfills under some ofthe most precarious conditions and underdifferent climatic situations (from extremelyhot to very cold and wet conditions). In someof the very large disposal sites, the scavengersset up their rules and have been known todivide the site into areas where only specificgroups are allowed to work.The authors are well-aware of the fact thatscavenging activities play a major role in thesurvival of many of the people that performthose activities. However, the methods usedfor the activities reduce the efficiency of thewaste management system and mostimportantly are detrimental to the health ofthe scavengers.Scavengers that perform their activities priorto the collection phase break open bags tohave access to their contents orindiscriminately remove other materials fromcontainers and leave them on the streetincreasing the time required to collect thematerials by the formal collection sector.Resource recovery conducted during thecollection process reduces the efficiency of thecollection system. Scavengers that conducttheir work at the disposal sites have atremendous influence on the speed at whichthe collection vehicles discharge their contentsas well as on the effectiveness and efficiency ofthe tractors and/or compaction equipment.
  32. 32. 30 Waste Management