University West of Scotland Lectures – Waste and Resource Management

Alasdair presents lecture to University of the West of Scotland (UWoS) students on Waste Management.

All too often the focus in developing countries is building roads, schools, houses etc. and good waste management is often forgotten. Using his experience from travelling to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Alasdair put in context the difficulties faced by developing countries.

What is more important?

  • A new road
  • A hospital
  • Clean drinking water
  • Waste management

In many cases it is all of them!

Frequently, the international community focuses on the environmental improvements generated by good waste management practice, however, often there are even more important public health issues such as contamination of water, contamination of land and crops, indiscriminate burning of waste, so first and foremost waste management should be dealt with as a public health issue.

As these countries become more prosperous, their buying power increases and the variety and type of plastic increases, further exacerbating the problem.

Much of the waste currently in the oceans is from countries such as DRC where waste is discarded, washed into streams and rivers and finally into the sea and the oceans.

Alasdair finishes by giving some examples of excellent work which is going on and how if viewed as an opportunity to improve public health and create earning opportunities many developing countries can have top class waste management systems which would also meet their environmental objectives.

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