Solid waste is inextricably linked to urbanization and economic development, and globally the pace of urbanization is increasing. As countries urbanize, and standards of living increase, consumption of goods and services increases, leading to more waste being generated. According to the World Bank Report “What a Waste,” almost 1.3 billion tons of municipal solid waste are generated globally every year. By 2025, this number is likely to double.
Poorly managed waste has an enormous impact on people’s health, the environment, and national economies. Improperly managed waste 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 impacts.
The public and private sector together 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.