Emergency debris and waste

GuidelinesBack to top


Brief Technical Guide: Building Waste (ProAct, Disaster Waste Recovery
& Shelter Centre)

Appendix offers guidance on developing a building waste plan, case studies of do’s and don’t’s and things to consider when deciding how to handle waste.  Training PowerPoint is available.



Hazardous Wastes (Oxfam)

Technical guidance on how to handle and store hazardous waste (hospital, industrial, chemical, asbestos, batteries, gas, etc).  Concerns and strategies applicable to emergency situations.



Large Scale Environmental Clean Up Campaigns (Oxfam)

Technical guide explains what to do with large amounts of waste and debris after an emergency.



Planning for Natural Disaster Debris (US EPA 2008)

Guidance on managing debris in cost and environmental effective manner that includes lessons learned and example preparedness management plans. The guidance is US-specific and requires strong recycling and disposal infrastructure in place prior to disaster, but advice still applies to humanitarian sector.



Solid Waste Management (UNEP 2005)

Explains technologies that are environmentally sound for managing solid waste, including processing, treatment and final disposal in the developing world. Some lessons and technology apply to humanitarian action.



Post-Disaster Debris Guidance

Guidance focuses on negative impacts of debris on environment and the need to handle debris by the shelter cluster in an emergency immediately rather than waiting 1-2 years.



Management of Solid Health-Care Waste at Primary Health-Care Centres:
A Decision-Making Guide (WHO 2005)

Guidance explains human and environmental risks of not adequately handling waste and offers checklists, pros and cons to different methods of disposal and waste management.



Waste Management in Minimal Situations (WHO and ProAct)

Technical guidelines for waste possibilities applicable to emergency situations.  Leaves out obvious linkages to environment, though if guidelines followed, environment will see fewer negative impacts.

ToolsBack to top


Products of Combustion (Health Protection Agency)

Guidance on different chemicals and products, how to handle and dispose of damaged items, and the impacts on health.

TrainingBack to top


Training Module: Closing an Open Dumpsite and Shifting from Open Dumping
to Controlled Dumping and to Sanitary Land Filling (UNEP 2005)

Detailed guidance on closing open dumpsites and opening controlled dumpsite including management plans, monitoring and costs of waste disposal. Not emergency specific, but similar lessons and considerations apply to recovery plans.

Case studiesBack to top


E-Waste Case Studies

Case studies are in the developing world and examine challenges faced by countries and how solutions were determined to handle e-waste in an environmentally sustainable way. Could apply to humanitarian operations and relate to livelihoods.

ResourcesBack to top


Disaster Waste Recovery Website

Organisation offers debris recovery and solid waste management assistance after disasters and emergencies and maintains a broad roster of experts to for expertise and management.



Waste Concern Website

Organisation works with private and public sector on environmental improvement, waste recycling and renewable energy throughout Bangladesh. Projects and approach may be useful to humanitarian sector when addressing waste issues.



Healthcare Waste Management (WHO)

In-depth database of resources on training, management, costing and technologies related to healthcare waste, categorized by theme, global to local level and type of healthcare facility.  Materials include, among other resources, longer guides and shorter checklists.