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Vital Waste GraphicsVital Waste Graphics
The publication “Vital Waste Graphics” was initiated by the Basel Convention Secretariat and produced in partnership with the Division of Environmental Conventions (DEC) of UNEP, Grid-Arendal and the Division of Early Warning Assessment-Europe of UNEP. It is being published for the seventh meeting of the Conference to the Parties of the Basel Convention (COP7).
Available online at: http://www.grida.no/publications/vg/waste
Raw materials consumption in the United States Raw materials consumption in the United States
The United States consumption of key raw materials is rising fast. Since 1950 some raw material consumption has increase by over 200 percent. Raw materials used for construction has risen over 400 percent in the same time period.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Percentage of the population served by municipal waste services Percentage of the population served by municipal waste services
Waste collection is a basic public service performed for everyone in OECD countries. Everyone? Well, a closer look reveals that this is not the case for a significant number of people. If these developed countries can’t collect all their waste, imagine the situation in many developing countries, where resources are much scarcer and access is sometimes problematic. This graphic presents the situation in selected OECD countries, highlighting a numb...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Consumption of selected industrial raw materials compared to global population Consumption of selected industrial raw materials compared to global population
Five of the top countries consuming industrial raw materials account for roughly 10 percent of the world's population but consume up to 50 percent of more of some of the main materials. This shows a large imbalance between these 5 nations and the other 188.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Municipal solid waste composition: for 7 OECD countries and 7 Asian cities Municipal solid waste composition: for 7 OECD countries and 7 Asian cities
In most countries in the world, organic materials and paper are the main contributors to municipal waste. In developing countries, large cities generate most of the municipal waste. Data are rarely available for rural areas, but factors like the type of energy source used for cooking and heating and seasonal differences play a part in the composition of waste (for example in rural communities in Mongolia there is a large difference between the vo...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Total hazardous and other waste generation as reported by the Parties to the Basel Convention in 2001 (bar chart) Total hazardous and other waste generation as reported by the Parties to the Basel Convention in 2001 (bar chart)
The Basel Convention has estimated the amount of hazardous and other waste generated for 2000 and 2001 at 318 and 338 millions tonnes respectively. However these figures are based on reports from only a third of the countries that are currently members of the Convention (approximately 45 out of 162). Compare this with the almost 4 billion tonnes estimated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development as generated by their 25 membe...
17 May 2005 - by UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Ok Tedi mine Ok Tedi mine
The Ok Tedi mine is located high in the rain forest covered Star Mountains of Papua New Guinea. Prior to 1981 the local Wopkaimin people lived a subsistence existence in one of the most isolated places on earth. That was before the 10 000 strong town of Tabubil suddenly appeared in the middle of their community. The Ok Tedi mine was built on the world’s largest gold and copper deposit (gold ore capping the main copper deposit).
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Export waste as reported by Australia, in tonnes, 2001 Export waste as reported by Australia, in tonnes, 2001
Australia is not a big player in the waste trade, but a good percentage of its exports are shipped all the way to Europe. In 2000 Australia reported the export of 16 689 tonnes of waste (all classifi ed as hazardous) to New Zealand, Belgium, Great Britain, France and Austria. More than half the waste consisted of used lead acid batteries, which were moved across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand. Most of the rest of the waste (described as lead dro...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Ship owners and builders Ship owners and builders
When ships like oil tankers and cargo vessels pass their use by date they are broken up for scrap. Large ships are generally built by companies in countries like Japan, South Korea and Germany, but when it comes time for recycling and disposal they are sent to Pakistan, Bangladesh, India... Here thousands of low paid workers use basic tools to strip and break up the pollution-saturated hulls. The activities can take place on beaches – at high tid...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Emissions due to solid waste disposal on land Emissions due to solid waste disposal on land
Landfi ling is the most common waste management practice, and results in the release of methane from the anaerobic decomposition of organic materials. Methane is around 20 times more potent as a GHG than carbon dioxide. If the disposal of organic matter were to be decreased (for example by composting or incineration) it would be possible to reduce the amount of methane emissions. However, landfill methane is also a source of energy, and some lan...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Existing radioactive waste disposal and proposal alternatives for storage Existing radioactive waste disposal and proposal alternatives for storage
Radioactive waste presents a unique problem, where it has to be handled with care to prevent radiation exposure for people, wildlife and contamination. Products from nuclear activities can be reprocessed to a certain degree, but a fair bit of the waste needs to be stored or disposed of in a safe manner. Options include storing in deep mountain chambers/caverns, under the sea floor or even sending it out into space.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Ore production and waste generation at Ok Tedi Mine Ore production and waste generation at Ok Tedi Mine
The Ok Tedi mine is located high in the rain forest covered Star Mountains of Papua New Guinea. Prior to 1981 the local Wopkaimin people lived a subsistence existence in one of the most isolated places on earth. That was before the 10 000 strong town of Tabubil suddenly appeared in the middle of their community. The Ok Tedi mine was built on the world’s largest gold and copper deposit (gold ore capping the main copper deposit). From the very begi...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Solid waste management cost for selected cities Solid waste management cost for selected cities
Sound waste management requires a high level of technology and a signif cant budget. What Japan and Germany can afford today, most countries will have to wait a long time for. Developed countries have a lot to learn from the recycling and reuse levels in developing countries.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Shipbreaking in Asia Shipbreaking in Asia
Prior to 1970, shipbeaking was concentrated in Europe. It was a highly mechanised activity carried out at docks by skilled workers. However the increasing cost of upholding environmental health and safety guidelines made it unprofitable. So the industry moved from the steel capped boots and hard hats of Europe to the bare footed workers of Asia. It is estimated that approximately 100 000 Asians are employed as ship breakers. (International Labou...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Municipal solid waste generation for selected large cities in Asia Municipal solid waste generation for selected large cities in Asia
Municipal waste is everything collected and treated by municipalities. Only part of it is comes from households, the rest is generated by small businesses, commercial and other municipal activities. So it is produced from both consumption and production processes. Like all waste, municipal waste is on the rise and it is growing faster than the population, a natural result of our increasing consumption rate and the shortening of product life-spans...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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What is in a Swiss rubbish bag? (household waste) What is in a Swiss rubbish bag? (household waste)
The amount and composition of municipal waste depends on a variety of factors. It is related to our living standard but wealth does not explain everything. It is also correlated with levels of urbanization, energy choices, waste management strategies and the “good” or “bad” habits of consumers. Although our garbage bins represent only a small part of the total waste generated, it is an important part: the one in which everyone can take action. Th...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Waste generation from manufacturing Waste generation from manufacturing
Manufacturing waste, as you would expect from the vast range of products produced and processes involved, is a very diverse group. The waste generated depends on the technology used, the nature of the raw material processed and how much of it is discarded at the end of the chain. Very often manufacturing wastes end up in the hazardous category.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Agriculture and manufacturing waste generation Agriculture and manufacturing waste generation
Agricultural waste consists of things like pesticide waste, discarded pesticide containers, plastics such as silage wrap, bags and sheets, packaging waste, old machinery, oil and waste veterinary medicines. In a comparison between selected European countries, Hungary and Ireland have a greater share of waste from agriculture and forestry.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Hazardous waste generation in 2001 as reported by the Parties to the Basel Convention Hazardous waste generation in 2001 as reported by the Parties to the Basel Convention
Hazardous waste needs to be monitored and controlled from the moment the waste is generated until its ultimate disposal. Proper hazardous waste control requires a plan to reduce the amount of waste generated or the toxicity of the waste produced. The most environmentally sound and economically efficient way of managing any waste is not to generate it in the first place (source reduction).
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Export of waste as reported by Germany, in tonnes, 2001 Export of waste as reported by Germany, in tonnes, 2001
In 2000 Germany reported sending more than threehundred thousand tonnes of waste to 14 countries. All countries appeared to receive a broad combination of hazardous waste apart from China, which received nearly 50 tonnes of household waste. In year 2000, Germany was amongst the top importers, bringing in over 1 million tonnes of waste from 38 countries. Most of the waste came from the Netherlands, Italy, Luxemburg and Belgium and contained a comb...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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What is in a computer What is in a computer
On average a computer is 23% plastic, 32% ferrous metals, 18% non-ferrous metals (lead, cadmium, antimony, beryllium, chromium and mercury), 12% electronic boards (gold, palladium, silver and platinum) and 15% glass. Only about 50% of the computer can be recycled, the rest is dumped. The toxicity of the waste is mostly due to the lead, mercury and cadmium – non-recyclable components of a single computer may contain almost 2 kilograms of lead. ...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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