Managing an environmentally sound site
WASTE MANAGEMENT: IS IT REALLY WASTE?
Alternatively, one of the most effective ways to reduce one’s ecological footprint and greenhouse gases emissions (GHG) is to divert waste from the landfill. How? Reduce, reuse, recycle and recover to the maximum!
Each tonne of residue making its way to the landfill is responsible for nearly one and a half tonnes of GHG emissions: think about it, there is an enormous potential for a reduction here. The waste also represents great opportunities for technological development and job creation. According to the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks, one tonne of recycled material creates ten times more jobs than one tonne of disposed of material.
Quebeckers are ranked among the largest producers of waste in the world.
Consequently, some 13 million tonnes of residual material produced each year in the province has the potential for exploitation that needs to be tapped into, with respect not only to the manufacture of goods, but also to energy recovery.
IN THE CONSTRUCTION SECTOR
Typical construction site = 78 tonnes of GHG
Eco-friendly construction site = 35 tonnes de GHG
For Quebec, the stakes are high because construction, renovation and demolition activities (CRD) generate nearly 35% of our total residual materials. Imagine the waste that this represents!
The ERE 132 home, due to its construction waste management system and waste sorting initiatives, has been able to reduce the quantity of waste better than even mandated by industry standards, diverting 88% of waste from landfill sites.
If you want to reduce the quantity of waste produced during your construction, you can:
- Entrust the management to a recycling company that will ensure the sorting and transportation of waste to sorting centres, an ecocentre or to a recycling plant
- Keep old/used parts because they have added charm
- Identify the waste that is recyclable or recoverable and send it to companies that will recuperate it; some companies even offer to pick up waste materials from your home
IN THE KITCHEN
Organic materials, such as wood and food, represent more than 40% of domestic waste. When we dispose of organic materials at a landfill, we are making a considerable contribution to climate change. Without a doubt, organic matter decomposes very differently in nature, in small quantities, than it does in a landfill, in large quantities.
Recycling an aluminum can, rather than dumping it at the landfill, reduces pollution by 75 % and saves enough energy to run a television for three hours.
At garbage dumps, the waste is compacted reducing it in size, which limits the flow of oxygen. Organic matter, mixed with scrap metal or plastic packaging, for example, decomposes anaerobically (without oxygen), causing high emissions of methane. Moreover, the methane is forty times more damaging to the atmosphere than carbon dioxide (CO2)!
Sorting waste by having three separate bins (trash, recycling and compost) in the kitchen will help divert a good amount of waste from landfill sites. Recycling can also develop new opportunities for the economy, because more and more products and materials are recyclable. Consequently, this reduces the pressure on resources and limits landfill waste in general.
As for composting, this contributes to the creation of fertile soils conducive to agricultural and horticultural use while preventing methane gas emissions into the atmosphere. Above all, don't forget to reduce, reuse, recycle and compost! Simple acts that have a big impact.
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