World Summit Misses Waste Reduction Mark

Johannesburg, South Africa — Approximately 331 tons of solid waste and 290,000 tons of carbon dioxide were produced during the 10 days of the world’s largest environmental summit, according to organizers.

Although a local project attempted to ease the environmental impact of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, only 23 percent of waste was recycled, and organizers raised only a fraction of the money they were seeking to invest in renewable projects to help offset the amount of waste and energy used during the event.

But according to local officials, some good did come out of the summit, which ironically discussed zero waste policies. For example, more recycling occurred during the summit than usually occurs in the Johannesburg area. Recycling bins posted at most summit venues also will continue to be used in an inner city cleanup project. Additionally, 200 new buses with emission control technology used for summit transport now will become part of the city’s bus fleet.