Solid waste is inextricably linked to urbanization and economic development. As countries urbanize and standards of living rise, consumption of goods and services increases, leading to higher generation of waste. In 2016, the worlds’ cities generated 2.01 billion tons of solid waste, amounting to a footprint of 0.74 kilograms per person per day. By 2050, this number is projected to climb to 3.4 billion.
Poorly managed waste has an enormous impact on people’s well-being, the environment, and national economies that often results in higher costs for governments, contributes to climate change in the form of greenhouse gas emissions, and has serious short- and long-term health consequences.
Together, the public and private sectors will need to assume much more responsibility for waste generation and disposal, specifically for product design and waste separation. Formalizing these responsibilities through well-structured PPPs can result in significant improvements in efficiency and quality of solid waste management.