Cities hold the largest concentrations of consumers, and hence, polluters. While environmental consciousness has significantly improved, the growing population and demand for convenience can easily override green initiatives. Permanent solutions are, thus, necessary.
The Zero Waste Movement is a continuing effort powered by a diverse pool of organisations, businesses and individuals. Its primary goal is to prevent trash from reaching the landfill, by achieving a closed loop from production and consumption, all the way to waste. A few countries, including the UK, have taken on the challenge of producing zero waste, but is it possible? What can urban communities do to achieve it?
The Problem with Landfills
Landfills are rapidly filling up, and to accommodate huge volumes of trash, valuable resources and energy are wasted. Landfill operations also release greenhouse gases and particulates into the atmosphere. And while the methane produced in these operations is convertible to energy, the costs and environmental effects are still worrisome. Add to that the fact that a very large percentage of non-renewable materials sent to landfills could have been reused, re purposed or recycled. If every person sends all his or her rubbish to the landfill, it perpetuates a linear route from disposal to landfill.
Setting zero waste and recycling goals is the first step. Supporting this with strong policies and bold efforts is next. Both the public and private sectors should actively champion recycling by providing incentives, sharing strategies, and moving towards a green, less consumption-based economy.
The Individual’s Role
Individual consumers can support the movement by being mindful shoppers and consumers. They must try to find ways to repurpose or reuse materials and read up on what they can recycle. Composting appropriate waste, such as food and other biodegradable materials, should become a habit. Hair clippings and newspapers, for instance, are fantastic compost ingredients. For it to become a habit, consumers should see past consumption and disposal as the end of an item’s purpose.
As an advocate of the movement, LKM offers responsible recycling solutions to help the UK meet its recycling targets and help businesses manage their waste streams, with an intention of moving towards zero waste. Feel free to give us a call to know more about our services.