World Population Day is recognized internationally on July 11. Coordinated by the United Nations Population Fund, World Population Day aims to educate about the challenges — and opportunities — associated with increased population on development, health and social attitudes.
In 1950, the world’s population was 2.5 billion people. In 2011, the world’s population reached a staggering 7 billion people. This number is expected to increase an additional 1 billion people over the next twelve years.
At the same time that populations around the world are increasing, so too is financial prosperity. Financial prosperity is connected to employment which is connected to industrial growth — which in many instances leads to environmental pollution.
One form of environmental pollution that needs to be addressed is solid waste. According to a study by Worldwatch Institute, municipal solid waste is expected to double by 2025. The World Bank’s Urban Development department estimates the amount of municipal solid waste will rise from 1.3 billion tonnes per year to 2.2 billion tonnes per year by 2025. While wealthier nations currently generate more municipal solid waste waste per person, developing nations are starting to “catch up” as population, wealth and consumption habits increase.
In 2013, the population of Halton Region is just over 500,000 people. By 2031, Halton’s population is expected to reach 780,000. Many of these new residents will be accommodated in mid and high-density developments. This change in housing — from single family homes to multi-family dwellings — will change the way in which Halton Region collects Blue Box and GreenCart materials from residents. At the same time, annual population projections are incorporated into the lifespan planning of the Halton Waste Management Site.
Locally, and globally, population is continuing to rise. Through effective planning focusing on the 3Rs — reduce, reuse, recycle — the environmental impact of the people’s municipal solid waste can be minimized.