Garbage Challenges in Developing Countries

The problems of waste management are different for the developing world. Because the economies of developing countries are usually not as robust as the economies of countries such as the United States, people in these poorer countries tend to buy fewer products with less packaging, and they produce less waste than Americans or residents of other industrialized nations. On the

Developing Countries Pictures
A child scavenges on a dump in Manila, in the Philippines. Many developing countries have problems disposing of wastes. As a result, garbage piles up and people scavenge through the trash to try to earn a living.

other hand, unlike developed nations, poorer countries in the developing world often have not developed adequate waste management policies or systems, trash collection services, or government institutions to properly manage their wastes. As the Web site Fabric of Nature explains:

Most developing countries don't have any organized means of controlling solid waste. Garbage is rarely even collected on a regular basis. Regulations vary from country to country and from town to town, and often a small bribe from an apprehended illegal trash dumper will trump enforcement of official regulations, anyway. Laws are often lax—burning of garbage and open dumping allowed. Frequently, a lack of funds prevents municipalities in such countries from ever being able to even create a proper waste management system, in the first place.

Then, the lack of status and poor salaries associated with the profession discourages qualified employees, so personnel rarely has the ability or the training to manage an effective system, even when one exists.37

The result in many cases is that garbage in developing countries tends to pile up in waterways and on land, creating serious health and environmental hazards. This problem of waste management is especially acute in countries with rapidly growing urban areas. As World Health Organization researcher Hisashi Ogawa notes, "The management of solid waste is becoming a major public health and environmental concern in urban areas of many developing countries."38

A Developing Country's Trash

"One of the surest signs that you're in a developing country is the trash beneath your feet."—Bryan Walsh, Time magazine's energy and climate writer.

Bryan Walsh, "Trash Problems in Paradise," Time, January 2, 2008. www.time.com/ time/world/article/0,8599,1701095,00.html.

One of the worst examples is the city of Manila, capital of the Philippines. There, residents generate 8,000 tons (7,982 metric tons) of garbage each day, but for years the government did not collect the garbage or educate the public about recycling or other waste reduction options. As a result, the city's garbage simply piled up at numerous dumps, which attracted flies, rats, and other vermin. The dumps also encouraged poor people to scavenge amongst the trash to earn a meager living. Some people even lived on the dumps in shanties amid fetid garbage, methane fumes, and various toxins. In 2000 one of the biggest dumps— a huge trash mountain called Payatas—collapsed after typhoon rains, destroying one of the shantytowns and killing 219 people. After the tragedy, the government cleaned up the site, but a new dump was opened next door that continues to provide the only source of income for many poor residents.

As poorer nations industrialize and become wealthier and more consumer oriented, garbage problems usually worsen. China, which has become an economic powerhouse in just the last decade, is the best example of this phenomenon. According to a 2005 World Bank report: "China recently surpassed the United States as the world's largest municipal solid waste (MSW) generator. In 2004 the urban areas of China generated about 190,000,000 tonnes of MSW and by 2030 this amount is projected to be at least 480,000,000 tonnes. No country has ever experienced as large, or as rapid, an increase in waste generation."39 Managing this rapid increase in garbage presents all kinds of major health, social, and environmental problems. Perhaps the worst impact in China is environmental deterioration so bad that Chinese people are regularly sickened by toxic pollutants entering the air, soil, and water. The World Bank has estimated that almost half a million Chinese people die prematurely each year from breathing in the polluted air and drinking the dirty water. Yet government efforts to address this pollution face enormous obstacles, as millions of Chinese demand their slice of the growing economic pie. As journalist David Stanway explains, "With hundreds of millions of urban residents enjoying the fruits of consumerism, the government is struggling to bring a sense of the environmental costs of breakneck economic growth. It has tried to rein in industrial polluters by cutting off credit, suspending licenses and jailing repeat offenders, but officials bemoan the failure of ordinary people to be green."40 Some Chinese leaders have even speculated that the environmental destruction may eventually halt China's economic progress.

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Responses

  • TIMOTEO
    Why develop/countries face more problem in managing waste?
    2 years ago
  • alvisa
    How garbage is collected and dumped in different countries?
    1 year ago
  • thorsten
    WHY IS WASTE MANAGEMENT NOT A PROBLEM TO MORE DEVELOPED COUNTRIES?
    1 year ago
  • JAMES NEWCOMB
    How much countries waste rubbish?
    1 year ago
  • duilio
    What countries are suffered from garbage?
    1 year ago
  • hal longhole
    Does trash come from third world countries?
    1 year ago
  • mirabella
    How many countries face waste problems?
    1 year ago
  • stephan
    How to recycling waste in a undeveloped area?
    12 months ago
  • beverly
    How developed countries disposing waste?
    10 months ago
  • luwam
    How does lack of education post as a challenge to waste management in a developing countries?
    10 months ago
  • mantissa
    Which country have waste problems?
    10 months ago
  • esther
    What contries have bad waste management?
    10 months ago
  • Columbus
    How to calculate solid waste poor countries?
    9 months ago
  • arto
    What are the challenges generated by poor waste disposal to the development of an area?
    9 months ago
  • Alexander
    How much trash does a person in an underdeveolped country?
    9 months ago
  • ulrike
    HOW BAD IS THE GARBAGE PROBLEM IN MANILA PHILIPPINES?
    9 months ago
  • Sabina
    Which countries have solid waste problem?
    9 months ago
  • Faye
    When did trash become a problem in third world countries?
    9 months ago
  • tuula toivonen
    Why waste managemwnt is a problem in developing country?
    8 months ago
  • jarkko
    Which country has the worst recycling problems?
    8 months ago
  • martin
    How would the mass of trash differ if you live in a deceloping nation?
    7 months ago
  • Kerttu
    How do third world. countries dispose of poop?
    7 months ago
  • miia
    How poor is trash mamangament in the usa?
    7 months ago
  • MICHAEL LEE
    Which countries produce more wastesdeveloped,developing or underdeveloped?
    6 months ago
  • Belisarius Oldbuck
    What country is trash based on?
    6 months ago
  • eden
    How to solve trash problem for poor country?
    6 months ago
  • heike
    Which countries produces more waste developed; developing; undevloped?
    6 months ago
  • Tamara Peterson
    How to treat solid waste in third countries?
    6 months ago
  • azzeza
    How have countries tried to solve trash problems?
    5 months ago
  • chica
    How under developed countries manage their waste?
    5 months ago
  • Flavus
    What are the challenge of waste management in under develop countries?
    5 months ago
  • Prudenzio
    How do developing countries push for recycling?
    5 months ago
  • nicolas mckenzie
    How to manage waste in third world countries?
    5 months ago
  • KISANET
    How do developing countries manage waste water?
    5 months ago
  • zula
    Who has worst trash disposal in the world?
    5 months ago
  • viljo
    How is waste is reused in the 3rd world countries?
    5 months ago
  • Delores
    Which countries have low landfill management?
    4 months ago
  • ERIKA
    Which countries would have the hardest problem dealing with solid waste disposal Why?
    4 months ago
  • Cornelia
    How do some countries addressed proper waste disposal?
    4 months ago
  • FRE-QALSI
    Why do countries trade in hazardous waste?
    4 months ago
  • graziella
    Why 3rd world country trash goes in water?
    4 months ago
  • OUTI
    What happens to rubbish generated in poorer countries?
    4 months ago
  • mattalic sandheaver
    Why is waste disposal hard in developing countries cities?
    4 months ago
  • Elsa
    How waste is managed by country the economist?
    3 months ago
  • teemu
    Does other counties have pollution and waste managment problems?
    3 months ago
  • arsi hietam
    How many countries use open dump for waste?
    3 months ago
  • josefiina
    How to reduce trash in a developing country?
    3 months ago
  • Anne
    What other poor cities have hazardous drinking water and waste problems?
    3 months ago
  • LEONORA
    What causes poor waste management in developing countries?
    3 months ago
  • Emanuele
    What country has the biggest waste problem?
    2 months ago
  • Lucie
    What problems exist in the waste management WORLDWIDE?
    2 months ago
  • TEIGHAN
    How does developed countries manage waste water from their respective houses?
    2 months ago
  • Isaias
    How can we help developing countries with landfill issues?
    2 months ago
  • Italo
    Who has the worst energy waste issues?
    2 months ago
  • Edvige
    How many countries dont have waste management?
    2 months ago
  • simon
    How is solid waste a greatest challenges facing developing countries?
    2 months ago
  • PATRYCJA
    How to properly manage waste in a third world country?
    1 month ago
  • paul schuhmacher
    How do the develop countries dispose of their waste in many dishonorable ways?
    1 month ago
  • emma haapoja
    What country does not have proper garbage dump?
    1 month ago
  • Kauko
    What is the current challenge with waste disposal in the ocean?
    1 month ago
  • Linnie
    Why poor countries dont clean up?
    29 days ago
  • MUSA WILSON
    Why garbage heaps in third world?
    22 days ago
  • Benjamin
    What countries has waste classification?
    22 days ago
  • karolin
    Do people in your country care about waste classification?
    21 days ago
  • GRIFFO
    Why third world country dont recycle?
    18 days ago
  • asmara
    How do many countries dispose of garbage?
    16 days ago

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