Each year, the Population Reference Bureau (PRB) produces a World Population Data Sheet, a widely used resource recording demographic, health and environmental data from around the world.
This year, its focus on “human needs and sustainable resources” led to the inclusion of additional indicators that reflect the specific challenges posed by a growing population.
One of the new subjects mapped was waste management, using the WasteAware indicators developed by WasteAid’s Prof David C Wilson, Dr Ljiljana Rodic and team. The map shows solid waste generation and management in 18 cities around the world.
WasteAid is pleased to see waste management included, as it recognises this is an essential utility service to protect public health and the local and global environment.
PRB: “Proper municipal waste disposal is a public health and environmental priority as urban populations grow.
City residents without regular refuse collection services risk exposure to contaminants that spread into soil, streets, and water. Uncontrolled dumpsites taint water tables and release airborne toxins as unsorted refuse is burned.
- Global municipal waste data show that per capita volumes tend to rise with average income levels but negative impacts lessen as wealthier cities improve waste processing systems.
- While some cities in lower-income countries have expanded collection coverage, many still lag in proper waste processing—or controlled disposal.
- Collection in Lahore, Pakistan covers 77 percent of the population but only 18 percent of collections go to a controlled disposal facility.
- Lusaka, Zambia has 63 percent coverage and a 45 percent rate of controlled disposal.
- Recycling rates reach relatively high levels in some lower-income countries, often due to informal recycling networks.”
The US think tank Population Resources Bureau (PRB) produced the map, using the Wasteaware benchmark indicators to provide the data.