No More Need for Landfills in Emerging Economies After 2051

Manfred Fehr*
Institute of Geography, Federal University, 38400 902 Uberlandia MG, Brazil.

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© 2011 Manfred Fehr.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Institute of Geography, Federal University, 38400 902 Uberlândia MG, Brazil; Tel: +55 34 3239 4505; E-mail:


Literature reports from different emerging economies testify to identical raw domestic waste compositions and support extrapolation of management strategies. Based on 2002 World Summit directives and on experiments with source separation in sample communities, this study develops a realistic timeframe of five decades for complete landfill diversion of this waste. The independent progress variables are determined to be initial collection coverage and demographic expansion. The critical stages separating the time intervals are as follows: starting point in 2003 from local analysis, reduction by one half of residences not served by collection until 2015, turning point of complete collection by 2027, locally dependent diversion threshold of approximately 67% of domestic waste by 2039 as result of guided source separation and zero landfilling by 2051.

Keywords: Emerging economies, household waste, household waste composition in emerging economies, landfills, landfill diversion of domestic waste, landfill diversion targets, landfills in emerging economies, municipal solid waste management, timeframe for complete landfill diversion, zero waste strategy.