Dec 272016
 

Massive fire contained but hotspots remain at landfill

 

Originally Uploaded on Jul 18, 2008

 

In countries around the world, hundreds of thousands of poor people face daily hazards to earn meager livings by scavenging for recyclable goods. In Cambodia, hundreds of scavenger families find their lives changing – they will lose their homes and livelihoods when the government closes the dump where they work. Rory Byrne has this report from Phnom Penh. Officially, it is the Steung Meanchey landfill site, but those who live here call it Smokey Mountain. Steung Meanchey dump is a seven-hectare mountain of smoking garbage on the outskirts of the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh. Here some 2,000 workers, including about 600 children, sift through 700 tons of garbage a day.

In developing countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, garbage scavengers are among the poorest workers. In Cambodia, they typically earn about one dollar a day. Ten-year-old Ya has been recycling bottles and cans at the dump for three years. He says the situation here is terrible. He has to get up very early to work and finishes late in the evening. Ya says his life is very difficult. Collecting garbage brings him less than $1 a day which is not nearly enough to cover his expenses. Most of the scavengers live in wooden shacks around the dump. There is no access to clean water or sanitation and epidemics are commonplace.

The risks here are high. Sharp-edged metals and broken glass leave nasty wounds. And garbage scavengers suffer high rates of serious diseases, such as hepatitis, tuberculosis and even AIDS. A number of scavengers have been killed or seriously injured when they were run over by garbage trucks. She says it is very dangerous to work here – people can step on metal shards or nails for example or get hit and crushed by the dump trucks. She says she has injured herself with many things, like old needles.

Annette Jensen is the director of A New Day, a charity that provides free food, shelter and schooling to more than 100 children from Steung Meanchey dump.

"To see the children miserable, dirty, sad looking at the garbage dump and then have them arrive with their little plastic bag with all their belongings and move into the center. And to see their excitement about taking a shower. To see their excitement about getting their little bag of shampoo. And to see them clean, putting on their school uniform and going to school has just been amazing," says Jensen. But most of those working on Cambodia's landfills are not so lucky, and for children like Ya, going to school remains a distant dream,

Ya has he would go to school if he could stop working at the dump. He says he wants to go to school but cannot because his family is so poor.

Ya and his family now face a new challenge: the government plans to close Steung Meanchey and relocate the 535 families living there to land about 50 kilometers south of Phnom Penh.

The government will let them have tiny plots on which to build new homes. An official in charge of the project notes the location is near Udong Mountain, a tourist site, so that there are jobs available in the region. And he says, families are not being forced to move, but most are volunteering.

Still, no families have left so far. Many scavengers say they will be happy to leave the dump, but they are worried that they will not be able to make a living because the relocation camp is too far away from the city. By Rory Byrne, Phnom Penh.

Mike Prettyman,
Chief Information Officer at Green Fire Engineered Reclamation
For more information come to the website

Children of the Landfill Project

Green Fire Engineered Reclamation

Join our active groups on Markethive

Children of the Landfill
Green Fire Engineered Reclamation

 

Nov 142016
 

ISWA calls open dumps a ‘global health emergency’

A new report by the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) is highlighting the ‘global health emergency’ affecting tens of millions of people in developing countries who lack good sanitation infrastructure. 

 

The front page of ‘Wasted health, the tragic case of open dumps’

The report, ‘Wasted health: The tragic case of dumpsites’, illustrates how the issues surrounding open dumpsites in the developed world 40 years ago are still prevalent in developing countries, but are also being compounded by unprecedented issues such as the unregulated accumulation of discarded electronics, mobile phones, and medical waste. 

Some of the main problems identified in the report include:

  • open dumpsites receive roughly 40 per cent of the world’s waste and serve about 3.5 to 4 billion people;
  • there has been a substantial rise in unregulated dumping of mobile devices, electronic appliances, medical and municipal waste, accelerating the scale of the threat and health risks;
  • uncontrolled burning of waste releases gases and toxins into the atmosphere;
  • open waste sites in India, Indonesia and the Philippines are more detrimental to life expectancy than malaria;
  • 64 million people’s lives (equal to the population of France) are affected by world’s 50 largest dumpsites;
  • in addition to the human and environmental impacts, the financial cost of open dumpsites runs into the tens of billions of US dollars.

Report’s statistics

In preparing the report, researchers analysed 373 toxic waste sites in India, Indonesia and the Philippines, where, the report says, ‘an estimated 8.6 million people are at risk of exposure to lead, asbestos, hexavalent chromium and other hazardous materials’. 

It continues: ‘Among those people at risk, the exposure could cause a loss of around 829,000 years of good health as a result of disease, disability or early death. In comparison, malaria in these countries, whose combined population is nearly 1.6 billion, causes the loss of 725,000 healthy years.’

The report also states that over 42 million tonnes of e-waste was generated in 2014 and a lack of trained labour and investment in recycling infrastructure has meant that much of the waste is simply dumped in open landfills, which can lead to further health issues as they can be burnt, exposing locals to dangerous pollutants, heavy metals, volatile compounds and soot.

Call for a ‘global alliance’ to address the issue

Releasing the report, Antonis Mavropoulos, Chairman of the ISWA Scientific and Technical Committee and author of the report, called for immediate action: “Little or no coordinated action is being taken at present and to be effective change can only happen if there is a global alliance to address the issue among governments and key stakeholder organisations.

“We need to start with a plan of how we finance the closure and relocation of the most dangerous sites urgently and provide support through resources of capital and expertise. While the cost will be substantial, it represents an opportunity to invest in the infrastructure and economy of these emerging and poor nations. In addition, the outlay required to close the most risky dumpsites will be just a small fraction of the cost of their health impacts.” 

David Newman, ISWA President, said: “The recommendations of this report are clear:  the international community has an urgent task ahead in closing waste dumps globally, for the sake of populations affected by them, because they live in or near them, but also because all the world’s people are breathing in the toxins released by burning on open dumps. And the greenhouse gas emissions involved are huge too, and unless we act, the growth of open dumping is inevitable.”

He added: “ISWA and its experts are willing to take part in this global clean up and will, with other interested parties, collaborate on drawing attention to the damage caused to human health through poor waste management practices.”

 The full report is available on ISWA’s website

Mike Prettyman Chief Information Officer, Green Fire Engineered Reclamation, Member GreenFire DAO Whatsapp only Phone: 1-602-315-1571 Skype: mike.prettyman Website: http://greenfirefunding.com email: greenfirereclamation@gmail.com

Nov 142016
 

Wasting Away Waste And Landfill

Landfills are the old form of waste treatment and are still commonly used in most places around the world. Since the advent of agriculture, humans have had to deal with garbage disposal. Yesterday’s dump was a pit or hill on the outskirts of town that played host to disease-carrying rodents, insects, and dangerous objects.

Today, the number of “open landfills” in the world directly effect half of the world’s population, 3.5 billion people. 1

My study of waste and garbage has given me an insight into how civilizations handled waste through history.

A Brief History of the Beginning

The first recorded find of a “landfill” was in North America.

Archaeological studies shows a clan of Native Americans in what is now Colorado produced an average of 5.3 pounds of waste a day. That was in 6500BC. Americans today produce about 5.4 pounds of waste per day. 2

Then in 500 BC, Athens Greece organized the first municipal dump in western world. Regulations required waste to be dumped at least a mile from the city limits.

The New Testament of Bible refers to waste

Jerusalem Palestine, in the Valley of Gehenna also called Sheoal in the New Testament of the Bible “Though I descent into Sheol, thou art there.” Sheoal was apparently a dump outside of the city of that periodically burned. It became synonymous with “hell.”

The Threat of Waste

Throughout history trash has played a continuous but invisible role. The diseases spawned during the middle ages devastated the world’s population but our history books talk about it and the rats but never do they talk about the garbage and the waste as having any responsibility for the diseases. 3

How Much Waste is too Much

Current global Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) generation levels are approximately 1.3 billion tonnes per year, and are expected to increase to approximately 2.2 billion tonnes per year by 2025. This represents a significant increase in per capita waste generation rates, from 1.2 kg (2.64 lb) to 1.42 kg (3.12 lb) per person per day in the next fifteen years. However, global averages are broad estimates only as rates vary considerably by region, country, city, and even within cities. 4

MSW generation rates are influenced by economic development, the degree of industrialization, public habits, and local climate. Generally, the higher the economic development and rate of urbanization, the greater the amount of solid waste produced.

A Population of Wasters

Trash is becoming a larger and larger problem for us and for the environment. As the global population grows and the people continue to concentrate in metropolitan areas, we continue to waste more and more, and, we use more of our natural resources. Our global resources are running short.

Green Fire Engineered Reclamation is designed and dedicated to Landfill Mining and the sciences associated with it. We can’t stop the waste or the flow of waste but we can arrest some of the environmental influences of the open landfills. Open landfills contribute about 20% to the global pollution, water, air and disease.

Join with us to effect change.

I appreciate your attention

Mike Prettyman,
Chief Information Officer at Green Fire Engineered Reclamation
For more information come to the website

Children of the Landfill Project

Green Fire Engineered Reclamation

Join our active groups on Markethive

Children of the Landfill
Green Fire Engineered Reclamation

 

Citations


1. ISWA calls open dumps a ‘global health emergency’

“open dumpsites receive roughly 40 per cent of the world’s waste and serve about 3.5 to 4 billion people;”

http://resource.co/article/iswa-calls-open-dumps-%E2%80%98global-health-emergency%E2%80%99-10463


2. In the earlier report, they warned that global solid waste generation was on pace to increase 70 percent by 2025, rising from more than 3.5 million tonnes per day in 2010 to more than 6 million tonnes per day by 2025. The waste from cities alone is already enough to fill a line of trash trucks 5,000 kilometers long every day. The global cost of dealing with all that trash is rising too: from $205 billion a year in 2010 to $375 billion by 2025, with the sharpest cost increases in developing countries.

http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2013/10/30/global-waste-on-pace-to-triple


3. “Trash has played a tremendous role in history. The Bubonic Plague, cholera and typhoid fever, to mention a few, were diseases that altered the populations of Europe and influenced monarchies. They were perpetuated by filth that harbored rats, and contaminated water supply. It was not uncommon for Europeans to throw their garbage and even human wastes out of the window. They figured that stray dogs would eat whatever they threw out. “

Kenneth Barbalace. The History of Waste. EnvironmentalChemistry.com. Aug. 2003. Accessed on-line: 11/12/2016 http://EnvironmentalChemistry.com/yogi/environmental/wastehistory.html


4. “The planet is already straining from the impacts of today’s waste and we are on a path to more than triple quantities,” the authors write. “Through a move towards stable or declining populations, denser and better-managed cities consuming fewer resources, and greater equity and use of technology, we can bring peak waste forward and down. The environmental, economic and social benefits would be enormous.”

The article, Waste Production Must Peak This Century, is the cover story in the Oct. 31, 2013, issue of Nature.