Virtual Environmental and Humanitarian Adviser Tool – (VEHA Tool) is a tool
to easily integrate environmental considerations in humanitarian response. Field Implementation guidances are useful for the design and execution of humanitarian activities in the field.
Environmental factors, linked to solid waste management, that can cause or contribute to humanitarian needs or affect humanitarian activities include climate – temperature, humidity, rainfall; flooding; ground and surface water. Variation in these factors affects the demand for and complexity of waste management services. Flooding rivers often transport and deposit materials, including existing solid waste, and creating new solid waste, that then needs to be cleaned up to avoid problems such as creating new vector breeding sites and health problems in nearby populations. Strong wind and storms can also spread rubbish and debris, including from open solid waste piles.
Severe weather conditions may combine with other environmental conditions to generate waste. For example, wildfires, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes often create large quantities of debris that need to be managed.
When launching a waste management project, it may be necessary to develop a locally valid classification of waste, taking into account different views of women and men regarding what materials are considered waste and what categories of waste are in use in local discourse and practice. In order to maximize the quality and efficiency of waste management services, it is important to know the needs and challenges of women.
For example, are women-owned enterprises able to generate a high work volume to pay for the higher investment to introduce new technology for recycling?
Do women have equal access to the necessary training?
Loss of biodiversity and ecosystems
Impact on wellbeing / mental health
Air, soil, and water pollution from improper solid waste management; disease spread; visual intrusion; unpleasant odor. Potential blockage of drains and watercourses.
Potential disease spread from improper handling, management/treatment of food waste.
Potential to reduce solid waste and pollution and build community or commercial-level recycling-based livelihoods.
Waste disposal frequently causes environmental impacts. These can be reduced but typically include air, soil, and water pollution; disease spread; visual intrusion; unpleasant odor, and potential blockage of drains and watercourses which may result in flooding.
There is potential for disease spread from improper handling, management/treatment of food waste.
Waste reception sites
Waste collection services
Deposit return schemes
Payment for high-value waste
The provision of safe waste reception sites will reduce waste dumping and burning and increase waste sorting, separation, and safe disposal. This should be supported with the provision of effective sustainably funded waste collection services together with providing households, businesses, and institutions with waste bins for separating different waste streams. Uptake can be increased through a process of sensitisation/community awareness-raising, and further strengthened by using incentives to sort and separate waste, such as bottle deposit-return schemes.
Reducing, reusing, repurposing, and recycling waste should be encouraged at the source and again at waste reception sites. This can be strengthened by providing realistic payments for valuable waste such as metals.
Municipal solid waste reflects the culture that produces it and affects the health of the people and the environment surrounding it. Globally, people are discarding growing quantities of waste, and its composition is more complex than ever before, as plastic and electronic consumer products diffuse. Concurrently, the world is urbanizing at an unprecedented rate. These trends pose a challenge to cities, which are charged with managing waste in a socially and environmentally acceptable manner.
Effective waste management strategies depend on local waste characteristics, which vary with cultural, climatic, and socioeconomic variables, and institutional capacity. Globally, waste governance is becoming regionalized and formalized. In industrialized nations, where citizens produce far more waste than do other citizens, waste tends to be managed formally at a municipal or regional scale. In less-industrialized nations, where citizens produce less waste, which is mostly biogenic, a combination of formal and informal actors manages waste. Many waste management policies, technologies, and behaviors provide a variety of environmental benefits, including climate change mitigation. Key waste management challenges include integrating the informal waste sector in developing cities, reducing consumption in industrialized cities, increasing and standardizing the collection and analysis of solid waste data, and effectively managing increasingly complex waste while protecting people and the environment.
Percentage of waste that goes to waste reception sites
Prevention of environmental damage
Time, resources, training, support to ensure effective provision of safe waste reception sites; waste collection services; waste bins; incentive schemes; waste recovery schemes.