“Waste not, want not.” This old saying rings so true today, as global leaders and local communities alike increasingly call for a fix for the so-called “throwaway culture.” But beyond individuals and households, waste also represents a broader challenge that affects human health and livelihoods, the environment, and prosperity.
Solid waste management is a universal issue that matters to every single person in the world. And with over 90% of waste openly dumped or burned in low-income countries, it is the poor and most vulnerable who are disproportionately affected.
In recent years, landslides of waste dumps have buried homes and people under piles of waste. And it is the poorest who often live near waste dumps and power their city’s recycling system through waste picking, leaving them susceptible to serious health repercussions.