Solid Waste Management (SWM) at a University Campus (Part 1/10): Comprehensive-Review on Legal Framework and Background to Waste Management, at a Global Context

Diana Starovoytova


This-work, being the-first, in-a-series of 10, was intended to-provide a-sufficient-introductory to SWM; yet, it can also-be-treated-as an-independent and a-complete-piece. This-article starts-with a-concentrated-digest (synthesized from over 400 published-reference-documents), providing a-starting point, for readers, interested in-advanced-investigation on the-topic. As-such, the-following-issues were presented and analyzed: SWM history; Global and regional-generation-rates; WM-‘value-chain’; SWM-technologies; Impacts of uncontrolled-SW; International-Conventions, Protocols, Agreements, and commitments, addressing SWM, and their-analysis; as-well-as Global-SWM-practices (including municipal-waste management) and current-challenges, incorporating POPs. It was concluded, that waste is completely-unavoidable in-any, and every-human-activity; however, the-way the-waste is handled, stored, collected, and disposed-off, will-determine the-quality of our-surrounding-environment, to-be-either; clean, pleasant, healthy, and sustainable, or filthy, disgusting, harmful, and wasteful. The-way each-individual, company/organization, government, and society, at-large, deal with their-waste, will-eventually-determine our-own-future, as-humans. The-study also justified, that the-waste should-be-treated as a-resource, as it still-contains many-valuable-materials. The-study also-offered a-new-analogy; the-sustainable SWM-system should-be analogous to-a-digestive-system, extracting all-the-recyclables from the-waste, and only then discarding, the-small-remainder/waste. The-author, also-believes that Recycling (with a-capital R) is the-future of human-civilization; however, it must be done in the-environmentally sound-sustainable-manner, to-protect health of workers, and also to-extract the-optimum-amount of valuable-materials, from the-waste. This-study also-exposed, that despite the-existence of International, regional, and multilateral-agreements, illegal-trafficking of hazardous, toxic, radioactive, and e-waste, is still widely-practiced. Such-practices can-be regarded-as Environmental-racism, conducted by, or with the-help of, an-international-‘eco-mafia’. Environmental-racism was analyzed against human-rights; in-the-context of both; the-Universal-Declaration of Human-Rights and the-generation-approach. The-author also-justified, that Environmental-racism is real, alive, and widespread-global-trend, affecting many, if not all-countries. Environmental-racism is a-sin, against humanity; logically, as any-sin, it should-be exposed, condemned, and fought against, with every-fibre, of impartiality, left in-us. The-study also-exposed an-increasing-interest of majority of African-countries in inherently-dangerous nuclear-energy (with its-by-product--radioactive-waste); the-recommendation was offered, to-shift their-interest to clean/green/renewable-energy-sector, particularly solar-energy. There is also a-common-prejudiced stereotyped-misconception, that, in-the-developed-countries almost-everything (including WM) is: superior, brainy, flawless, highly-organized, and tidy; in-contrast, in-developing countries, and particularly in-the-‘dark’-continent of Africa, almost-everything (including WM) is substandard, mediocre, unsound, ad-hoc, and filthy. The-selected-examples, provided in-this-paper, will, possibly, demonstrate, that the-current-situation, at-least, with-regard-to WM, is not so ‘black and white’. This-paper has also-offered several-recommendations for further-research. Lastly, this-article does not claim to-be fully comprehensive, as it-is physically-impossible ‘to-fill an-ocean into a-small-cup’, and even the-most-comprehensive-review, have to-stop, at a-certain-point. Nevertheless, the-cohesive-theoretical-background, alongside-with author’s analytical-scholarly-input, hopefully provides a-credible-contribution to-the-body of knowledge, on-the-subject-matter, as-well-as a ‘food-for-thought’. With anticipation, this-work will not only attract, but also hold, considerable-attention, from SWM stakeholders, and other-interested-parties, both; locally and internationally.

Keywords: Environmental racism, Convention, human rights, ‘eco’ mafia, POPs, e-waste, toxic, hazardous, radioactive, nuclear plants, solar energy, Africa.


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