Entrepreneurial Opportunities in Solid Waste Management

Entrepreneurship in solid waste management can be instrumental in environment protection, decentralization, economic restructuring and job creation. Entrepreneurial opportunities in solid waste planning are available in the areas of waste collection, waste handling, waste sorting, waste storage, waste transport, waste transformation and energy recovery from waste.

Entrepreneurship begins with the generation of an idea and culminates in realization of the project objectives. Historically, the improvement of waste management services by the public sector has been hampered by lack of funds in both developed and developing nations.

entrepreneurship in waste management

Waste materials destined to be processed to generate electricity

Entrepreneurs can not only invest money in solid waste management sector, but also infuse new ideas, technologies and skills which can transform waste from being a liability into an asset. The efficiency of solid waste management increases with the involvement of entrepreneurs. Infact, it has been observed that involvement of entrepreneurs in solid waste management planning can reduce the service cost by half in Latin American cities with higher employment generation and vehicles productivity.

Entrepreneurial ventures in solid waste management can range from a one-man project to a mega-scale project involving thousands of skilled and unskilled workers. It has been observed that solid waste management is a labour-intensive process with tremendous potential to generate new jobs, depending on the type of project and the level of creativity. The major areas of entrepreneurial involvement include waste collection, transportation, reuse and recycling, upcycling and power generation.

waste-management-nepal

Basic safety equipment is essential to minimize health risks to informal recycling sector.

According to the World Bank, municipalities in developing countries typically spend 20 to 50 per cent of their annual budget on solid waste management, but only 40 to 70 per cent of solid waste is collected and less than 50 per cent of the population has access to municipal waste collection services.

Solid waste planning is an integral component of urban development as it contributes to public health, resource conservation and environment protection. Scientific disposal of domestic waste can prevent environmental degradation and harmful public health impacts while recycling can help in conservation of precious natural resources and energy.

Entrepreneurial activities in solid waste collection can not only increase waste collection efficiency but also improve waste management services for the marginalized sections of the society. An excellent example is the case of Nigeria-based Wecyclers which is aiming to building a low-cost waste collection infrastructure in Lagos by offering cheap and convenient domestic waste recycling services using a fleet of cargo bikes.

Easy 10 Steps Towards a More Sustainable Business

Are you looking to make your business more sustainable? This is something that every business owner should be looking to do even during the discovery phase of project and it can bring a multitude of benefits in addition to the ethical reasons, so here are 10 of the best ways that you can go about doing this.

1. Eco-Friendly Products

First, you need to make sure that you are both producing and sourcing eco-friendly products and trying to reduce plastic use as much as possible.

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2. Green Energy

Switching to a green energy provider is one of the most effective ways that you can reduce your impact, plus you can make huge savings over the long-term on your energy bills, so it is a smart financial move to make.

3. Encourage Cycling

It is important to encourage staff to use green forms of transport as opposed to driving. One way to do this is with bike parking outside of the office and to start a cycle to work scheme.

4. Reduce Food Waste

You should try to reduce food waste as much as possible and the best way to do this is to educate your staff on the importance of only bringing in what they need and using up spare food.

Food-Waste

5. Watch Water Usage

Water usage is another area to address and you will want to try to cut down on if possible, particularly when it comes to washing and cleaning.

6. Increase Recycling

Recycling is one of the best ways to be more sustainable but often an area where businesses could improve on. You can do this by educating staff on what they can and cannot recycle and making it easier for them to recycle items, such as placing recycling bins in the office.

7. Reduce Paper Usage

You should also try to minimize paper usage throughout the business. Where this is not possible, you should instead look to eco-friendly alternatives. As an example, you could have loyalty and business cards from eco-friendly supplier.

paper-free-office

8. Use Energy-Efficient Equipment

Switching to energy-efficient equipment is smart as it will reduce your energy consumption, which will also help to reduce your utility bills too.

9. Green Shipping and Delivery

Opting for green shipping and delivery can greatly reduce your impact and costs, which can be achieved through green packing materials, minimizing packing materials, and using compact packaging. Also, using a routing app will make delivery more efficient and fast, encouraging the use of bicycles, and reducing air pollution from cars and motorcycles.

10. Charitable Contributions

Business can also be more environmentally sustainable through charitable contributions, such as starting a promotion, donating a percentage of profits to charity or starting a fundraiser.

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to make positive changes to your business and play your role in preventing environmental damage.

Why Do We Need Solid Waste Management?

Some countries have achieved considerable success in solid waste management. But the rest of the world is grappling to deal with its wastes. In these places, improper management of solid waste continues to impact public health of entire communities and cities; pollute local water, air and land resources; contribute to climate change and ocean plastic pollution; hinder climate change adaptation; and accelerate depletion of forests and mines.

Garbage_Bangalore

Compared to solid waste management, we can consider that the world has achieved significant success in providing other basic necessities like food, drinking water, energy and economic opportunities. Managing solid wastes properly can help improve the above services further.

Composting of organic waste can help nurture crops and result in a better agricultural yield. Reducing landfilling and building sanitary landfills will reduce ground and surface water pollution which can help provide cleaner drinking water. Energy recovery from non-recyclable wastes can satiate significant portion of a city’s energy requirement.

Inclusive waste management where informal waste recyclers are involved can provide an enormous economic opportunity to the marginalized urban poor. Additionally, a good solid waste management plan with cost recovery mechanisms can free tax payers money for other issues. In the case of India, sustainable solid waste management in 2011 would have provided

  • 9.6 million tons of compost that could have resulted in a better agricultural yield
  • energy equivalent to 58 million barrels of oil from non-recyclable wastes
  • 6.7 million tons of secondary raw materials to industries in the form of recyclable materials and livelihood to the urban poor

Solid waste management until now has only been a social responsibility of the corporate world or one of the services to be provided by the municipality and a non-priority for national governments. However, in Mumbai, the improperly managed wastes generate 22,000 tons of toxic pollutants like particulate matter, carbon monoxide, nitrous and sulfur oxides in addition to 10,000 grams of carcinogenic dioxins and furans every year. These numbers are only for the city of Mumbai. This is the case in cities all across the developing world. There are numerous examples where groundwater is polluted by heavy metals and organic contaminants due to solid waste landfills.

Solid waste management expenditure of above $ 1 billion per year competes with education, poverty, security and other sustainable initiatives in New York City. Fossil fuels for above 500,000 truck trips covering hundreds of miles are required to transport NYC’s waste to landfills outside the city and state. Similarly, New Delhi spends more than half of its entire municipal budget on solid waste management, while it is desperate for investments and maintenance of roads, buildings, and other infrastructure.

Solid waste management is not just a corporate social responsibility or a non-priority service anymore. Improper waste management is a public health and environmental crisis, economic loss, operational inefficiency and political and public awareness failure. Integrated solid waste management can be a nation building exercise for healthier and wealthier communities. Therefore, it needs global attention to arrive at solutions which span across such a wide range of issues.

The Importance of Waste-to-Energy in Solid Waste Management

Waste-to-energy has been evolving over the years and there are many new developments in this technology, moving in mainly one direction – to be able to applied to smaller size waste streams. Not only is it a strategy that has real importance for the current public policy, it is a strategy that will definitely present itself to additional areas.

waste-management-energy

More than 50% of waste that is burnt in waste-to-energy facilities is already part of the short carbon cycle. In which case, it has an organic derivative and it doesn’t add to climate change, to begin with. The long form carbon that is burned, things like plastics that have come out of the ground in the form of oil do add to climate change. But, they have already been used once. They have already been extracted once and what we are doing is taking the energy out of them after that physical use, capturing some of that (energy), thereby offsetting more carbon from natural gas or oil or coal. So, the net effect is a reduction in carbon emissions.

Waste-to-energy and recycling are complementary depending on the results of analyses of the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics, which are absolutely valid. One can decide in specific situations whether WTE or whether some type of recycling technology would be more appropriate. It is not an either/or option.

WTE_Plant_Belgium

Waste-to-Energy is now widely accepted as a part of sustainable waste management strategy.

In Austria, it was possible to have an absolute ban on landfilling wastes exceeding 5% organic carbon. This is written in law since 1996. There were some exceptions for some period of time, but landfills of organic wastes are just banned, not just in Austria but also in other cultures similar to Austria – like Switzerland, Sweden and Germany.

Note: This excerpt is being published with the permission of our collaborative partner Be Waste Wise. The original excerpt and its video recording can be found at this link

Municipal Solid Wastes in Bahrain

Bahrain has the distinction of being one of the highest per capita municipal solid waste generators worldwide estimated to be more than 1.80 kg per person per day. Infact, Bahrain produces largest amount of waste per person among GCC countries despite being the smallest nation in the region. Rising population, high waste generation growth rate, limited land availability and scarcity of waste disposal sites has made solid waste management a highly challenging task for Bahrain’s policy-makers, urban planners and municipalities.

Bahrain_Wastes

Municipal Solid Wastes in Bahrain

Bahrain generates more than 1.2 million tons of solid wastes every year. Daily garbage production across the tiny Gulf nation exceeds 4,500 tons. Municipal solid waste is characterized by high percentage of organic material (around 60 percent) which is mainly composed of food wastes.

Presence of high percent of recyclables in the form of paper (13 percent), plastics (7 percent) and glass (4 percent) makes Bahrain’s MSW a good recycling feedstock, though informal sectors are currently responsible for collection of collection of recyclables and recycling activities

The Kingdom of Bahrain is divided into five governorates namely Manama, Muharraq, Middle, Southern and Northern. Waste collection and disposal operation in Bahrain is managed by a couple of private contractors. The prevalent solid waste management scenario is to collect solid waste and dump it at the municipal landfill site at Askar.

Askar, the only existing landfill/dumpsite in Bahrain, caters to municipal wastes, agricultural wastes and non-hazardous industrial wastes. Spread over an area of more than 700 acres, the landfill is expected to reach its capacity within the next few years. The proximity of Askar landfill to urban habitats has been a cause of major environmental concern. Waste accumulation is increasing at a rapid pace which is bound to have serious impacts on air, soil and groundwater quality in the surrounding areas.

Conclusions

The Kingdom of Bahrain is grappling with waste management problems arising out of high population growth rate, rapid industrialization, high per capita waste generation, unorganized SWM sector, limited land resources and poor public awareness.

The government is trying hard to improve waste management scenario by launching recycling initiatives, waste-to-energy project and public awareness campaign. However more efforts, in the form of effective legislation, large-scale investments, modern SWM technology deployment and environmental awareness, are required from all stake holders to implement a sustainable waste management system in Bahrain.

How to Make Your House More Eco-Friendly?

Most people want to do what they can to help the environment. After all, this planet is our home, and it doesn’t benefit us if we’re destroying it. That being said, it can be incredibly hard to live an eco-friendly life. It often requires time, money, and resources that the average person doesn’t have. Luckily, there are a few ways that you can live a more eco-friendly life that don’t require any major changes or sacrifices. These are changes that most people can easily make. And, as with most things, change tends to start at home. That’s why, in this post, we’ll be discussing four ways that you can make your house more eco-friendly.

1. Support eco-friendly services

We all make use of services when it comes to our house. We constantly call people in to fix things, or to clean things. So, why not rather support a company that isn’t harming the earth?

office-cleaning

Other than doing some research and making the switch, this will require minimal effort from your side but can make a big difference when it comes to the environment. For example, next time you need your carpets cleaned, why not try an earth-friendly carpet cleaning system?

2. Recycle

It’s a well-known fact that recycling is one of the most common topics that are brought up when it comes to living a more eco-friendly life. And yet, many people don’t recycle. That’s because many of them don’t know what recycling entails.

We’re not saying you need to make homemade paper out of your old scraps of paper (although you absolutely can, if the idea interests you) but simply separating your recyclable items from the non-recyclable items will make it much better for recycling companies to do their jobs. If you need more information, click here for a list of what can be recycled.

3. Make use of alternative energy sources

Every single day, nearly every person on this planet uses some form of electricity, and a lot of it negatively impacts the world. That’s why more and more people are being encouraged to make the switch to alternative or renewable energy sources. Wind energy is a popular choice, but it’s not suitable for all regions.

solar-energy-diy

Solar panels, on the other hand, can be utilized by most households. While solar energy used to be a rare luxury that few could afford, the increase in demand means that it’s now more affordable than ever.

4. Make your own compost

Compost is great for various reasons. It’s good for the environment, it means that you waste less product, and it’s great for your garden. So, with all that in mind, we can’t think of a single reason not to make your own compost!

compost_strategies

Many people shy away from composting because they find the idea of it unappealing, but the truth is that it can be a very rewarding thing. The least you can do is to try composting – if it’s not for you, you can be eco-friendly in other ways!

How to Get Emergency Cash Loans and Make Money From Waste

Most of the time, if you want to make more money, you will have to put in more time and work. But what if I told you that you could turn things you normally throw away into money? You might think it’s impossible to do something like this, but you can! You can make money by recycling many things you throw away in the bins. When you recycle, you not only help the environment, but you also help your finances.

recycling-in-offices

Can I make money from waste?

Recycling materials and discovering new applications for waste can provide a source of income for anyone and even pave the way for the launch and operation of a thriving business. Trash needs to be disposed of appropriately at all times in today’s modern society. The process of recycling trash unlocks the value contained within the trash, which in turn helps the local economy and generates new job opportunities.

How can I get cash instantly or in an emergency?

When you suddenly need cash, some of the most common places to turn to are financial institutions like banks and credit unions. When compared to those offered by other types of bad credit direct lenders, the interest rates that traditional lending organizations offer are often lower.

Most people will turn to friends or family for a loan when they are bound and require money. But if none of your friends or relatives can assist you, or if you need more money than they can offer, it might be time to look into other options, like asking for quick cash at PaydayChampion.

How can I make money by recycling?

Now, recycling probably won’t be able to take the place of your regular job, but it can help you bring in some “fun” money on the side. For example, you might get about $5 per pound for your used cans if you sell them. This additional $5 per week could result in an additional $260 per year in earnings. The following is a list of items that can be recycled for monetary compensation:

  • Cans and Bottles
  • Old Books
  • Corks from wine bottles
  • Boxes of Cardboard
  • Ink Cartridges
  • Gift Cards Unused
  • Cooking Oil Vintage Electronics
  • Metal scrap
  • Batteries and Junk Cars
  • Clothing, Accessories, and Home Goods

What do you do when you have no money?

When you have no money, you should proceed as follows:

  • Make sure you have enough food for three to four weeks.
  • Try negotiating all payments you must make and request a “payment holiday.”
  • Apply for all urgent money schemes that you are eligible for.
  • Maintain a clean, tidy, and appropriately dressed appearance.
  • Begin earning money right away.
  • Don’t let your brain drown out all your other ideas by screaming, ‘I don’t have any money.’

How can you convert waste to wealth?

If these plastics can’t be recycled, they should be used to make concrete as an alternative fuel or filtered through waste-to-energy methods like pyrolysis if these aren’t possible. One way to solve this problem would be to give trash collection companies that pick up single-use and low-value plastics money to encourage them to do so. This would help solve the problem by adding to the stock and be a solution in and of itself.

How to Start a Career in Waste Recycling

What do you need to know about recycling companies?

Recycling trash is a fantastic opportunity for waste management companies. You must first understand how it all works to make money from this.

  • First, you must locate the ideal location for your company. If you want your business to last long, find it near a lot of trash.
  • Second, collaborating with the people who pick up trash in your neighborhood is always a good idea.
  • Third, learn about the licenses you need and the laws you must follow. These licenses are an operating license or permit, an inspection to ensure safety standards are met, and an environmental license.
  • Fourth, research the Solid Waste Management Plan for the town or region where you intend to open your business.

One of the topics that waste management companies frequently discuss is how to make money by recycling trash. It is a resource that has been around since the beginning of time. It can be reused or converted into energy. In either case, you can turn these tons of trash into treasure.

What are the advantages of converting my trash into cash?

To summarize, circular material trading is an excellent way to profit from your waste streams because:

  • You create a new source of income “from nothing” by selling items that most people do not believe are valuable.
  • You do not pay to have your trash picked up; you are compensated for it.
  • You can get a competitive price for your items, usually higher than what you can get from a recycling center.
  • Because waste materials are manufactured, as usual, you do not need to spend more money to achieve a high-profit margin.

How is circular material trading profitable?

Almost every business, regardless of industry, has an input of material resources and an output of material waste. Selling waste to be reused rather than sent to a waste facility generates a new revenue stream for the company.

This is known as circular material trading because it reroutes the linear resource-to-waste trajectory seen in typical business productions into a circular loop by converting waste back into resources.

What are the economic benefits of waste management?

Increasing the market value of waste while simultaneously reducing the amount of trash dumped in landfills can be accomplished by strategically managing waste at its sources. Recycling waste has the potential to generate financial advantages for the community. Nevertheless, the circumstances and situations of the global market significantly impact the cost of waste used or goods.

Waste Management Progress in Nigeria’s Delta State

Waste management is a serious problem in Nigeria, and Delta State is no exception. It is a problem that starts at a cultural level: many of the populace believe that once they remove waste from their homes it is no longer their concern. It is a problem that starts at a cultural level: many of the populace believe that once they remove waste from their homes it is no longer their concern, and you often see people disposing of their household waste in the streets at night. Once the waste gets out into the streets, it’s perceived as the duty of the government to handle it.

However, I have never yet heard of any Nigerian politician making waste management a feature of his or her manifesto during the election campaign process. Having said that, a few of Nigeria’s political leaders deserve to be commended for coming to terms with the fact that waste has to be managed properly, even if such issues were far from their minds when they entered political office.

waste-management-nigeria

Legislation and Framework

Nigeria does have a waste legislation framework in place. Its focus has been on the most toxic and hazardous waste: partly in response to some major pollution incidents in the 1980s, the government took powers in relation to Hazardous Waste in 1988. In the same year, the Federal Environmental Protection Agency was established – and was subsequently strengthened by the addition of an inspectorate and enforcement department arm in 1991, with divisions for standard regulation, chemical tracking and compliance monitoring. These laws have since given rise to regulations and guidelines pertaining to environmental and waste management issues.

Under our laws, waste management in each state is the duty of the local governments that fall within it, but few are taking an active approach to implementing and enforcing the sensible measures that the regulations require. A small number of states have taken over this task from local government, and Delta State’s decision to do this has led to significant new investment in waste management.

One of the fruits of that investment is the Delta State Integrated Waste Management Facility at Asaba for treating both household and clinical waste generated locally. It was developed when the Delta State government decided to put an end to the non-sustainable dumping of waste in Asaba, the state capital.

Integrated Waste Management Facility at Asaba

It is described as an integrated waste management facility because it includes a composting department, a recycling department and a (non-WTE) incineration department. Trucks carrying waste are weighed in as they come into the facility. From the weigh bridge, they move to the relevant reception bay – there are separate ones for household and clinical wastes – to tip their load, and are then weighed again on the way out.

Medical waste is taken directly for incineration, but household wastes are sent along conveyors for sorting. Recyclables and compostable materials are, so far as possible, separated both from other waste and from one another. Each recyclable stream ends up in a chamber where it can be prepared for sale. The compostable materials are moved to the composting section, which uses aerated static pile composting.

The remaining waste is conveyed into the three incinerators – moving grate, rotary kiln and fixed end– for combustion. The resulting ash is recycled by mixing it with cement and sharp sand and moulding it into interlocking tiles. The stacks of the three incinerators are fitted with smoke cleaning systems to reduce emissions. The process produces wastewater, which is channelled to a pit where it is treated and reused. Overall, 30% of the waste is composted, 15% recycled and 55% incinerated.

There are many examples of sophisticated waste infrastructure being built in developing countries, but failing because the necessary collection systems were not in place to support them. To ensure that this problem is avoided at Asaba, the Delta State government is working with a group known as the Private Sector Participants (PSP).

Each member of this group has trucks assigned to them and has been directed to collect household waste from different parts of the city, for delivery to the facility for treatment. The arrangements made by each PSP are different: some collect from outside individual properties, and some from communal sites; most collect waste that is found in the streets; and while each is subsidised by the state, households also have to pay towards the cost.

Before the Asaba waste management facility was developed, most of the wastes generated in Asaba were disposed of at a dumpsite just adjacent to the Delta State Airport. This created a pungent odour, as well as visual disamenity for people nearby. A great deal of remediation work is now taking place at the dumpsite, which is vastly improving the local environmental quality.

War on Waste

Of course, although this is an improvement there remains more to do. First on the list is education. People do not know how sustainable waste management can impact positively in their lives, reducing their exposure to toxins as well as improving their surroundings. Nor do they understand that recycling a beverage can or a plastic bottle will cost less than producing one from virgin materials and will have a lesser environmental impact. There remains a good deal of cultural change and environmental education that is needed before people will stop throwing waste and litter on the streets – but there are few countries where, to some extent, the same would not be true.

Next is the lack of infrastructure. Nigeria has 36 states and a federal capital, yet the facility in Asaba is the first publicly commissioned one of its kind in the country; there are also some privately owned incinerators that a few companies in Port Harcourt use to treat wastes from vessels (ships), hospitals and industries. Lagos state and Abuja are relatively advanced, simply by virtue of having put in place a few managed landfills, but they are still far from having the level of facility that Asaba can now boast.

The backbone of Asaba’s progress is the state government’s commitment to put a proper waste management solution in place. We’ve seen the impact in the form of infrastructure, collections and remediation, and law enforcement work is starting to change people’s perception about waste management in Delta State. At the moment, plans are being concluded to setup another facility in Warri, Delta State’s industrial hub, which will be twice the size of the Asaba facility.?

My hope is that the progress made by Delta State will be a beacon for other states’ governments. The example we are providing of cleaner, hygienic, more environmentally responsible waste management, and the positive changes that is bringing about, should inspire new development elsewhere in the country, which could equal or even exceed Delta State’s results. So whilst Nigeria’s track record on waste may leave a lot to be desired, the path ahead could be a great deal more promising.

Note: The article is being republished with the kind permission of our collaborative partner Isonomia. The original article can be found at this link.

Waste Minimisation – Role of Public, Private and Community Sector

When it comes to waste minimisation and moving material up the waste hierarchy you will find partisan advocates for the roles of the public, private and community sectors. Each will tell you the reasons why their sector’s approach is the best. The private sector will extol their virtues as the only ones capable of efficiently and effectively doing the job.  They rightly note that they are the providers on the front lines who actually recover the vast majority of material, that the private sector approach drives innovation and efficiency, and that if waste minimisation is to be sustainable this must include economic sustainability.

 

The community sector on the other hand will make a strong case to say that their model, because it commonly encompasses social, environmental, and economic outcomes, is able to leverage value from recovered materials to dig deeper into the waste stream, to optimise recovered material quality, and to maximise employment and local economic benefit.

Before recycling and composting were economically viable prospects, community sector organisations led the way, developing many of the techniques now widely used. They remain the leaders in marginal areas such as furniture reuse, running projects that deliver environmental outcomes while providing wider community benefits such as rehabilitation and training for marginalised groups.

Finally, in the public sector corner, advocates will point out that the profit-driven private sector will only ever recover those materials that are able to generate positive revenues, and so cannot maximise waste minimisation, while social outcomes are strictly a secondary consideration. The community sector, on the other hand, while encompassing non-monetary values and capable of effective action on a local scale, is not set up to deliver these benefits on a larger scale and can sometimes struggle to deliver consistent, professional levels of service.

The public sector can point to government’s role in legislating to promote consistent environmental and social outcomes, while councils are major providers and commissioners of recycling services and instrumental in shaping public perceptions around waste issues. The public sector often leads in directing activity towards non-monetary but otherwise valuable outcomes, and provides the framework and funding for equity of service levels.

So who is right? Each sector has good arguments in its favour, and each has its weaknesses. Does one approach carry the day?  Should we just mix and match according to our personal taste or based on what is convenient?

Perhaps we are asking the wrong question. Maybe the issue is not “which approach is better?” but instead “how might the different models help us get to where we ultimately want to go?”

Smells Like Waste Minimisation

So where do we want to go?  What is the waste minimisation end game?

If we think about things from a zero waste perspective, the ideal is that we should move from linear processes of extraction, processing, consumption and disposal, to cyclical processes that mimic nature and that re-integrate materials into economic and natural systems.  This is the nirvana – where nothing is ‘thrown away’ because everything has a further beneficial use.  In other words what we have is not waste but resources.  Or to put it another way – everything has value.

Assuming that we continue to operate in an essentially capitalist system, value has to be translated into economic terms.  Imagine if every single thing that we now discard was worth enough money to motivate its recovery.  We would throw nothing away: why would we if there was money to be made from it?

So in a zero waste nirvana the private sector and the community sector would take care of recovery almost automatically.  There might evolve a community and private sector mix, with each occupying different niches depending on desired local outcomes. There would be no need for the public sector to intervene to promote waste minimisation.  All it would need to do would be to set some ground rules and monitor the industry to ensure a level playing field and appropriate health and safety.

Sectoral Healing

Returning to reality, we are a long way from that zero waste nirvana.  As things stand, a bunch of materials do have economic value, and are widely recycled. Another layer of materials have marginal value, and the remainder have no value in practical terms (or even a negative value in the case of hazardous wastes).

The suggested shift in perspective is most obvious in terms of how we think about the role of the public sector. To bring us closer to our goal, the public sector needs to intervene in the market to support those materials of marginal value so that they join the group that has genuine value.

Kerbside (or curbside) collection of certain materials, such as glass and lower value plastics, is an example of an activity that is in effect subsidised by public money. These subsidies enable the private sector to achieve environmental outcomes that we deem sufficiently worthwhile to fund.

However, the public sector should not just be plugging a gap in the market (as it largely does now), but be working towards largely doing itself out of a job. If we are to progress towards a cyclical economy, the role of the public sector should not be to subsidise marginal materials in perpetuity, but to progressively move them from marginal to genuinely economic, so that they no longer require support.

At the same time new materials would be progressively targeted and brought through so that the range and quantity requiring disposal constantly shrinks.  This suggests a vital role for the public sector that encompasses research, funding for development of new technologies and processes, and setting appropriate policy and price structures (such as through taxes, levies, or product stewardship programmes).

Similarly, the community sector, because it is able to ‘dig deeper’ into the waste stream, has a unique and ongoing role to play in terms of being able to more effectively address those materials of marginal value as they begin to move up the hierarchy.  The community sector’s unique value is its ability to work at the frontiers.

Meanwhile, the private sector’s resources and creativity will be needed to enable efficient systems to be developed to manage collection, processing and recycling of materials that reach the threshold of economic viability – and to create new, more sustainable products that fit more readily into a waste minimising world.

In the end, then, perhaps the answer is to stop seeing the three models as being in competition. Instead, we should consciously be utilising the unique characteristics of each so that we can evolve our practices towards a future that is more functional and capable of delivering the circular economy that must eventuate if we are to sustain ourselves on this planet.

Note: The article is being republished with the kind permission of our collaborative partner Isonomia. The original article can be viewed at this link

11 Ideas for Easier Recycling at Home

Going green isn’t just meant for Earth Day. Going green is a way of life. However, Earth Day is a day we pause and commemorate, acknowledge and support environmental programs and Earth-saving strategies. It is also a great day to commit or recommit to employ earth-friendly practices in your life, at home and in the office. There are countless things you can do to “go green.” Most of these things are ease to incorporate into your life. Recycling is one of the easiest ways to go green. Recycling is the process of obtaining or retaining waste and converting it into usable, new materials. Some things that can be used to recycle are:

Recycling is actually a great way to conserve raw resources and save energy. Recycling at least one ton of paper can save 7,000 gallons of water and 17 trees, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Hiring a skip would help recycle that amount of paper and you can click here for ideas for ideas on the size of the skip you could employ.

As you see, recycling is an effective and simple way to help the environment. It is something the entire family can do too. Before recycling, call your local waste management services. Determine how to you need to sort and pack items for recycling. In addition, you want to know what day or days the waste management services collects recycling. Check with them to find out where you safely dispose of light bulbs, hazardous materials and batteries. These cannot be recycled or put in the trash.

Your local waste management recycling service has different rules about how items must be sorted, cleaned and packaged. Metal, cardboard, plastics, aluminum, glass and paper can be recycled.

It can be tricky to recycle plastics because some can break down easier than other plastics. The number located on the plastic item will determine if it can be recycled. It will also determine if the plastic can be picked up for recycling.

Source: Fix.com

Although plastics are trickier to sort and recycle, it’s important to dispose of them properly. One important factor to establishing a recycling a program at work, school or home is to create a system that works for everyone. Here are a few ways to recycle at home:

Source: DIY Swank

Recycling is about convenience, convenience, and more convenience! When incorporating a successful program about which you can read in the essay about recycling, make bins easily accessible. They should be in an area that is easily visible and used like the utility room or kitchen where they can be seen and used

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Now, if you need a simple recycling system everyone can follow (even kids), use caster and baskets. These are easy to access and use. They slide out of site when not in use.

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Use space by going vertical. You can hook bins on walls to utilize space. It will be easy to sort and store.

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Another way to make a successful recycling program is to make it fun. Use stylish bins and trash cans to recycle items.

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Another way to make a successful recycling program is to make it fun. Use stylish bins and trash cans to recycle items.

You may not have time to personally decorate trash cans by spray painting them. How about using printable labels. These labels can go generic bins to help separate recyclables.

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Batteries are not to be recycled. They cannot be put into a trash can for non-recycling either. Instead, they should be properly thrown away at a collection center or a participating auto part store. The same thing should be done with light bulbs.

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Make a special area of your home or office to use as a personal sorting center. This is where you can sort and clean recyclables. You may want to look at some personal recycling centers to get an understand of what you need.

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Many people do not have an area they can keep bulky recycling or trash in the home or office. If this is the case for you, create a dedicated spot in the garage or other area. It won’t take long before your family or co-workers are pitching in to recycle.

Recycling is full of great ideas to help the environment. Find the ones you like. Used them in your successful recycling program.

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