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Dying under rubbish - global problem

millions of tons every day

1 - 9 of 9 posts

robert99 robert99 Sweden Posts: 1360
1 16 Mar 2017

The death toll from a massive landslide at Ethiopia's largest rubbish dump near the capital Addis Ababa climbed to 113 on Wednesday as the frantic search for the missing continues.

Part of the largest hillside at the Koshe landfill site collapsed on Saturday, burying a slum that had been built on the landfill.

Communications Minister Negeri Lencho said the majority of the dead were women and rescue operations were continuing.

Mountains of trash: India's waste problem

Trash. It's a huge problem all over the world - especially in growing cities. From waste-pickers in Mumbai to board games in Bangalore, Sella Oneko explores how India, population 1.25 billion, deals with garbage.

Cleaning up Mumbai's beaches

Mumbai generates around 10,000 tons of garbage a day. There aren't enough dumps and landfill sites where it can be disposed of. Afroz Shah is a lawyer. He decided to take matters into his own hands, and spends his weekends cleaning up his local beach.

•Bali’s burgeoning waste problem reaching tipping point
•20,000 cubic metres of rubbish left behind by 3.5m tourists every day
•Illegal waste dumps now home to workers eking out living from trash
•Some rubbish run-off reportedly polluting local waterways, farms

THE children of Pejeng play among glass and waste left behind by Australian tourists, as their parents wade through tonnes of rubbish collecting bottles and plastic.

The illegal dumping ground is home to local families who wait for the daily arrival of dump trucks dropping off tourist’s discards.

Bottles of Cointreau, Bacardi, Heineken, South Australian chardonnay, Penfolds red wine, Smirnoff vodka and San Miguel are thrown in crates, while plastic bags are salvaged.

Sydney's Coogee beach devastated by garbage after 'backpacker' Christmas party

Alcohol ban to be put in place after estimated 10,000 revellers leave beach strewn with 15 tonnes of garbage.

Some 23,260 tons of waste are produced in Peru each day, and the Ministry of Environment estimates that by 2021 this volume will double. On any given day it is common to see bicycle carts being wheeled through the streets of Lima towing scrap metal, or recyclers peering into garbage bags, sifting for plastic bottles and other materials.

The waste mountain engulfing Mexico City

After the closure of the capital's biggest waste dump, there is little sign of Mexico City solving its rubbish crisis

The Bordo Poniente landfill site has been in use since 1985. It covers an area of 600 hectares and was receiving 12,600 tonnes of waste a day, 7,000 of them from municipalities in the state of Mexico, adjacent to the Federal District (DF) or city proper, according to the capital city's secretariat of works and services.

Moreover, 70 million tonnes of waste are buried underground at the dump, causing serious water and air pollution problems.

robert99 robert99 Sweden Posts: 1360
2 16 Mar 2017

A barge filled with 40 tonnes of marine debris gathered by hundreds of volunteers from the west coast of Vancouver Island, Canada, docked in Richmond Monday night.

A portion of the debris collected, including fishing gear, industrial waste and Styrofoam, comes from the 2011 Japanese tsunami, which sent piles of marine garbage moving across the Pacific Ocean and to the rugged shorelines of British Columbia.

There's no denying it - Paris is a dirty city.

It's practically impossible to walk for more than five seconds without seeing rubbish strewn around, waste bins overflowing or some of the 350 tonnes of cigarette butts thrown on the ground every year, oh and the dog poo.

Then there are the beer cans floating in the canals, the graffiti, the old mattresses lying around.

At times you think the city's garbage workers must be on strike. But then when you see how bad it gets when they do go on strike, as they did in October last year, you realize it's just par for the course.
As the largest city in the world’s most wasteful country, New York generates more than 14 million tonnes of trash each year; reputedly (though possibly inaccurately) more than any other city in the world.

According to Waste Atlas each person in Japan produces an average of 356.2kg of waste per year and as a whole, Japan generates 45,360,000 tons of municipal waste per year, ranking 8th in the world. Unlike larger countries like the United States and China, there simply isn't the space to bury it all.

robert99 robert99 Sweden Posts: 1360
3 17 Apr 2017

Rescue workers in Sri Lanka’s capital city on Saturday dug through the debris of a garbage dump that collapsed on top of a residential neighborhood a day earlier, burying scores of homes and killing at least 19 people.

Witnesses described hearing a loud explosion around 2:30 p.m. on Friday, then running in terror as an avalanche of garbage engulfed homes.

“We heard something that sounded vaguely like rocks being unloaded from a dump truck,” said Sukarnika Rajapaksa, 52. “People were shouting, screaming, ‘Run, run!’ I stepped out to take a look, and I saw one of the nearby houses coming our way amidst a cloud of smoke.”

From a neighbor’s house, she watched the trash approach, carrying a red-painted house toward her, and then stop. When it did, her home was submerged in fetid water.

Residents have long objected to the hulking garbage dump and the trash-soaked water that pours into narrow lanes of surrounding neighborhoods when it rains, leaving pools of standing water where mosquitoes breed.

Successive governments have groped for a solution, at one point proposing that city garbage be transported by rail and dumped in a quarry, said Raisa Wickrematunge, co-editor of Groundviews, a citizen journalism initiative. Still, year after year, the mountain of garbage continued to grow, with tractors scaling its sides to dump fresh loads.

“It requires urgent action, too, because as we have seen, people’s lives are at stake,” she said.

Harsha de Silva, Sri Lanka’s deputy foreign minister, described the collapse as the culmination of “a problem running for decades, perhaps as long as 20 years.” He expressed sympathy to bereaved families, but he said it was “unfortunate” that many families had been compensated to move from the area but failed to do so.

He added that garbage would no longer be deposited at the site.

The police said Saturday that they thought an explosion underneath the dump had set off the landslide, sweeping as many as 100 houses off their foundations and sending them crashing into neighboring homes. Some were deposited 30 yards from their original locations, a few landing on the roofs of other houses, said Priyantha Jayakody, deputy inspector general of police.

see also



robert99 robert99 Sweden Posts: 1360
4 28 Apr 2017
Hong Kong's monumental waste problem - By 2020, the region’s landfill sites will be full to bursting with rubbish

Hong Kong may be clean on the surface, but its public services are straining to keep a lid on its rubbish. Despite attempts to clean up its act, the region produced 3.7 million tonnes of municipal waste in 2015 – the highest figure for five years. It has already cycled through 13 landfill sites, which are now being repurposed as parks, golf courses, and sportsgrounds, with just three sites remaining open. At this rate, it will only be a matter of a few years before those too begin to overflow. “If Hong Kong continues in this way, we will reach breaking point by 2020,” says Chan – an estimate supported by Hong Kong’s own Environmental Protection Department.

Chan is both an environmental scientist and a politician for the Neo Democrat Party of Hong Kong, experience that has given him an unparalleled view of the social, economic and technological difficulties of saving the city from this deluge. “We are moving in the direction of unsustainable urbanisation,” says Chan. And that could be a warning for other countries, as more and more people feel the lure of city living – meaning that environmentalists across the world will be watching Hong Kong’s next steps closely.

With around seven million people, crammed into an area of 2,000 square kilometres (772 sq miles), Hong Kong is currently the fourth most densely populated place in the world (after its neighbour, Macau, and Singapore and Monaco). With space at such a premium, there is precious little room to build new landfill sites.

robert99 robert99 Sweden Posts: 1360
5 2 May 2017
From 2000

In early July two tropical typhoons ravaged parts of the Philippines causing severe flooding and deaths. These storms are annual events that bring with them catastrophes affecting the country's most impoverished layers. In the capital Manila, a huge municipal garbage dump, ironically named the “Promised Land” by locals, became a sodden, unstable mass and then collapsed and burst into flames on July 10.

An avalanche of mud and rubbish crashed down upon a group of more than 100 shacks and huts, which were home to around 800 families. So far rescue workers have recovered 196 bodies from the refuse. Nine people who were rescued later died in hospital. About 60 victims are still unidentified. Among the dead are believed to be two German aid workers who were working with children from the poor families.

The actual death toll will never be known, firstly because officials have no idea how many people were living alongside the dump, near Payatas, and do not care how many have lost their lives. Local residents say that up to 500 are still buried under the rubbish, while local officials put the number at just 140.

Only about one-fifth of the 150-foot mountain of garbage has been dug through in search of bodies. The rescue work was hampered by the overwhelming stench of rotting rubbish and burnt flesh, and lack of adequate equipment. All rescuers and volunteers had to use were shovels, picks and spades. Many relatives and survivors used their bare hands. Only two backhoes were made available.

Udy Udy WA Posts: 8
6 18 May 2017
Talk about our garbage problem getting lethal! You'd think that it would be just a joke when you hear that rubbish is killing us, but to literally be crushed under a pile of crap is no joke at all! Although I don't think that there is much that we can do about the problem at the moment, we need to keep striving to find more methods that will allow us to deal with all our refuse in a sustainable and efficient way so that we don't end up losing our planet!

robert99 robert99 Sweden Posts: 1360
7 20 Dec 2017

Fanja Randriamihavo, 15, is one of 3,000 people who live and work in Ralalitra, one of Africa’s largest rubbish dumps. The site, in Madagascar’s capital, Antananarivo, spans about 50 acres. Each day, it receives more than 600 tonnes of waste from the capital and from the three million residents of its sprawling suburbs.

People who work on the dump site collect metals, coal and plastic from among the chaotic mess of needles, rats, faeces and aborted babies. They are paid just 3,000 Malagasy ariary ( 70p) a day.

Many families take it in turns to work a gruelling 10-hour shift: mothers and children during the day, men at night. Among the many dangers facing families is the plague, which spread to the capital in August. Across the country, around 2,400 cases of the disease have been reported.

Randriamihavo, who sifts through rubbish at Ralalitra during heavy rain, says she doesn’t worry about the plague. “God will protect us,” she says. Asked about the worst thing she has seen in the dump, she replies: “I have come across aborted babies before – sadly it’s not unusual.”

Isabel Rakotomiriana, 40, has been living and working at Ralalitra for more than 15 years. Her sister used to work alongside her, but left the site because she worried about the health of her five children. She now works at a porphyry mine where she earns 1,700 Malagasy ariary (40p) a day.

The site is run by Service Autonome de Maintenance de la Ville d’Antananarivo (Samva), a private company that has a contract with the local authority. Each day, lorries bring heaps of rubbish for people to search through. Samva has been accused of trying to prevent journalists from entering the site to talk to local people. The company did not respond to a request for comment.

There are rumours that a number of people have been run over by lorries after falling asleep on the site during their night shift, although there’s no suggestion that Samva bears any responsibility for this. Two fatalities have been reported by residents in the past two months alone.

robert99 robert99 Sweden Posts: 1360
8 23 Dec 2017
August 22, 2017

At least eight people died and others were injured in Guinea when a portion of a rubbish landfill site collapsed on houses on the outskirts of the capital, Conakry, in torrential rain, police and government officials said on Tuesday.

Monday’s incident in Guinea occurred in the morning in the Dar Es Salam neighborhood after an overnight deluge. The area is filled with wood and tin-roof houses, some of which are situated at the base of a towering mass of refuse.

“I saw the mountain of garbage collapse on other people’s houses. People were trapped,” Dar Es Salam resident Yamoussa Soumah told Reuters. “My wife and I heard the mud begin falling on our roof. We were able to escape, but we’ve lost everything.”

The government initially said five people had been killed and around 10 injured.

robert99 robert99 Sweden Posts: 1360
9 20 Feb 2018

Mozambique rubbish dump collapse 'kills at least 17' people

At least 17 people have been killed in Mozambique's capital, Maputo, and many more injured after a huge mound of rubbish collapsed, officials say.

The pile of waste, some 15m (49ft) high, gave way in heavy rains at 03:00 local time (01:00 GMT) on Monday.

The dump is known to be home to some of the city's poorest residents, who build makeshift camps amid the rubbish.

Five homes on the edge were also crushed in the disaster. Rescue workers are continuing to search for survivors.

A spokesman for the emergency services, Leonilde Pelembe, warned it was likely there were more victims under the waste.

"The information we received from local authorities is that the number of people living in those houses exceeds the number of deaths recorded," Mr Pelembe said.

The Hulene district of Maputo is one of the most deprived parts of the capital. Many, including children, have little choice but to make their homes either on or next to the dump.

The dump not only provides them with food, but also goods to sell, our correspondent Jose Tembe explains.