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’ solutions to urban solid waste are creating serious challenges for low-income women waste workers in India.
A garbage dump fire is seen smouldering across the bay from the city of Iqaluit on July 9, 2014.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Priority should be given to improving municipal solid waste management in First Nation communities because they currently lack financial resources, infrastructure and solid waste diversion programs.
Plastic debris on a beach on Lanai, a sparsely populated Hawaiian island.
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
With the onset of spring come thunderstorms, and sometimes tornadoes. Learn how these systems form and why night tornadoes are especially deadly.
A biologist examines microplastics found in sea species at the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research in Greece, Nov. 26, 2019.
Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP via Getty Images
As more and more plastic trash permeates the oceans, fragments are making their way into fish and shellfish – and potentially into humans.
This automated approach can be used in any other city around the world, helping to reduce how much waste enters local waterways and reaches the ocean.
The informal sector plays a big role in waste management in Nigeria.
Waste management should be treated as an essential service, and in Nigeria that means recognising informal workers.
Plastic waste that started as packaging clogs tropical landfills.
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.
Solid waste in Mulago, Kampala, 2010. The city’s residents have found ways to recycle waste into energy.
Residents have come up with solutions to make usable products out of organic waste materials.
The Wheelabrator Waste to Energy Plant in Saugus, Massachusetts, has been burning trash to generate electricity since 1975.
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.
One use and done? Not always.
Many communities are banning single-use plastic shopping bags to reduce pollution, but a study in California shows that some consumers responded by purchasing more heavy plastic trash bags.
Where does it go from here?
China, which once processed much of the world’s scrap, has slashed imports of “foreign garbage.” What can the US do to step up recycling at home?
What happens to the leftovers?
Research shows that when Americans are aware of the scale of food waste, and how much energy and water are used to produce food, they support measures to reduce the problem.
Prototype vehicle built with 3D printing – but is it green?
Is 3D printing better for the environment than conventional manufacturing? The jury is still out.
Food packaging is one of the top uses for plastic in consumer goods.
Bio-based plastics made from natural sources break down more easily than conventional plastic, without producing toxic byproducts. But for this to happen they have to be composted, not buried in landfills.
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
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.
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.