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March 2012, No. 15Public Disclosure AuthorizedPublic Disclosure AuthorizedEmail: urbanhelp@worldbank.orgWebsite: www.worldbank.org/urbanPublic Disclosure AuthorizedWHAT A WASTE: A GLOBAL REVIEW OF SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENTUrban Development and Local Government UnitSustainable Development NetworkThe World Bank1818 H Street, NWWashington, DC, 20433USAPublic Disclosure AuthorizedFor more information about theUrban Development Series, contact:KNOWLEDGE PAPERSWHAT A WASTEA Global Review of Solid Waste Management

Previous Knowledge Papers in This SeriesLessons and Experiences fromMainstreaming HIV/AIDS into Urban/Water (AFTU1 & AFTU2) ProjectsNina Schuler, Alicia Casalis, Sylvie Debomy,Christianna Johnnides, and Kate Kuper,September 2005, No. 1Occupational and EnvironmentalHealth Issues of Solid WasteManagement: Special Emphasis onMiddle and Lower-Income CountriesPrivate Sector Initiativesin Slum UpgradingJudy L. Baker and Kim McClain,May 2009, No. 8The Urban Rehabilitation of theMedinas: The World Bank Experiencein the Middle East and North AfricaAnthony G. Bigio and Guido Licciardi,May 2010, No. 9Sandra Cointreau, July 2006, No. 2Cities and Climate Change:An Urgent AgendaA Review of Urban Development Issuesin Poverty Reduction StrategiesDaniel Hoornweg, December 2010, No. 10Judy L. Baker and Iwona Reichardt,June 2007, No. 3Memo to the Mayor: Improving Accessto Urban Land for All Residents —Fulfilling the PromiseUrban Poverty in Ethiopia: A MultiFaceted and Spatial PerspectiveBarbara Lipman, with Robin Rajack,June 2011, No. 11Elisa Muzzini, January 2008, No. 4Urban Poverty: A Global ViewJudy L. Baker, January 2008, No. 5Preparing Surveys for UrbanUpgrading Interventions:Prototype SurveyInstrument and User GuideAna Goicoechea, April 2008, No. 6Conserving the Past as a Foundationfor the Future: China-World BankPartnership on Cultural HeritageConservationKatrinka Ebbe, Guido Licciardiand Axel Baeumler, September 2011, No. 12Guidebook on Capital InvestmentPlanning for Local GovernmentsOlga Kaganova, October 2011, No. 13Exploring Urban Growth Management:Insights from Three CitiesMila Freire, Douglas Webster,and Christopher Rose, June 2008, No. 7Cover photo on right and on this page: Conakry landfill, Guinea (Charles Peterson photographer).Cover photo on far left: separate containers for recyclables and non-recyclables, Barcelona, Spain (Perinaz Bhada-Tata photographer).

KNOWLEDGE PAPERSWHAT A WASTEA Global Review of SolidWaste ManagementDaniel Hoornweg and Perinaz Bhada-TataMarch 2012, No. 15

Urban Development SeriesProduced by the World Bank’s Urban Development and Local Government Unit of the SustainableDevelopment Network, the Urban Development Series discusses the challenge of urbanization andwhat it will mean for developing countries in the decades ahead. The Series aims to explore and delvemore substantively into the core issues framed by the World Bank’s 2009 Urban Strategy Systemsof Cities: Harnessing Urbanization for Growth and Poverty Alleviation. Across the five domainsof the Urban Strategy, the Series provides a focal point for publications that seek to foster a betterunderstanding of (i) the core elements of the city system, (ii) pro-poor policies, (iii) city economies, (iv)urban land and housing markets, (v) sustainable urban environment, and other urban issues germaneto the urban development agenda for sustainable cities and communities.Copyright World Bank, 2012All rights reservedUrban Development & Local Government UnitWorld Bank1818 H Street, NWWashington, DC 20433 USAwww.worldbank.org/urbanThis publication is a product of the staff of the World Bank Group. It does not necessarily reflect theviews of the Executive Directors of the World Bank or the governments they represent. The WorldBank does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this work.This note is provided for information only. The World Bank has no responsibility for the persistence oraccuracy of URLs and citations for external or third-party sources referred to in this publication, anddoes not guarantee that any content is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.

TABLE OF CONTENTSForeword viiAcknowledgements viiiExecutive Summary ixAbbreviations and Acronyms xiCountry Classification According to Region xiiCountry Classification According to Income xiii1. Introduction 12. Global Waste Management Practices 43. Waste Generation 84. Waste Collection 135. Waste Composition 166. Waste Disposal 227. Waste and the Environment 25A Note on the Reliability of Solid Waste Data 32Maxim Tupikov /Shutterstock.com

ivURBAN DEVELOPMENT SERIES – KNOWLEDGE PAPERSAnnexesA. Map of Regions 36B. Map of Income Distribution 38C. Availability of MSW Data by Country 40D. Countries Excluded for Lack of Data 45E. Estimated Solid Waste Management Costs 46F.MSW Generation Data for Cities Over 100,000 47G. MSW Collection Data for Cities Over 100,000 63H. MSW Disposal Methods for Cities Over 100,000 71I.MSW Composition Data for Cities Over 100,000 78J. MSW Generation by Country — Current Data and Projections for 2025 80K. MSW Collection Rates by Country 84L. MSW Disposal Methods by Country 87M. MSW Composition by Country 90N. IPCC Classification of MSW Composition 93O. The Global City Indicators Program 94References 95

WHAT A WASTE: A GLOBAL REVIEW OF SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENTList of on of solid waste management practices by income level 5Generators and types of solid waste 7Current waste generation per capita by region 9Waste generation projections for 2025 by region 10Current waste generation per capita by income level 10Waste generation projections for 2025 by income 11Sources for 2025 projections of solid waste generation 12Average MSW generation rates by income 12Types of waste and their sources 16Types of waste composition by income level 19MSW disposal by income 23MSW disposal in two contrasting regions 24Landfill classifications 29Landfill methane emissions and total GHG emissions for selected countries 30Technical GHG mitigation opportunities by waste management component 31List of Figures1. generation by region 9Waste generation by income level 11Urban waste generation by income level and year 12Waste collection rates by income 15Waste collection rates by region 15Waste composition in China 17Global solid waste composition 17Waste composition by income 19Solid waste composition by income and year 20Waste composition by region 21Total MSW disposed of worldwide 22Low-income countries waste disposal 24Upper middle-income countries waste disposal 24Waste hierarchy 27List of Boxes1.2.3.4.What a Waste 1999: What’s changed (and what hasn’t) in the last decade 2Definitions of Municipal Solid Waste 4Components of an Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan 25Integrated Sustainable Waste Management Framework 26v

FOREWORDSolid waste management is the one thing justabout every city government provides forits residents. While service levels, environmental impacts and costs vary dramatically,solid waste management is arguably the mostimportant municipal service and serves as aprerequisite for other municipal action.Currently, world cities generate about 1.3 billiontonnes of solid waste per year. This volume isexpected to increase to 2.2 billion tonnes by 2025.Waste generation rates will more than double overthe next twenty years in lower income countries.Globally, solid waste management costs willincrease from today’s annual 205.4 billion toabout 375.5 billion in 2025. Cost increases willbe most severe in low income countries (morethan 5-fold increases) and lower-middle incomecountries (more than 4-fold increases).The global impacts of solid waste are growingfast. Solid waste is a large source of methane, apowerful GHG that is particularly impactful inthe short-term. The recycling industry, with moreGhabawi landfill, Amman, JordanPhoto: Perinaz Bhada-TataPhoto: Simone D. McCourtie/World Bankthan two million informal waste pickers, is nowITC landfill anda global business with international markets and recycling center,extensive supply and transportation networks. Ankara, TurkeyLocally, uncollected solid waste contributes toflooding, air pollution, and public health impactssuch as respiratory ailments, diarrhea and denguefever. In lower income country cities solid wastemanagement is usually a city’s single largestbudgetary item.The report you have before you is an importantone that provides a quick snapshot of the state oftoday’s global solid waste management practices.A credible estimate is made for what the situationwill look like in 2025. The findings are sobering.Improving solid waste management, especiallyin low income countries, is an urgent priority.Hopefully, this report will contribute to thedialogue that leads to much-needed action.Rachel KyteVice President and Head of Network,Sustainable DevelopmentThe World Bank

AcknowledgementsThis report was written by Daniel Hoornweg and Perinaz Bhada-Tata; and managed by Abha JoshiGhani, Manager of the Urban Development and Local Government Unit and Zoubida Allaoua, Directorof the Finance, Economics and Local Government Department. The ‘Waste and Climate Change’section is from Charles Peterson. The authors would like to thank Christa Anderson, Julianne BakerGallegos, Carl Bartone, Marcus Lee, Catalina Marulanda, John Norton, Charles Peterson, Paul Procee,and Sintana Vergara for their useful feedback and comments. The report was also discussed andreviewed by the World Bank’s Waste Management Thematic Group. Adelaide Barra, Xiaofeng Li,Jeffrey Lecksell and Claudia Lorena Trejos Gomez provided support and research assistance.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARYAs the world hurtles toward its urbanfuture, the amount of municipal solidwaste (MSW), one of the most importantby-products of an urban lifestyle, is growingeven faster than the rate of urbanization.Ten years ago there were 2.9 billion urbanresidents who generated about 0.64 kgof MSW per person per day (0.68 billiontonnes per year). This report estimatesthat today these amounts have increasedto about 3 billion residents generating 1.2kg per person per day (1.3 billion tonnesper year). By 2025 this will likely increaseto 4.3 billion urban residents generatingabout 1.42 kg/capita/day of municipal solidwaste (2.2 billion tonnes per year).Municipal solid waste management is the mostimportant service a city provides; in low-incomecountries as well as many middle-income countries,MSW is the largest single budget item for citiesand one of the largest employers. Solid wasteis usually the one service that falls completelyGhabawi landfill, Amman, JordanPhoto: Perinaz Bhada-TataPhoto: Ron Perry/Oki Golfwithin the local government’s purview. A city thatGolf course:cannot effectively manage its waste is rarely ablepost closure useto manage more complex services such as health, of landfill siteeducation, or transportation.Poorly managed waste has an enormous impacton health, local and global environment, andeconomy; improperly managed waste usuallyresults in down-stream costs higher than what itwould have cost to manage the waste properly in thefirst place. The global nature of MSW includes itscontribution to GHG emissions, e.g. the methanefrom the organic fraction of the waste stream, andthe increasingly global linkages of products, urbanpractices, and the recycling industry.This report provides consolidated data on MSWgeneration, collection, composition, and disposalby country and by region. Despite its importance,reliable global MSW information is not typicallyavailable. Data is often inconsistent, incomparableand incomplete; however as suggested in this reportthere is now enough MSW information to estimate

xURBAN DEVELOPMENT SERIES – KNOWLEDGE PAPERSglobal amounts and trends. The report also makesprojections on MSW generation and compositionfor 2025 in order for decision makers to prepareplans and budgets for solid waste managementin the coming years. Detailed annexes provideavailable MSW generation, collection, composition, and disposal data by city and by country.Men pick up usedcardboard boxes tosell for recyclingin the San Joaquinopen-air market inSalvador, BrazilGlobally, waste volumes are increasing quickly –even faster than the rate of urbanization. Similarto rates of urbanization and increases in GDP, ratesof MSW growth are fastest in China, other partsof East Asia, and parts of Eastern Europe and theMiddle East. Municipal planners should managesolid waste in as holistic a manner as possible.There is a strong correlation between urban solidwaste generation rates and GHG emissions. Thislink is likely similar with other urban inputs/outputs such as waste water and total energy use.Reviewing MSW in an integrated manner with amore holistic approach, focusing on urban formand lifestyle choice may yield broader benefits.Pollution such as solid waste, GHG emissionsand ozone-depleting substances are by-products ofurbanization and increasing affluence.Improving MSW is one of the most effective waysto strengthen overall municipal management andis usually a prerequisite for other, more complicated, municipal services. Waste workers, bothformal and informal, have a significant impact onoverall MSW programming. While in more affluentcountries ageing workers are a growing challenge,the effective integration of waste pickers, particularly in low-income countries, is critical.This report is a follow-up to What a Waste: Solid WasteManagement in Asia, a Working Paper Published bythe East Asia and the Pacific Region Urban andLocal Government Sector of the World Bank in1999. The report has been expanded to include theentire world, given data availability and increasedinter-dependence between nations and linkages inglobal trade, particularly that of secondary materials.Photo: Alejandro Lipszyc/World Bank

WHAT A WASTE: A GLOBAL REVIEW OF SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENTAbbreviations and AcronymsAFRAfrica regionC&DConstruction and demolitionCDMClean Development MechanismEAPEast Asia and Pacific regionECAEurope and Central Asia regionGDPGross Domestic ProductGHGGreenhouse gasHICHigh-income countryICIIndustrial, commercial, and institutionalIPCCIntergovernmental Panel on Climate ChangeISWMIntegrated solid waste managementKg/capita/day kilograms per capita per dayLCRLatin America and the Caribbean regionLICLow-income countryLMICLower middle-income countryMENAMiddle East and North Africa regionMETAPMediterranean Environmental Technical Assistance ProgramMRFMaterials recovery facilityMSWMunicipal solid wastemtCO2eMillion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalentOECDOrganisation for Economic Co-operation and DevelopmentPAHOPan-American Health OrganizationRDFRefuse–derived fuelSARSouth Asia regionSWMSolid waste managementtCO2eTons of carbon dioxide equivalentUMICUpper middle-income countryxi

xiiURBAN DEVELOPMENT SERIES – KNOWLEDGE PAPERSCountry Classification According to RegionEast Asia& Pacific(EAP)Africa(AFR)Eastern& Central Asia(ECA)Latin America& the Caribbean(LAC)AngolaBrunei DarussalamAlbaniaAntigua and elarusBahamas, TheBurkina FasoFijiBulgariaBarbadosBurundiHong KongCroatiaBelizeCameroonIndonesiaCyprusCape VerdeLao PDRCentral African RepublicMacao, ChinaChadComorosCongo, Dem. Rep.MongoliaCongo, Rep.MyanmarCote d’IvoirePhilippinesRomaniaMiddle East& North Africa(MENA)AlgeriaOrganisation forEconomic Co-operationand Development , Arab Rep.AustriaIndiaIran, Islamic ch RepublicPakistanEstoniaBrazilJordanDenmarkSri iaLebanonFranceMarshall IslandsLithuaniaCosta RicaMaltaGermanyMacedonia, ican RepublicQatarIcelandEritreaSingaporeRussian FederationEcuadorSaudi ArabiaIrelandEthiopiaSolomon IslandsSerbiaEl SalvadorSyrian Arab panGambiaTongaTajikistanGuatemalaUnited Arab EmiratesKorea, SouthWest Bank and sothoJamaicaNew galMalawiPanamaSlovak tiusSt. Kitts and NevisSwitzerlandMozambiqueSt. LuciaUnited KingdomNamibiaSt. Vincent and theGrenadinesUnited StatesNigerSurinameNigeriaTrinidad and TobagoRwandaUruguaySao Tome and PrincipeVenezuela, RBSenegalSeychellesSierra LeoneSouth weSouth Asia(SAR)

WHAT A WASTE: A GLOBAL REVIEW OF SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENTCountry Classification According to IncomeLower Income (LI)Lower Middle Income (LMI)Upper Middle Income (UMI)High Income sta RicaBelgiumCongo, Dem. Rep.Cape VerdeCubaBrunei DarussalamEritreaChinaDominicaCanadaEthiopiaCongo, Rep.Dominican RepublicCroatiaGambiaCote d'IvoireFijiCyprusGhanaEcuadorGabonCzech RepublicGuineaEgypt, Arab Rep.GeorgiaDenmarkHaitiEl Lao siaHong Kong, ChinaMaliIran, Islamic sraelNepalMacedonia, FYRPanamaItalyNigerMaldivesPeruJapanRwandaMarshall IslandsPolandKorea, sian FederationLuxembourgSierra LeoneNigeriaSeychellesMacao, ChinaTanzaniaPakistanSouth AfricaMaltaTogoParaguaySt. Kitts and NevisMonacoUgandaPhilippinesSt. LuciaNetherlandsVanuatuSao Tome and PrincipeSt. Vincent and the GrenadinesNew ZealandVietnamSolomon IslandsSurinameNorwayZambiaSri zilandVenezuela, RBQatarSyrian Arab RepublicSaudi ArabiaThailandSingaporeTongaSlovak enWest Bank and GazaSwitzerlandTrinidad and TobagoUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited Statesxiii

WHAT A WASTE: A GLOBAL REVIEW OF SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT1IntroductionIn 1999 the World Bank published What a Waste:Solid Waste Management in Asia (Hoornweg andThomas 1999), with an estimate of waste quantitiesand composition for Asia. In the interveningdecade more accurate and comprehensive databecame available for most regions of the world.OECD-country estimates are typically reliable andconsistent—added to these were comprehensivestudies for China and India and the Pan-AmericanHealth Organization’s study for Latin America.Therefore a global update of the 1999 report ispossible, and timely.Municipal solid waste managers are charged withan enormous task: get the waste out from underfootand do so in the most economically, socially, andenvironmentally optimal manner possible. Solidwaste management is almost always the responsibility of local governments and is often theirsingle largest budget item, particularly in developing countries. Solid waste management andstreet sweeping is also often the city’s single largestsource of employment.1 Additionally, solid wasteis one of the most pernicious local pollutants— uncollected solid waste is usually the leadingcontributor to local flooding and air and waterpollution. And if that task were not large enough,local waste management officials also need to dealwith the integrated and international aspects ofsolid waste, and increasingly with demographicchange in the work force, employment generation,and management of staff — both formal andinformal.Managing municipal solid waste is an intensiveservice. Municipalities need capacities inprocurement, contract management, professional and often unionized labor management,and ongoing expertise in capital and operatingbudgeting and finance. MSW also requires astrong social contract between the municipalityand community. All of these skills

3. Urban waste generation by income level and year 12 4. Waste collection rates by income 15 5. Waste collection rates by region 15 6. Waste composition in China 17 7. Global solid waste composition 17 8. Waste composition by income 19 9. Solid waste composition by income and year 20 10. Waste composition by region 21 11. Total MSW disposed of .

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