China set to produce twice as much waste as US by 2030

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Waste volumes are increasing quickly around the world with municipal solid waste (MSW) growth fastest in China, other parts of East Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

The annual waste generation in East Asia and the Pacific Region is approximately 270 million tones per year. This quantity is mainly influenced by waste generation in China, which makes up 70% of the regional total.

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Furthermore, while China surpassed the US as the world’s largest waste generator in 2004, by 2030 the country will likely produce twice as much municipal solid waste as the United States.

This is according to a new report from the World Bank, entitled: What a Waste: A Global Review of Solid Waste Management. The report provides consolidated data on MSW generation, collection, composition and disposal by country and by region.

Currently, world cities generate about 1.3 billion tonnes of solid waste per year, according to the report, with this volume is expected to increase to 2.2 billion tonnes by 2025.

Ten years ago there were 2.9 billion urban residents who generated about 0.64 kg of MSW per person per day (0.68 billion tonnes per year). The report estimates that today these amounts have increased to about 3 billion residents generating 1.2 kg per person per day (1.3 billion tones per year).

By 2025 this will likely increase to 4.3 billion urban residents generating about 1.42 kg/capita/day of municipal solid waste (2.2 billion tonnes per year).

Rachel Kyte, vice president and head of network, sustainable development at the World Bank, said: “A credible estimate is made for what the situation will look like in 2025. The findings are sobering. Improving solid waste management, especially in low income countries, is an urgent priority. Hopefully, this report will contribute to the dialogue that leads to much-needed action.

Earlier this year Waste Management World reported how China set itself a 70% recycling rate by 2015 (see WMW story).

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