Remember the old Shel Silverstein poem called “Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage out?” The poem highlighted a child’s fate if he didn’t take the garbage out, but perhaps today’s lesson should be the world’s fate if we take too much garbage out – according to a new report from the World Bank.
The World Bank recently predicted that a sharp increase will occur in the amount of garbage that city residents generate between today and 2025. Although the amount of garbage calculated today lingers around 1.3 billion tons, that number is expected to skyrocket to 2.2 billion – almost double – in just the next 13 years. With this increase in solid waste comes an increase in cost, from an estimated $205 billion to $375 billion.
The fastest growing cities in developing countries are receiving most of the blame for the surge in garbage amounts, including East Asian countries such as China as well as localities in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. The alarming figures from the recent World Bank report point to the need for more aggressive initiatives for reducing, reusing and recycling across the globe over the next decade in order to make more cities green and planet-conscious, thus preserving city dollars as well as the earth’s quality for future generations.
“The challenges surrounding municipal solid waste are going to be enormous on a scale of, if not greater than, the challenges we are currently experiencing with climate change,” according to Dan Hoornweg, the World Bank report’s author and the lead urban specialist in the bank’s finance, economics and urban development department.
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