“Tell the truth, fight for trust.”

Still in the grip of the pandemic

Dipl.-Ing.(TU) Werner P. Bauer

"Tell the truth, fight for trust" - the title of the report in the SZ already summarizes the essential points. Ten years ago, historians from the University of Michigan examined the actions of 43 US cities during the Spanish flu. 

What looms if the truth is concealed, the scientists demonstrated using the example of the city of Philadelphia. (SZ) "When the city already didn't know what to do with the dead, the authorities still declared that there was no cause to be alarmed." They made reference to the usual flu and that nothing unusual was happening." "In the end, the loss of confidence was so extensive that unity among the people suffered and society fell apart." With the words: "Fear turned people's hearts to stone" the SZ quotes a witness of that time.

In St Louis, on the other hand, public life was quickly curtailed, with the peak reaching only one-eighth of the level measured in Philadelphia.
Sometimes history teaches us quite drastically how important it is to report openly and transparently on a crisis. This applies not only to dealing with pandemics, but also to more local crises. In a small town in Tunisia, for example, we were able to witness how citizens turned against the effects of a burning landfill (dump) and managed to have it closed. Through the openness and transparency of the community, it was achieved that in the end citizens and administration concurred and worked together on solutions.

The announcements of the imminent climate catastrophe are also measurable and unambiguous. Here, too, quick reactions would be required, but these are denied by many circles. If Covid-19 had to remind us of the lessons of the Spanish flu, we should use this lesson in shaping the upcoming change in our economies. As described in the wording of our campaign "Waste Management’s Response to Climate Change" and in all the positive case studies, waste management is able to contribute to this.

In all countries of the world, good governance increases the confidence of citizens in the administration. Once this trust is established, enormous changes in behavior can be achieved in tune with the population. The handling of waste / recyclable materials by the population is growing in accordance with the course of those responsible for recycling collected waste. Citizens have an influence on a clean city. Wild waste dumping can only be overcome by municipalities and higher authorities.

The time for action has come. Step by step, we show fascinating examples of good action. 

Once again, I invite you to contribute your knowledge and actively participate in the WtERT sharing community.

Werner Bauer
General Manager WtERT Germany GmbH
Vice President of Global WtERT Council


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