Waste Processing

Waste Processing

Waste processing means the treatment of solid waste after collection and before disposal. Processing includes but is not limited to volume reduction, storage, separation, exchange, recovery of energy and resources, physical, chemical, or biological modification and the operations of a metal recycling or salvage facility (Ref. 1).

Waste management should follow the waste hierarchy: first, reducing and minimising waste, second, re-using and repairing, third, recycling or composting of waste, followed by energy recovery and, as a last resort, waste disposal (landfill, burial). In emergency situations, it is important to first tackle waste that could pose an immediate risk to the health and safety of affected populations (Ref. 2).

The world generates 2.01 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste annually, with at least 33 percent of that—extremely conservatively—not managed in an environmentally safe manner. Worldwide, waste generated per person per day averages 0.74 kilogram but ranges widely, from 0.11 to 4.54 kilograms. Though they only account for 16 percent of the world’s population, high-income countries generate about 34 percent, or 683 million tonnes, of the world’s waste.

When looking forward, global waste is expected to grow to 3.40 billion tonnes by 2050, more than double population growth over the same period. Overall, there is a positive correlation between waste generation and income level (Ref. 3).


  1. “Waste Processing definition”, Law Insider,
  2. “Waste management: principles and life cycle”, Climate Action Accelerator,           
  3. “Trends in Solid Waste Management”, The World Bank,                                     

The proposal for Waste Processing is in preparation

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