Cost of Environmental Degradation (COED) due to Solid waste practices

Thursday, Apr 3, 2014
Cost of Environmental Degradation (COED) due to Solid waste practices
Monthly theme of April: Cost of Environmental Degradation (COED) due to Solid waste practices

As urbanization continues to take place, the management of solid waste is becoming a major public health and environmental concern in urban areas of many developing countries. The concern is serious, particularly in the capitals, which are often gateways to the countries for foreign diplomats, businessmen, and tourists. Poor visual appearance of these cities will have negative impacts on official and tourist visits as well as foreign investment.

Although these problems due to municipal waste and their impacts have been assessed nationally, the situation is different in capitals or major cities, as no identification of specific problems and no evaluation of costs regarding the environmental degradation have yet been realized.

Action is often reduced to technical end-of-pipe interventions, rather than preventive measures. Economic, social and environmental benefits are not considered in respective cost-benefit analysis. Environment, externalities and adverse impacts on public goods are not valued in terms of macro-economic costs.

The challenging question is how to put a monetary value on natural resources and the environment, e.g. how to price the economic value or burden of a clean or dirty beach for the tourist industry, or the value of fish resources for the national fishing industry. When macro- and micro economic costs caused by non-action are well known, necessary intervention may be more convincing to national and local decision makers, and public support is more likely if properly communicated.

To include measurable and quantified economic, social and environmental benefits as integral part in strategic planning allows for the development of a comprehensive political vision, one that goes beyond the technical aspects of waste management.

The main objective of the theme is to value and  expand the knowledge about the costs of environmental degradation due to municipal waste. This way, we will assist decision-makers at national and local levels to identify and prioritize specific actions that will improve the integrated waste management. Specifically, this will be accomplished through potential funding of projects related to environmental benefits and the reduction of externalities.

SWEEP-Net members from different fields present here their approaches, expertise and experiences.

We would welcome your contribution with your own experiences, good practices or even your suggestions and recommendations to the presented cases. Please contact us at:

We hope you enjoy the reading,
Your SWEEP-Net Team


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