Learning More About The Zero Waste Concept
Waste causes great loss of value and resources. Humans are the only species that create waste. We can learn to identify all types of waste and through theirelimination, save money and achieve a more sustainable world.
Zero Waste – What is it all about?
The visionary goal of Zero Waste expresses the need for a closed-loop industrial/societal system as suggested below. Waste is a sign of inefficiency. Our use of the term Zero Waste includes “Zero Solid Waste,” “Zero Hazardous Waste,” “Zero Toxics” and “Zero Emissions.”
Zero Waste, a visionary goal that strives for:
• Zero waste of resources – 100% efficiency of energy, materials, and human resources
• Zero solid waste
• Zero hazardous waste
• Zero emissions-to air, water or soil
• Zero waste in production activities
• Zero waste in administrative activities
• Zero waste in product life cycle
• Zero toxics
• Reduced risks to employees
• Reduced risks to the environment
• Reduced presence of toxics creates less hazardous waste
• Closed loops for materials
• Reduced costs
A Zero Waste strategy leads us to look for inefficiencies in the use of materials, energy and human resources. To achieve a sustainable future, extremeefficiency in the use of all resources will be required in order to meet the needs of all of the earth’s inhabitants. A Zero Waste strategy directly supportsthis requirement.
Zero waste is broadly applicable:
The benefits of a Zero Waste strategy can be achieved in nearly any kind of organization. Some examples are:
• Community programs can be designed to consider all uses of materials and energy both in operations and services. Focus on zero solid waste tolandfills and zero wasted energy can result in new jobs not only in the recovery process, but also in the use of recovered waste products as raw materials toproduce new products.
• Business programs can be designed to uses of energy and materials in products, processes and services. Focus on increasing efficiency by eliminatingsolid and hazardous waste, process wastes, wastes in production operations (motion, time, over production, misprinted invoices, etc.) and striving for energyreduction.
• Industry-wide programs can be very effective if the industry members are willing to work together. As such, it reaches its maximum effectiveness inreducing energy and material use and achieving environmental improvements.
• School programs when applied to all school activities and classroom teaching can save money while providing important education to help the youngergeneration be prepared to contend with coming changes. Zero waste can be applied not only to energy and material use, but also in the facilities plant,offices, classrooms and cafeteria.
• Home programs can be developed that include energy savings, changes in purchasing habits, reduction in the toxicity of cleaning agents, use of moreappropriate fertilizers and pesticides. This can help provide badly needed education for the general population.
For more info, visit http://www.zerowaste.org/index.htm or call 503-279-9383.