Report calls for alliance to solve escalating global health emergency threat posed to millions by open dumpsites
- Open dumpsites receive roughly 40% of the world’s waste and serve about 3.5 to 4 billion people
- Substantial rise in unregulated dumping of mobile devices, electronic appliances, medical and municipal waste accelerating scale of the threat and health risks
- Uncontrolled burning of waste releases gases and toxins into the atmosphere
- Open waste sites in India, Indonesia and the Philippines more detrimental to life expectancy than malaria2
- 64 million people’s lives affected by world’s 50 largest dumpsites (equal to population of France)1
- In addition to human/environmental impact, the financial cost of open dumpsites runs into the tens of billions $USD
A new report presented at the ISWA World Congress today has revealed the global health emergency already affecting tens of millions of people worldwide is escalating in scale and impact. The report, published by the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) entitled ‘Wasted health, the tragic case of open dumps’, demonstrates how the problems of open dumpsites experienced in the developed world 40 years ago still exist in poor and emerging countries but are being additionally compounded by unprecedented new issues. These include the unregulated accumulation on a massive scale of discarded electronic and mobile devices, medical waste, and animal carcasses, which are routinely burnt.
While the risk of disease and illness to millions of people living in the immediate vicinity of open dumpsites is cause for concern in its own right, the impact of the gases and toxins being released into the atmosphere by burning the waste has global consequences. The report concludes that without a coordinated response to the issue through a global alliance of organisations capable of delivering real change, the problem will only worsen and quickly.