#Closedumpsites News

Guest Blog | David Biderman - Global Waste projected to be 3.4bn Tonnes by 2050

David Biderman is the Executive Director and CEO of the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), ISWA's National Member in the United States and Canada. David has been a leader in the waste industry for more than 20 years.


In a guest blog for ISWA, David Biderman discusses the latest findings from the World Bank on the global waste situation and challenges. James Law of SCS Engineers, SWANA and ISWA Board Member sat on the review panel for the report.

5 Oct 2018 -

The World Bank recently released an important piece of research  that will help ISWA in its efforts to close dumpsites and prevent marine litter. What a Waste 2.0 is an update to the Bank’s 2012 report, and quantifies the amount of solid waste generated globally – on a country-by-country basis, and projects the future for solid waste management in 2050 throughout the world. 

The picture painted by this detailed report is not a pretty one, as waste generation rates are expected to increase significantly in Asia and Africa, where the waste and recycling infrastructure is insufficient to handle current waste volumes, let alone the projected increases in rapidly growing nations such as Nigeria, India, and elsewhere.  By 2050, global waste is projected to be 3.4 billion tons annually, up from 2 billion tons today.

The report states that “solid waste management is a critical – yet often overlooked – piece for planning sustainable, health, and inclusive cities and communities.”  Because cities and countries “are rapidly developing without adequate systems in place to manage” ever growing waste volumes, the Bank concludes that “urgent action” is needed. 


The report contains valuable data on the amount of waste disposed at various types of waste facilities, recycling rates, and contribution to greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).  The Bank estimates that about five percent of global GHG emissions are generated in connection with solid waste treatment and disposal.  This is expected to increase by billions of tons annually if not improvements are made.

I urge all ISWA members who care about the future of our planet, and have an interest in improving waste management systems throughout the world – and particularly in developing nations – to read the Bank’s report.  There is no time to waste. 


Want to learn more?

Come along to #ISWA2018 where Silpa Kaza (Urban Development Specialist at the World World Bank) and one of the key authors, will present the key findings of What a Waste 2.0 at the ISWA, focussing on Sustainable Consumption and Waste Management in Developing Countries. www.iswa2018.org


You can download the report and executive summaries in full from the World Bank here.

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