Waste Not, Want Not by Bill McKibben

Posted by Trish Riley, April 23, 2009

Here’s a fantastic summary of the fix we’re in, written by one of the most highly-esteemed environmental journalists of our time. Thanks for passing this along, Ed.

Waste Not, Want Not | Mother Jones.

A recent article in Gainesville’s Insite magazine (“The Life Cycle of Your Bottle, pg. 31) follows our waste stream through the recycling process. But is it really accurate? I recently heard from a staffer of our waste management program that only 10 percent of the glass we put in our recycling bins ends up actually being recycled. Since there are few markets for recycled glass, 90 percent of the glass collected ends up in landfills. What can we do about that? We need new businesses dedicated to recycling glass and other natural resources.

We can also cut down on our waste generation by reusing our waste at home. I recently got a free composting bin from Alachua County Waste Department, and I am amazed at how much my personal waste stream has been reduced. By putting my vegetable scraps into the compost bin, where they’re turning into natural fertilizer for my yard, I’ve cut about 80 percent of the garbage i send to the curb each week. I’m going to call our utility company and request a smaller bin – and reduce my waste expense while saving money on garden supplies.

And if you have some worthwhile goods to get rid of, you can pass them along to others who might be able to use them via Alachua Exchange or FreeCycle.

Reducing our waste saves resoures, saves energy and reduces emissions which cause global warming. The race is on to achieve Zero Waste! Join the fun!

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