The primary solution to waste management in Australia involves dumping all of our waste materials in a landfill. However, this cannot be the permanent solution that helps to get rid of the waste generated in our households. What we need is a better method of managing the waste generated in our households. We need to pay attention to the way we handle the waste management techniques. One example to follow regarding this is that of the city of San Francisco, which has been able to divert more than 80 percent of its waste from the landfills.
San Francisco has been able to change its waste management techniques by using public policy and educating the public about the negative consequences of the waste collecting in the landfills. It has taken bold measures in the field of composting, recycling and reusing of the waste materials. There have also been initiatives towards reducing the consumption levels in order to reduce the waste being sent to the landfill or to the incinerators nearby. San Francisco has aimed to reach zero waste, by practicing a series of different measures to control the city’s waste.
What steps have been taken to achieve this?
One of the main steps taken by San Francisco was to make recycling and composting a main requirement for businesses and residential areas. This ensured that everyone took active steps to contribute to the waste management process. The city also began to do away with the items that were hazardous for the environment such as plastic bags and Styrofoam articles. A series of market-driven changes were adopted, which made it economically viable to undertake these measures and see them through success.
People were incentivized for positive behavior when it came to waste management and penalized for their negative behavior such as littering or disposing of recyclable materials in the trash. Businesses were charged according to the amount of waste thrown out by them. They received discounts for using more of the recyclable and composting bins and were penalized for not complying with the directives.
It has become possible to reduce the volume of waste thrown out in San Francisco due to the scale of its recycling initiative. There are trained individuals who specialize in sifting through all of the recyclable materials and arranging them according to their usability. These are then sent to the recycling plants, where they are further sorted and arranged for future use. The compost generated from the compostable materials is converted to fertilizer, which is then used in the farms for aiding the growth of the crops.
How can we replicate this model successfully?
Given the huge benefits of managing waste successfully, it can be extremely beneficial for other cities the world over to make the necessary changes in their waste management policy. Some of the steps that can be taken by the city of Canberra include educating people about the negative effects of dumping huge amounts of waste into the landfills. With the correct steps such as having separate bins for trash, recyclable items and compostable items and penalizing people for not complying with the rules, can go a long way in ensuring that everyone is taking the right measures to control the waste problem.
There are numerous organizations for skip bin hire Canberra that provide separate bins and have specialized professionals to handle the recycling and composting procedure and one does not need to undertake much headache about the entire process. If such positive steps are taken, we can ensure that the San Francisco zero waste model can also be successfully be replicated in Canberra, Australia.