Zero Waste means designing and managing products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve and recover all resources, and not burn or bury them. Zero Waste refers to waste management and planning approaches which emphasize waste prevention as opposed to end-of-pipe waste management. It is a whole systems approach that aims for a massive change in the way materials flow through construction waste recycling methods pdf, resulting in no waste. Zero waste is more of a goal or ideal rather than a hard target.
Zero Waste provides guiding principles for continually working towards eliminating wastes. Advocates say eliminating waste eliminates pollution, and can also reduce costs due to reduced need for raw materials. Cradle-to-grave is in direct contrast to cradle-to-cradle. Cradle-to-cradle focuses on designing industrial systems so that materials flow in closed loop cycles which mean that waste is minimized, and waste products can be recycled and reused. The cradle-to-cradle model is sustainable and considerate of life and future generations. The cradle-to-cradle framework has evolved steadily from theory to practice. In the industrial sector, it is creating a new notion of materials and material flows.
The spread of industrialization worldwide has been accompanied by a large increase in waste production. In 2012 the World Bank stated that 1. 3billion tonnes of municipal waste was produced by urban populations and estimates that that number will reach 2. The increase in solid waste production increase the need for landfills.
With the increase in urbanization these landfills are being placed closer to communities. These landfills are disproportionately located in areas of low socioeconomic status with primarily non-white populations. Findings indicated these areas are often targeted as waste sites because permits are more easily acquired and there was generally less community resistance. Additionally, within the last five years, more than 400 hazardous waste facilities have received formal enforcement actions for unspecified violations that were considered to be a risk to human health. There is a growing global population that is faced with limited resources from the environment.
To relieve the pressures placed on the finite resources available it has become more important to prevent waste. To achieve zero waste, waste management has to move from a linear system to being more cyclical so that materials, products and substances are used as efficiently as possible. Materials must be chosen so that it may either return safely to a cycle within the environment or remain viable in the industrial cycle. Zero waste promotes not only reuse and recycling, but, more importantly, it promotes prevention and product designs that consider the entire product life cycle. Zero waste designs strive for reduced materials use, use of recycled materials, use of more benign materials, longer product lives, reparability, and ease of disassembly at end of life. Zero waste strongly supports sustainability by protecting the environment, reducing costs and producing additional jobs in the management and handling of wastes back into the industrial cycle. A Zero waste strategy may be applied to businesses, communities, industrial sectors, schools and homes.