Issue

Mercury waste is generated from different sources as mercury is used in several types of products (e.g. batteries, lamps, medical devices) and processes (e.g. mercury-cell chlor-alkali facilities) and is also contained in minerals such as coal. The phase-out of mercury in products and processes along with strict controls on mercury emissions and releases is expected to generate large amount of mercury wastes, for which the Minamata Convention requires the environmentally sound management (ESM).

While ESM is a common challenge in many countries, especially developing ones, a number of key players, including governments, industry, civil society and academia, can provide useful techniques, support and guidance. The establishment of networks of stakeholders who can collaborate in managing mercury waste will also be key in ensuring ESM.

More on mercury waste management

Objective

The objective of the Partnership Area is to minimize and, where feasible, eliminate unintentional mercury releases to air, water, and land from waste containing mercury and mercury compounds by following a Life Cycle Management approach.

Strategy

The Partnership Area has identified the following priority actions to meet its objective:

  • Identify and disseminate information on environmentally sound collection, transportation, treatment and disposal techniques and practices for different types of mercury wastes to reduce mercury releases from waste by following a Life Cycle Management approach;
  • Assess environmental impacts of current waste management practices and processes, including providing support to countries to assess their national situation and needs; and
  • Promote public awareness of the hazards associated with mercury wastes and their management and support community engagement in the activities of the Partnership Area.

Resource Persons List

Call for nominations to create a resource persons list for the Waste Management Area - Invitation letter and Registration form
Resource Persons List (as of April 2017)

Partnership Area Leads

Dr. Misuzu Asari - Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies, Kyoto University – Japan
Ministry of the Environment – Japan