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Radioactive, chemical and biological hazards in Central Asia Radioactive, chemical and biological hazards in Central Asia
The Soviet development model for Central Asia was based on building large-scale irrigation schemes enabling the region to become a major cotton producer and expanding the mining and processing industry. Industrial operations in the region paid little attention to the environment and public health, resulting in the accumulation of pollutants in the local environment. Today, not only active industrial facilities constitute a threat to environment, ...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Hong Kong municipal waste composition Hong Kong municipal waste composition
As 1.3 billion Chinese thunder into the great pleasures of consumption, municipal waste is certainly a major environmental concern. This graph shows the amount of waste from 1991 to 2003 in Hong Kong.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Waste generation from manufacturing industry (by sectors) Waste generation from manufacturing industry (by sectors)
Turning raw materials into consumer products generates waste - depending 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. (please note that the Italy figure is not consistent with the source reference, and is erroneous)
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Transboundary movements of waste in 2000 Transboundary movements of waste in 2000
Waste, including extremely hazardous waste like radioactive material, toxic heavy metals and poisonous PCBs are routinely being loaded into trucks, and transported across continents. Some is loaded onto ships and exported to other countries. Often the waste is being sent for recycling but some is just dumped. Between 1993 and 1999 122 countries reported nearly 30 000 waste exports. During this period Germany was the top exporter (nearly 7 millio...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Global hazardous waste generation by type as reported by the parties to the Basel Convention for the years 1993-2000 Global hazardous waste generation by type as reported by the parties to the Basel Convention for the years 1993-2000
Hazardous wastes can often be recycled in an environmentally sound manner. Wastes that cannot be recycled must be treated to reduce the toxicity and the ability of the constituents to move throughout the environment. Treatment residues must be safely stored to avoid spills and leaks. (US Environmental Protection Agency).
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Contribution of various waste management systems to greenhouse gas emissions, 2002 Contribution of various waste management systems to greenhouse gas emissions, 2002
The disposal and treatment of waste can produce emissions of several greenhouse gases (GHGs), which contribute to global climate change. The most significant GHG gas produced from waste is methane. It is released during the breakdown of organic matter in landfills. Other forms of waste disposal also produce GHGs but these are mainly in the form of carbon dioxide (a less powerful GHG). Even the recycling of waste produces some emissions (although ...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Contribution from waste to climate change Contribution from waste to climate change
The disposal and treatment of waste can produce emissions of several greenhouse gases (GHGs), which contribute to global climate change. The most significant GHG gas produced from waste is methane. It is released during the breakdown of organic matter in landfills. Other forms of waste disposal also produce GHGs but these are mainly in the form of carbon dioxide (a less powerful GHG). Even the recycling of waste produces some emissions (although ...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Import waste as reported by Germany, in tonnes, 2001 Import waste as reported by Germany, in tonnes, 2001
In 2000 Germany reported sending 317 528 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. During 2000 Germany was amongst the top importers, bringing in over 1 million tonnes of waste from 38 countries. Major flows were from the Netherlands, Italy, Luxemburg and Belgium.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Mercury pollution - transport and cycle Mercury pollution - transport and cycle
Mines use toxic chemicals including cyanide, mercury, and sulphuric acid, to separate metal from ore. The chemicals used in the processing are generally recycled, however residues may remain in the tailings, which in developing countries are often dumped directly into lakes or rivers with devastating consequences. The accidental spillage of processing chemicals can also have a serious impact on the environment. For example, at the Baia Mare mine ...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Different sources of danger and their impacts to the environment Different sources of danger and their impacts to the environment
Contaminated groundwater can adversely affect animals, plants and humans if it is removed from the ground by manmade or natural processes. Depending on the geology of the area, groundwater may rise to the surface through springs or seeps, fl ow laterally into nearby rivers, streams, or ponds, or sink deeper into the earth. In many parts of the world, groundwater is pumped out of the ground to be used for drinking, bathing, other household uses, a...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Composition of transboundary waste Composition of transboundary waste
According to the Basel Convention reports, of more than 300 million tonnes of waste (including hazardous and other waste) generated worldwide in 2000, a little less that 2% was exported. However 90% of the exported waste was classifi ed as hazardous. The principal waste export by volume was lead and lead compounds bound for recycling.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Total waste generation in selected OECD countries in mid-1990s Total waste generation in selected OECD countries in mid-1990s
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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Soil polluting activities from selected sources Soil polluting activities from selected sources
Contaminants in the soil can harm plants when they take up the contamination through their roots. Ingesting, inhaling, or touching contaminated soil, as well as eating plants or animals that have accumulated soil contaminants can adversely impact the health of humans and animals.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Who gets the trash? Who gets the trash?
As we continually update and invent new products the life of the old ones is getting shorter and shorter. Like shipbreaking, e-waste recycling involves the major producers and users, shipping the obsolete products to Asia, Eastern Europe, and Africa. But instead of being “green” we are exporting a sack full of problems to people who have to choose between poverty or poison. This graphic illustrates major receivers of e-waste in Asia.
07 Nov 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Emissions of organic water pollutants Emissions of organic water pollutants
Pollution emitted in industrial areas represents a threat to human health and the surrounding natural resources. We have a tendency to believe that the production processes are the only source of environmental damage, and often forget about the possible long-term effects of harmful production practices.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Mining waste rock Mining waste rock
Regardless of the type of raw material, its extraction always comes with an environmental cost. Most mining leaves a lasting and damaging environmental footprint. For example, during the extraction of common metals like copper, lead or zinc from the earth both metal-bearing rock, called ore, and “overburden”, the dirt and rock that covers the ore are removed. At a typical copper mine around 125 tonnes of ore are excavated to produce just one ton...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Changing percentages of selected municipal wastes Changing percentages of selected municipal wastes
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. A typical trend: as countries get richer, the organic share decreases whereas the paper and plastic ones increase.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Pesticides stockpiles in Africa Pesticides stockpiles in Africa
Mountains of obsolete pesticides are stockpiled in Africa. Problems with labelling, storage, and the supply of unsuitable products, means that they sit around unused, some for as long as 40 years. They include poisons long ago banned (e.g. DDT, aldrin, dieldrin, chlordane, heptachlor, and others). In some cases the pesticides have leaked from damaged containers. Unable to dispose of them safely the likelihood is that the piles will continue to gr...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Distribution of pollutant loads in the Black Sea Distribution of pollutant loads in the Black Sea
Illustration in a set of graphics prepared for a pilot assessment report on the Black Sea drainage basin, for the UNEP Global Impact on Waters Assessment (GIWA). All data and information were prepared in close collaboration with the GIWA Black Sea team and the GIWA secretariat. The graphics were not used in this form in the final report on the Black Sea, published in 2005.
01 Oct 2006 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Pollution in the Black Sea Area Pollution in the Black Sea Area
Illustration in a set of graphics prepared for a pilot assessment report on the Black Sea drainage basin, for the UNEP Global Impact on Waters Assessment (GIWA). All data and information were prepared in close collaboration with the GIWA Black Sea team and the GIWA secretariat. The graphics were never not used in this form in the final report on the Black Sea, published in 2005.
10 Mar 2006 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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