This booklet is: A starting point. We hope these ideas will be quickly deepened or replaced by our peers as we expand and extend this conversation; An articulation of a political framework (Climate Justice) to understand some of the challenges we face and respond to them. It isn’t static. It isn’t the only useful framework in addressing climate change, either.
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In recent years, the European Commission has continuously developed the tool of cost-benefit analysis to better inform decision-makers in the process of settling on new directives and regulations concerning the environment. However, according to the Terms of Reference of this assignment “most studies in the field of waste have been restricted to an analysis of costs and, at best, a relatively superficial description of benefits”.
While the recycling's impact on jobs has been the subject of several studies in recent years, Returning to Work is the first report to take into account the vital importance of material quality, throughput quantities, processing dynamics and end-user needs to analyze the net gains in domestic jobs when beverage containers are recovered through recycling.
Container deposits increase container recovery, reduce environmental pollution, create jobs and place the cost of recovery on those who produce and consume the containers.
While single-stream recycling is more convenient for consumers and results in lower costs than other collection systems, it also results in more contamination of collected materials, lower material quality, and increased waste. Using data from industry reports and interviews with recyclers, this report that highlights the economic and environmental impacts of switching to a single-stream system.
The importance of preserving material quality and avoiding cross-contamination has become a common theme in many recent technical reports on recycling.
The mercury situation in the Philippines is alarming. In 2008, the Environmental Management Bureau, under the Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources, conducted a mercury assessment for the Philippines. The report revealed a staggering annual release of 133,589 kilograms of mercury into various environmental media, with air bearing the brunt of the emissions -- 80,755 kilograms of mercury are released into the air every year.
The European Commission’s Green Paper on Plastic Waste and GAIA’s response to the public consultation. The Green Paper describes the growing problem of plastic waste in Europe, regulation addressing the issue, policy options for improving management, application of the waste hierarchy to plastic waste management, etc.
Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) funding for incineration and landfills currently represents a lost opportunity to reduce pollution and help improve the welfare and standards of living of some of the poorest people in the world. Additionally, this funding incentivizes the destruction of valuable resources that would otherwise have been recovered with significant climate benefits.
Single-stream recycling is a system in which all recyclables, including newspaper, cardboard, plastic, aluminum, junk mail, etc., are placed in a single bin or cart for recycling. These recyclables are collected by a single truck and taken to a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) to be sorted into various commodity streams for sale to markets, where it is processed into feedstock which can be used in the manufacture of new products.