On Earth Day 2017, April 22, the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) in partnership with the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), urges supporters to sign the declaration to close the world’s 50 largest dumpsites. Created by ISWA, the “Close the Dumpsites” campaign seeks to drive the closure of the world’s 50 largest dumpsites by 2030, in order to halt this growing environmental and global health emergency.
Two million people worldwide live on these dumpsites in dangerous conditions, scavenging food, metal, textiles, and other materials from trash; there are thousands of deaths every year.These dumpsites generate four billion tons of municipal waste annually, and this unmanaged waste is spread into rivers and oceans, openly burned, and littered throughout cities.
Earth Day 2017 initiates a renewed, global focus on climate change and its threat to our planet’s overall well-being. Many of the world’s largest dumpsites lack emission controls like landfills in the United States. Collectively, these sites could account for up to 10 percent of greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, making this a cause with real climate influence.
“Earth Day, established nearly 50 years ago, provides a forum for highlighting environmental concerns that affect us all here on earth,” says Rich Allen, President of SWANA. “The uncontained greenhouse gas emissions from these 50 landfills has a tremendous impact on our climate and finding more environmentally sound practices for waste disposal and/or finding uses for waste as a resource in these areas could alleviate those concerns.”
This campaign has successfully inspired the closure of the Estrutural dumpsite in Brasilia, Brazil, one of the largest dumpsites in Latin America. As of February 2017, the regional government inaugurated an engineered sanitary landfill to replace the old dumpsite, which will close completely in 18 months.
“The response from many is encouraging, but we are still at the beginning of the journey,” said Antonis Mavropoulos, President of ISWA. “Help ISWA drive the “Close the Dumpsites” initiative and stimulate a global movement for closing down the world’s biggest dumpsites.”
To learn more about the “Close the Dumpsites” campaign, please visit closedumpsites.iswa.org.
To learn more about Earth Day 2017 and getting involved, please visit earthday.org.
The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) is an organization of more than 8,500 public and private sector professionals committed to advancing from solid waste management to resource management through their shared emphasis on education, advocacy, and research. For more than 50 years, SWANA has been the leading association in the solid waste management field. SWANA serves industry professionals through technical conferences, certifications, publications, and a large offering of technical training courses.