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Solid waste

Human activities create waste, and it is the way these wastes are handled, stored, collected and disposed of, which can pose risks to the environment and to public health. In urban areas, especially in the rapidly urbanizing cities of the developing world, problems and issues of Solid Waste are of immediate importance. This has been acknowledged by most governments, however rapid population growth overwhelms the capacity of most municipal authorities to provide even the most basic services. Typically one to two-thirds of the solid waste generated is not collected. Furthermore, even collected waste is often disposed of in uncontrolled dumpsites and or burnt, polluting water resources and air.


Municipal solid waste (also called trash or garbage) is defined at the national level as wastes consisting of everyday items such as product packaging, grass clippings, furniture, clothing, bottles and cans, food scraps, newspapers, appliances, consumer electronics, and batteries. These wastes come from homes; institutions such as schools and hospitals; and commercial sources such as restaurants and small businesses. 

Growing prosperity and urbanization could double the volume of municipal solid waste annually by 2025, challenging environmental and public health management in the world’s cities, according to new research conducted by the Worldwatch Institute for its Vital Signs Online service.

Although some of this waste is eventually recycled, the doubling of waste that current projections indicate would bring the volume of municipal solid waste from today’s 1.3 billion tons per year to 2.6 billion tons.

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This book discusses some of these problem areas and suggests possible approaches for improving the situation, we’ll dive deep to learn more about how our trash affects the whole planet, to help understand what we do here, affects people, animals and the environment everywhere. It also records the solid waste I collected around Bristol. Emphasis will be on the problem of inadequate landfill disposal. 

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