Saturday, July 28, 2007

Solid waste management - Take that trash back!

Some people call it the “waste hierarchy”, others call it the 3 Rs (reduce, recycle, reuse). Whatever name you want to assign to these waste management strategies, these are intended to minimize human impacts on the environment. The principle is that we should choose to prevent generation of waste, reduce amounts that are being generated, and dispose of waste only as a last resort. With the recent civic strike in Vancouver, the 3Rs seem like one of several possible strategies to cope with the disruption of service. But I would argue that waste minimization shouldn’t only occur when garbage collection is disrupted. It should be part of our daily lives. However, behavioral changes are hard. Our consumption and waste generation patterns may be very powerful. Nevertheless, I believe we can effect change, one less plastic bag at a time.

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