To The Editor - Waste News
[A negative review of Toronto's Zero Waste by 2010 policy written by the editorial staff of Waste News engendered this rebuttal from Warren Snow, Trustee of the Zero Waste New Zealand Trust.]
To whom it may concern:
It is completely practical, feasible and necessary for humanity's survival that large cities such as Toronto go for seemingly impossible goals such as Zero Waste. We need breakthrough strategies to solve the ever threatening waste crisis. We have created in record time a vastly efficient system for extracting resources from nature and turning them into goods and services for mainly western society - a society that's already overloaded with the problem of over-abundance. But we do this in a hugely wasteful manner which is why our landfills are filling up. Human's are the only society that don't have a Zero Waste policy.
We have a stark choice - go for Zero Waste or end up with pretty well Zero Resources and endless piles of toxic waste with nowhere left to put the next lot.. The materials for the maintenance of modern society can come largely from mining the metropolis instead of nature. There is no alternative to Zero Waste if we want to have a permanent human society - neither is there anything radical about the concept. Zero Waste is a truly conservative idea because it's about conserving precious resources.
The radical thing to do is mix them all up and throw them into gaping wounds in nature called landfills. That concept is called "waste management" which has proven not to work. There are too many vested interests who want to keep "managing waste", but they do not have the public or the environment's interest at heart.
It's time for communities to take back control of their resources and use them to create jobs and local wealth rather than long term health risks to the environment and people. It's time to stop managing waste and instead eliminate it. Toronto can show the world how to move radically toward sustainability by achieving massive and rapid waste reduction outcomes through going for Zero Waste. Who will complain if in 10 years there is 1 or 2% left to eliminate?
Zero Waste New Zealand Trust
PDF of submission to NZ Government
'An End to Waste - Zero Waste by 2020' has been compiled by Zero Waste New Zealand Trust in conjunction with local and international waste minimisation experts. It outlines the need for an overriding vision for New Zealand, explains what Zero Waste is, and provides guidelines on how we will get there.
Additional supporting information can be viewed on our website ("National Campaign"/"National Strategy") or you can email us for assistance or for a hardcopy version of the document.