Zero waste

What we can learn from Denmark’s near-zero-waste wonder

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

This article first appeared at Ensia.

When we look closely at systems in nature — coral reefs or rainforests, for instance — we see something we don’t often see in human systems: mutually beneficial relationships and energy flows among the various elements, such as air, water, rocks, soil, and plant and animal life. If we emulate these relationships in our cities and in our industrial infrastructure, we can vastly improve the sustainability of natural resources and energy use.

That’s exactly what the municipality of Kalundborg, 64 miles west of Copenhagen, is doing. In fact, for over 50 years, Kalundborg has been home to the first — and still the most advanced — example of this concept: the Kalundborg Symbiosis. Anchored originally by a power and district heating plant, this innovative industrial complex has grown to include some large and profitable enterprises, including the biggest oil refinery in the Baltic Region; an insulin-producing plant with 2,700 employees; factories making enzymes for use in everything from bioenergy to textiles, and gypsum for lightweight building materials; and the largest sewage treatment plant in northern Europe. Heat, water and a host of other resources that would otherwise be treated as waste supply some of the energy and many of the feedstocks to these operations and to the surrounding municipality, including farms.

DuPont and GM’s lessons for closing in on zero waste

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

Every time something in your company’s production cycle gets thrown into a trash can and ends up in a landfill, you throw out some money.

A landfill-free strategy is too costly, too challenging, and too hard to implement, you say? Check out how the experts featured in Greenbiz’s recent webcast “Innovative Approaches to Recycling and Waste Reduction” did it.

Waste Management Phoenix Open Achieves Zero Waste

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

The Waste Management Phoenix Open has, for the second consecutive year, diverted 100 percent of waste away from landfills amid this year’s record attendance of 563,008 fans.

As part of its Zero Waste Challenge, the 2014 Waste Management Phoenix Open earned UL Environment’s landfill waste diversion, or Zero Waste to Landfill status, a certification proven through transparent reporting and detailed data.

Defining “Zero” Waste

Read the full post at The Circular File.

The front page of the just-released draft zero waste plan for my home state—Maryland—boldly announces its goal to reduce, reuse and recycle nearly all waste generated in the state by 2040. The draft certainly contains some admirable proposals. Yet, as I read it, I realized that the plan didn’t seem to be able to make up its mind whether it was a waste management plan or a materials management plan. And in those two words—“waste” and “materials”—lies all the difference in the world.

How Minneapolis Plans to Have Zero Waste

Read the full story in Governing.

Imagine a city without garbage.

It’s not as crazy as it sounds. Minneapolis officials are taking early steps toward joining ­Seattle and San Francisco in becoming “zero waste” cities where just about every scrap of trash is recycled.

A public hearing to ban hard-to-recycle foam takeout containers is scheduled for Monday and City Hall is drafting a plan to pick up food scraps and other organic items from every home by next year, something several metro-area cities already do. And Mayor Betsy Hodges has hired the city’s first-ever zero-waste coordinator.