BIG Change in Communication

To communicate with high credibility we have to face all facts of handling waste-

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

The possibilities for counteracting climate heating with sustainable Solid Waste Management are generally underestimated.
Waste management that completely avoids landfilling organic waste, reduces greenhouse gas emissions for an entire country by up to 30% - and thus is truly sustainable. This can only be achieved through the simultaneous use of both major mechanisms of waste management:  recycling (including composting and fermentation) and energy recovery (simply called waste incineration).

The EU statistics plus the figures for other selected countries show unequivocally that the countries on the left (Switzerland to Luxembourg) use a mix of recycling and incineration to overcome the landfilling of waste contaminated with organics.  They set the benchmark for reducing greenhouse gases when dealing with waste.  All other countries may and should measure themselves against this example.

The next group of countries, in the chart from Norway to Poland, are well on the way in their development of waste management.  However, landfills are still open here.

The chart shows that none of the countries without landfills has managed to do so without a significant share of energy recovery of at least 40%.
As long as industry continues to produce more and more highly complex composite materials and overwhelms us with non-recyclable packaging, the same will be true in the future and for all other countries:  Without elimination of the organic fraction of waste, which is practically only possible and sensible through thermal recycling, countries will continue to emit high amounts of greenhouse gases from open landfills despite veritable recycling shares.

Many environmental organizations unilaterally communicate the benefits of recycling and fail to recognize the dangers of open dumping.  They refer to EU laws and regulations that call for increasing recycling rates in precise intermediate steps.  Landfilling of household waste, on the other hand, does not have to be limited to 10% until 2035.  There are no interim targets or consequences for non-compliance.  The options to extend this deadline or simply overlook it are simple.

Those who do not know the connections between landfilling and greenhouse gases are therefore planning in the sense of the EU but not in the sense of climate protection.
We need a change in communication:  a big change that takes to heart the multi-layered approaches to dealing with waste and values, that explains Reduce, Reuse, Recycle just as well as the possibilities of energy generation.  We need communication without dogmas and fighting statements, but also without protection zones for production and trade, because the responsibility for waste avoidance does not only lie with the individual.

WtERT provides the platform and promotes this BIG Change in Communication!  Visit us at the IFAT at the WtERT booth 125/224 in hall A6 and feel free to discuss with us.  Between Tuesday, May 31st and Thursday, June 2nd we will be presenting how we can bring together the essence of a sustainable circular society.  And also what we can contribute specifically.


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