How did this community go zero waste?
In the North of Italy, the City of Parma presents a vivid example of a transition from traditional waste management to Zero Waste in only 4 years. The key for their success: political will, involvement of civil society and a strategy based on minimising residual waste.
United across six continents, grassroots groups are defending community rights to clean air, clean water, zero waste, environmental justice, and good jobs. They are all members of the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives.
The province of Gipuzkoa, in Spanish Basque Country, has managed to almost double their recycling rates in 4 years. In 2011 they struggled to meet EU targets and now they are above the 2020’s goals and intend to keep improving. Gipuzkoa still has a long way till Zero Waste, but is already proving that laggards can move very quickly. Do you want to know how?
The Slovenian capital is the first capital in Europe to declare the Zero Waste goal and in 2014 separately collected 61% of its municipal waste. The city has committed to halving the amount of residuals and increasing separate collection to 78% by 2025. How did Ljubljana manage to become EU’s best performing capital when 10 years ago had barely started implementing separate collection?
The public company Contarina serves the districts of Priula and Treviso in Northern Italy, the best performers in waste prevention and recycling in a wide area in Europe. What is the secret for Contarina to recycle two times the European average and generate five times less residual waste? This and more you will find out in this case study.
The Catalan town of Argentona, in the northeast of Barcelona, spearheads the network of Catalan Zero Waste municipalities. When the door-to-door collection system was introduced in 2004, Argentona more than doubled its recycling rates and became a pioneering reference in Catalonia.
In a country that until 2001 had no national targets for separate collection of waste, the case of the small municipality of Vrhnika in Slovenia shows how a community can make strides towards a Zero Waste objective in a short time. How did this small area go from landfilling everything to recycling most of its MSW in 20 years?
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.
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.
The story of waste management in Buenos Aires illustrates how cartoneros, or grassroots recyclers, have won legal and financial support from the city government.
Other worlds featured another story from “On the Road to Zero Waste: Successes and Lessons from Around the World”. This article showed how La Pintana community in Chile save money, produce valuable compost, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the largest segment of their waste.
When the Taiwanese government proposed large-scale incineration, fierce opposition from the community not only stopped the construction of dozens of burners, but also drove the government to adopt goals and programs for waste prevention and recycling that were so effective that the volume of waste decreased significantly, even while both population and gross domestic product increased.
Since the first Waste Decree was approved in Flanders in 1981, regional goals (for overall residential waste generation, separate collection, and residual waste after source separation and home composting) have been met and then exceeded, allowing more ambitious goals to be set in subsequentwaste plans that are developed every four to five years. With these successes, the emphasis of waste management policies transitioned from disposal to source separation and recycling, and finally to waste prevention.
The enormous quantity of waste generated in Mumbai makes large-scale, technologically driven “solutions” tempting. However, the opposite approach—a highly decentralized, people-powered model of waste management—has proven successful.
Other Worlds released another story excerpted from the report “On The Road to Zero Waste Successes and Lessons from Around the World” by GAIA. This article proves that dreams really do come true and the residents and city officials from Alaminos City, Pangasinan in the Philippines could attest that. Political will and people’s cooperation are their keys to achieve their Zero Waste Alaminos Dream.
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.
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.
Whereas in 2009 almost every Alaminos city dumping field had a pile burning, there were almost none two years later. With sky-high waste separation and composting rates, Alaminos has become a trend-setter for other Filipino cities.
San Francisco has established itself as a global leader in waste management by diverting 77% of its waste away from landfills and incinerators. The city has achieved its national distinction through a three-pronged approach: enacting strong waste reduction legislation, partnering with a like-minded waste management company to innovate new programs, and creating a culture of recycling and composting.
Please feel free to download, print, and disseminate the individual cases presented in “On the Road to Zero Waste: Successes and Lessons from Around the World.”
IN LATE 2005, the City Council in Buenos Aires, Argentina unanimously passed a law, “Integral Management Of Solid Urban Waste,” a Zero Waste law.