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Articles on Solid waste management

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An Indian woman sorts reusable items from a landfill on the outskirts of New Delhi in March 2021. Trash pickers sometimes toil alongside paid municipal sanitation workers and provide a vital service to cities. Their subsistence work is put at risk by smart city technologies. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

Smart city technologies pose serious threats to women waste workers in India

‘Smart’ solutions to urban solid waste are creating serious challenges for low-income women waste workers in India.
Plastic debris on a beach on Lanai, a sparsely populated Hawaiian island. Matthew Koller

Plastic trash in the ocean is a global problem, and the US is the top source – a new report urges action

An estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic waste enters the ocean each year – equivalent to dumping in a garbage truckload of it every minute. A new report calls on the US to help stem the deluge.
Debris near Lebanon, Tennessee, after tornadoes struck on the night of March 3, 2020, killing more than 20 people across the state. AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

Wild weather: 4 essential reads about tornadoes and thunderstorms

With the onset of spring come thunderstorms, and sometimes tornadoes. Learn how these systems form and why night tornadoes are especially deadly.
Plastic waste that started as packaging clogs tropical landfills. apomares/Getty Images

The first step in managing plastic waste is measuring it – here’s how we did it for one Caribbean country

To manage plastic wastes, nations first need to know what they have and where it’s coming from. A case study from Trinidad and Tobago shows how this approach can help identify solutions.
The Wheelabrator Waste to Energy Plant in Saugus, Massachusetts, has been burning trash to generate electricity since 1975. Fletcher6/Wikimedia

Is burning trash a good way to handle it? Waste incineration in 5 charts

Every year the US burns more than 34 million tons of garbage in incinerators. These plants are major pollution sources, and most are clustered in disadvantaged communities.
A trash truck discharges solid waste at the South East Reserve Recovery Facility’s refuse storage pit in Long Beach, California, August 24, 2010. AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

Garbage in, garbage out: Incinerating trash is not an effective way to protect the climate or reduce waste

Most Americans don’t want incinerators in their neighborhoods, so waste management companies are burning trash in other facilities such as cement kilns. Is this a sustainable way to deal with garbage?
Nairobi’s Dandora waste dumpsite – still in use after being declared a health hazard in 2001. Reuters/Thomas Mukoya

It will take more than good intentions to clear Nairobi’s garbage mountains

Only a quarter of Nairobi’s solid waste reaches the main dumpsite east of the city. Piles of uncollected garbage are a common sight across the capital.

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