Created by ISWA, the Close the Dumpsites campaign seeks to drive the closure of the world’s 50 largest dumpsites by 2030.
Two million people worldwide live on these dumpsites scavenging food, metal, textiles and other materials from trash. These dumpsites generate four billion tons of municipal waste annually, and this unmanaged waste is spread into rivers and oceans, openly burned and littered throughout cities.
Earth Day 2017 initiates a renewed, global focus on climate change and its threat to our planet’s overall well-being. Many of the world’s largest dumpsites lack emission controls like landfills in the U.S. Collectively, these sites could account for up to 10 percent of greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, making this a cause with real climate influence.
“Earth Day, established nearly 50 years ago, provides a forum for highlighting environmental concerns that affect us all here on earth,” says Rich Allen, president of SWANA. “The uncontained greenhouse gas emissions from these 50 landfills has a tremendous impact on our climate and finding more environmentally sound practices for waste disposal and/or finding uses for waste as a resource in these areas could alleviate those concerns.”
This campaign has successfully inspired the closure of the Estrutural dumpsite in Brasilia, Brazil, one of the largest dumpsites in Latin America. As of February 2017, the regional government inaugurated an engineered sanitary landfill to replace the old dumpsite, which will close completely in 18 months.
“The response from many is encouraging, but we are still at the beginning of the journey,” says Antonis Mavropoulos, president of ISWA. “Help ISWA drive the Close the Dumpsites initiative and stimulate a global movement for closing down the world’s biggest dumpsites.”
To learn more about the “Close the Dumpsites” campaign, visit closedumpsites.iswa.org.
To learn more about Earth Day 2017 and getting involved, visit earthday.org.