Solid Waste Management in Developing Asia: Prioritizing Waste Separation


Effective solid waste management is critical for achieving sustainable development in municipalities. In the last half century, urban cities around the world have grown significantly, and experts forecast that this trend will continue into the future. Increased populations coupled with rapid urban buildup put enormous stress on municipalities, especially in developing countries. Without proper solid waste management services and practices, there is little chance of achieving the related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Key points
  • Improving solid waste management is essential for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Target 11.6 (environmental impacts of waste generation in urban areas), which most regions in Asia are not on track to meet.
  • Households are not motivated to change their consumption habits and waste disposal practices due to a lack of information about the negative health and environmental implications of ever-expanding landfill sites and open dumping.
  • The introduction of enforcement and incentive programs along with education campaigns can encourage the public to view waste more as a resource.
  • Collaborative decision making involving all stakeholders when formulating a municipal waste separation plan is crucial for ensuring its acceptance and boosting the chance of success.
  • The lessons learned from the pilot implementation, information gathered through public opinion surveys, and feedback from stakeholders should be evaluated before scaling-up throughout cities.