All sectors of the global community are involved in some form of waste management. The human densities of today’s urban zones presents increased challenges of dealing with vast volumes of waste, be it municipal, sewage, water drainage, organic compost or recyclable materials. Rural areas produce less waste, but often suffer from a poorly developed waste management system. The challenge for today’s waste management teams is to both reduce the amount of waste entering the system, and develop the protocols and processes required to achieve 100% recycling of all future waste.
Collaboration across the sectors is now allowing the potential for the adoption of new sustainable waste management practices. Opportunities to save money are matched by opportunities to make money by developing the services and products to facilitate this shift.
Waste food, packaging, redundant consumer items, organic refuse are all much easier to process if they have never been mixed up, but today’s packaging often blends metal, glass, plastic and paper materials bonded together - tomorrow's must be readily recyclable.
Consumer awareness is a critical factor in the success and uptake of voluntary recycling schemes. Legislation lead recycling programmes are now moving towards a climate of mandatory recycling of all household waste. Where this has not yet been adopted, substantial targets are nevertheless being laid down in many countries.
Landfill operations, CHP systems, and Water management are all part of the bigger picture of waste management and there are business and technical synergies available to exploit.