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    Urban Solid Waste
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Pressure indicators

Expenditure in private final consumption

In general, USW generation follows the pace of private domestic consumption and gross domestic product (GDP) (OCDE, 1998; OPS, 2005), because the more a household spends, the more waste is generated. Waste generation is related to both population size and agricultural and manufacturing activities, which are often related to the country’s development level (MEA, 2005).

Thus, the indicator Expenditure in private final consumption that is, the value of all purchases of goods and services by households and private non-profit organizations serving households (INEGI, 2009), is useful to show the trend in USW generation in the country. As this indicator denotes the generation potential in terms of volume, it is considered as an indirect pressure indicator. Consumption levels, measured in terms of expenditure in private and public final consumption, are also included in the OECD’s and EU’s indicator initiatives (OCDE, 1998, 1999; EU, 2007).


Urban solid waste generation

The growing volume of municipal waste, coupled with its poor management, promotes the proliferation of open dumps, which impose environmental and human-health risks. The population exposed to physical, chemical and biological agents contained in USW ranges from formal and informal workers who handle waste to people living close to treatment and disposal sites, and even the population affected by the contamination of water bodies (surface water and groundwater) and the consumption of meat from animals raised in open dumps (Acurio et al., 1997; MEA, 2005; IBAM, 2006). The indicator Total and per capita generation of urban solid waste denotes the potential risk associated to waste generation in Mexico. This indicator is included in most initiatives on sustainable development indicators, particularly those of the OECD, the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) and the European Union.