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Waste Reduction

Six city initiatives to increase waste management and reduce emissions

Improved waste management can bring swift and locally-felt benefits for every city, starting with those that are setting up waste management systems in the very first instance to cities that have advanced waste management systems that are moving towards the zero-waste model. This article outlines the top six actions that a city could adopt to improve its waste management. Click the links to discover the best ways to implement these steps.

Set up a city’s universal collection system and secure disposal.

This is the basis of a sustainable waste management system that is sustainable.

Create infrastructure for collecting, including transfer systems, collection infrastructure as well as operational plans. You may want to consider using small vehicles built on a chassis that is widely accessible locally, and avoid duplicated collection routes, and limit the distance from disposal.

In partnership with the informal sector of waste (if it is there), create a plan to formalize it as well as improve the working conditions of the waste pickers.

Set up requirements for the segregation of waste generated by large producers of destruction, like factories or markets.

Make sure that there is at least that the waste is disposed of to a clean landfill that is gas flaring. Ideally, landfill gas should be utilized to generate energy and also reduce and divert waste using the methods below.

Learn more about how to manage organic waste and food waste within Global South cities as well as in towns with advanced waste management methods.

Increase the rate of recycling.

Establish recycling priorities by gathering and analyzing waste data. You can also seek data from cities with similar sizes.

Recycling services should be easy to make use of by implementing door-to-door collection or drop-off programs, utilizing single-stream bins with convenient designs, and increasing the number of materials that can be recycled.

Encourage recycling and encourage it with deposit schemes, pay-as-you-throw policies, and local regulations on items that are not recyclable.

Create precise and targeted communication campaigns that provide ease of access to information about recycling options. Make use of positive and appealing messages that are a hit with the public, like public pride and sustainability, cost savings, and the creation of jobs.

Get the buy-in of collectors and waste management professionals by making it easier for them and providing incentives like revenue-sharing mechanisms.

Explore opportunities to design loops of material that funnel recycled materials back to local businesses.

Cities that have established and efficient waste management systems must also:

Reduce waste production and encourage the development of a circular economy.

Set up pay-as-you-throw waste charges to encourage people to produce less waste.

Make source segregation mandatory. Set up incentives to minimize the amount of waste that remains. For instance, you can charge less for organics and recyclables compared to the residual waste and offer smaller containers for residual waste.

Make rules to eliminate single-use plastics and other non-recyclable substances within the city. Be supportive of any national or regional government policies regarding expanded producer accountability rules as well as deposit programs in order to help producers return materials and encourage the creation of more recyclable goods.

Encourage reuse, cut down consumption, and reduce waste by encouraging reuse and repair shops, renting of products or sharing (also known as goods-as -service model of business) and other initiatives like fairs for exchange.

Establish policies to recycle buildings to create new purposes and to save materials for reuse by demolition. This is crucial to cut down on the amount of waste substances that end up in the trash stream after buildings are destroyed.


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Jane S. King

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