Waste Prevention is one of the most common environmental problems facing government today. But it’s not just Government that’s affected, it’s all of us. If we produce less solid waste, then we’ll use less energy getting rid of it and we can rightfully expect the Local Authority costs to drop if they have less to handle or dispose. This should ease pressure on household rates increases.
If we keep repairable Appliances local and in the community, we should be able to fix them safely and more sustainably, meaning when you buy your spares and whole appliances locally, they should in theory cost you less. This will help build up local skills through our Training Programmes and potentially help Housing Associations, Private Rental Sector and Social Landlords all look at reparation to help lower their business costs. The Video above clearly illustrates how we need to live, and demonstrates ideas on how we may use our Large Domestic Appliances in the future. We will require more Local Competent Appliance Repairers to achieve this and together, we can create the opportunities.
What about Recycling we hear you ask? While waste prevention reduces garbage at the source, recycling diverts materials that have already been discarded and uses them in place of virgin feedstocks. Recycling is a vital strategy for reducing waste and using resources more efficiently, but it still involves costly, time-consuming, and energy-intensive collection, handling, and reprocessing of materials. In most communities with mandatory recycling laws, workers and lorries are needed to:
- Collect the recyclables at the kerbside.
- Transfer them to another location for processing, separation, repair or creating jobs elsewhere.
- Deliver them to a reprocessor, (recycler) who may be shredding reuseable parts.
With waste prevention, on the other hand, the materials never make it to the kerbside, so there are fewer costs associated with labour, energy, and equipment use; less traffic and noise; avoided air pollution and associated health risks; and fewer processing and disposal fees. To a far greater degree than recycling, waste prevention reduces:
- The need for raw materials.
- The energy consumption and environmental damage associated with extracting minerals, plastics, glass etc
- The need to manufacture and distribute finished materials — two highly energy- and materials-intensive activities often not considered when weighing up whether to buy new or reused appliances.
- Debt because people often overstretch themselves financially rather than free up disposable income for other family priorities, such as food, clothing and family activities.
Because of its many benefits, waste prevention is the preferred strategy in the solid waste management hierarchy