One of the more humbling facts about modern life is the fact that, for those with the privilege to live in first world countries, the reality is that our standard of living has never been higher in human history. Our standards of food, medicine, living conditions and even waste management have all improved massively with each new generation.
But do you know what’s an even better realisation? The fact that our children will no doubt have a quality of life that far exceeds our own.
So let’s have a friendly look towards the future and find out just what awaits us in the world of modern waste management.
The times-are-a-changing and transformation is required for a bold new future, with many waste companies now shifting their focus towards converting waste into biofuel. Yes, many waste companies hope to turn waste into energy!
While thermal technologies have seen the biggest growth in the last decade, biological technologies hold great potential and could provide a major breakthrough in the energy sector.
Thus, a new (and very promising) generation of companies is coming to life. Companies like LanzaTech are starting to use bio-tech to literally eat away biodegradable trash to convert said waste into a form of bio-fuel. Pretty cool, huh?
Another almost sci-fi example is Novozymes, a company that created a solution which converts used cooking oil into biodiesel. Alchemists, eat your heart out!
One of the big things in waste management is the idea that items have a shelf life that means things must be “thrown away” eventually. Even the word implies wastage. Well, that line of thinking is changing rapidly, and items are now being recycled more efficiently than ever before.
A step up from that is the integration of wider economic systems, with certain initiatives for designers and manufacturers taking effect in the not too distant future across the globe.
By 2025, we can expect waste management companies to step up and switch from burning and burying waste to returning it as valuable resources to manufacturers.
Manufacturers themselves will need to “rewire” their process and think of today’s goods as tomorrow’s raw materials, making those initial steps towards a more renewable, long term business model. With this, the quality of the products themselves will change for the better, so that they last longer, are easier to repair and to dismantle.
This is mostly done, on a more literal level, by closing what’s referred to as “resource loops” in the process of using key materials for goods in the marketplace, seeing through the lifespan of a product from it’s initial usage all the way to its final usage much later.
This should hopefully create in the next decade or two a complete and harmonious system of circular good use and minimal waste creation.
Here’s undeniable proof that we are spoiled for choice and living a (bit too) plentiful life: half of the food produced on the globe ends up in the bin. The Government estimates food waste costs the Australian economy $20 billion each year! We’re all guilty of wasting food, but how can we change that?
An idea that is becoming more popular is that of implementing smart cards, which would charge consumers for the waste they produce. This might sound a bit harsh, but this sort of measure can change public attitude faster than you can say “food waste”.
It has already been tried and successfully tested in South Korea – residents scan their smart cards, weigh their rubbish and are billed for the corresponding wastage. This would make anyone think twice before chucking those leftovers in the bin!
The future is bright if companies and consumers are prepared to take the plunge and commit to a more sustainable future, changing their attitude to rubbish.
In the meantime, Bonza Bins are here to help you take care of your waste. For skip bins in Fremantle and other South of the River suburbs, get in touch today!