An update of COVID-19 influence on waste management

Yee Van Fan, Peng Jiang, Milan Hemzal, Jiří Jaromír Klemeš

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

© 2020 Elsevier B.V. COVID-19 has been sweeping the world. The overall number of infected persons has been increased from 5 M in March 2020 to over 22 M in August 2020 and growing, which seems not to get its peak at the current stage. This has contributed to waste generation and different phases of challenges in waste management practices. The impacts including change in waste amount, composition, timing/frequency (temporal), distribution (spatial) and risk, which affects the handling and treatment practices. Recent impacts, challenges and developments on waste management in the response of COVID-19 have been assessed in this update. Singapore, the cities of Shanghai in China and Brno in the Czech Republic (a member state of the European Union), representing different pandemic development situation and also various cultural attitudes, are specifically analysed and discussed with current data. However, it should be noted that it is still fast developing. A varying trend in term of the waste amount is identified. Shanghai is showing a ~23% decline in household waste amount; however, Singapore is showing a ~3% increase, and Brno is showing a ~1% increase in household waste amount but ~40% decline in business and industrial waste. Manual sorting and recycling have been reported as restricted due to safety precaution. This is supported by the interview communication with ZEVO SAKO (the largest incineration plant in the Czech Republic). This study highlighted that the practices or measures at each place could serve as a guideline and reference. However, adaption is required according to the geographical and socioeconomic factors.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume754
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2021

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