Do you know how much material Sudburians put into the landfill in 2015?
Recycling has been labeled the most successful environmental initiative in human history. However, the exponential production of recyclable packaging products has overwhelmed the infrastructure and has created systemic barriers impacting the success of this initiative.
To adopt the principles of zero-waste living, we need to first discard the idea of waste. Everything is created from a resource, and waste is merely a resource going in the wrong direction. By changing the way resources are thought of, and thereby how they flow through our society and communities, we can reap substantial environmental, economic, and social benefits. This change in thinking is, in effect, the essential framework for a sustainable development model for the community. We save energy, water, resources, and greenspace by shifting our focus from consumption to sustainability. We reduce pollution of air, land, and water by using recycled materials. We create a host of new job opportunities that can benefit those in our society who face some of the greatest barriers to employment. Best of all, these positions can be generated in places like Sudbury, where livelihoods are created instead of landfills.
“Zero Waste is the conservation of all resources by means of responsible production, consumption, reuse, and recovery of all products, packaging, and materials without burning them and without discharges to land, water, or air that threaten the environment or human health.”
“A zero waste future is one in which goods are shared, designed to last and be easily recycled and repurposed. It’s about building a vibrant circular economy, where unwanted materials are not disposed in a landfill or incinerator, but become the raw materials for something new. A strong circular economy keeps valuable resources circulating in the local economy, supporting good green jobs, benefiting the community, and reducing harmful environmental impacts.”
“Connecting people through zero waste initiatives can inspire greater community involvement, partnerships, innovation, and sharing of materials. The economic potential of recovering and re-selling valuable materials represents new business opportunities that can help to grow a local, circular economy.”