Solid waste management has always suffered from a lack of consistent and reliable data to compare progress between countries. So the publication today of a seminal research paper, Comparative analysis of solid waste management in 20 cities, written by Professor David C Wilson and 4 co-authors in the peer-reviewed journal Waste Management & Research, represents a major step forward. The World Bank website is still reporting low collection coverage and a prevalence of open dumping in all developing countries: the new data analysed here shows that significant progress has been made over the last decade, with levels of both collection coverage and controlled disposal above 90% in most middle-income developing countries.
This comparative analysis uses the comprehensive and consistent dataset collected for 20 reference cities, developed and developing, in all 6 inhabited continents, for the 2010 UN-Habitat book . The paper was written by DCW; with his two co-authors from the original book, Dr Ljiljana Rodic of the University of Wageningen who led the city data collection and Dr Anne Scheinberg of WASTE; Dr Costas Velis of Imperial College, who carried out the statistical analysis; and Dr Graham Alabaster, who initiated the original work for UN-Habitat.