Invest in technology to improve waste management: UN chief
World Habitat Day Monday
October 06, 2019, 08:54 PM
Publish- October 06, 2019, 08:54 PM
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. File photo
Dhaka, Oct 6 (UNB) - UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged all to invest more in technology that can transform manmade waste into energy and wealth.
“With cities in the lead and frontier technologies in widespread use, we can achieve make major advances on the road to sustainable urban development,” he said in a message marking the World Habitat Day that falls on October 7.
The World Habitat Day highlights the central role cities and communities play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Well-planned and smartly managed cities can steer all towards inclusive growth and low-emission development.
This year’s observance focuses on the problem of waste – and the potential of frontier technologies to transform waste into wealth.
The UN chief said rapid and unplanned urbanisation can generate or exacerbate many challenges, including the climate crisis. “We still need to invest much more if we are to improve waste management.”
Guterres said solutions begin with small steps individuals can take to alter the way cities function. “We must reduce the amount of waste we produce, and, at the same time, start seeing it as a valuable resource that can be re-used and recycled, including for energy.”
He said frontier technologies can offer better and cheaper answers to these daily challenges.
For example, the UN chief said, automation and artificial intelligence can help sort recyclables more efficiently.
Guterres said sensors in smart packaging can help reduce food waste, while other innovative technologies are turning organic waste into renewable energy and compost.
“And new materials – such as advanced biodegradable plastics – can reduce environmental impact,” said the UN chief.