Envisioned futures of the waste industry in developing economies

  • Martin Oteng-Ababio University of Ghana
Keywords: Sustainable waste management, co-benefits, futuristic waste industry


This commentary explores future
imaginaries and opportunities to make
positive changes to the waste industry
towards the future we want. It is motivated
by the position that managing solid
waste is inextricably linked to the rate
of urban growth, level of development,
and climate change dynamics as well
as the prospect of promoting humancentred and environmentally-friendlier
waste management futures. The ability
of cities to improve the waste sector
provides large opportunities to mitigate
future climate variability and generate
co-benefits, including improved human
and environmental health. Urging the
authorities to work towards sustainable
waste and resources management, the
commentary elaborates the concepts of
waste hierarchy and its transition towards
circular economy. These concepts are offered
as starting points to ensure the waste sector
serves as a net reducer of greenhouse gas
emissions. Thus, the quest for the future we
want is not only about instituting effective
waste collection systems, but also improving
their treatment infrastructure to mitigate
future climate change.