Waste Management in Asia and the Pacific: 12 Things to Know

Article | 18 January 2012

What are the effects of this extraordinary growth? How does a region where two-thirds of the world's poor are living cope with rising consumption patterns that contribute to waste quantities? Here are 12 facts to help you understand why waste management is a key area of concern and why ADB provides support to sustainable urban development.

  1. 44 million people are added to city populations every year.
    Source: Urban development
  2. More than half of the world's slum dwellers live in Asia.
    Source: Urban development
  3. By 2050, 50% of the world's population will live in the Asia and Pacific region.
    Source: ADB. 2011. Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific
  4. Cities occupy only 2% of the world's land, but consume 75% of its resources.
  5. Asian cities are likely to contribute more than half the rise in greenhouse gas emissions over the next 20 years.
  6. Most Asian cities do not have effective wastewater treatment systems - only 10% of wastewater is treated in the Philippines while in Indonesia it is 14%, Viet Nam 4%, and India 9%.
  7. Nearly 2 billion people in Asia and the Pacific do not have access to adequate sanitation.
    Source: ADB. 2011. ADB, Partners Find Ways to Make Sanitation a Sustainable Business
  8. 23% of the population or 850 million people in the Asia-Pacific Region practice open defecation.
    Source: ADB. 2011. Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific
  9. Open defecation is a major cause of water and ground pollution leading to diarrheal diseases, a major cause of infant and child deaths.
    Source: ADB. 2011. Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific
  10. Most Asian towns and cities use open dumps and only about 10% of solid waste ends up in properly engineered and managed landfill sites.
  11. The People's Republic of China is the world's largest generator of municipal solid waste, producing almost 150 million tons of waste every year and rising at an annual rate of 8 to 10%.
    Source: ADB. 2009. ADB Supports Clean Waste-to-Energy Project in the PRC
  12. Since the '60s, ADB has been working to help improve urban transport, waste management, and access to clean water and sanitation.
    Source: Urban development