A very effective way to manage solid waste in urban areas is to set up a curbside recycling pick up. By separating out the recyclables, you can decrease the amount of waste that actually gets put into a landfill. One of the best ways to do this is to make it very easy for the customer. Give them separate bins for their trash and recyclables. When the trash gets picked up every week, have a different truck come get the recycling. Not only is this a good use of the trash and good for the environment, but it also reduces our landfill buildup in urban areas.
Composting is a great way to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in the landfill. If possible get connected with Urban Agriculture in your city and then you can use your food scraps to grow new food. Also some cities have compost programs where they pick up your scraps and then convert it to compost. Additionally, you can reduce your waste by reducing the amount of packaging you buy. Several ways to do this include buying biodegradable packaging, buying in bulk, and using reusable bags so that you don’t accumulate plastic bags.
This is kind of a funny spin on “solid waste”, but it put me in mind of a story I heard on NPR about composting toilets. They commented on the “ick factor”, but I find the whole idea fascinating as a future solution to how we currently handle human waste. The benefits include: decreased water usage, a reduction in the adverse environmental impacts of the installation of sewage handling systems, and elimination of pollution overflow into waterways. In addition, they would mean a major savings for cities.
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