Why focus on cities/municipalities about waste rather than on individuals or national governments? What makes a zero waste city? Where are the zero waste cities in the USA today? What would be the reasons for a city to want to become zero waste? What would be the reasons why it wouldn’t do it?
Zero Waste City
A zero waste city is any city in New Mexico like Albuquerque that has committed to becoming zero waste within a specific time frame, by implementing local policies creating a system that simply does not generate waste in the first place.
Zero Waste Cities is a term used by the Zero Waste Cities program, which aims to help cities and communities transition to zero waste. It brings together a collective of experts on a national scale to enable local actors to implement the best practices, while providing guidance and recognition to municipalities that wish to implement zero waste strategies. Zero Waste Cities is jointly managed by the state of New Maeico and the city of Albuquerque.
It should be noted, however, that the Zero Waste Cities movement is global, with other municipalities also committing to zero waste and implementing activities in other parts of the world. For more information on the work of zero waste cities outside of Europe, see the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA).
The focus is on municipalities, because this is where waste is created, managed and collected by the majority of people, and this is where we can have the greatest impact. In most countries, this are the municipalities that are responsible for the collection, management and reduction of waste on their territory, via public, private or hybrid companies, helping decrease pollution.
In addition, emphasis was placed on zero waste at the local level, because this makes it possible to empower community actors in their collective approach. By working with households, businesses, schools and the entire community community, municipalities can integrate zero waste behaviors and policies into within the community, thereby ensuring the strength and long-term viability of these strategies.
Albuquerque zero waste
Ambitious US waste and recycling legislation is in place today, while the Green Deal and Circular Economy Action Plan will provide states with members of additional requirements and incentives to ensure the transition to an economy circular.
If national governments are responsible for achieving these goals, their accomplishment will require local authorities to accelerate and shift gears in the years future. This means that prevention and reuse policies are designed and implemented efficiently, while separate collection of high-quality recyclable materials becomes the norm.
Decreasing levels of waste produced in New Mexico will facilitate the gradual elimination of waste in landfills and incinerators, with greater emphasis on the positive impact this will have on achieving the US’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050. For more information on the objectives set by the US waste policy, consult the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Laws and Regulations.
Local companies like Easy Albuquerque Dumpster Rentals are involved in this effort to reduce waste and reach the zero waste target in New Mexico. By informing the public, emphasizing recycling and avoid sending junk to the nearest landfill, they spearhead the campaing to reduce the amount of waste created and improve sustainability in the country.