International Solid Waste Association's Call to #CloseDumpsites

Why this is important

40% of the world's waste is simply dumped.

This unmanaged waste finds its way into rivers and oceans, being burnt in the open, or littering the streets and byways of townships and cities.

In a globalized and interconnected world, any pandemic related to dumpsites can easily become a global one. The world’s open dumpsites must be closed, for the health and wellbeing of not just the millions of people directly affected by this shameful and polluting practice, but for the future of everyone on this planet. Dumpsites are causing a global health emergency, and there is an urgent need for a concerted international response. ISWA will lead this response, beginning with our Roadmap Report which provides the guidance required, to each and every local authority or government, for the process and procedures required to close a dumpsite and develop an alternative sound waste management system. The next step is to set up a helpdesk to provide more direct support on an individual basis. See more about this at

We, the undersigned, declare our support for the closure of the world’s 50 largest dumpsites, as a starting point to drive the closure of all the dumpsites in the world by 2030. Achieving this goal will immediately improve the lives of 64 million people directly affected by the 50 biggest dumpsites, and will help lift 10,000 children from squalid dumpsites into school.

Establishing alternatives to dumpsites will substantially reduce climate change emissions, stem the tide of plastic that is destroying our oceans and improve the health and wellbeing of everyone on the planet. By replacing all open dumpsites with safe and sensible alternatives for managing waste, dependent communities will also benefit from improved education, training and employment.

A world without dumpsites will also be a huge step towards the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that have been agreed by 193 nations. Now is the time to work together, to protect people’s livelihoods and the environment they depend upon.

Add your voice and declare your support!