World Waste Status

Published: 8 August 2023| Version 2 | DOI: 10.17632/gcw965g795.2
Alexandr Iscenco


World Waste Status was a research and awareness-raising project implemented by the organization Let's Do It! and its Knowledge Team in 2012 - 2013. It was aimed at collecting, analyzing, and visualizing data on the state of the waste issue in the world and its connection to climate change. The project was funded by the Ministry of Environment of Estonia. Key objectives of the World Waste Status project included: 1. Acquire the most recent data on the waste generation, accumulation, composition and management in all countries of the world; 2. Obtain the data on the characteristics of the major landfill sites and incinerators in each country: amount of waste there, its composition, sources, etc.; 3. Based on waste quantities estimate the amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (carbon dioxide and methane) generation in each country (including major landfills and incinerators) and their avoidance in case of moving towards the “zero waste world” vision (including assumptions about both legal and illegal landfills). Thus, the World Waste Status dataset contains the following data up until the year 2012: 1. Comparative statistics of waste generation (per capita per day, total per day, per capita per year, total per year), composition (in % and in tones per year), collection and treatment (in % and in tones per year) in practically every country of the world; 2. Generation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from landfilled waste in each country according to the two most used models for GHG emissions estimation: IPCC and LandGEM; 3. Locations of waste management facilities (open dumps, landfills, and waste incinerators) in each country.


Steps to reproduce

The World Waste Status data, specifically the ones on country waste generation, composition, and treatment, were collected mainly through the review of statistical and environmental literature sources. The main focus was on official sources of data with high level of reliability and precision, such as reports by the European Environmental Agency (EEA) and the United Nations (UN), research papers and case studies in respective countries, as well as their national waste management audit reports and strategies. These data sources are mentioned for each country, which is included in the dataset. A number of field trips, study visits, and interviews were performed in cases, where there was no information available through the literature review (particularly, in the Russian Federation, Indonesia, Moldova, Romania, South Africa, etc.). Some information, especially regarding open dumps, landfills, and waste incinerators, was obtained through online surveys within the global network of Let's Do It!, as well as from local cooperating organizations. The data on waste disposed to unofficial waste dumps and official landfill sites was used to estimate the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG), particularly carbon dioxide, methane, and Non-methane Organic Compounds. The Landfill Gas Emissions Model (LandGEM) ver. 3.02 was used for this estimation.


Pollution, Waste Management, Climate Change, Greenhouse Gas Emission, Environmental Pollution, Municipal Waste, Landfill, Landfill Site, Recycling, Civil Waste, Waste Incinerator, Greenhouse Gas, Non-Recyclable Waste