Disasters and conflicts can generate huge quantities of solid and liquid waste that threaten public health, hinder reconstruction, and impact the environment. Disaster Waste (DW) can be generated by the actual disaster, as well as, later during the response and recovery phases. Safe handling, removal, and management of DW are important issues in disaster response and recovery.
The DWM Guidelines focus on situations where the local and regional waste management systems are not able to cope with the quantities and composition of wastes generated by a disaster or conflict. In such cases, and until the normal solid waste management systems are re-established, the daily household and commercial wastes generated by the affected communities as well as relief agencies are also classified as disaster waste.
In a disaster situation, arrival to the affected area is often met with chaos; therefore, preparation prior to deployment to the area is typically the only opportunity to become acquainted with disaster waste guidance. As all disasters are unique, this guide does not proclaim to cover all possible situations; however, it can be used to provide and support the possible decisions that will have to be made upon arrival.
To help you prepare for a disaster waste management mission, see the deployment preparation checklist below.