Dumpsites: A Global Waste Emergency

Image: Dumpsite in Sierra Leone © Brian E.C. McCarthy, via WasteAidUK
Image: Dumpsite in Sierra Leone © Brian E.C. McCarthy, via WasteAidUK (Click to expand)

More than 750 people died because of poor waste management at dumpsites in the first half of 2016 alone. Dumpsites are a global health and environmental emergency. Dumpsites receive roughly 40% of the world’s waste and serve 3-4 billion people. The 50 biggest dumpsites affect the daily lives of 64 million people, a population the size of France. As urbanisation and population growth continue, several hundreds of millions more people will be served by dumpsites, mainly in lower-income countries. If the situation follows the business as usual scenario, dumpsites will be generating 8-10% of manmade greenhouse gases by 2025. 

Quick Wins

The first immediate steps to closing down dumpsites can have quick positive effects on the environment by reducing contamination and improving health and safety for those that live near them. Read more …. 

Sustainable Development Goals

The proper management of dumpsites can easily be linked to and contribute significantly to sustainable development goals both directly and indirectly. Find out more about ISWA's role in the Sustainable Development Goals here.


Open dumpsites can have large negative impacts on the local economics and society as well as the health and safety of the people living around them. Read more ….