A World Bank report issued last year noted that cities across the globe threw away 1.3 billion tons of solid waste. This equates to a pile of 1.2 kilograms of waste per person per day.

The situation is said to worsen by 2025 when the rapidly growing population and urbanization are set to put 2.2 billion tons of weight on the world’s total waste.

When this happens, it is the urban poor in low- and middle-income earning countries who will take the crucial hits. Because effective solutions are high-priced, some of these nations resort to practicing poor management measures, such as open burning and use of unregulated landfills, which adds to the problem rather than resolve it.

“Poorly managed waste serves as a breeding ground for disease vectors, contributes to global climate change through methane generation, and even promotes urban violence,” the World Bank report noted.

As more countries grow aware of the threats of piling solid wastes in the community and the economy, governments around the world have long started putting aside a sum to resolve the problem. Although some municipalities have allotted 20 percent to 50 percent of its budget to address this environmental issue, many still find it a challenge when it comes to adopting the most effective waste management technologies available.

Solutions to emerge in 2018

This year, however, may be different, according to Rubicon Global’s VP of Sustainability David Rachelson, who expects the emergence of innovative technologies that can ease today’s solid waste problem.

“In 2018, we can expect to see further advancement and real-world implementation of these innovations across the public and private sectors,” Rachelson said in an interview with Rubicon Global.

Indeed, several solid waste management providers are seeing 2018 as a favorable year to save the environment. Atlanta-based Rubicon, for its part, recently launched the RUBICONMethod™ which serves a guide for organizations that aim to cut their waste volume.

The firm banks on the adoption of this method to help states achieve its sustainability goals in the long-term.

Another known biotechnology company, Greenbelt Resources Corp. (OTCMKTS:GRCO), has a waste-to-bioproduct technology that has been drawing international attention. The company expects 2018 to be a banner year, as well.

Last year, the firm inked a memorandum of understanding with an Indonesian conglomerate, which was celebrated by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Indonesia Vice President Jusuf Kalla. Prior to this, the firm has counted among its customers and purchasers of its proprietary systems to include the University of Florida and an Australian agribusiness in New South Wales.

The firm has been receiving recognition because of its innovative technology which converts food, beverage, and agriculture industry wastes into fuel, fertilizer, feed, filtered water and a solvent for cannabis extraction. The technology can be the solution to several municipalities, which have food waste making up a chunk of its environmental problem.

Citing data from the United Nations, The Washington Post said one-third of the food produced in the world is wasted.

The United States’ solid waste is set to reach more than 400 million tons by 2024, throwing away, by far, the largest amount of food. As such, Greenbelt Resources will play a significant role in reducing the country’s food waste generation.

Overall, the solid waste management industry is poised to have a $340 billion value by 2024, according to the projections of Delaware-based market research and consultancy service provider Global Market Insights, Inc.

“Ongoing adoption of optimized treatment techniques coupled with rising environmental concerns will drive the solid waste management market size. Increasing generation of municipal solid waste owing to large-scale urbanization will stimulate the industry growth,” the report said.