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Changing Consumption Patterns in Human Settlements: Waste Managemnent

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Waste generation, both domestic and industrial, continues to increase world-wide in tandem with growth in consumption. In developed countries, per capita waste generation increased nearly three-fold over the last two decades, reaching a level five to six times higher than that in developing countries. With increases in populations and living standards, waste generation in developing countries is also increasing rapidly, and may double in volume in the current decade. If current trends continue, the world may see a five-fold increase in waste generation by the year 2025. A high proportion of the waste could be recycled by the urban poor generating income for themselves and protecting the environment. There is a need to develop an integrated approach where the public, private and community sectors work together to develop local solutions promoting sustainable solid waste management.

7 good ways to promote sustainable solid waste management

  1. Introduce the "polluter pays" principle in city level legislation
  2. Promote separation at source for municipal wastes
  3. Develop a task force at city level with representitives from
  4. public, private and community sectors
  5. Provide a supportive business environment for small-scale recycling enterprises
  6. Engage the public through neighbourhood "clean-up" campaigns
  7. Ensure that recycling is embodied in school curricula nationally
  8. Encourage manufacturing industries to reduce non-essential packaging

UNCHS (HABITAT) Settlement Infrastructure and Environment Programme (SIEP)
P.O. Box 30030, Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: +254-2-623781, Fax: +254-2-624265, Email:
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Contact: Hari Srinivas -