Waste not want not – NSW landfills full by 2030
I read two very different pieces of information this week. The first was a report on treehugger about the city of Oslow running out of rubbish and the second was about Sydney running out of landfill space to bury our rubbish. How can the two problems co-exist?
Well, in Oslow they use their rubbish to generate heat and power for the city and what they have found is that as the citizens of Oslow have improved their recycling the amount of rubbish left over has reduced. So the solution to their problem? Import garbage from countries that are running out of landfill space and haven’t changed their practices in over 1000 years.
In fact Oslow have been importing rubbish from England and Sweden for quite a few years and are now even considering importing rubbish from America. Before you say it, the carbon impact of shipping rubbish from America to Oslow to generate heat and power is still less than burning coal.
Anyway, back to the opposite end of the scale.
I recently read the draft metropolitan strategy for Sydney, if you live in Sydney please read it and provide comment. Its a draft in consultation stage so now is the time to have your say. Or just read it so you know whats coming.
In the summary of the strategy, it gives some useful stats and numbers with one of them being that Sydney and Regional NSW will run out of landfill in the next 20 years.
Yep, Oslow wants rubbish and we are running out of places to hide it.
So how about a greater emphasis on recycling, or education about what can and can’t be recycled. Our government has pushed through plain packaging on cigarettes, how about legislating clear guidance on recycling on products when you have finished with the contents.
Or how about a metropolitan strategy on how we deal with our dwindling landfill space? Or how about integrating our waste strategy with the requirement with the city of sydney 2030 plan for bio-gas trigen? But what happens if we value our waste in a different way and run out of biogas?
Or lets start processing the stuff thats all ready in the landfill, prioritise the development of molecular level recycling. We could return some of the landfill sites to mother nature.
Or just put the true price on waste and see the resultant reduction in landfill. If it costs us money we will work out a way of reducing our cost.
What ever the solution is we better get on with it. It takes at least 20 years to implement any of the ones above.