Sustainable 2022

In combination with the obvious need to transform our society, we are hearing the word "sustainable" more and more. But what is sustainable? What is sustainable waste management?

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

What this can mean for municipal waste management is illustrated in the "Sector Guide to the German Sustainability Code" (VKU Verlag GmbH, May 2016). I love this work, even if it is a bit complicated. The guide defines ten essential aspects for municipal waste management companies and municipal cleaning services:
Transparency, Closing Material Cycles, Climate and Environmental Protection, Urban Cleanliness, Waste Avoidance and Customer Orientation. As well as the overarching themes: Economic Performance, Compliance, Employee Orientation and the Transformation Role of the Sector.

Sustainability is a very comprehensive sociopolitical concept. No organization can address all the requirements of sustainable action in equal measure. It is therefore crucial to identify the essential fields of action in which responsibility can be lived.

In a region where it is common to simply throw everything away, local waste management will focus on "urban cleanliness" and try to build awareness among the population in dealing with waste. (Read more)

In a country that predominantly relies on landfilling, local waste management will focus on "climate and environmental protection" and focus on thermal recycling of the waste arriving at the landfill. (Read more)

In sectors that only pretend to be climate oriented, the transformation role of the responsible organization is required. Here, "Transparency" and "Closing Material Cycles" are required. (Read more)

In any case, responsibility goes hand in hand with an honest analysis of what is. Those who demand 100% recycling should realize that at most half of our goods can be recycled. Those who cling to cheap landfilling must realize that this kind of disposal is extremely harmful to the climate. Those who call for waste avoidance are only right if they are equally concerned about the waste that is not avoided.
In 2022, let's look with interest at all the ways of dealing with waste and recyclables and examine which fits best in each region.

I would be pleased to see as many of you as possible at the next opportunity and I remain with best regards.
Last but not least, I would like to recommend the "Memorandum to the IESP Workshop, Sustainability Post Coronaā€¯ 


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