Science news

HYDROTHERMA joined the CleantechAlps cluster
CleantechAlps is the platform dedicated to the development of the clean technology sector in western Switzerland.
The Swiss Venture Forum (SVF) on May 23 in Lausanne
The Swiss Venture Forum (SVF) will allow the most promising Life Sciences, Clean Technology and Information Technology entrepren…
View All News

SEFA_IY_horizontal.jpg

The United Nations General Assembly declared 2012 the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for a "a global clean energy revolution – a revolution that makes energy available and affordable for all”, adding that this was essential for minimizing climate risks, reducing poverty, improving global health and meeting the Millennium Development Goals, for global economic growth, peace and security, and the health of the planet.

The problem of waste accumulation: actual information, data & statistics

Waste Accumulation is a big problem everywhere nowadays. 

Waste is a growing environmental, social and economic issue. Increasing consumption and a developing economy continue to generate large amounts of waste, and more efforts are needed to reduce and prevent it. In the past, waste was mainly seen as something to get rid of. However, nowadays it is more and more recognized as a resource, and this is reflected on a shift of waste management towards more recycling and recovery rather than disposal.

Statistics on waste production, composition, transport and treatment are not collected in the same way, nor in the same amount of detail, in all countries of Europe. This makes it difficult to obtain an overall picture of the European waste situation and identify trends. Lack of data on hazardous waste is of particular concern.

24-25_graph_trendocde.JPGAs European society has grown wealthier it has created more and more rubbish. Each year in the European Union alone we throw away 3 billion tonnes of waste - some 90 million tonnes of it hazardous. This amounts to about 6 tonnes of solid waste for every human according to Eurostat statistics. It is clear that treating and disposing of all this material - without harming the environment - becomes a major headache.

In 2008, the total generation of waste in the EU-27 amounted to 2.62 billion tonnes. In 2008, 98 million tonnes or 3.7 % of the generated total were classified as hazardous waste. This means that per capita in 2008 each EU citizen produced on average about 5.2 tonnes of waste of which 196 kg were hazardous.

By 2020, the OECD estimates, we could be generating 45% more waste than we did in 1995.


One of the major problems is that a substantial part of wastes generated
 each year – about 100 million tons – are hazardous wastes containing heavy metals and other toxins. Hazardous waste may pose a risk to human health and the environment if not managed and disposed of safely. Toxic substances that are contained in hazardous wastes complicate treatment process – their disposal requires special measures.

Major waste sources are agriculture, building construction, industry, mining and municipal areas. Agricultural waste is the largest in terms of quantity. Industrial waste is the most significant in terms of its environmental impact.