EPA releases guide for improving solid waste management in developing countries

EPA releases guide for improving solid waste management in developing countries

The document was created to share best practices with local decision-makers in developing nations to improve their solid waste collection infrastructure.

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October 23, 2020

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a guide Oct. 22 to help those in developing nations better run their solid waste management infrastructure. The report, “Best Practices for Solid Waste Management: A Guide for Decision-Makers in Developing Countries,” is the first action item of the Trump administration’s recently documented Addressing Global Marine Litter Strategy. 

The document was created to share best practices with local decision-makers in developing nations to improve their solid waste collection infrastructure. The guide covers a diverse set of important topics for city-level decision-makers, including stakeholder engagement; waste management planning and economics; waste collection and transportation, prevention, minimization and recycling; landfill design and operation; and energy recovery.

According to the EPA, five countries in Asia account for over half of the plastic waste input into the ocean: China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. The majority of marine litter comes from land-based sources such as littering and the mismanagement of waste.

“The best way to keep our oceans free of waste and litter is to prevent it from entering waterways in the first place,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler says. “The U.S. is a leader in waste management, and this guide will help many of our partners improve their waste management practices.”

“When not managed properly, waste generated on land can reach waterbodies and contribute to the global marine litter issue,” Assistant Administrator for the Office of Land and Emergency Management Peter Wright says.Research shows that as much as 80 percent of marine litter comes from land-based sources. This guide discusses the marine litter issue and provides best practices on how to prevent waste from entering the environment.”

The guide is designed to be easily navigable and includes case studies and examples of activities from around the globe questions for decision-makers to consider when evaluating options for improving solid waste management and key resources that identify useful guidance materials, tools, and studies.

The guide is available on EPA’s website.