Cheat sheet: Six types of waste in Africa

(i) Organic waste including food makes up at least 57% of the total and generates harmful methane gas in landfills.

(ii) Construction waste (10-20%), mostly debris, also ends up in landfills and creates dust pollution.

(iii) Plastic waste (13%) litters land and sea; only 4% is recycled currently. 

(iv) E-waste (1-2%) results from discarded devices and can leach into rivers from ill-run scrapyards.

(v) Textile waste (<1%) up to four fifths of second-hand clothing imported into Africa is unusable and discarded rather than sold. 

(vi) Vehicle waste (<1%) is less of a problem than many assume since even the oldest cars tend to be cannibalised to exhaustion rather than dumped.