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Urban Environmental Management
Waste Management



Promoting minimization in waste generation and highlighting the 3Rs: From 'waste disposal' to 'resource efficiency'

This theme is part of GDRC's FEWW Nexus

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Pressing trends in waste generation:

Cities are facing an increasing growth in population, and shares in GDP growth, resulting in, among other things, increasing quantities of waste being generated

Due to varied lifestyles and consumption patterns, the quality and composition of waste has been more varied and changing.

Industrialization and economic growth has produced more amounts of waste, including hazardous and toxic wastes.

There is a growing realization of the negative impacts that wastes have had on the local environment (air, water, land, human health etc.)

Complexity, costs and coordination of waste management has necessitated multi-stakeholder involvement in every stage of the waste stream. This calls for an integrated approach to waste management.

Local Governments are now looking at waste as a business opportunity, (a) to extract valuable resources contained within it that can still be used and (b) to safely process and dispose wastes with a minimum impact on the environment.

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Did you know? Though high-income countries only account for 16 percent of the world’s population, they generate about 34 percent, or 683 million tonnes, of the world’s waste. And less than 20% of global waste is recycled each year and rich countries often export recyclables to poorer nations.

Hazardous waste are generated by hospitals, laboratories, and garages, but also by households through the oils. chemicals and other materials that is used daily. 13 tons of hazardous waste is produced every second Ethat’s 400 million tons per year.

About 11 million tonnes of plastic currently enter the ocean every year and this amount will triple in the next 20 years. In response, in 2022, the world moved towards a global agreement to reduce plastic use and its assoicated problems. Countries need a circular, life-cycle approach to plastics as a basis for a new legally binding global agreement.

SDG 12 and SDG 14 aim to promote sustainable consumption and production patterns and reduce the negative impacts of waste on the environment, particularly on oceans and marine resources.