Warren Snow and Stephen Tindall set the scene for the conference by noting that the drivers for the zero waste concept were savings, employment, efficiency and hope. There was a need for a whole system approach that would address the whole supply chain, while prioritising immediate gains as well as long-term aims.
Stephen Tindall is to spend half his time from next year supporting the zero waste project. He
is working with the NZ Business Council for Sustainable Development and is focussing on:
Redesigning products to be recycled
Stephen said his recipe for success was having an audacious goal, steely reserve and respect for people.
Purpose of preventing waste is to protect the environment
Waste should be charged at full cost
There is an economic value to waste materials
Proposal to appoint a lead agency
Establish a waste minimisation levy
Central government role of leadership and funding
Appoint a national co-ordinator of incentives to reduce waste _
The report is available from the Ministry, or online at www.mfe.govt.nz/issues/waste/webinfo.htm, or via Local Government New Zealand, who have been facilitating the discussion.
1. We are the first to experience that the living conditions of the next generation will not necessarily be better than ours.
2. We are the first to actually feel the limit of the earth
3. In front of us, we have the biggest challenge ever to decide our future. It is not the matter of what will happen in the future, or what kind of future we will have. But rather, the future is in our hand, we can decide our future.
New way of thinking:
1. We must know how much is enough. Just so much and no more. The planet does not get bigger, but it can get better.
2. Live within limits. Take only what you need, co-operate, share.
3. Take time. Nature does not rush. Think about how long it takes to build soils, forests, mountains and coral reefs. Savour what you do.
4. Feel the abundance and the beauty of the earth. Stop your short-sighted struggle and lift your eyes to see Earth's wonders.
5. Understand that we cannot dominate nature. The environment is the main system, the economy is a subsystem. Earth is the mother, the society is a child.
6. Recognise how much we owe to Planet Earth. Appreciate the gifts we have received from her. How can we repay her? No planet, no business.
7. Know that we are a community. Listen to everyone, especially the people you do not agree with. We are co-creating the future with them. (We must listen to and understand all the stakeholders).
What to do?
Cradle to cradle. Leasing, renting, less selling, sharing
Long-life, stable products
Manufacture and change key critical components only
Turn waste into wealth. Zero emissions: wastes = resources = lost profits. Recycle and remanufacture.
Recycle, repair, reuse, recover
Reform, review, reveal, resolve
Connect daily life with environment
Be service orientated buy services and functions
Use less, make full use of it, think once, twice, three times before throwing things away
Reduce, return, refuse, reuse.
Stop doing unnecessary things. Identify what is unnecessary.
Designing for Zero Waste
Provide economic incentives
Tax "bads" not "goods"
End corporate subsidies for wasting
Eliminate flow control for recyclables
Share responsibility for the products
Gary's presentation included detailed incentives for encouraging zero waste practices from waste collection agents, waste generators and business.
His path to the Green Industrial Revolution began while working in Ontario, Canada with the provincial NDP government. The NDP government had a vision of community-based economic development and contracted Robin to develop the initiative.
Robin's initial focus was on creating local jobs in the food and culture sectors, but as he travelled the province, he found that the most dynamic job creation projects were being run by the Ministry for the Environment.
Programmes such as Green Communities were doing house-to-house energy audits and installing energy-saving equipment. These programmes were well supported by the community and have survived, creating many jobs. Strong recycling programmes were also creating local jobs.
In England, Robin worked on alternatives to incineration. He said that a comparison of jobs in recycling compared to landfilling or incineration revealed that a wet and dry recycling system would create one new job for every 1100 people serviced. Dry recycling alone would create one new job for every 1600 people serviced. The wealth created from waste would also have positive effects on the balance of payments, and could be used to target job creation in areas of high unemployment. Some of the environmental benefits were also quantified. If England was to achieve a 70% recycling rate, it would be equivalent to removing the CO2 emissions of five million cars.
Recycling must become upcycling increasing the value of materials that are recovered. The focus must change from efficiency to sufficiency. Product life must be extended through reverse manufacturing and refining.
An example of these principles at work is the concept of buying a service rather than a product. Ford Motors is introducing a system in which the customer buys mileage rather than a vehicle. This encourages the manufacturer to produce the longest-lasting vehicle possible.
Zero waste is the way to educate people through participation in recycling, to change how firms operate, and to change government thinking. By starting with recycling you discover what cannot be recycled and this leads to changes in design. Monitoring what is at the end of the pipe is a good way to look up the pipe to see how the system works. Engaging people in recycling leads people to be interested in what happens with their waste. This evolves into participatory democracy and, ultimately, changes the way government thinks.