Waste management activities and carbon emissions in Africa

This paper summarizes research into waste management activities and carbon emissions from territories in sub-Saharan Africa with the main objective of quantifying emission reductions (ERs) that can be gained through viable improvements to waste management in Africa. It demonstrates that data on waste and carbon emissions is poor and generally inadequate for prediction models. The paper shows that the amount of waste produced and its composition are linked to national Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Waste production per person is around half that in developed countries with a mean around 230 kg/hd/yr. Sub-Saharan territories produce waste with a biogenic carbon content of around 56% (+/25%), which is approximately 40% greater than developed countries. This waste is disposed in uncontrolled dumps that produce large amounts of methane gas. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from waste will rise with increasing urbanization and can only be controlled through funding mechanisms from developed countries.

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