Waste management forms the foundation of a nation – quite literally. Where there is rubbish in the streets, plastic bags flying through the air and polluting fences, and ground water contaminated by refuse the potential for joy among the population is limited. Nothing cheers us up like a clean environment that is loved and cared for.
Nations that address the need to manage waste demonstrate that the lives of ordinary people are a priority. Look at the waste management of Kirkuk in Northern Iraq. Ashraf Yahya Alnajjar has written about Iraq’s solid waste management. His article can be found at: www.ecomena.org. There are many examples of good waste management.
The Heads of Supreme Audit Institutions of Pacific Island Countries (PICs) worked together to prepare a report on solid waste management in PICs. It can be found here: PASAI.
The Republic of South Korea has discovered that waste can be an asset. The city of Daegu has a waste treatment plant that has returned the city’s investment in eight years and now is a source of fuel for heating the city. The World Energy Congress held in Daegu last year has identified waste as a resource. See: WEC.
Our challenge is to turn waste management from a dirty, corrupt and invisible service to one that is trendy and sexy for politicians to be associated with. How do we do that?