Unwasted: The Future of Business on Earth

2011, Environment  -  54 min Leave a Comment
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There is no waste in nature. When a tree falls it's only halfway through its life. When a bear or animal finishes eating food and processes it in its body that becomes fertilizer for future life in the forest flora.

So it's a beautiful thing the way nature has worked this all out. There is no waste in nature; the human animal is in fact the only animal on the planet to create waste that nature cannot process.

We're all paying for the landfills around the country, and everybody in the US is working with some system, whether it's a municipal system that manages their own waste locally or it's a system that ships the waste to other parts of the country.

The reason you should care about this is because that's going to make a difference for the environment, for the economy, for your costs, for all the things you care about. In economics there's this term of "externalities" and there's a lot of cost out there that we collectively bear as a society, whether it's habitat destruction, whether it's cost that are directly being imposed on us the citizens who didn't ask for those costs to be put on us.

The cities are under huge budget pressure right now and they need to cut their costs. They're trying to cut their costs in terms of how they are managing their waste and they hope to start making more money off the recycling. So it's really becoming more of a fiscal issue than environmental issue in some cases.

The latest statistics show that even with the recycling as high as it is there's still more than half of what's going into the landfill that could be recycled or reused.

The garbage is more expensive than recycling. The landfills are not used for making money but they're revenue extractors because cities are spending lot of money to maintain them. You need to pull out the gas, you need to pull out the water and treat it, you need to establish a monitoring system to trace the extent of thermodynamics, and all that costs money.