As described by the Planning Group of the Zero Waste International Alliance: “Zero Waste is a goal that is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary, to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use. Zero Waste means designing and managing products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve and recover all resources, and not burn or bury them. Implementing Zero Waste will eliminate all discharges to land, water or air that are a threat to planetary, human, animal or plant health.”
The Zero Waste initiative is about diverting waste from landfills in order to recycle and reuse this debris. While suggestions have been made that merely incinerating the debris will constitute as zero waste, this is just not the case. Disposal by incineration, while still being a form of disposal, means resources are totally destroyed as opposed to being reused after recycling has occurred. These can never be remade once they are gone from our planet. The emissions from these processes are also quite harmful to the environment in the form of increased greenhouse gases being produced by the fires. The Zero Waste International Alliance has stated that diverting over 90% of a city’s waste from incinerators and landfills is considered a successful zero waste practice. It is understood that there are some forms of debris that simply cannot be recycled or composted, while that is unfortunate, it is a reality. As posted in a 2011 Wall Street Journal article, San Diego is currently keeping 68% of its municipal solid waste out of its landfills.
Along with the Zero Waste San Diego Project, a COOL2012 campaign has been launched that is “a national initiative to inspire and educate state and local jurisdictions on the importance of getting compostable organics out of the landfill.” There is currently an online petition that is able to be signed attempting to properly get rid of the thousands of tons of biodegradable materials that are landfilled every day in San Diego County. Such a petition will help spark advocacy and awareness across the country. This battle for environmental conservation is one that needs to be taken up not only by the government on federal, state, and local levels, but also by businesses and the public alike. In 2008 General Motors got rolling, with plans that by 2011 to have half of its plants worldwide “landfill-free” as posted by a USA Today article. The same article makes mention of Subaru, Toyota, and Xerox all doing the same, along with Sunny Delight as well in their own release.
Make sure when you are making a decision on a dumpster rental in San Diego you have the very best choice. The Zero Waste mission applies to almost every form of debris, and the transfer stations where your refuse will be taken are there to separate and sort for this very reason. They will ensure that all the waste coming out of a San Diego roll-off dumpster will be disposed of in the most responsible way. Much of this will end up being recycled and reused as per the Zero Waste San Diego initiative.