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[GreenYes] Zero waste turns garbage into savings
Environmental News Network
January 2, 2001

The volume of garbage continues to increase, despite recycling efforts. But
a new approach to trash may make it possible to eliminate waste altogether.

By Suzanne Elston

Americans recycle about 30 percent of their household
waste. Despite the effort, the volume of trash that goes to
the dump increases every year, due to population growth
and increasing consumption of consumer goods.

At the root of the problem is a waste management system
that assumes garbage is an unavoidable byproduct of
society. While recycling programs help reduce the amount
of garbage that is produced, they can't eliminate the
problem entirely.

A growing movement that aims to help is <Zero Waste>
[link to], and many countries including the
United States, England, Australia, Canada and Brazil are
embracing it.

Proponents of Zero Waste maintain that garbage isn't a
disposal problem; it's an engineering one. They believe that
garbage is designed into our production cycle. To remedy
the current garbage crisis, they say, we need a new design
principle - a system geared toward eliminating waste
rather than one that manages it once it's been created.

The key to the Zero Waste system is to see garbage as a
valuable resource and not as waste.

Companies that have adopted the Zero Waste philosophy
are finding that it not only cuts garbage production and
disposal costs but also reduces manufacturing costs.


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