Slumscapes: How the world’s five biggest slums are shaping their futures

Slumscapes: How the world’s five biggest slums are shaping their futures | Reuters

Slumscapes: How the world’s five biggest are shaping their futures Students attend the morning parade at a school in Kenya’s Kibera slums in capital Nairobi, September 21, 2015. Kenya’s president on Sunday urged teachers who have been on strike for about three weeks to return to work, saying their demand for a pay rise of up to 60 percent could not be met. REUTERS/Noor Khamis  By Paola Totaro


LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – As the United Nations prepares a 20-year plan to cope with the challenges of booming urbanization, residents of the world’s five biggest slums are battling to carve out a place in the cities of the future.

Home to more than 900 million people worldwide – or nearly one in every seven people – the U.N. says slums are emerging spontaneously as a “dominant and distinct type of settlement” in the 21st century.

Today one quarter of the world’s city dwellers live in slums – and they are there to stay.

The U.N.’s 193 member states are set to adopt the first detailed road map to guide the growth of cities, towns and informal settlements, ensure they are sustainable, do not destroy the environment and protect the rights of the vulnerable.

Held once every 20 years, the U.N.’s Habitat III conference comes at a time when, for the first time in history, more people live in cities than rural areas.

In 2014, 54 percent of the global population lived in cities but by 2050, this is expected to rise to 66 percent.

“We live in the urban century … when planned, built, and governed well, cities can be massive agents of positive change,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a recent statement.

“They can be catalysts for inclusion and powerhouses of equitable economic growth. They can help us protect the environment and limit climate change. That is why we need a new vision for urbanization.”

The U.N.’s policy document, titled the , says there has been “significant” improvement in the quality of life for millions of city residents over the past two decades, but the pressures of population growth and rural-to-city migration are increasing dramatically.

Billy Cobbett, director of the Cities Alliance partnership for poverty reduction and promoting sustainable cities, said urban growth in many parts of the world, particularly Africa, is not driven by rural migration alone but by population growth.

The U.N. plan stresses that providing transport, sanitation, hospitals and schools is imperative but city strategies must also “go beyond” physical improvements to integrate slums into the social, economic, cultural, and political life of cities. Experts say this policy represents a significant shift in thinking among city planners and authorities who have historically seen bulldozers as the answer to slum settlements.

High-density communities geared to pedestrians along with properties that mix business with housing can offer lessons for management of future growth, they say.

Today, unchecked population growth and migration in many world cities – from Kenya to Mexico to India – mean slums and the informal economies and communities created around them must increasingly be seen as an important part of the wider city.


The U.N. roadmap highlights that a critical impediment to upgrading informal settlements and sustainable redevelopment is the lack of tenure or ownership of land or property.

In 2003, 924 million city dwellers were estimated to be without title to their homes or land and this number, according to the United Nations, is expected to have grown “exponentially”.

This is a particularly pressing problem in Africa where more than half the urban population – or 62 percent of people – live in shanty towns and 90 percent of rural land is undocumented.

Living without secure tenure means living under constant threat of eviction. Slum dwellers who have no way of proving ownership of assets also have no access to credit, further eroding any motivation to improve homes and neighbourhoods.

For governments, particularly in poorer countries, slum areas without title are a particularly vexed problem as the great majority are not mapped, little is known about demographics or spatial use, and the way residents have settled is often so dense that housing and services are hard to fit in.

The lack of basic information also means they cannot use the most commonly used official land registration systems.

Nairobi’s vast Kibera settlement – coming from the Nubian for forest or jungle – is described as Africa’s largest slum and comprises more than a dozen villages from Soweto East to Kianda.

A mix of ethnic groups make their home there although nobody knows exact numbers. According to the last Kenyan census, the population was 170,070 in 2009 but other sources, including the UN, estimate the settlement is now home to anywhere between 400,000 and one million people.

Much of Kibera’s employment comes from the nearby industrial area of Nairobi but an estimated half of Kibera’s residents are jobless, surviving on less than $1 a day. Only 27 percent of Kibera’s 50,000 students attend government schools, with most attending informal institutions set up by residents and churches, according to the charity Map Kibera. Violence, alcohol and drugs are rife and clean water scarce.

Kibera’s residents also struggle with no garbage services, free flowing sewage and the slum became infamous globally for the so–called ‘flying toilets’ – throw away plastic bags used by residents forced to relieve themselves outdoors.

Yet amidst the squalor there are many residents like Peter Nyagasera and his family who have worked tirelessly to improve their neighbourhood.

Nyagasera and his wife Sarah Oisebe up part of a former dump site in Kibera to create a playground for the resident-run school and a ‘s centre for orphans. For these children, he says, school is the only place they receive a hot meal each day.

But despite all their hard work, the community has been forced to mount a court challenge to stop construction of a road planned to cut through the area and demolish the school – and this community is not alone.

A second group of residents from the marginalised Nubian group are also without formal titles and fighting for ownership to protect their homes, many recently marked with red crosses for demolition to make way for the highway.

Their case will be heard in Kenya’s High Court in November but residents are despondent.

“Children will suffer,” said Nyagasera.


One of the toughest and most vulnerable aspects of life in the slums is the battle to find regular work. Cities are job hubs and proximity to employment has long been a major driver of slum development and expansion.

Globally, according to the International Labour Organization, 200 million people in slums were without jobs in 2013 while UNESCO estimates that more than a quarter of the young, urban poor earn little more than $1.25 a day.

Despite this, in many developing economies, the engine room of job creation is found in the heart of informal economies like those in the favelas of Rio or the bustling hives of activity in big Indian cities like Mumbai.

Author Robert Neuwirth spent four years researching his book, ‘Shadow Cities’, which looked at informal economies in global shanty towns. He believes these unlicensed economic networks are vastly under appreciated in scope and power and estimates they account for some 1.8 billion jobs globally.

“It’s a huge number and if it were all together in a single political system, this economic system would be worth $10 trillion a year. That would make it the second largest economy in the world,” he said.

In Mumbai, where an estimated one million people live in the bustling Dharavi slum, resident-owned small businesses – from leather workers and potters to recycling networks – have created an informal economy with annual turnover of about $1 billion.

Residents live and work in the same place and are now campaigning actively to ensure that any redevelopment of their homes or construction of new housing takes into account the need for home-based ground floor workspaces.

“People think of slums as places of static despair as depicted in films such as ‘Slumdog Millionaire’,” said Sanjeev Sanyal, an economist and writer, referring to the Academy Award-winning movie that exposed the gritty underbelly of Dharavi.

“If one looks past the open drains and plastic sheets, one will see that slums are ecosystems buzzing with activity… Creating neat low-income housing estates will not work unless they allow for many of the messy economic and social activities that thrive in slums,” he said.

Rahul Srivastava, a founder of Mumbai’s Institute of Urbanology, said the biggest impediment to upgrading informal settlements is their “illegitimate” status due to the absence of title.

Settlements that are home to fifth-generation migrants cannot be classed as “informal”, he says, and it is high time the narrow perception of these neighbourhoods is changed.


In Cape Town, the shanty towns of Khayelitsha stretch for miles, a grim brown sea of ramshackle wood and iron shacks that confront visitors arriving at the airport but are out of view of the city’s glass towers or the leafy suburbs on nearby hills.

Khayelitsha’s population, according to the 2011 Census, is 99 percent black. Jean Comaroff, a Harvard professor of anthropology and African Studies, said despite “valiant efforts” from city authorities and activists in recent years, Cape Town itself still offers little room for its slum residents beyond “servitude” – work as domestics or in the service industries.

“It is poised on a knife edge and the differences between the beauty of the city itself and what you see on the Cape flats is the starkest you will ever see in the world.” she said.

In Cape Town, city authorities are not only struggling with providing housing and sanitation for a burgeoning population but face the task of trying to reverse the apartheid era engineering that built the spatial segregations that still exist today.

Experts say that not only is there not enough new affordable housing but what has been built remains distant from employment, forcing long commutes for those who are lucky enough to work. Inside, however, residents are struggling – and at times losing their lives – due the absence of the most basic service – toilets.

According to the Social Justice Coalition’s Axolile Notywala, using a toilet can be one of the most dangerous activities for residents and a major problem for women and children.

A Commission of Inquiry into Policing in the shanty towns in 2012 found that 12,000 households have no access to toilets and the link between violence, particularly against women and children, and the need to walk long distances at night was highlighted by researchers and activists. A mathematical model built by Yale University researchers last year concluded that doubling the number of toilets to 11,300 in Khayelitsha would reduce sexual assaults by a third.

“Higher toilet installation and maintenance costs would be more than offset by lower sexual assault costs,” lead researcher Gregg Gonsalves told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.


Across the world in Pakistan, Orangi Town in the port city of Karachi is believed home to around 2.4 million people although nobody knows exactly as the last census was in 1998.

Widely cited as Asia’s largest slum, it sprawls over 8,000 acres – the equivalent of about 4,500 Wembley football pitches.

Known locally as “katchi abadis”, the first informal settlements emerged in the wake of the Indo-Pakistani war of 1947, which led to a huge influx of refugees. Unable to cope with the numbers – by 1950 the population had increased to 1 million from 400,000 – the government issued refugees “slips” giving them permission to settle on any vacant land.

The settlement’s population really exploded in the early 1970s when thousands of people migrated from East Pakistan after the 1971 war of independence, which led to the establishment of the Republic of Bangladesh.

Since then, land has also been traded informally, usually through a middleman who subdivided plots of both government and private land and sold them to the poor.

Unlike many other slums worldwide the lack of services – not housing – is the major problem.

Communities have built two and three-room houses out of concrete blocks manufactured locally, say activists. Each house is home to between eight and 10 people and an informal economy of micro businesses has emerged as people created livelihoods.

In the early 1980s, however, some residents within the enormous slum decided they’d had enough of waiting for governments unwilling or unable to fund sanitation and so embarked on building a sewerage project on a “self-help” basis.

Now globally renowned, the Orangi Pilot Project (OPP) has helped residents design, fund and build their own sewerage systems and pipelines and, since 1980, has brought latrines to more than 108,000 households in a project continuing today.

To date, say OPP statistics, 96 percent of the settlement’s 112,562 households have latrines with residents footing the bill of 132,026,807 Pakistani rupees ($1.26 million) – all DIY.

“In fact, people in the town now consider the streets as part of their homes because they have invested in them and that’s why they maintain and clean the sewers too,” said OPP’s director, Saleem Aleemuddin. 


Jose Castillo, an urban planner and architect in Mexico City, says that Ciudad Neza, home to 1.2 million people, should serve as a model for other blighted urban areas and slums.

Short for Nezahualcóyotl, Neza sits on the bed of Lake Texcoco which was slowly drained in a bid to combat devastating flooding over a century and more. owever the dry land ended up being too salty for farming and was slowly picked up by developers who laid out a grid of streets and sold off boxy parcels, most without proper titles.

The settlement really grew in a burst of urban migration in the mid-20th century when new arrivals to Neza set up shacks of wood and cardboard, living without electricity, a sewage system or running water, schools or paved roads. Old timers remember in the early days they’d be lucky if a bus came every two hours.

Victoria Gomez Calderon, 82, moved to Neza from eastern Mexico as a young woman, and remembers clearly the putrid remains of the lake just a half block from her tiny home.

“It was a pure wasteland,” she said.

In the early 1970s, residents banded together to demand services and a government programme to formalise ownership and provide land titles.

Neza’s reputation as the world’s largest slum, coined when its population was combined with two other blighted areas decades ago, no longer applies, they said.

Today, despite its severe problems from continuing poor access to transport and schools to high crime rates, Neza’s development holds lessons in growth and resilience for others.

Planner Castillo says Neza is teeming with micro entrepreneurs working from home or sharing spaces in what would be called co-working in trendier places.

“My argument is let’s stop asking what urban planning can do to fix the city and let’s focus on understanding where we could also learn from those processes,” he said. “There’s a strong sense of pride in place. It’s a community based on the notion that jointly these people transformed this territory.”

Priscilla Connolly Dietrichsen, a professor of urban sociology at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in Mexico City, agrees.

“The story isn’t, ‘Oh dear, dear, what a terrible slum.’ In a way, it’s a success story, in spite of the present problems,” she said.


The 23-page draft document up for adoption at Habitat III in Quito is the result of months of closed-door negotiations, held in several nations, including Indonesia and the United States.

Some critics are disappointed the policy framework contains no tangible targets and will be non-binding on member states.

“It’s easy for governments to sign something that is not enforceable,” said Michael Cohen, a former senior urban affairs official with the World Bank, who has advised U.N. Habitat.

“It doesn’t have much bite. It talks a lot about commitments but has no dates, places or numbers.” Supporters, however, argue the New Urban Agenda will not only focus attention on the urgent need for holistic planning of cities but also work to fundamentally change the way urban growth is debated and discussed both nationally and globally.

Important drivers of planned growth are a well-oiled system of land ownership, title and tenure which then paves the way for governments to collect revenue to pay for new services.

Equally important is the need for concerted planning approaches so new hospitals, bus services, and schools are placed where they are needed with thought given to future growth and employment opportunities.

There has, however, also been some criticism of the U.N.’s shift from a traditionally rural focus to a city driven, urban one and its failure to link the New Urban Agenda to the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals and climate change benchmarks.

Shivani Chaudry, executive director of the Housing and Land Rights Network in India, said the bias away from rural interests in the New Urban Agenda will leave many people behind.

She said many countries had argued forcefully for the adoption of goals and targets, for example a reduction in numbers of the homeless, increases in housing for the poor or a drop in forced evictions, but nothing was agreed.

“Rural populations have not been adequately represented: farmers, forest dwellers, indigenous and coastal communities – all suffer the consequences of uncontrolled urbanization,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“There is so much exploitation of these people and our fear is that so many have been left out.”

(Reporting by Paola Totaro, Editing by Belinda Goldsmith; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, property rights and climate change. Visit

Slumscapes: How the world’s five biggest slums are shaping their futures | Reuters

Uganda to shut down Zuckerberg-funded schools –

They are profit making enormously

africa, Uganda to shut down Zuckerberg-funded schools –

Uganda’s High Court has ordered Bridge International Academies, which is funded by the likes of Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, to shut down their 63 schools.

Uganda Bridge
Pupils from Bridge International Academies protest after Uganda’s High Court ordered the closure of its low-cost private schools
What kind of business logic is involved in the decision to put a “FOR PROFIT” school system in one of the poorest countries in the world.
If we order the countries according to their GDP per capita, Uganda is in 178 th position. According to this parameter, its population is among the poorest of the 196 countries whose GDP we publish.
We at Green Fire are dedicated to raising up the poorest of the , an ever growing population.
If you are interested please review our websites

Mike Prettyman,
Chief Information Officer at Green Fire Engineered
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A large accumulation of small defeats

A large accumulation of small defeats

The measures to curb air pollution in Delhi must necessarily tackle the city’s solid-waste crisis as well

Landfills release noxious methane fumes into the air and leachates into the groundwater, presenting a permanent challenge to tackling pollution in cities. Yet landfills continue to be overlooked by flagship policies. Photo: Bloomberg

The toxic haze that enveloped Delhi for two weeks after Diwali has diminished. But it would be foolhardy to think the moment has passed. How do we go on from here, knowing that next year, too, farmers will burn crop stubble, people will burn garbage and burst Diwali firecrackers, diesel generators will remain in use, environmentally harmful industry practices will prevail and private vehicles will still be the preferred means of transport?

The causes of October’s smog highlight the intersectional nature of pollution in cities—how one mode of pollution interacts with and worsens another, which is why it is difficult to come up with a quick fix to bad air. The measures to curb air pollution in Delhi must necessarily tackle the city’s solid-waste crisis as well.

India produces about 62 million tonnes of solid waste annually, of which 75-80% is collected, and only 22-28% is treated. The rest lands up in open dumpyards and landfills or is burnt. According to a 2016 study by the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, on Delhi’s air quality, the burning of municipal solid waste accounts for 7-8% of particulate matter pollution. Landfills, on the other hand, release noxious methane fumes into the air and leachates into the groundwater, presenting a permanent challenge to tackling pollution in cities. Yet landfills continue to be overlooked by flagship policies. The Swachh Bharat (Urban) scheme focuses on water, sanitation and hygiene, with scant attention being paid to the solid waste coagulating unchecked in landfills. The National Urban Sanitation Policy 2008 was concerned with access to sanitation facilities for the urban poor, but landfills remained outside that conversation. Landfills were limited to the ambit of the erstwhile Municipal Solid Wastes (Management and Handling Rules), 2000.

Every big city usually has at least one landfill. Delhi has four. Mumbai has three. Chennai and Kolkata have two each. Bengaluru had two before they were shut down after community protests. There is something very sobering about the vastness of a landfill, the spectre of city after city struggling with the problem. But the bigger issue is that landfills continue to be the solution, both for untreated municipal solid waste and for the scores of workers in the informal economy seeking to make a living in cities.

It is easier to not see both solid waste and the informal worker, because we still haven’t arrived at a development narrative that will accommodate both. Solid waste is the by-product of a consumption economy. The informal worker exists outside the regulated, legal, organized economy. Both exist on the outer fringes of a city’s growth story. Both converge on the landfill.

The economic potential of municipal waste in Indian cities is fettered by inadequate segregation of waste, thereby rendering it unfit for conversion into refuse-derived fuel. Waste-to-energy incinerator plants are still an inefficient response to solid-waste management because municipal waste is marked by high moisture content (up to 65%) and low calorific value (520-3,766kcal/kg), which means that things don’t burn well enough to generate the energy that would justify the plant.

A worker in the informal economy poses a tougher challenge. Urban areas account for 28% of employment and 55% of the output, according to a 2014 study by the Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Bengaluru. It found that employment generation in cities has taken place largely in the informal sector, where the quality of work is poor, with low wages and little social protection. The National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganized Sector, 2009, describes a class of “socially discriminated, educationally deprived, and economic destitutes”, for whom the growth process has yielded “very little expansion of their employment and enhancement in their earning capacity”. Since waste workers tend to hail from the most marginalized castes in India, caste, gender and age intersect in such a way that the burden of making a living from landfills falls disproportionately on women and children.

On the bright side, the recently notified Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, emphasize segregation of waste at source and greater decentralized processing of biodegradable waste. They also mandate the integration of kabadiwallahs and ragpickers into the formal economy. This is vitally important since most of the waste-sorting and recycling is done by informal workers before the unrecyclable waste is transported to a landfill. They bear the brunt of our failure to segregate our household waste; they do so under hazardous conditions and for negligible pay.

A landfill is a fracture in the stories we tell about our cities. The home page of the urban development ministry website carries a permanent declaration—“The growth story of India shall be written on the canvas of planned urban development.” Almost as an afterthought, there is a second declaration, “And shall be scripted through the instrument of planned mobility.”

What stories come out of landfills? They are reports of the landfill fires that continually smoulder, the deaths of ragpickers, the tonnage of waste being dumped, the dreary profiles of municipal waste. They remain narrative versions of things that you don’t look at directly or for too long. The presence and persistence of landfills ought not to be taken lightly when contending with air pollution.

We need to move towards environmentally sound policymaking, and away from the formulaic inter-governmental squabble that seems to pass for crisis management. Without this, a city, as Jeet Thayil describes in Narcopolis, isn’t much more than “a large accumulation of small defeats”.

Rihan Najib is a staff writer at Mint.

Mike Prettyman,
Chief Information Officer at Green Fire Engineered Reclamation
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United States Congress Supports Resolution Promoting Blockchain

 Author Jacob Timp

The United States House of Representatives has passed a nonbinding resolution calling for an adoption of “a national policy for technology to promote consumers' access to financial tools and online commerce to promote economic growth and consumer empowerment.”

Why The Accelerated Interest?

We have seen relatively little developments in the space of federal regulation on the Blockchain technology and digital currencies. A non-profit called Coin Center reached out to United States representatives communicating their concerns on the developing bill. The letters on issue are available on their website.

In July, the declaration was introduced which calls the United State government to develop an updated domestic policy related to technology, specifically referencing cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technology. The bill was introduced by United States Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and is sponsored by Congressman Tony Cardenas of California.

Following statements from supporters, the resolution passed by a verbal vote earlier this week. The resolution is non-binding, which may be considered a half-measure, is a rather significant leap forward from Congress for the discussion on Blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

The opening remarks on the bill stated:

“The House of Representatives that the United States should adopt a national policy for technology to promote consumers’ access to financial tools and online commerce to promote economic growth and consumer empowerment.”

The resolution occurred months after the United States House Committee on Energy and Commerce debated the technology. Notes from supporters on the floor demonstrated a very real interest in the issue among the House members.

Congressman Michael Burgess of Texas, stated at the hearing:

"There’s no doubt that Blockchain innovations are on the cutting edge today."

What’s Next?

We will see what the next step is for congress and whether or not they will pursue a more substantial bill development for digital currencies and the Blockchain technology. The next session will meet after November's United States elections.

The non-leaning characteristics of the current resolution suggests that a new and updated bill may be released by Congress in the time following.

Mike Prettyman,
Chief Information Officer at Green Fire Engineered Reclamation
For more information come to the website

Children of the Landfill Project

Green Fire Engineered Reclamation

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Children of the Landfill
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Green Fire and Landfill Mining

Green Fire and Landfill Mining

Landfill Mining – LFM – has the potential to have significant economic and environmental impacts. Historic landfill sites have many unquantifiable variables and estimates must be made of the wastes within them and the subsequent impacts that those wastes may have. It is only in recent years that accurate knowledge, and then only in broad terms, is available to assess what wastes a landfill site may contain.

Green Fire Engineered Reclamation is a landfill mining company.

Green Fire is a passionate multi disciplinary professional organization specializing in carefully engineered waste remediation and reclamation.

We could be considered a high tech company with the innovations we are working with but a better term would be an all tech company. Green Fire carefully choses the best technology to use for any given application based on properly engineered and tested processes. Every project is a little different. This is why Green Fire is made up of entrepreneurs, engineers, scientists and academic experts.

Landfill Mining

As available land and reusable resources become increasingly scarce, options to harness these from alternative sources become more sought after. One of the options available is Landfill Mining (LFM).

LFM is commonly understood to be the extraction of waste from a landfill site after that site has closed and is no longer accepting waste. Green Fire is preemptive in its approach, we want to be there before it closes, Our mission is to not only recover the land but reclaim and reuse the waste. Green Fire intercepts and stems the flow of waste to the landfill.

The concept of LFM is not new: There have been examples cited since the later 1940s and it is likely that earlier, unrecorded activities took place.

LMF is not a practice unique to one country, region or has any specific strategy that determines whether it should take place or not.

Traditionally the reasons for LFM are often unique to the site itself and there are specific factors that may lead to a LFM operation. Green Fire is mining the proportion of the world’s waste still being disposed of in open landfills. Open landfills have the potential for significant resources to be recovered post-disposal. In the future old landfills are likely to be considered as exploitable material resources.

Green Fire; LFM, Economics and Humanity

While there are a number of reasons for Green Fire LFM, It appears that there are four main strategic reasons for these operations:

  • Extraction recycling potential;

  • extraction for energy recovery;

  • the reclamation of land; and

  • solving the humanitarian condition of the landfill.

While the first two are clear economic arguments about the potential income from the deposited wastes, the third has greater potential for considering environmental sustainability and the forth, the greatest reclamation of them all, reclaiming the children that live on the landfill.

These reasons may be independent purposes for LFM but are being combined to deliver wider benefits and maximize the LFM opportunity.

The Need For Green Fire LFM

The reasons covered by the broad term ‘landfill reclamation’ may include one or a combination of the following:

  • There is need to recover arable land from landfill sites

  • The landfill site may form a physical barrier to the metropolitan expansion and development that is planned,

  • It may be contaminating the groundwater or surrounding area and the source requires removal;

  • There is need to reclaim the lives of the poor women and children that only have the dump as life’s hope

  • There is need for reclaiming the waste for reuse.

  • There is need to recover reusable raw materials, precious and non-precious

  • There is need to convert waste to energy

Materials and energy recovery are likely to be the primary economic factors, land reclamation may be driven by environmental reasoning but the Children of the Landfill and improving their lives is a critical factor for Green Fire.

Green Fire Landfill Mining

Green Fire extracts the wastes for their material values in the market place. Metals and plastics are those materials which have the highest values and the lowest level of degradation within a landfill site. These are essential targets for LFM. However, there are other materials that have a specific local value. All non-marketable materials are 99% pure and sterile. These materials are reused to provide for the Children of the Landfill.

Recovery of material for conversion to energy, extracts the value of the hydrocarbon portion of the waste turning it into fuels. While not a ‘renewable’ source of energy in the purest sense, with dwindling fossil fuels and the need for more sustainable use of natural resources, the Green Fire processing of landfill waste provides a low cost local resolution to energy demand.

When the widest range of benefits is considered, the greatest humanitarian benefits can be derived from a Green Fire LFM operation. Green Fire will have a significant social impact and will have significant economic and environmental impacts on the Children of the Landfill.

The Value in Landfills

Historic landfill sites have many unquantifiable variables and estimates must be made of the wastes within them and the subsequent impacts that those wastes may have. It is only in recent years that accurate knowledge, and then only in broad terms, is available to assess what wastes a landfill site may contain. There will always be uncertainty of value in what LFM will produce.

A Green Fire Engineered LFM project is always safe, and 100% effective with waste remediation and reclamation while providing humanitarian aid to the “ Children of the Landfill:.

I appreciate your attention

Mike Prettyman

For more information come our websites
Chief Information Officer at Green Fire Engineered Reclamation

Children of the Landfill Project
Green Fire Engineered Reclamation

ISWA calls open dumps a global health emergency

ISWA calls open dumps a ‘global health emergency’

A new report by the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) is highlighting the ‘global health emergency’ affecting tens of millions of people in developing countries who lack good sanitation infrastructure. 


The front page of ‘Wasted health, the tragic case of open dumps’

The report, ‘Wasted health: The tragic case of dumpsites’, illustrates how the issues surrounding open dumpsites in the developed world 40 years ago are still prevalent in developing countries, but are also being compounded by unprecedented issues such as the unregulated accumulation of discarded electronics, mobile phones, and medical waste. 

Some of the main problems identified in the report include:

  • open dumpsites receive roughly 40 per cent of the world’s waste and serve about 3.5 to 4 billion people;
  • there has been a substantial rise in unregulated dumping of mobile devices, electronic appliances, medical and municipal waste, accelerating the scale of the threat and health risks;
  • uncontrolled burning of waste releases gases and toxins into the atmosphere;
  • open waste sites in India, Indonesia and the Philippines are more detrimental to life expectancy than malaria;
  • 64 million people’s lives (equal to the population of France) are affected by world’s 50 largest dumpsites;
  • in addition to the human and environmental impacts, the financial cost of open dumpsites runs into the tens of billions of US dollars.

Report’s statistics

In preparing the report, researchers analysed 373 toxic waste sites in India, Indonesia and the Philippines, where, the report says, ‘an estimated 8.6 million people are at risk of exposure to lead, asbestos, hexavalent chromium and other hazardous materials’. 

It continues: ‘Among those people at risk, the exposure could cause a loss of around 829,000 years of good health as a result of disease, disability or early death. In comparison, malaria in these countries, whose combined population is nearly 1.6 billion, causes the loss of 725,000 healthy years.’

The report also states that over 42 million tonnes of e-waste was generated in 2014 and a lack of trained labour and investment in recycling infrastructure has meant that much of the waste is simply dumped in open landfills, which can lead to further health issues as they can be burnt, exposing locals to dangerous pollutants, heavy metals, volatile compounds and soot.

Call for a ‘global alliance’ to address the issue

Releasing the report, Antonis Mavropoulos, Chairman of the ISWA Scientific and Technical Committee and author of the report, called for immediate action: “Little or no coordinated action is being taken at present and to be effective change can only happen if there is a global alliance to address the issue among governments and key stakeholder organisations.

“We need to start with a plan of how we finance the closure and relocation of the most dangerous sites urgently and provide support through resources of capital and expertise. While the cost will be substantial, it represents an opportunity to invest in the infrastructure and economy of these emerging and poor nations. In addition, the outlay required to close the most risky dumpsites will be just a small fraction of the cost of their health impacts.” 

David Newman, ISWA President, said: “The recommendations of this report are clear:  the international community has an urgent task ahead in closing waste dumps globally, for the sake of populations affected by them, because they live in or near them, but also because all the world’s people are breathing in the toxins released by burning on open dumps. And the greenhouse gas emissions involved are huge too, and unless we act, the growth of open dumping is inevitable.”

He added: “ISWA and its experts are willing to take part in this global clean up and will, with other interested parties, collaborate on drawing attention to the damage caused to human health through poor waste management practices.”

 The full report is available on ISWA’s website