“If you are not for Zero Waste, how much waste are you for?” - Gary Liss
The concept of Zero Waste is an end goal but with a caveat. The goal is to truly reduce total waste generation to zero, but the reality is average organization (Business, school, home, or city) attempting "Zero Waste" achieve approximately 90% diversion. The process entails the analysis of your total waste generation, then redesigning your business process to design the waste out. If you know that at the end you have large portions of X, then go upstream and change your process to eliminate all the residual of X. Design for obsolescence.
When you are thinking of reuse and recycling, you must first identify what form of the product has the most value. Is the most value in its current state, or in its remanufactured state? Example: An old door that you have replaced (wood, no chemicals) could be donated to Last Chance and resold for $15 to $20, or it could be chipped up for woodchips and sold for $1 or it could be composted and sold for $.25. In what state does that door have the most value? It’s original state, not the remanufactured into a new product state.
Points to Consider:
Waste berg – A common comparison that is made with the waste industry is to an iceburg. You see 10% of an iceburgs total size above water, and 90% of it is unseen below the surface. For manufacturing, the end product only represents a portion of the waste that is generated during the complete manufacturing process. Most of it is generated up stream. This is why it is important to reanalyze the production process and design the waste out from the beginning.
- ALL materials are to be considered resources, not waste
- Zero = 90% diversion from landfills and incinerators
- Waste + food = 42% of green house gas generation
- It’s not about diversion, but the value created from resources
- New Zeland has adopted a country wide zero waste policy! Amazing