3.7 Zero waste

by Craig Cantin | November 29, 2011 3:38 pm

Earlier generations grew up living by the aphorism “waste not, want not.” Our generation seems to embrace “shop till you drop.”

On solid waste, we are number one in the world. Not only is the green plastic garbage bag a Canadian invention, we create more solid waste per capita than even the usual number one in waste society, the U.S.

Yet we think we are more environmentally conscious than we are. We think we are green because we have a blue box on the curb, while the rate at which we waste water and create garbage has increased dramatically since the 1980s.

Landfills, formerly called garbage dumps, account for more GHG emissions than do mining, construction, and domestic aviation combined. Most of these GHG emissions are in the form of methane gas, which is over 20 times more heat absorbing than carbon dioxide. Landfills also leach toxic chemicals into soil and water. There has to be a better way to deal with garbage.

The Green goal is ‘zero waste.’ This means shifting from thinking of waste as a problem to considering waste as a resource. Canada’s failure to manage waste properly represents a huge loss of resources and revenue. Reusing and recycling wastes have been shown to generate 10 to 15 times more jobs than incineration or landfilling. We oppose any incineration technology that shifts landfill problems to air pollution and toxic contaminant dispersal in the atmosphere. We believe that strong incentives must be in place for industry and consumers to reduce waste to zero. Setting a goal of zero waste will provide direction and inspiration.

Green Party MPs will:

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Source URL: http://elizabethmaymp.ca/vision-green/p3.7