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Total waste generation in 2001, selected countries Total waste generation in 2001, selected countries
On a global scale, calculating the amount of waste being generated presents a problem. There are a number of issues, including a lack of reporting by many countries and inconsistencies in the way countries report (definitions and surveying methods employed by countries vary considerably). The Basel Convention has estimated the amount of hazardous and other waste generated for 2000 and 2001 at 318 and 338 millions tonnes respectively. These figure...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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162 Parties to the Basel Convention in October 2004 162 Parties to the Basel Convention in October 2004
The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal is the most comprehensive global environmental agreement on hazardous and other wastes. It aims to protect human health and the environmentagainst the adverse effects resulting from the generation, management, transboundary movementsand disposal of hazardous and other wastes. The Basel Convention regulates the transboundary movements of hazardous...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Different approaches and overlapping definitions to waste Different approaches and overlapping definitions to waste
Waste is generated in all sorts of ways. Its composition and volume largely depend on consumption patterns and the industrial and economic structures in place. Air quality, water and soil contamination, space consumption and odors all affect our quality of life. Waste is a complex, subjective and sometimes controversial issue. There are many ways to define, describe and count it depending on how you look at it. Citizens, technicians, businessmen,...
14 Sep 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Human Development Index (HDI) in 2002 Human Development Index (HDI) in 2002
Human development is about much more than the rise or fall of national incomes. It is about creating an environment in which people can develop their full potential and lead productive, creative lives in accord with their needs and interests. People are the real wealth of nations. Development is thus about expanding the choices people have to lead lives that they value. And it is thus about much more than economic growth, which is only a means — ...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Raw material consumption in United States and Western Europe (Steel, aluminium, plastics and cement) Raw material consumption in United States and Western Europe (Steel, aluminium, plastics and cement)
The global consumption of key raw materials is rising fast. Over the 20-year period ending in 1994, the world population increased by 40% – in that same period, the world consumption of cement increased by 77%, and plastics by just under 200%… Among raw materials used for construction, only crude steel registered a growth rate that was significantly lower (only 3% from 1974 to 1994) than the rate of population increase. (University of Minnesota, ...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Number of personal computers Number of personal computers
It is estimated that there are over a billion personal computers in the world at present. In developed countries these have an average life span of only 2 years. In the United States alone there are over 300 million obsolete computers. (US National Safety Council).
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Mining effects on rainfall drainage Mining effects on rainfall drainage
The Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) is the number one environmental problem facing the mining industry. AMD occurs when sulphide-bearing minerals in rock are exposed to air and water, changing the sulphide to sulphuric acid. It can devastate aquatic habitats, is difficult to treat with existing technology, and once started, can continue for centuries (Roman mine sites in Great Britain continue to generate acid drainage 2000 years after mining ceased)....
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Raw material consumption, global trends and US share Raw material consumption, global trends and US share
A small minority of rich countries are responsible for a large part of the raw material consumption. All together the developed countries comprise only 22% of the world population, but they consume more than 60% of the industrial raw materials.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Waste and car production Waste and car production
The life cycle approach gives a more complete picture of the waste and energy associated with a product. Our daily choices determine the amount of waste we produce. As consumers, our relationship to a product happens only during a short phase of its existence. This chart reflects the waste material during car production, as well as the distribution of material in a typical car.
17 May 2005 - by UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Information and communication technology expenditures Information and communication technology expenditures
The high tech boom has brought with it a new type of waste – electronic waste, a category that barely existed 20 years ago. Now e-waste represents the biggest and fastest growing manufacturing waste. The black and white TV turned to colour, the basic mobile phone needed a camera, personal organizer and music, and who wants last year's computer when it can't handle the latest software? As we continually update and invent new products the life of t...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Waste generation scheme Waste generation scheme
The graphic gives a general illustration of a waste generation & management scheme. Using car production as a example, the associated text includes references as follows: Raw Materials: Mining of minerals: copper, iron, lead, zinc, and aluminum (generating waste in the neighborhood of the mines), etc. Production: During the final assembly: paints, coatings, lubricants and fluids (generating excess materials – a specific type of waste) Distributi...
14 Sep 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Projected trends in regional municipal waste generation Projected trends in regional municipal waste generation
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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Annual world nuclear reactor construction / Spent fuel generation Annual world nuclear reactor construction / Spent fuel generation
Both the volume and the level of radioactivity have to be considered – a large volume of waste with a low-level of radioactivity presents less danger than a smaller amount of waste with a high-level of radioactivity. For example, spent fuel (elements that have been removed from a reactor after use) makes up less than 1% of the volume of radioactive waste, but contains almost 95% of the total radioactivity.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Ability of countries to support their citizens from their own environment Ability of countries to support their citizens from their own environment
The Ecological Footprint measures the amount of productive land area needed to support a nation’s consumption and waste. This indicator shows that in many countries, as well as for the planet as a whole, the demand for natural resources, or the 'ecological capacity', exceeds the amount available. Countries that are not able to support their national consumption with their own natural resources are running at an 'ecological deficit'. Therefore the...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Personal computers per 1000 people Personal computers per 1000 people
It is estimated that there are over a billion personal computers in the world at present. In developed countries these have an average life span of only 2 years. In the United States alone there are over 300 million obsolete computers. (US National Safety Council).
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
3
Trends in transboundary movement of waste among Parties to the Basel Convention Trends in transboundary movement of waste among Parties to the Basel Convention
The amount of waste on the move is increasing rapidly. Reports to the Basel Convention on the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal suggest that between 1993 and 2001 the amount of waste crisscrossing the globe increased from 2 million tonnes to more than 8.5 million tonnes. What is this material that is being traded between countries, where is it from and where is it going? Unfortunately data on waste movement...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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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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