Following the release of the latest United Nations climate report, the Red Crescent warning that the effects of climate change are worsening is another striking reminder. Extreme weather events and natural disasters that once were rare are now intensifying around the world – we can no longer turn them into another “bad year”.
We know that climate change is man-made. Only humans have the responsibility to direct the scale to local justice and sustainability. For those who want to make a difference, it is easy to feel lost, overwhelmed, or anxious, given the uncertain future of our planet and the devastation caused by global warming.
The solution is closer to home, simpler and more effective than you think. Waste distortion – Reduce our confidence in waste bins through fertilizer and recycling.
When you drop something, where exactly Avoid? Most of the time, we throw things in our trash without even thinking about the big impact of that small step. In Denver, most of our waste (primarily food and garden waste) is dumped in a landfill and hidden out of sight, underground.
When organic matter is buried in a landfill, it decomposes slowly and without oxygen, releasing large amounts of methane gas. Instead, when organic matter is mixed, decomposition occurs with oxygen, creating carbon dioxide. Methane gas emitted from fossil fuels has more than 28 times the heating capacity of carbon dioxide, which contributes to climate change.
Fertilizer Fertilizer not only reduces severe air pollution emissions, it also has high carbon content. It is a powerful soil supplement that restores nutrients, promotes the growth of beneficial microorganisms, improves water retention, and draws carbon off the atmosphere. Composting can also create green jobs and reduce our confidence in hazardous fertilizers.
Colorado often takes the lead in climate change, but our failure to reduce waste is a missed opportunity. Colorado is only 15.9 percent behind the national average of 32.1 percent. We cannot continue to fight for our beauty.
Garbage in our landfills is exacerbating the climate crisis, but as a waste, it is an important part of the solution. According to the Colorado Greenhouse Gas Reduction Map, by 2019 alone, waste disposal will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1.92 million metric tons, eliminating more than 407,000 cars off the road each year or saving 148,000 homes from grids, or 113 million gallons of gasoline. Think about it, there is a great potential to reduce our impact by increasing our sewage rate.
What we do with our waste issues, however, is often overlooked in policies designed to reduce our impact on climate change. In Denver, businesses generate 55 percent of the city’s waste, but they do not need to be fertilized or reused. Another major hurdle in Denver is municipal fertilizer and recycling, which is limited to seven rooms or less, which means that most apartment tenants have no access to these services. In fact, only about 9 percent of Denver households are enrolled in municipal fertilizer services.
Large apartment building managers may choose to re-use tenants and provide fertilizer, but since waste service is cheaper, this is only what they offer. Conscientious residents have to travel to a docking station or arrange their own services through a private company, such as the next service I have established (Full Description: I am one of these green jobs).
Reuse and fertilizer should not be an option left to the landlord. Instead, tenants should expect these services to be available, so they can reduce their impact by responsibly disposing of garbage. Denver must reap the many benefits of wasting and wasting cities that seek fertilizer and recycling, such as San Francisco.
Garbage in Denver has been managed in the same way for decades, with only improvements. It is 2021 to change the current situation. In order to reconsider our trust in landfills, we need bold action by local and regional governments.
In Denver, a community-led waste disposal initiative is working hard to turn our waste into a major climate pollution problem. It needs apartment buildings, condoms, restaurants, hospitals, hotels and sports fields to provide fertilizer and recycling services to their tenants, customers, patients and guests. It also mandates the responsible disposal of all construction and demolition waste.
No waste More in the last days to collect signatures to participate in the Denver 2021 municipal election. You Can Help – Visit www.wastenomoredenver.org and be part of the solution.
Individual action on fertilizer and recycling can really make a difference when it is multiplied by residents and businesses in the city. Instead of wasting our time, we should move to a cleaner environment and move to landfills.
Stephen Winterbach, a student at CU-Boulder Leeds Business School, is a co-founder of Reusable and Reinforcement.
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