United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: Scientific & Technological

In several parts of the world there is a legacy of accumulation of hazardous wastes.
Large stockpiles of obsolete pesticides exist containing persistent organic pollutants
and large amounts of industrial waste, mainly from resource mining and processing
activities. Thus, management of hazardous wastes will require special care on a
global basis.
The developing international trade in electronic waste has become an issue of
concern, as large quantities of e-waste are being exported to developing countries for
re-use, repair, and recycling as well as for recovery of non-ferrous and precious
metals. Moreover, plastics in the marine environment have become a major problem
for plastics release toxic chemicals into the ocean.
A lot of waste is generated when existing infrastructures like roads, buildings, and
other facilities are replaced. This can be averted or minimized by recycling or finding
new uses for the material. The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)
approach to building design, engineering and construction has gained increasing
acceptance in recent years. LEED not only encourages capture, conservation and
recycling of grey water, it also promotes life-cycle approach that considers the end of
the building useful life.
Regarding energy wasted at low temperatures, co-generation is to be encouraged for
allowing taking advantage of unused heat from the residential, commercial and
industrial sectors power usage. Energy efficiency measures in the industrial sector
also have co-benefits due to reduction in fuel and material use, leading to reduced
emissions of air pollutants, solid wastes and waste water.