By Grupo Edisur
Every year, between 7 billion and 10 billion tons of waste are produced in the world. The question is what do we do with them? The best answer is none other than the implementation of a proper garbage management system.
What are the benefits of sustainable waste management?
- Public savings for the countries.
- Care in the health of citizens. Infections, respiratory diseases, etc. are avoided.
- Reduction of greenhouse gases involved in climate change.
- Energy generation.
- Creation of "green jobs".
- Economic benefits estimated in hundreds of billions of dollars.
According to a study carried out by the United Nations Environment Program (Unep) and the International Solid Waste Association (Iswa), there are 10 cities that are model in this. Grupo Edisur tells you which are these exemplary places.
-Bo (Sierra Leone): 120 tons of garbage are generated per day. The solution came in 2013, when foundations and citizens implemented a system that created jobs and new products from recycling.
-Bogotá (Colombia): the Zero Waste program has informal recyclers and a public-private system that allows the diversion of 1,200 tons of waste per day from the sanitary landfill and employs 8,250 people in 250 recycling plants.
-Cebu (Philippines): the private sector and NGOs have applied a model since 2005, which separates biodegradable, recyclable and organic waste. It promotes environmental education campaigns, and a system of fines and incentives, which reduced garbage by 30% and created 200 green jobs.
-Cochabamba (Bolivia): in 2007 the eco-collectors were launched, which managed to treat 29 thousand tons of waste per year and the creation of 443 jobs.
- Dhaka (Bangladesh): the first step was taken by activists and their collection campaigns. Today a door-to-door system stands out in homes and vegetable markets for subsequent composting.
- Flanders (Belgium): has the highest growth in the recovery of waste in Europe, going from almost zero in 1980 to 73% in 2013 as a result of its policies, environmental education, 340 recyclable parks and the "Pay As You Throw" : the less garbage your citizens produce, the less taxes they pay.
- Malmö (Sweden): after 12 years of the “Eco-cycle” model, only 0.7% of the garbage reaches the landfill. The rest is reused, covering 60% of the heating needs. In addition, 25 thousand tons of biofertilizer are produced annually, 10 thousand tons of compost and biogas.
- Milan (Italy): for two years 91 kilos of organic waste have been collected per capita per year and 120,000 tons are recovered via composting. The key: door-to-door organic waste collectors, recycling plants and a society trained in environmental issues.
-Kiribati (Oceania): in 2000 a practice of separation at origin was launched; in 2004, a deposit system for beverage containers, and in 2012, a system of payment for garbage bags that has reduced the amount of garbage and caused 60% less waste in the landfill.
-Singapore (Asia): its management model aims to understand garbage as a resource, thus it is reused as electricity. There are door-to-door collectors and environmental education and packaging waste reduction programs.
Buenos Aires, on the way
According to the report, the zero waste law has not yet achieved its most ambitious goals, although the intensive recycling of construction waste, educational campaigns and the implementation of selective collection are highlighted, especially with the work of recyclers and cartoneros. , who obtain a source of income.
Sources: United Nations Environment Program, Waste Ideas Laboratory, Eroski Foundation, Professional Waste.