INDUSTRIAL ECOLOGY II / ZeroWaste

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Roxanna is talking about the very beginnings of industrial ecology. In this context I want to present you the concept of Zero Waste:
Zero Waste defines the discipline required to create a more sustainable interaction with our natural world, including the principles of
• conserving resources,
• minimizing pollution,
• maximizing employment opportunities,
• providing the greatest degree of local economic self-reliance.
Zero Waste visualizes the economy as a circular or spiral system in which every part supports and affects every other. The outdated linear economic and production system, which does not recognize the interconnectedness of impacts and the trail of wastes left behind is to be replaced.
(source: Wagner, Betriebswirtschaftliche Umweltökonomie, Stuttgart)
more information in the extended body


Zero Waste implies:
– Manufacturer Responsibility: sharing responsibility for recovering their products and ensuring that they are recycled and not wasted.
-Minimum-Content Standards: helping ‘close the loop’ by using the materials collected in local recycling programs
to manufacture new products.
-Consumer Deposit Programs to promote reuse and
recycling.
-Unit-Pricing for Trash: incentives to reduce waste and recycle through variable garbage rates including the
opportunity to eliminate their garbage bill if Zero Waste is achieved.
-Full-Cost Accounting and Life-Cycle Analysis: full accounting of the costs of resource depletion, remediation, and
environmental degradation.
-Invest in Jobs Through Reuse and Recycling: Waste prevention and recycling provides tremendous opportunities
to create jobs and initiate new business ventures.
-End Subsidies for the Extraction of Virgin Resources: putting an end to subsidies for the resource extraction industries.
-Take Consumer Action against Wasteful Corporations: The public must put pressure directly on corporations that profit from waste.
Within Zero Waste, there is the concept of Eco-Parks:
Eco-Industrial Parks (EcoParks): A group of businesses that work together and with the community to
efficiently share resources (materials, water, energy, infrastructure, natural habitat and information), enhance
economic prosperity and improve the environment.
• Wastes of one business in an EcoPark become resources of another business, to reduce costs and
obtain added value from discarded materials. (“Zero Emission Park”, “Virtual Eco-Park”).

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Posted in industrial ecology, pollution
One comment on “INDUSTRIAL ECOLOGY II / ZeroWaste
  1. jeremy says:

    One of the basic tenets of ‘natural capitalism’ is the notion of biomimicry, which is consistent with the elimination of waste. The most famous book on this topic was written by Janine Benyus in 1997, entitled: Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature.

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