How Waste Management Differs around the World

waste management

Different places in the world use widely varying methods of waste disposal and management. This countries differ in numerous ways, such as their willingness to recycle or follow the laws that are in place. Consider these examples:

Germany’s Success in Waste Disposal

Even among its European peers, Germany is a real success story in terms of waste management. Reports indicate that the country recycles about 70-percent of their waste through numerous recycling, reclamation, and reuse programs nationwide. Since the start of their biggest initiatives in 1996, Germany has reduced its waste by an amount that exceeds 37.7 million tons. This success is largely dependent on individual responsibility with German citizens sorting and recycling their household waste even though there is no absolute legal requirement to do so. This success is similar across other countries such as the UK where the company Map Waste that specialises in commercial waste disposal, have been successful in implementing many techniques locally in Leicester similar to those found around Europe.

China’s Large Waste Management

Because of their large population (1.33 billion), developing economy, and the production of waste produced, China is seeking innovative ways to deal with their waste even as their environment suffers degradation from population and poor techniques used in the past. Right now, the country is investing in waste-to-energy (WTE) technologies to make use of their refuse. In recent years, China has increased WTE capacity and production from 2 to 14 million tons. Making WTE run more cleanly is a current area of research and discussion. They have a long way to go, but they are making exceptional progress.

India’s Waste Problems

India also has a large population that generates incredible amounts of municipal solid waste. They have striven in the last two decades to create a system of management for this; however, due to poor enforcement and other issues, they have yet to reach an effective solution to either the legal issues or the waste itself. Traditionally, landfills and other disposal sites have provided income for poor Indians who sift through the refuse to find items they can re-purpose, recycle, or sell to support their families. An estimated 21-percent of recycling in India is done informally in this way.

Nigeria’s Waste Control

Although Nigeria has attempted to control its waste output since the late 1980s, they have had little success in doing so. They have few nationwide policies in place and recycling efforts are generally not supported by the state or by private investment. Few Nigerians are concerned about the issue of waste management and fewer still about recycling. In most cases, it is the rule rather than the exception to dump illegally or bury garbage. In Lagos, some efforts are underway to extract methane gas from their largest dumping site.