Why Municipal Solid Waste Charging Fails

Most municipalities across the world introduce MSW charging NOT for the purpose of behavioral changes, but for the purpose of finding extra income to pay for rising waste treatment cost, collection fees and compensation of widespread community opposition.

永續・生活 Sustainable Living

The Council for Sustainable Development emphasises that the ultimate goal to municipal solid waste charging is to establish behavioural changes in people’s daily garbage disposal through economic incentives.

I do not doubt the council’s good faith in trying to introduce policies to battle the current waste crisis.

Nevertheless, I could hardly find any justification on how charging for this waste could serve as an economic incentive to help reduce waste.

First, most municipalities across the world introduced  charging for this waste not for the purpose of behavioural changes, but to find extra income to pay for rising waste treatment costs and collection fees and compensation  in the face of widespread community opposition.

With the government aggressively trying to expand landfills and the huge price tag associated with such an expansion, it would be naive not to associate fees collected from municipal solid waste charging with landfill expansion expenses and compensation…

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FROM WASTE TO ENERGY

Sweden sends just 1% of its residential solid waste to the landfill, recycling 50% and thermally processing 49% for heat and power generation in their WTE plants (waste to energy).

Planet Earth Weekly

wast managemet sweeden

By Lin Smith

August 11, 2013–Sweden, a country of 9 million people, is one of our planet’s leaders in creating a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Their goal is to achieve a completely oil free economy by 2020, replacing fossil fuels with renewable alternatives before “climate change undermines national economies worldwide and diminishing oil supplies force astronomical price increases.” Their renewable alternative–turning trash into power! Although at the present time Sweden relies on other forms of energy, burning of garbage accounts for an equivalent of 810,000 homes being heated and the electrical equivalent of 250,000 homes being powered. The waste to energy plants are burning garbage faster than Swedes can produce it, so their solution? Import garbage from Norway!

Sweden sends just 1% of its residential solid waste to the landfill, recycling 50% and thermally processing 49% for heat and power generation in their WTE plants…

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Trash Collection and Recycling Abroad

In Switzerland, trash is taken very seriously. You usually have at least 4 sorting bins under your sink for paper, plastic, aluminum, organic, and then general trash.

My Life in France

I have observed a wide range of differences when it comes to trash collection and recycling.  In Singapore we lived in an apartment and had a live-in helper, so I am really not sure where the garbage went as she took care of it.  I think there was some central room where trash bags were sorted.

In Thailand, you simply put everything out on the street in big trash cans and passers-by would sort through it.  Once a week an old Thai man would come up our soi (street) riding a bike that pulled a cart.  He’d yell some incoherent thing that sounded like “bring out your dead”.  He was collecting cardboard so that he would take it to the recycling facility nearby and make some money.  You only need 25 baht for a decent street meal in Bangkok, and I am sure he made good money as his cart…

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Waste management in India – addressing a national issue on a local level

Addressing waste management at a local village level is one way to kick-start the process and start connecting with emerging networks that operate recycling and garbage removal services. Although the waste management in India, as in many developing countries, lacks a holistic government run structure for removing and recycling waste, there is an incredible amount of informal recycling and entrepreneurial skills in reusing discarded materials. This enthusiasm and local attention to waste can be built upon to address the broader issue.

thedesignAlternative

As I am currently living in a small village on the outskirts of Jaipur in India, one of the major challenges I am currently addressing is waste disposal. A major issue facing India in the 21st century is waste management and improving informal and formal infrastructure to dispose and recycle garbage. In a country with 1.2 billion people and a rapidly emerging consumer market, a lack of formalised waste management system is likely to become a major strain on the natural environment and on the population.

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Addressing waste management  at a local village level is one way to kick-start the process and start connecting with emerging networks that operate recycling and garbage removal services. Although the waste management in India, as in many developing countries, lacks a holistic government run structure for removing and recycling waste,  there is an incredible amount of informal recycling and entrepreneurialism in reusing discarded materials. This enthusiasm and…

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Cities Worldwide Seek to Produce Recycled Energy

Public transportation like subway or buses in Sweden’s Hammarby sjostad city are running by 100 percent recycled energy. Hammarby sjostad is known as “the city with zero carbon emission.” It is easy to spot people putting bio-gas in their vehicles at every gas stations in Hammarby sjostad city.

Environmentally Confused – Burn or Recycle?

Sweden has had strict standards limiting emissions from waste incineration since the mid-1980s. Most emissions have fallen by between 90 and 99 per cent since then thanks to ongoing technical development and better waste sorting.

Journey of Mixed Emotions

The recycling movement in 1990s-era Vancouver started as a lukewarm way to protect the environment. Then the issues started heating up until it was a sizzling hot topic.

Everyone I knew became a star recycler. We learned how to sort properly, and although I did not always compost, I really tried to be environmentally responsible in other ways. Up until 2001, I was doing my undergraduate degree in biology and I felt it was my duty to understand the issues and be proactive.

In 2005 (give or take) I read Michael Crichton’s book State of Fear. Although there is controversy as to his thesis behind this fictional story, he had some great points about whether we were all jumping on the global warming bandwagon without all the facts. Almost 10 years later I still feel that way on a daily basis.

I am conditioned to recycle. I am often pulling…

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Sustainable Waste | How is waste managed at DMU?

Since April 2001, De Montfort University has been running a recycling scheme to help the environment. The scheme started with recycling paper and reusing envelopes. In December 2002 the scheme was extended to include the collection and recycling of cardboard waste, glossy paper and newspaper. In 2004, 149 tons of paper, cardboard and glossy paper were recycled, an increase of 12% on the previous year. Further expansion took place in 2005 with the recycling of cans and plastics which resulted in 164 tons being collected. In 2006 the recycling of CD’s/DVD’s was started. The key performance indicator set in 2009 required that by the end of 2012 60% of waste is to be recycled on campus, with the general waste reducing by the same amount.

The paper recycling scheme set up by the Estates Department has seen over 10,750 bags of waste paper, the equivalent of 2,420 trees, collected annually…

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Waste Management in Rhode Island

The Providence Environment

Hello readers! I come to you today to talk about waste. I know it’s definitely not the most appealing topic, but it’s such an environmental concern that I think the public needs more education about. My professor for this environmental studies class said something really interesting today when we were talking about the idea of “social sustainability.” This viewpoint advocates for people to “wallow in their own filth” more to really see what they’re creating and how it’s affecting the environment. We in more developed countries are so used to having other people take care of our trash FOR us. We don’t have to deal with the nastiness that is disposing of the pounds of trash we generate each day. So maybe if we DID have to deal with it, we’d see just how much waste we produce with our current lifestyle, and would then be more likely to…

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Solid Waste Management: Vermicomposting and Its Upgrading

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Environment

Human beings live in nature and depend on the resources of nature. The utilization of soil, water, coal, forest, gas, etc, is very important for the development of nation. These resources have changed the level of living standard of man. Solid waste is regarded as the resources. Solid waste can be described as non-liquid refusals from household, industrial and commercial establishment, market and public places. These all refusals can be used as resources in one way or other, and can be recycled, reused or transform into other forms of resources.

Solid waste may be organic and inorganic. The best way to manage the organic waste is to make manure by composting. There are different methods of composting such as:

a)      Bin composting                                 d) pile composting

b)      Vermicomposting                            e) pit composting

c)       Box composting

Vermicomposting

Vermicomposting is one of the best ways of making compost. Vermicomposting is the process of…

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Environment and the Plasma Gasification of Garbage

The Discordant

I wanted to bring to your attention a very interesting article that I read on the New York Times. The link is: Garbage Plasma Gasification.

It was a while ago when I read it, but didn’t have time to write about it! So here it is:

The first thing I saw was the word “Garbage”… I didn’t really give much attention to it because even though it is something really important, and that people should be aware of, I already know what most articles usually say about it. Things like: “Oh, the toxins from incinerating the garbage are bad”, “We have to start disposing of medical/toxic garbage in safe places”, “Soon there will be a shortage of places where to dump garbage and it will have to be thrown into space” or “Everyone should recycle because it will help the world by producing less waste and save money”.  These are all…

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In Delhi, waste generates power — and debate

Panchabuta-Renewable Energy & Cleantech in India

According to reports, by the end of this year, Delhi will have its second waste-to-energy plant generating electricity at the landfill near Ghazipur. A similar plant, Timarpur Okhla Waste to Energy plant, sited in the vicinity of a residential colony and a hospital, has started generation since the beginning of this year.

The Delhi government is buoyant that it has finally found a solution to tackling the ever-increasing piles of waste. No government wants to grapple with millions of tonnes of waste dumped on prime land, polluting the groundwater and the air and threatening to multiply.

Delhi, with limited space, views waste-to-energy plants as a win-win solution. “Energy production is incidental. Our main concern is waste,” says Shakti Sinha, Principal Secretary, Power, summing up the government’s perception of these plants.

“The plants are absolutely safe,” he asserts. “We use state-of-the-art technology, and these are run as per the European Union norms…

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Waste Management in Stockholm

Misc. on land use planning (with a bias on Copenhagen)

I just came across an article in “City, Culture and Society”, dealing with Urban growth and waste management optimization in Stockholm and Adelaide. In Figure 2 in the results section the authors show a comparison of waste management systems in the two cities. However, for Stockholm they present only national data, assuming that this is also representative for the capital. Well, that striked me a bit because I am working with city data quite a lot and was wondering if there isn’t better data out there. In the database Urban Audit, maintained by Eurostat, you can find data for over 300 cities in Europe to a lot of different issues. Stockholm is one of the cities covered and waste data from 2008 was available, so I produced the graph below – in the same style as done in the mentioned article.

If you have access to the article

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