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[greenyes] Germany's Solid Waste System's Contributions to Sustainable devel opment


As of June 1st, Germany allows only pretreated waste to be landfilled. This
is part of the German move to sustainable development, and a report on the
Internet analyzes the achievements accomplished to date.

The Germany system is based on the results of recommendations developed by
the Enquete Commission, "Protection of Man and the Environment" [Enquete
Commission 1994]. These so-called management rules were transferred into the
Federal Governments sustainable development model [Perspektiven für
Deutschland; Unsere Strategie für eine nachhaltige Entwicklung; page 40; Die
Bundesregierung 2002], and includes the following three principles, which
are similar to those of The Natural Step:

- In the long term, renewable natural resources (such as wood or fish
stocks)
must only be used within the scope of their capacity for
regeneration.

- In the long term, non-renewable natural resources (such as minerals
or fossil
fuels) must only be used to the extent that their functions are
capable of being
replaced by other materials or other energy carriers.

- In the long term, the release of substances or energy must not
exceed the
ability of the ecosystems - such as the climate, forests and oceans
- to adapt.

Using the following six topics, nine indicators of sustainable development
vis-à-vis waste management were evaluated:

Fossil resources
Mineral resources
Greenhouse effect
Acidification
Overfertilization of soils and watercourses
Impairment of human health

As noted by the report, waste management has evolved into materials flow
management and considerable progress has been made towards sustainability,
including a de-coupling of waste generation with economic development.

The following is the web page with a short summary of the analysis, and a
link to a 37 page report that is mostly in English:
http://www.bmu.de/english/waste_management/downloads/doc/35563.php




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