Waste generation is a complex issue that encompasses twenty or more industries across the world. The United States alone is accountable for 220 million tonnes of waste annually, and this figure is projected to grow. By 2020, waste produced worldwide is projected to increase to 2.2 billion tonnes according to the World Bank.
Poor waste management accelerates the spread of disease, contributes to the very real problem of climate change through methane gas released into the atmosphere, and can contribute to urban violence. This is even more evident in more impoverished cities where bulky trash such as washing machines and equipment can be used to block roads, while broken bottles and metal poles are re-purposed as crude weapons.
Controlling Waste, Protecting Life on Earth
We don’t even have to see astronomical numbers or photos of poor cities covered in trash. A wad of used tissue lying on the sidewalk or gum wrappers thrown from someone’s car is enough of an eyesore and may even be the cause of minor altercations.
More than having the right equipment and workforce to handle the job, waste management is a collective effort. Individuals from different communities come together to work with their government or in partnership with private firms to create a waste management programme.
In developing countries, programmes are developed to engage the poorest communities to informally work as pickers to collect, sort, and recycle 15 – 20 % of re-generated waste. This is but one way of engaging citizens, especially those most affected by it, to make a difference not only in their lives but to those in their community and country.
A Mark of Ingenuity and Professionalism for Liveable Cities
Some firms offer total waste management services to their clients. A speciality of theirs is recycling ferrous materials into wood and UPVC recycling. They also recycle copper wire, often re-used not only as decorative items but in technological and domestic items as well, such as bulbs, chips and machine turnings. Copper wire recycling also uses less energy than mining new virgin ore, providing energy savings of 85 – 90%
Creating liveable cities or liveable environments is essential in guaranteeing a future for everyone on this earth. Recycling may not be the most glamorous tasks of humankind but it ensures continuity and persistence for our only home.