GAIA Publications

Members of GAIA have produced many quality resources. See below for some of our best.

On the Road to Zero Waste: Successes and Lessons from Around the World
This set of zero waste case studies profiles nine diverse communities, each providing a real-world example of authentic progress toward the goal of zero waste.
Celebrating Community: GAIA 10 Report Offers Snapshots of First Decade
GAIA’s first decade ended in December 2010—and we spent 2011 putting together stories and images to share a snapshot of the alliance’s collective work. GAIA’s values include taking the time to appreciate one another and to celebrate our success and work together. We hope this report, “GAIA 10: 10 Years of Community Action for Zero Waste Solutions,” will be an opportunity for collective reflection and celebration.
CDM Case Studies: The Clean Development Mechanism in Solid Waste Management
Case studies of the CDM's landfill and incinerator projects, which increase greenhouse gas emissions and toxic pollution while displacing waste pickers' livelihoods.
More Jobs, Less Pollution!
November 15th, 2011
New report: More Jobs, Less Pollution shows how a 75% national recycling rate in the U.S. can create 1.5 million new, green jobs!
325 Organizations from 60 countries sign Don't Burn Our Future! Resolution
Resolution against waste burning and for zero waste
The Story of Capannori - a Zero Waste Champion
Nowhere is the phrase “Mighty oaks from little acorns grow” truer than in the small town of Capannori, Italy, where a small but determined movement to stop the construction of an incinerator led to an Italy-wide grassroots Zero Waste movement. The area has one of the highest municipal recycling rates in Europe and is an example of strong policy decisions and community participation achieving groundbreaking results.
New GAIA pub tells all about Refuse Derived Fuel
As populations continue to grow, the issue of waste becomes more urgent and more complicated. Some municipal governments, seduced by the idea that they will be able to turn their urgent problem into something of immediate value, have made the mistake of investing significantly in refuse derived fuel (RDF) projects, resulting in the burning of waste in incinerators, cement kilns, and other combustion units.
GAIA pub shows how waste incinerators undermine recycling
October 22nd, 2013
Waste incineration undermines recycling. This conflict is particularly clear in so-called “waste-to-energy” incinerators, and is also true for burners that do not recover energy. The cases presented in this briefing paper clearly illustrate the many ways that incineration has worked against waste prevention and recycling in various locations around the globe.
GAIA: UNA DECADA DE ACCION COMUNITARIA PARA LOGRAR SOLUCIONES DE BASURA CERO
Los diez años de GAIA representan una red de vida interconectada a traves de los continentes, sostenida en cada punto por manos con convicción y vocación. Es un ciclo de diez años en los que nos hemos alimentado de buenas acciones, del activismo y de la certeza de un futuro mejor. Silvana Buján, Argentina.
Facts Rule Out Trash Gasification
Since WW II attempts to gasify municipal solid waste (MSW) have failed repeatedly. Processing trash with high heat is (1) polluting; (2) expensive; (3) energy inefficient; (4) destroys resources that could be reused, recycled, or composted; and (5) generates slag and other “by-products” that have to be landfilled.
Door-to-door Collection Reduces Waste in Hernani, Spain: On the Road to Zero Waste Blog
by Cecilia Allen and the Global Alliance for Incinerator AlternativesOther Worlds
Another inspiring story is featured in Other Worlds excerpted from the report "On the Road to Zero Waste: Successes and Lessons from Around the World" that tackles the success of people power in Hernani, Spain. The opposition of the people to incinerator and their initiative to implement an alternative to burying and burning started a viral practice not only in Hernani, but also to its neighboring towns. Indeed, their state-of-the-art technology is not the incinerator but their people.
Waste Pickers On the Environmental Frontlines: On the Road to Zero Waste Blog
by Neil Tangri and the Global Alliance for Incinerator AlternativesOther Worlds
Other Worlds highlights another success story from the report On the Road to Zero Waste: Successes and Lessons from Around the World. This blog article is about the waste pickers— workers in the informal economy who recover recyclable materials from trash—in Pune, a city in the state of Maharashtra, India.
From Dream to Reality in the Philippines: On the Road to Zero Waste Blog
by Anne Larracas and the Global Alliance for Incinerator AlternativesOther Worlds
The city of Alaminos is pioneering zero waste in the Philippines with an energetic fusion of bottom-up planning and community participation. Under a new law, the public and all levels of government share responsibility for managing waste.
Beyond Recycling: On the Road to Zero Waste Blog
by GAIAOther Worlds
Other Worlds launches the blog series "Environmental Possibilities: Zero Waste," featuring new ways of thinking, acting, and shaping government policy. This introduction to zero waste is the first in a ten-part series on zero waste successes and lessons.
“Lixo transformado em energia”: MITOS versus FATOS Setembro 2012
Documento preparado pela GAIA e atualizado numa base contínua. Para esta versão em Português foram adicionadas algumas informações sobre o Brasil, mas também tem informações úteis sobre as perspectivas da incineração no mundo.
The Green Climate Fund and community control
The Green Climate Fund is a new, global institution which is supposed to channel billions of dollars to support climate adaptation and mitigation in developing countries. But it is critically important that communities retain control of which projects get funded.
EU Double Standards on Waste Management & Climate Policy
The EU's support for incinerators and landfill gas systems through the carbon market contradicts its own waste management policy.
Incinerators: Myths vs. Facts
In recent years, the incinerator industry has tried to expand their sector by marketing their facilities as “Waste to Energy” (WTE), using misleading claims of “reducing climate pollution”, and being a “clean energy source”. This document dispels some of the most common myths about incinerators with real facts.
The Green Climate Fund: Effective Community Ally or Corporate Giveaway?
The international community is creating a new entity, the Green Climate Fund, to channel up to $100bn a year to climate solutions in developing countries. In this paper, GAIA uses concrete examples from the waste sector to show why these funds should flow to the informal sector, grassroots groups, and city administrations and not to multinational firms. The benefits of such grassroots-led waste management include lower greenhouse gas emissions, higher employment rates, better working conditions and reduced toxic pollution; whereas the corporate approach tends to lead to increased emissions and economic displacement.
Climate finance sources discussion paper 2010
This paper covers sources of funding for developing country climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Burning Public Money for Dirty Energy
November 15th, 2011
New Report: Renewable energy subsidies are being siphoned off by the incinerator industry
Evidence On Why Europe Needs Biowaste Separate Collection Targets
by Joan Marc Simon/GAIA
Some countries in Europe are managing to separately collect and recycle biowaste but the majority don’t. This paper argues that those countries not separately collecting biowaste will not move in the way of recycling biowaste unless this is required from the EU level.
Respect for Recyclers: Protecting the Climate through Zero Waste
Reducing, reusing, and recycling municipal waste is one of the easiest and most effective means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It also provides gainful employment to millions of people in the developing world, mostly in the informal sector (“wastepickers”). Yet rather than supporting these efforts, climate funds such as the Clean Development Mechanism are subsidizing incinerators and landfill gas systems, which compete directly with recycling and increase emissions, unemployment, and public costs. A new, non-market, climate finance mechanism is needed to support the formalization and expansion of the informal recycling sector.
Respect for Recyclers: Protecting the Climate through Zero Waste (Chinese)
Reducing, reusing, and recycling municipal waste is one of the easiest and most effective means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It also provides gainful employment to millions of people in the developing world, mostly in the informal sector (“wastepickers”). Yet rather than supporting these efforts, climate funds such as the Clean Development Mechanism are subsidizing incinerators and landfill gas systems, which compete directly with recycling and increase emissions, unemployment, and public costs. A new, non-market, climate finance mechanism is needed to support the formalization and expansion of the informal recycling sector.
The EU Policy of Subsidising Energy from Burning Waste is Worsening the Climate
Brussels, Belgium. 30th June 2010. GAIA’s new report “When the EU wastes the climate” warns about the negative impacts on the climate and sustainability stemming from current EU policies to reward energy from incineration.
Zero Waste for Zero Warming: Because no community is disposable!
GAIA is actively working on several fronts to promote positive solutions to waste and climate issues around the globe.
Clean Development Mechanism Funding For Waste Incineration: Financing the Demise of Waste Worker Livelihood, Community Health, and Climate
At least 15 million people around the world depend upon waste picking and the recovery of resources from waste for their livelihoods. Recovering waste resources through re-use, recycling, and composting serves to create many more jobs than waste incinerators and landfills.
Recycling Works!
Initiated in 2009 by the International Brotherhood of the Teamsters and GAIA, the Recycling Works! campaign brings together a range of stakeholders to create recycling programs that create good jobs, combat climate change, create energy independence, and revitalize community health.
Enhanced Export Credit Agency Financing Terms in Response to Climate Change
A memo from ECA Watch focuses on the appropriateness of enhanced financing terms being negotiated by the Participants to the Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credits (Participants) in response to the challenge of climate change.
New Report: An Industry Blowing Smoke
10 reasons why gasification, pyrolysis & plasma incineration are not “green solutions”
Pieces of Zero: Zero Waste Study Tour Report
Pieces of Zero: GAIA Zero Waste Study Tour Report held August 16 to 20, 2009 in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, India.
groundWork: Reclaiming Livelihoods - A Report on Wastepickers
This report focuses on the contributions of reclaimers to social and environmental sustainability. It explores the work that reclaimers do, how they use salvaging of commodities from the waste stream as a way to support themselves, and how they are being affected by municipal waste management policies.
FoE: A Changing Climate for Energy from Waste?
Friends of the Earth report, "A Changing Climate for Energy from Waste?" highlights the fact that typical UK incinerators, generating only electricity, are unlikely to be emitting a lower quantity of greenhouse gases, expressed in CO2 equivalents, per kWh electricity generated than the average gas-fired power station in the UK.
Wasting the Nation: Making Trash of People and Places
This report by groundWork with forward by Annie Leonard, presents a detailed account of the world's waste problems today, the people that are affected the most, and the strategies that are needed in order to address the major health and environmental justice issues that increase daily.
New Study Raises Concern over Mercury Pollution from Burning Products
A new study released today around the world shows that the burning of mercury-added products contributes upwards of 200 tons of mercury to the atmosphere every year, comprising 10 percent of the mercury that enters the earth’s atmosphere through human activities.
Mercury Rising: Reducing Global Emissions From Burning Mercury-added Products
The atmospheric mercury (Hg) emissions from waste have long been inadequately understood and seriously underestimated. This report scrutinizes the largest contributor to mercury in the waste stream – mercury-added products – and greatly improves our global understanding of this source of emissions.
A Handbook on Waste Management in Rural Tourism Areas
The "Handbook on Waste Management in Rural Tourism Areas" is being published by Thanal and the United Nation Development Program to help NGOs and Local Governments to assist communities to manage discards in the Endogenous Tourism Project sites.
Learning Not to Burn: A primer for Citizens on Alternatives to Burning Hazardous Waste
This primer is intended to fill a gap in information on non-incineration technologies for hazardous waste disposal, and present strategies that can be used in parallel with clean production and zero waste efforts to bring about sustainable solutions and environmental justice.
FoE UK: Recycling-Why it’s important and how to do it
http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/briefings/recycling.pdf
Recycling saves energy, reduces raw material extraction and combats climate change. The vast majority of studies have found that recycling our rubbish is better for the environment rather than incinerating or landfilling it.
FoE UK: Sorting residual waste
http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/briefings/residual_waste.pdf
A guide for councils to save money and help the environment by cutting back on residual waste
Zero Waste for Zero Warming brochure
Briefly describes climate benefits of Zero Waste and GAIA's recommendations.
GAIA's Statement of Concern on Waste and Climate Change
GAIA's position paper on waste and climate change calls for Zero Waste strategies to address global warming and rejects the false solutions of incinerators and landfill gas collection.
Stop Trashing the Climate Report
The Stop Trashing the Climate report, written by GAIA, the Institute for Local Self Reliance and Eco-Cycle, provides compelling evidence that preventing waste and expanding reuse, recycling, and composting programs — that is, aiming for zero waste — is one of the fastest, cheapest, and most effective strategies available for combating climate change.
7 Questions to Ask When Facing an Incinerator Proposal
Seven basic questions to ask when facing a proposal for a hazardous waste incinerator.
15 Campaign Tips
Tips for launching and sustaining successful campaigns.
EU Waste Legislation and Climate Change
This fact sheet was produced by GAIA, Health Care Without Harm, and Bankwatch in April 2008 to encourage the European Parliament to support sensible waste legislation.
Threats to health and recycling: Why EU legislation must not favour incineration
Good legislation should guarantee that the amount of waste we produce is minimised, and what is left is safely recycled, re-used and composted. It certainly shouldn’t just encourage us to burn what we throw away.
Resources up in Flames Report
Details the economic pitfalls of incineration versus a zero waste approach in the Global South.
Waste Incineration: A Dying Technology- Chinese
This report explains why incinerators are an unsustainable and obsolete method for dealing with waste.
Waste Incineration: A Dying Technology
This report explains why incinerators are an unsustainable and obsolete method for dealing with waste.
Bankrolling Polluting Technology: The World Bank Group and Incineration
Despite the known health hazards and extreme economic burdens of incineration, the World Bank Group continues to promote this polluting technology.


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