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The World’s 50 Biggest Dumpsites
 
Official launching of the 2nd Waste Atlas Report

 

Waste Atlas Partnership mapped and profiled the world’s 50 biggest active dumpsites in its 2nd annual Waste Atlas Report. The results of the report were presented by Antonis Mavropoulos, D-Waste Founder and Project Director of the Waste Atlas Partnership, during the ISWA 2014 World Congress, held in Sao Paulo, Brazil on 8th-11th of September 2014.  

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atlas0001The 1st Waste Atlas Report has revealed that almost 40% of the waste generated globally is unsoundly disposed of at open dumpsites. Most of these disposal sites are located close to urban areas, posing a major threat to human health and the environment.

But speaking generally about dumpsites is not enough. There is a need to draft a baseline by assessing the current situation, the health and environmental problems, the affected populations, the current and future risks associated with dumpsites.

No international, coordinated efforts have been made until today to catalogue the most risky dumpsites worldwide and to mobilize international aid for their upgrade, closure and/or rehabilitation.

Waste Atlas Partnership (D-Waste, ISWA, University of Leeds, WtERT, Sweep-Net and SWAPI) decided to respond to this challenge and made the first list with the biggest active dumpsites of the world.

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The 50 biggest active dumpsites should not be considered, simply, as local problems, since according to the report they affect the daily lives of 64 million people, a figure similar to the population of France and they are the receptors of 0.6-0.8 km3 of waste, almost 200-300 times the volume of the Great Pyramid of Giza.

I really believe that the closure and rehabilitation of those dumpsites, and the development of sound waste management systems, must be considered as a global challenge and not a local one” said Antonis Mavropoulos Founder and CEO of D-Waste during his presentation at the ISWA World 2014 World Congress, held in Sao Paulo, Brazil on 8th-11th of September. “I am sure that the list provided by this report will serve as a first step towards the understanding of this global challenge”.

The enlisted dumpsites are visualized in order to provide a contextual snapshot of both the technical, environmental and social aspects of each dumpsite. The given information is related to tonnes of waste in place, type of waste, size area, tonnes of waste per area (waste concentration), informal recyclers, population and natural resources within 10 km radius and distance of nearest settlements.

This list would never be realized without the combination of crowdsourcing and scientific research. We are really thankful to the hundreds of contributors for sending data and we are also thankful to the University of Leeds for its scientific support that upgraded data collection and acquisition”, mentioned Mr. A Mavropoulos.

The report also provides the characteristics of typical ‘monstrous’ dumpsite which has the size of around 29 big international football fields and something less than a million people (0.83) living within 10 km radius from the site.

At the end of his speech, Mr. A. Mavropoulos highlighted the need for contribution to the project in order to be sustainable. “I believe that the time has come to create a vibrating community of contributors, users and followers of Waste Atlas – this is the only way to make the project sustainable and increase its scientific value. Waste Atlas is an evidence of the power of crowdsourcing, when it is combined with scientific analysis”.

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 www.atlas.d-waste.com 

 

Read more: An exclusive interview with Ana Loureiro, Communication Director at Valorsul and D-Waste's Expert

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