Research & Development (too much or not enough?)

“Landfill Cinderella” (Guwahati, India) by Arash Yaghmaeian, Grand Prize winner of 2017 HIPA.

“River of garbage”, Beirut, 2016, during Lebanese waste management crisis.

«Since the closing of Beirut’s main landfill in July, more than 20,000 tons of trash have accumulated on the capital’s streets, according to Al Jazeera. The country’s health minister, Wael Abu Faour, said Monday they were nearing a “major health disaster,” with dangers of contaminating air, food and water, reports the New York Times.
The heaps of trash have been covered with poison powder to mitigate rat infestation, but, according to local residents, the odor remains unbearable.» – Source


C&D stands for “Construction and Demolition”


Source: Global Waste Management Outlook (2015)

«The amount of municipal solid waste (MSW), one of the most important by-products of an urban lifestyle, is growing even faster than the rate of urbanization. Ten years ago there were 2.9 billion urban residents who generated about 0.64 kg of MSW per person per day (0.68 billion tonnes per year).
This report estimates that today these amounts have increased to about 3 billion residents generating 1.2 kg per person per day (1.3 billion tonnes per year).
By 2025 this will likely increase to 4.3 billion urban residents generating about 1.42 kg/capita/day of municipal solid waste (2.2 billion tonnes per year).» – Source

«Serial waste generators (…). Trash also causes a financial burden. Cities in developing countries spend 20% to 50% of their budgets dealing with waste management, a hardship for cash-strapped nations».


«Rather than decomposing, plastic disintegrates into pieces and eventually into a fine “dust” that can poison wildlife and even move up the food chain.» – Source


«Advertisers encourage us to buy the newest fashions. If something breaks, we throw it away and buy a new one.  Products are not made to last. (…) People do not think about the consequences of dropping rubbish. They assume that somebody is responsible for cleaning the streets (…). Companies should make goods that last longer. They should not use so much packaging. Governments should be stricter, about waste produced by companies. They should put legal limits on the packaging. (…) Governments should invest on transforming human culture, away from consumerism towards a culture of sustainability.»



– Prefer to buy fresh food (which is healthier) with permanent sacks, rather than precooked, packaged and canned foods. For instance, bread lasts longer inside textile sacks.

– Prefer vintage repaired and refurbished products, which frequently possess a more solid and durable construction than the new fast-obsolescent ones.

– Do not throw away things you do not want anymore: sell them or give them to someone who can repair them. «“One man’s junk is another man’s treasure”».

– Know each material and give to each one its right destiny (of course, there is NO universal solution for all materials):

  • Organic: It is the only material which is acceptable in a landfill and it can be all composted to fertilize soils;
  • Paper (which is partially organic): Reuse, recycle, reduce production, burn to ashes (use it as a barbecue tinder);
  • Plastic: Collect. Reuse. Reduce production and distribution of the toxic types. Burn the non-toxic types and use it for energy (since they are derived from petroleum). Never throw away into soil or ocean.
  • Metal: Collect. Melt and recycle. Reduce extraction.
  • Glass: Collect. Clean and reuse. Reduce production.
  • Construction and demolition waste: Adopt non-toxic building materials. Prefer rehabilitation to demolition. Deliver it to a treatment center should be law.
  • Chemical hazardous waste: Stop production. Why something recognized as hazardous for humans should be produced by humans? (Not smart…). Research & develop non-toxic substitutes.
  • Nuclear waste: Stop production. There are plenty of healthier alternatives to that destructive energy.
  • Space junk: Collect. Reuse. Recycle. Reduce its launch.
  • etc.

Earth is really our food table, and we don’t want it with plastic powder, toxic heavy metals, nuclear and hazardous waste, etc., unless we wish to go on a diet for living sick – a “circulus vitiosus”, because sick people ask for more industrial chemicals to simulate a cure, but that, in fact, intoxicate them and their environment each time more.

Garbage collecting mobs and contests should be encouraged, and even practiced in schools and scout camps as a civic activity or even a sport with objectives and prizes. “Garbage parties” – pay your entry in garbage – why not?

Manufacturing companies should reward and sponsor citizens for that kind of action, because they are recovering their materials and money back.


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