A Global Snapshot of Solid Waste

How important it is to discuss the right data and the right strategy

Dipl.-Ing.(TU) Werner P. Bauer

In researching the global level, I was struck by the World Bank report "WHAT A WASTE 2.0.
A Global Snapshot of Solid Waste Management to 2050 - Overview". In particular, figure 0.6 is important, which shows the Global Waste Treatment and Disposal in percent.


Anyone who knows what enormous greenhouse gases the open dumps and unspecified landfills emit will imagine that it is difficult for me to internalise this graphic without retreating into the proverbial cave in disillusionment. 

However, the World Bank also has difficulties with data, which is why the report addresses this on page 13 with "A Note on Data": "The "What a Waste report” compiles solid waste management data from various sources and publications and examines the data to provide meaningful trends and analyses for policy makers and researchers. … Every effort has been undertaken to verify sources and find the most recent information available. In general, solid waste data should be considered with a degree of caution because of inconsistencies in definitions, data collection methodologies, and availability. The reliability of solid waste data is influenced by several factors, including undefined words or phrases; incomplete or inconsistent definitions; lack of dates, methodologies, or original sources; inconsistent or omitted units; and estimates based on assumptions.”

Let`s come back to the basics:

Now - as you can comment on this text, I suggest, no I ask you, to research the data of Solid Municipal Waste per Capita is in your home country. Write your data in the comment box and let us look at the data without devaluation. If we understand each other, it may be possible to initiate the necessary developments.
Werner Bauer
Vice President GWC


Our numbers shows 465 kg/capita, regarding Eurostat 483 kg/person
24.10.2022 14:51:29

The use of fire to heat and feed humans goes back a million years. At about 2300 BC, controlled fire brought about the Bronze Age and, a thousand years later, the Iron Age. The 18th century Industrial Revolution was made possible by the steam engine and to this date much of the electricity and all the cement and metals used by humanity are produced by controlled combustion. In the last seventy years, technologies for controlled combustion of wastes in specially designed power plants (WTE) have advanced greatly.
In a forthcoming Special Issue of the journal "Waste Disposal and Renewable Energy (in press), I have reviewed the evolution of the WTE technology in the 21st century, with special focus on the world’s two largest economies: U.S.A. and China. Everyone knows about recycling and its merits. Yet, most people are not aware that combustion with energy recovery is now used globally at nearly the same scale (about 320 million tons of MSW) as recycling (about 350 million tons of MSW). However, the tonnage of post-recycling MSW landfilled globally is nearly four times that used as fuel in WTE power plants.. So, there is a lot of room for improvement, both in recycling and WTE.
01.10.2022 09:45:13

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