Trash generated by PH cities to increase by 165% in 2025 - WB

By Jennifer A. Ng, BusinessMirror

Posted at Jun 07 2012 08:31 AM | Updated as of Jun 07 2012 10:11 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Municipal solid waste (MSW) that will be generated by Philippine cities will go up by 165 percent to 77,776 tons per day from 29,315 tons as a consequence of a projected 47.3-percent hike in urban population by 2025, according to a report released by the World Bank (WB).

The report titled “What a Waste: A Global Review of Solid Waste Management,” estimated that the amount of MSW will rise from the current 1.3 billion tons a year to 2.2 billion tons a year by 2025. Much of the increase, the report noted, will come from rapidly growing cities in developing countries.

The WB projected that the annual cost of solid waste-management is projected to rise from the current $205 billion to $375 billion.

“Improving solid-waste management, especially in the rapidly growing cities of low-income countries, is becoming a more and more urgent issue,” said Rachel Kyte, vice president of sustainable development, at the WB.

The report noted that the amount of municipal solid waste is growing fastest in China, other parts of East Asia and?part of Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Urban residents in the Philippines, for one, would double their MSW generation per capita at 0.9 per kilogram per day by 2025 from the current 0.5 kilo. Urban population is expected to rise to 86.41 million from 58.65 million in 13 years.

WB analysts said there is a direct correlation between the per capita level of income in cities and the amount of waste per capita that is generated. In general, as a country urbanizes and populations become wealthier, the consumption of inorganic materials such as plastics and glass increases, while the relative organic fraction decreases.

“What we’re finding in these figures is not that surprising. What is surprising, however, is that when you add the figures up, we’re looking at a relatively silent problem that is growing daily,” said Dan Hoornweg, lead urban specialist in the Finance, Economics and Urban Development Department at WB.

“The challenges surrounding municipal solid waste are going to be enormous, on a scale, if not greater than, the challenges that we are currently experiencing with climate change. This report should be seen as a giant wake-up call to policy-makers everywhere,” he stressed.

The WB report stressed that an “integrated solid-waste management plan” is needed in cities. “Key to such a plan is consultation and input from all stakeholders, including citizen groups and those working on behalf of the poor and the disadvantaged.”

The report also outlined policy recommendations for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, many of which come from?inefficient solid-waste management practices. These include user charges tied to the quantity of waste disposed of and preferential procurement policies and pricing to stimulate demand for products made with recycled post-consumer waste.

The WB noted that the report is a first in terms of offering consolidated data on MSW generation, collection, composition, and disposal by country and by region.