Residents look on as rescue efforts take place at the scene of a garbage landslide on the outskirts of Addis Ababa, Ethi­o­pia, on March 12. (Mulugeta Ayene/Associated Press)

Regarding the March 13 news article “46 killed in landslide at dump in Ethiopia”:

This tragic landfill collapse highlights a growing crisis in many developing countries, where open dumps are common. Two million people worldwide live and work on these dumps, scavenging food, metal, textiles and other material from the trash, in very dangerous conditions. Unlike many landfills in the United States, these dumps lack emission controls and contaminate water, soil, air and food for millions of people. Without action, dumpsites such as Addis Ababa’s could collectively account for up to 10 percent of greenhouse-gas emissions by 2025.

The Solid Waste Association of North America, the largest waste association in the United States, supports the International Solid Waste Association’s “Close the Dumpsites ” campaign, which focuses on this global environmental and public-health issue. The death toll from this tragic accident has climbed to more than 100; we need to act now to prevent similar disasters from occurring.

David Biderman, Silver Spring

The writer is chief executive of the
Solid Waste Association of North America.