IGES-CCET participated virtually as one of presenters in a session to talk about open burning of waste at the ISWA World Congress 2023, held on October 31, 2023 in Oman.
More than 2 billion people worldwide have no access to waste management systems and suffer significant morbidity from the 90% of waste that is dumped or burned in low- and middle-income countries. The burning of municipal solid waste (MSW) is a major contributor to global air pollution, emitting greenhouse gases (GHGs) and short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) that infiltrate the air, ground, and water sources. This causes toxic health effects – such as respiratory infections, immune disorders, and reproductive abnormalities – for the people living and working close to waste burning.
Despite its catastrophic impact on health and environment, open burning of MSW has been widely neglected, by governments and policy makers who lack tools and capacities to take action. Awareness of its impact is low at all levels.
This session presented a Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) funded 2-year project consisting of partners Engineering X, ISWA, IGES-CCET, Practical Action, and UN-Habitat who are working to develop regional roadmaps for Latin America, Africa and Asia, contextualised in city pilots, to pave the way for action and end open burning of waste. Speakers included experts from the organisations working on the ground to end open burning. The session is reported in ISWA's guest blog.
In the session, Ms. Hayashi, project manager of IGES-CCET explained about the importance of understanding the local context of the reasons why people practice open burning of MSW by involving key stakeholders in the city pilot activity in order to come up with the feasible solutions, which include expansion of waste collection area and promotion of 4R activities (reduce, reuse, recycle, recover). She also mentioned that it is critical to consider the circular economy and climate aspects to bring the economic incentives and mitigate the climate impact through the integrated waste management.