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United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative

Climate idea

Open dumping

Open dumping is a prevalent municipal solid waste (MSW) management practice, with approximately 2.24 billion tons of solid waste generated globally each year. Roughly 40 percent of the world's waste ends up in open dumpsites, particularly in cities in middle and lower-income countries lacking proper waste collection systems. For example, up to 90 percent of waste is openly dumped in many African cities, and 45 percent in the region of Latin America and the Caribbean. While open dumping is a cost-effective waste management option, it has significant adverse effects on the environment and public health. Emissions from open dumping, including dioxins, furans, mercury, and other hazardous substances, contribute to air, water, and soil pollution. Individuals working at these sites and surrounding communities face a high risk of inhaling and ingesting toxic substances, and there is a threat of diseases spreading due to poor sanitation and the presence of insects and vectors. Despite regional variations, mismanagement of waste, exemplified by open dumping, is a global critical issue contributing to the triple planetary crisis. UNEP’s approach to open dumping A solution to this issue extends beyond the closure of open dumpsites. UNEP has adopted an integrated waste management approach, collaborating with multiple stakeholders to provide waste collection services, raise awareness on sound waste management, enforce policies and laws, and implement a chain of waste management practices, including recycling and final disposal in an environmentally sound manner, implement monitoring mechanisms, and enhance administrative and institutional capacity. The closure of open dumpsites would significantly contribute to addressing the climate crisis by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, and soil contamination. It would also lead to improved sanitation and water quality, fostering safer working conditions for informal workers and residents. Additionally, economic benefits, such as increased job opportunities in the waste management sector, can be anticipated. The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies – Centre Collaborating with UNEP on Environmental Technologies (IGES-CCET) collaborates with partners to develop and implement national or city waste management strategies. The first Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Minamata Convention on Mercury adopted a decision in 2017 regarding mercury emissions from open burning of waste. Following this decision, UNEP initiated a project on mercury monitoring at open dumping sites in Cameroon, Indonesia, Kenya, Myanmar, and Nigeria. The Coalition for the Closure of Dumpsites, established in 2018 during the XXI Meeting of the Forum of Ministers of the Environment of Latin America and the Caribbean, is a voluntary coalition aiming to create a Roadmap for the progressive closure of open dumpsites. This coalition supports implementation, promotes technical guidelines, enhances capacities, and raises awareness in Latin America and the Caribbean. https://www.unep.org/topics/chemicals-and-pollution-action/waste/open-dumping

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31 more agrees trigger contact with the recipient

  • Chris Ndungu

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    8 w

    Open Dumping is obnoxious to the lives of humans, still not to forget how floras and faunas are affected. We should not be nonchalant when we have such news.

    2
    • George Kariuki

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      8 w

      Open dumping is a threat we can't ignore.

      • Joseph Githinji

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        9 w

        This is a great approach to aid in waste management and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a way to foster a sustainable future.

        6
        • Kevin

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          9 w

          This is quite the idea

          7
          • Saustine Lusanzu

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            9 w

            @Kevin exactly

            5
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