Global waste could grow by 70 percent by 2050 as urbanization and populations rise, warns the World Bank. According to the report, the rise in garbage will outstrip population growth, reaching 3.4 billion tons by 2050 from around two billion tons in 2016. High-income countries produce a third of the world’s waste, despite having only 16 percent of world’s population, while a quarter comes from East Asia and the Pacific regions, it said. The report calculated that a third of the world’s waste is instead dumped openly, with no treatment.
While more than a third of waste globally ends up in landfill, over 90 percent is dumped openly in lower income countries that often lack adequate disposal and treatment facilities, said the report. South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa are set to generate the biggest increase in garbage. “We really need to pay attention to South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, as by 2050, South Asia’s waste will double, sub-Saharan Africa’s waste will triple,” said Silpa Kaza, a World Bank urban development specialist and report lead author.
Adequate financing for collection and disposal is one of the biggest issues for cities that often struggle to cover the costs of providing waste services, said Ms Kaza. “If the incentives are aligned and there’s an ability for contracts to be enforced, then the private sector can be a really powerful player,” she said.