September 4, 2017 at 5:28 pm #1194
The global production of solid waste amounted to 1.3 billion tons. A detailed analysis of this figure reveals a considerable difference in the waste production of high-income and low/middle-income countries. The former have a per-capita figure which, in some cases, is eight-fold higher than that of the latter. For instance, an individual in the US generates 2.58 kg of solid waste per day, while a person living in India produces 340 gm. Though the number of waste generated seems low in absolute terms , when correlated with the density population this is alarming number. Waste production is an issue that is likely to get progressively worse, since trends indicate that only a few countries, mainly in the West, will be able to reduce their per-capita solid waste production. In developing countries, in contrast, it is likely to rise significantly. By this estimate, global waste production will grow from 1.3 billion tons in 2015 to 2.2 billion tons in 2025, with emerging economies in Africa and the Asia Pacific responsible for 97% of this increase.
Among the key drivers of this worrisome scenario are consumerism, a higher spending propensity, and urbanization. Less than 50% of the Indian population lives in cities, and yet 17 cities alone contribute to almost 90% of the total solid waste generated in the country. Perhaps this is not surprising: cities generate greater prosperity, along with creating more rubbish. For this reason, we think that identifying how cities manage their waste is crucial for understanding the issue.
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