Explain why waste management is such a problem in world cities and, referring to UK cities and other examples, explain how targets could be met.
For a city to be sustainable, managing its waste efficiently whilst causing the least possible damage to the environment is imperative. The amount of waste produced by the global population is steadily increasing resulting in a continual problem over how and where to dispose of this waste. Targets have already been made such as European Union laws, UK national plans and strategies and at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 (Agenda 21). Currently, most domestic waste ends up in landfill sites, and the general aim has been to avoid this as much as possible. Waste management methods vary widely according to different areas due to various reasons such as type of waste material, nearby land uses and the area available. Methods could include reducing the amount of waste, reusing goods to extend their lifespan, recovering value and disposing of waste in landfill sites. Waste management has become an issue of great importance across world cities with growing populations, greater consumerism yet failing incentives. In the UK, 28 million tonnes of municipal waste are produced each year with this figure increasing at 3% per year. The disposal of this waste across the world has local, natural and global consequences. The conditions, issues and problems of urban waste management in the industrialized and developing worlds are different. Though the developed countries generate larger amounts of waste, they have developed adequate facilities and competent government institutions to manage their wastes. Developing countries are still in the transition towards better waste management but they currently have insufficient collection and improper disposal methods of waste. Urbanization can occur at such rapid rates that the local authorities have yet to decide how to cope with the waste disposal, such as in the favelas in the outskirts of...
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