With urban and industrial development accelerating at a fast pace, waste disposal is becoming a major problem. Inordinate focus on household waste has often disguised the much larger volume generated by activities like manufacturing of goods. Industrialisation and level of affluence influence both the composition and quantity of waste. Research shows that in lower income regions of the world, 73 to 96 per cent of the typical family's waste comprises biodegradable materials, while in higher income areas the figure is 26 per cent. The link between affluence and municipal waste is surprisingly close: since 1980, 40 per cent increase in the gross domestic product (GDP) of countries belonging to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (oecd) has been accompanied by the same percentage growth in their municipal waste. Unless the link between waste generation and gdp is severed, there could be a commensurate increase in the levels of waste.
|Not going strong|
The OECDcountries are the best example of how development is intricately linked with an increase in waste levels
|OECD countries||Municipal waste
(kilos per capita)
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