Resource Discovery and Materials Flow in the City: Zero Waste and Sustainable Consumption as Paradigms in Urban Development

Author:Steffen Lehmann
Position:Professor of Sustainable Design and Inaugural Director of the Zero Waste SA Research Centre for Sustainable Design and Behaviour ('sd+b') at the University of South Australia, in Adelaide
FALL 2010 28
Waste was once seen as a burden on our industries and
communities; however , shifting attitudes and better
understanding o f global warming a nd the depletion
of re sources have led to the identification of waste as a valu-
able resource that demands responsible solutions for collecting,
separating, managing, and recovering. In particular , over the
last decade the holistic concept of a “zero waste” lifecycle has
emerged as part of a cultural shift and a new way of thinking
about the age-old problem of waste and the economic obsession
with endless growth and consumption.
A global understanding has emerged, which widely accepts
that the broad impact of climate change—which includes biodi-
versity loss: increasing air, water, and soil pollution; deforesta-
tion; and a shortage of resources and materials—is a consequence
of o ver-consumption an d unsustainable production processes.
Emerging complex global issues, such as health and the environ-
ment, or lifestyles and consumption, and development re quire
approaches that transcend the traditional boundaries between
disciplines. Today, it is increasingly understood that we need to
discuss resource-efficiency and resource-recovery in the sam e
way that we currently discuss energy-efficiency. This includes
waste minimization strategies and the conc ept of “designing
waste out of processes and product[s].”1
At the local level, ever y mu nicipality or company can
take im mediate action to identify its own parti cular solutions.
Separating recyclable materials, such as paper, metals, plastics,
and glass bottles, and consolidating all identified waste catego-
ries into one collection point are some basic m easures. How-
ever, a waste stream analysis should be conducted, involving
an invento ry of the entire waste com position, measurement of
the vo lumes of dif ferent material categories, and their origin s
and destinations. M unicipalities ca n create databases to track
all waste types and to cross refere nce by facility type, so the
amount and type of waste each facility, district, or precinct gen-
erates can be identified, thus pinpointing whe re reductions are
most feasible.
The conce pt of “zero waste” directly challenges the com-
mon assumption that waste is unavoidable and has no value by
focusing on waste as a “misal located resource” that has to be
recovered. It also focuses on the av oidance of waste creatio n
in t he first place. In Australia for instance, households throw
out approximately five billion dollars of food every year.2 This
raises much wider social questions of attitude and behavior, and
has further implicati ons on urban developmen t. How will we
design, build, and operate cities in the future? What role will
materials flow and waste play in the “city of tom orrow”? How
will we better engage sustainable urban development principles
and “ zero waste” thinking? These are some of the topics dis-
cussed in this paper.
limitS to growth: unDerStanDing waSte aS a
reSource anD part oF a cloSeD-cycle urban ecology
In recent years, the need for more sustainable living choices
and a focus on behavioral change has been increasingly artic-
ulated. The estimated yearly w orld wast e producti on is now
around four billion metric tons o f waste, of which only twenty
percent is currently recovered or recycled.3 Globall y, wast e
management has emerged as a huge challenge, and we must take
a fresh look at how we can best manage the waste and material
streams of cities and urban developments. The issue of our cit-
ies’ ever growing waste production is of particul ar significance
if we view the city as a living eco-system with closed-loop man-
agement cycles (See: Figure 1).
Anna Tibaijuka notes that “managing solid waste is always
in the top five of the most challenging problems for city manag-
ers and it is somewhat strange that it receives so little attention
compared to other urban management issues. The quality of waste
management services is a good indicator of a city’s governance.”4
Clearly there are some serious implications around the topic of
waste. It is obvious that it is not just about waste recycling, but
also waste prevention. Avoidance is the priority, followed by
recycling and “waste engineering” (up-scaling) to minimize the
amount that goes to waste incineration and landfills.
Waste Disposal in Landfills
Landfill runoff and leachate are a threat to soil and ground-
water, and methane gas discharges—mainly from organic waste
reSource recovery anD materialS Flow in
the city:
Zero waSte anD SuStainable conSumption aS paraDigmS in urban Development
by Dr. Steffen Lehmann*
* Dr. Steffen Lehmann is the Professor of Sustainable De sign and Ina ugural
Director of the Zero Waste SA R esearch Centre for S ustainable Desi gn and
Behaviour (sd+b ) at the University of South Australia, in Adelaide. H e has
held the UNESCO Chair in Sustainable Urban Development for the Asia-Pacific
Region (20 08 to 2010), and was the Professor and Chair of the Architecture
School at the University of Newcastle (NSW) from 2002 to 2010. He is General-
Editor of the US-published Journal of Green Building (since 2006) and the con-
vener of th e international conference on ‘Sustainable Arch itecture and Urban
Development’ held in Amman, Jordan in July 2010.
in landfill s—are a threat to the atmos phere. At the same time,
many large cities are producing astronomical amounts of waste
daily and are running out of landfill space. The land available for
filling with rubbish is running out and the situation worldwide
is s imilar, where cities are running o ut of s pace to bury their
waste. In the European Union (“EU”), legislation from Brussels
is making t he burial of rubbish in landfill sites more expensive
and increasing the pressure to re-use and recycle.5 Unfortunately
several countries, such as th e United Kingdom, are unlikely
to meet the EU deadlines on landfill div ersion, as they are not
diverting waste away from la ndfill quic kly enoug h.6 Beijin g
will run o ut of space in its thirteen landfill sites in th e next
three years.7 New Delhi is opening a new landfill site, as exist-
ing sites’ capacity has been exhausted.8 San Francisco has only
enough landfill capacity to last until 2014, and the same applies
to Sydney.9 To transport waste on trucks to distant landfill sites
would be very inefficient and damaging for the environment.10
A particular concern is disposal of electrical and electronic
equipment, known as e-waste. Of about 16.8 million televisions
and computers that reached the end of their us eful life in Aus-
tralia in 2008 and 2009, only about ten percent were recycled.11
Most of the highly toxic e-waste still goes into landfills, threat-
ening g round water an d soil quality , and an unknown propor-
tion is shipped overseas (legally and illegally), mainly to China.
About thirty-seven million computers, s eventeen million tele-
visions, and fifty-six million mo bile phones have already been
buried in la ndfills around Australia.12 This waste contains high
levels of mercury and other toxic materials common to elec-
tronic goods, such as lead, arsenic, and bromide. Several coun-
tries are actively pushing for industry-led schemes for collecting
and recycling televisions, printers, and compute rs, known as
extended producer responsibility (“EPR”) and product steward-
ship.13 In addition, we must expect that the amount of e-waste
created in the developing world will dramatically increase over
the next decade.
Waste Incineration
Incineration of waste has fin ally gone out o f fashion, as i t
is a waste of finite resources and has the disadvantage that it
releases poisonous sub stances, such as dioxins and toxic ash,
into the environment.14 Incinerator ash can often be categorized
as hazardous waste becau se it is extr emely toxic , containin g
concentrated am ounts of lead, cad mium, and other hea vy met-
als.15 Companies producing incinerator t echnology had to face
shrinkin g mark ets i n poll ution-conscious north ern co untries
and as consequence have been turning to Asia and Latin-Amer-
ica where they still see a lucra tive market for their out-dated
Burning waste with very high-embodied energy is generally
not an efficient way of dealing with materials and resources, and
therefore ranks rightly at the bottom of the wa ste management
hierarchy. Environmental groups have successfully prevented
the construction o f new waste incinerat ors around the world ;
there is resistance by society to the development of new landfills
and incineration facilities.17
Outdated linear systems like burning waste or d umping
waste on lan dfill sites will have to be replaced w ith circula r
systems, taking nature as its model. A combination of recycling
and comp osting organic w aste is much more appropriate. The
transformation of waste management has emerged as a lucrative
field: in 2006, for example, Sita UK, a subsidiary of the French
group Suez Environm ent, signed a £ 1 bil lion c ontract with
Cornwall County Council to manage its waste for the next thirty
years, followed by a twenty-eight year, £690 million deal with
Northumberland. Cumbria county council made Shanks its pre-
ferred bidder for a £400 million contract to manage its waste for
twenty-five years in November 2010. Many other local author-
ity contracts are up for grabs.18
Alternatives to Waste Disposal
In the available literature, one can frequently find a recom-
mended split for a city’s municipal waste management where no
waste goes to landfill is as follows:
• Recycling and reusing minimum sixty percent
• Composting of organic waste thirty to forty percent
• Incineration of residual waste (waste-to-energy) maximum
twenty percent19
Organic waste is playing an increasingly important role, and
composting is an effective way to bring back nutrients into the
soil. But also for energy generation: the small Austrian town of
Güssing, for instance, activates the biomass from its agricultural
waste and h as reached energy autonomy by c omposting and
using the bio-energy to generate its power.20
Today, recycli ng fift y to sixty perce nt of all waste has
become an achievable standard figure for many cities. For exam-
ple, the Brazilian model city of Curitiba has managed to recycle
over s eventy percent of its wa ste since 2 000.21 San Fr ancisco
boasts the highest diversion rate in the United States, at seventy-
seven percent; the city has set a “zero waste” goal by 2020.22
However, recent research from Veolia shows that recycling
in itself is inefficient in solving the problem as it does not deliver
the necessary “decoupling ” of economic development from the
depletion of non-renewable raw materia ls.23 Grosse and othe rs
argue that “the depletion of the natural resource of raw material
is inevitable when its global consumption by the economy grows
by more than 1 percent per annum . . . . The only effect of recy-
cling is that the curve is delayed.”24 There is evidence that recy-
cling can only delay the depletion of virgin raw materials for a
few deca des at best. Research shows that only recycling rates
above eighty percent would allow a signi ficant slowdo wn of
the depletion of natural resources.25 Therefore, the role of recy-
cling t o protect r esources is not significant for non-renewable
resources whose consumption tends to grow at a rate of more
than one percent per year.
Even though recycling is an important component of reduc-
ing waste going to landfills and incinerators, sustainable devel-
opment poli cies cannot rely solely on recycli ng. Policies must
aim at reducing the consumption o f each non-renewable raw
FALL 2010 30
material so that the annual gr owth rate remains under one per-
cent. Decoupling economic development from materiality seems
to be the only long term solution. Recycling is not so much the
primary goal since the objective is not mere ly to reduce the
amount of waste in general, but rather to encourage a reduction
in the quantities of materials used to make the products that will
later become waste.
Increas ingly, countries ar e c ollecting reliab le data and
publishing annual waste reports to monitor the development of
waste management. For ins tance, the National Waste Report
2010 of Australia brings together, for the first time in one docu-
ment, data and information on wast e management (including
recycling, reuse, and resource recovery) from across Australia.26
The p roduction of the National Waste Rep ort was pa rt of th e
Australian Governme nt’s Str ategy 16 of the National Waste
Policy: Less Wast e More Resources, which was launched by
the Environment Protection and Heritage Council (“EPHC”) in
November 2009.27
conStantly growing amountS oF waSte
Global urban population growth is expected to stabilize i n
2050 at a round nine billion human beings.28 However, popula-
tion growth is far from being the main driver of recent economic
expansion and the increase of consumption of materials, water,
fossil fuels, and resources. The process by which emerging
countries catch up with the standard of living of more advanced
economies is, in fact, an even more powerful actuator.29 While
the worldwide average for waste generation is about 1 to 1.5 kg
per capita per day, countries like Kuwait and United Arab Emir-
ates top the list by generating an average of over 3.5 kg of waste
per capita per day. By comparison, Australia creates around 3 kg
per capita per day of solid waste.30
With the constant increase in the world’s economic activity,
there has been a large increase in the amount of solid waste pro-
duced per person.31 The mix of industrial and urban waste has
become ever more complex, and often contains large amounts of
toxic chemicals, or is contaminated with organic waste and food
waste, making it impossible to recover and recycle. For instance,
the United Nations Environme nt Pro gramme (“UNEP”) has
explored the various waste categories with the urban waste mix,
and their potential public health impacts.32
waSte in the oceanS
As a consequence of increasin g global production, was te
is accumulating in the oceans. In recent years, our oceans have
devolved into vast garbage dumps. Every year, around 250 mil-
lion metric tons of plastic products are produced, some of which
take up to 200 years to degrade, and much of which ends up in
the oceans.33 The “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” is half the size
of Europe (some call it cynically the world’s largest man-made
structure), and in the Atlantic huge amounts of plastic garbage
have recently been discovered; the highest concentration found
close to Caribbean islands has over 200,00 0 plastic pieces per
square kilomet er.34 In the No rth and Baltic S eas, dumping has
been illegal for over two decades, yet the amount of waste found
in them has not improved.35 It is estimated that each year 20,000
metric tons of waste enters the North Sea, primarily from ships
and the fishing industry.36
The thousands of metric tons o f waste thrown into the sea
each year are endangering humans and wildlife.37 Wildlife con-
sumes small pieces of plastic, which ca uses many of them to
die.38 Experts warn that we have reached a point where it could
become dangerous for humans to consume seafood.39 One prob-
lem is the throwaway plastic water bottles made of polyethylene
terephthalate (“PET”), not only because they significantly con-
tribute to waste creation and CO2 emissions from transporting
drinking water around the glo be, but because the bottles als o
release chemicals suspected of being harmful to humans and ani-
mals into the water.40 This, together with the devastating oil spill
in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, shows how advanced humanity’s
destruction of entire ecosystems in the oceans has become.41
The international communi ty has been pushing for four
decades f or massive bureauc ratic efforts aime d at clearing the
oceans of waste. In 1973, the United Nations sponsore d a pact
for pro tecting the o ceans from d umping, and i n 2001, the EU
established directive s that forbade any du mping of maritime
waste into the ocean while in port.42 However, such directives
have been ineffective and many experts agree that laws and
international effor ts aimed at protecting the oceans have failed
across the board.
Obviously, th e first aim of a sustainable fu ture is to avoi d
the creation of waste and to select materials and products based
on their embodied energy, their life-cycle assessment, and sup-
ply chain analysis. Transportation of input materials, as well as
the tr ansportation of the final product to consumers (or to the
construction site), is a common contr ibutor to gree nhouse gas
emissions. The way in which a product uses resources, such as
water and energy, influences its environmental impact, while its
durability determines how soon it must enter the waste stream.
Care needs to be taken in the origin al selection of input mate-
rials, and the type of assembly used influences end-of-life dis-
posal options, such as ease of recyclability or take-back by the
manufacturer. Construction components in steel can relatively
easily be recycled; steel is therefore by far th e most r ecycled
material worldwide and has the longest “residence time.” How-
ever, with a h uge amount of waste from the construction and
demolition sector still going to landfills and incinerators, drastic
action is required in urban planning to develop intelligent circu-
lar metabolisms for new districts, and waste collection and treat-
ment systems.
Mal Williams, CEO of Cylch, a major recycling company
in Wales, poi nts out that “ninety perc ent of household waste is
actually reusable without the need for incineration. Waste means
inefficiency and lost profit. A large amount of waste from house-
holds is organic. Even so, a lot of it ends up in waste dumps on
the edge of the city where it produces methane gas fo r many
years t hus causing fur ther damage to the climate. This cannot
According to the “polluter pays” principle, those who gen-
erate large amounts of waste should be responsible for bear ing
the costs. Col lecting, sort ing, and treating waste inc urs huge
costs,44 so the focus has to be on avoiding and minimizing waste
creation in the first place. Waste management and recycling
schemes have greatly reduced the volume of waste being land-
filled, while waste segregation and recycling have substan tial
economic benefits and create new “green” jobs.45
Today, no other sector of industry uses more materials, pro-
duces more waste, and contributes less to recycling than the con-
struction sector.46
Zero waSte anD cloSeD loop thinKing in the
conStruction Sector
There is a growi ng interest from arc hitects and urba n
planners in “zero waste” conce pts. Cities are the areas where
these concepts c an be embed ded
into practice by rede signing urban
syste ms with “zer o waste” and
material flow in mind, transform-
ing ex isting ci ties and up grad-
ing recy cling infr astruct ure in
low-t o-no carb on city dist ricts.
It is time to include prefabr ica-
tion and “de sign for disassembly”
building resili ence into urban sys-
tems. This will ch ange the design,
build ing, and op eration o f city
districts in the future.
Energy cost is not limi ted to
heating or cooling energy or light-
ing energy; it is also rel ated to all
materia l flows relevan t to build-
ings. Build ing ma terials too often
use primary res ources that eventually end up in land fills and
waste fro m the production of construction materials and com-
ponents can be much greater than all oth er waste streams. 47
Façade system s made of composite materi als cur rently cre-
ate recycling and resourc e recovery problems.48 No building
debris should go to l andfills; therefore, manuf acturers must
change the composition of materials to ma ke them reusable
or recyclable. In addition, concrete companie s could switch
to u sing recycle d concrete aggregates to make their prod ucts
more s ustainable.49 T o make it easier for architects and plan-
ners t o specify materials accor ding to th eir impact (including
impacts caused by mater ial extraction, or waste crea tion from
the produ ction process), i nformation on mat erials and compo -
nents needs t o be readily available.
Urban p lanners frequently raise the question about which
is the best scale to operate on for introducing “zero waste.” The
city district as a unit appears to be a good, effective scale. Neigh-
borhood and precinct planning must consider the climate crisis,
which will mean linking the urban with the rural community.
Planning better cities will also require that composting facilities
and recycling centers are in close proximity to avoid transport-
ing materials over long distances. Keeping the existing building
stock is important, as the most sustainable building is always the
one that already exists . Retrofitting existing districts is, there-
fore, essential.50
Re-usin g bu ilding components and in tegrating existin g
buildings (instead of demolition) is a basic principle of any eco-
city and eco-building project.
changing manuFacturing anD pacKaging proceSSeS
New agreements with industry have to be made to dra-
matically reduce waste from packaging. On the way towards a
“zero waste” economy, manufacturers will increasingly be made
responsible for t he entire life-cycle of their products, includ-
ing their recycl ability, by introducing an “ex tended produce r
responsibility” (“EPR”) policy.
In the future, with EPR, the creator of packaging will have
to pay for the collection of that pack-
aging. EPR, or Product St eward-
ship, policie s co me at a cost to
manufacturers, as the y must t ake
financial ownershi p of their prod-
ucts f rom creatio n to dispo sal.
The risi ng costs of waste fr om
landfill levies will likely become
a main driver. E ssentially, one
needs to ask how much packag-
ing is really necessary . Can the
product be packed in another way?
For ins tance, in Ger many eighty-
two percent of all pa ckaging is
recycled, an outcome of the legis-
lation Gru ener Punkt (the “Green
Dot”), introduced as early as 1991
and l egislated in 1993.51 Economic
growth has been decoupled from the amount of waste for the
first time in Ge rmany in 2008. There is a nee d for lea dership
from government and a select group of companies (this is usu-
ally not more than five per cent of all companie s) to show how
packaging can be reduc ed or how products can be taken back
from the consumer once the end of life-cycle has been reached,
as is done with old tires.52
Fortun ately, many companies are now doing extraordi-
nary things in t he area of recycling and are pro longing the life-
cycle of products. For instan ce, Ohio-based firm Weise nbach
Recycled Products, a manuf acturer of consumer goods mad e
from re cycled materials, holds numerous patents on recycling
awareness and pollution prevention produ cts. It is both a spe-
cialty printing firm and an innovati ve recyc ler of waste and
scrap, repurposing a nd “up-cycling ” such mat erials as p lastic
caps, glass bottles, and c ircuit b oards in to over six hundred
promotion al items an d retail co nsumer products .53 According
to the compa ny’s president, Dan Weis enbach, there has been a
changing percept ion in the business world, where you are more
Today, no other
sector of industry
uses more materials,
produces more waste,
and contributes less
to recycling than the
construction sector.46
FALL 2010 32
valued if yo ur compan y is a certifie d green business, with a
history of environ mental leader ship: “Even though con serva-
tion h as been a core principl e in our culture since we started,
we believ e it is imp ortant that we take a step to formalize our
commit ment to susta inable business. The competiti ve lan d-
scape has shifted and as more competition enters the fiel d, we
want to help our business partners and custome rs understand
how distinctive we truly are. We created th is report as much
for them as f or ourselves.”54
Ikea and Woo lworth have bee n se tting new stand ards
in t his area, and BA SF, a c hemical c ompany, o nly puts new
produ cts on the mar ket when there is evid ence tha t the new
produ ct has a bette r life- cycle as sessment than t he previ ous
one.55 T here ha ve been innova -
tive r ecyclin g initiat ives for
matt resses, bicyc les, carpets ,
pai nts, c onstr uction timb er,
and furnitur e.56 Pr oducts will
need to be ma nufacture d dif-
fer ently, with “zer o was te”
concept s and EPR pr inciple in
While there are a h and-
ful o f outsta nding exa mples
of EPR, the glob al p icture
loo ks unf ortun ately d iffer -
ent: too many compan ies are
stil l res isting the nece ssary
change in production methods,
waste managemen t, and EPR.
One major re ason is the co sts
involved : product stewardship
comes at a cost to the manufac-
turers, who are no w becoming
responsib le for the whole life-
cycle of the ir products, from cre-
ation to disp osal.
But a cultural shi ft is now occurring. Wh ile for cent uries
waste w as regarded as pollution that had to be collected, hid-
den, and burie d, today waste is no lo nger seen as som ething
to be d isposed of, but as a resource t o be recycled an d reused.
It is clea r that we n eed to close the ma terial l ife-cycle loop
by tran sforming waste into a materi al resource. O ver the next
decades , the Earth will b e increa singly u nder pre ssure fr om
populatio n growth, continuing u rbanization, and shortages of
food, wa ter, resources, and materials. W aste management and
materia l flows are s ome of the major ch allenges concerning
sustainable urban developmen t. There is a growing con sensus
that waste should be regar ded as a “valuable resource an d as
nutrit ion.”57 It has been argued that the co ncept o f “was te”
should be su bstituted by the concept of “re source.” Michael
Braungar t points out that the prac tice of dumping wa ste into
landfill i s a sign of a “failure to design recyclable, sustainable
products and process es.”58 In his research, Braungart f ocuses
on flows of energy, wat er, m aterials, nutr ients, and waste.
Process-integ rated technology, as adv ocated by the “cradle-to -
cradle” approach, includes the cas cading use of r esources in
which high-grade flo ws are use d in high -grade process es and
residual waste flows are used in lower- grade proc esses, thu s
utilizi ng the initial value of a resourc e in the m ost effi cient
way. It become s obvious: all eco -cities ha ve to e mbed “zero
waste” concepts as part of their holi stic, circul ar approach to
material flows .
Forty-four percent of all greenhouse gas (“G HG”) emis-
sions in the U.S. result from transporting and packaging prod-
ucts, illustrating the large potential in this field.59 Bill Sheehan,
the executive director of the Product Policy Institute, noted:
“Climate action has so far largely
focused on transportation, heat-
ing and cooling, and food. Now
we know that reducing waste
offers the largest oppo rtunity
to combat g lobal warmi ng.60
Joshuah Stolarof f “emphasized
the impo rtance of impro ving
product design to a ddress cl i-
mate change ‘[b]ecause product
design influences all stages of
the product life cycle. Improv-
ing product design has the most
potential to reduce gr eenhouse
gas emissions associated with
“Design for Disassembly ”
means the p ossibility of reu s-
ing entire building components
in a nother futu re project, pos-
sibl y twenty or thi rty year s
after const ruction.62 It means
deliber ately ena bling “ch ains of
reuse” in the d esign. Recycling resources that have already
entered the human e conomy uses m uch less ene rgy than does
mining and manufa cturing virg in materials from scr atch. For
instan ce, th ere is a ninety-fi ve per cent e nergy saving when
using secondary (rec ycled) aluminum ; eighty-five percent for
copper; eighty percent for plastics; seventy-f our perc ent for
steel; and sixty-four percent for p aper.63 Through r euse and
recyclin g the ene rgy embodied in wast e products is retain ed,
there by s lowing down the poten tial for climate cha nge. If
burned in incinera tors, this embodied energy would be lost for -
ever. It becomes obvious that all future eco-cities will h ave to
integrat e existing structures and bu ildings for adaptive reuse
into their ma ster planning.
In c losed-loop systems, a high proportion of energy and
materi als wil l need to be pro vided from re -used w aste, a nd
water fr om wastewater. We can now move the focu s to waste
avoidance, be havioral change, and wast e reduction.
In closed-loop systems,
a high proportion of
energy and materials
will need to be provided
from re-used waste, and
water from wastewater.
We can now move the
focus to waste avoidance,
behavioral change, and
waste reduction.
Figure 1. The flow of natural resources into cities and the waste pro-
duced represents one of the l argest challenges to urban sustainability.
Circular metabolisms are more sus-
tainable, co mpared to linear ones.
This al so has econ omic advan -
tages. Recycling will cont inue to
be an essential part of responsible
materi als manag ement, an d the
greater the shift from a “river”
econo my (lin ear thr oughput of
materials), towards a “lake” econ-
omy (stock of continuously circu-
lating materia ls), the greater the
material gains and greenhouse gas
reductions. Even so, recycling is
only halfwa y up the waste hierar-
chy. The greenhouse gains lying
in the upper half (waste avoidance
and red uction) are , largely, yet
to be tapped. The f ocus of atten-
tion needs n ow to expand from
the downstream of the materials
cycle, from a po st-consumer stage,
to include the upstream, pre-consumer stage, and behavioral change.64
Source: 1 Blue: W ater, Energy and Waste 29 (Andrew Whalley ed.,
a cloSeD-cycle urban economy will Deliver a
SerieS oF Further aDvantageS
The ad vantages of the “zero waste” economy include the
reducti on i n wa ste generation, which wi ll t herefore reduce
CO2 emissions. Moreover, benefits will include the creation of
closed-loop eco-economies and urban eco-systems with “green
collar” jobs; the transformation of industries towards better use
of res ources, non-toxic and cleaner production proce sses, and
EPR; creatio n of economic benefits through the more efficient
use of resources; an increase in support to research durable, local
goods, and products that encourage reuse; more green purchas-
ing; and creation of a product stewardship framework.
The key issue is whether such a system is feasible. What
are the costs associated with EPR? It places the responsibility
of the future disposal of an item on the initial producer of that
product instead of on the last owner, as in traditional segmenta-
tion.66 This will lead an increasing number of manufacturers to
include an additional fee in the price to the consumer for the
future recovery and the processing of the product at the end of
its useful life. It also includes extending the responsibilities t o
consumers to pa rticipate in recycling schemes. A recent sur-
vey s howed that eighty-three percent of Austr alians wanted a
national ban on non-biodegradable plastic bags, while seventy-
nine percent wanted electronic waste (“e-waste”) to be legally
barred from landfills.67
Cities will always be a place of waste production, but there
are possibilitie s avail able th at will help them achieve “zero
waste,” wher e th e wa ste is r ecycled, reused, or compost ed
(using organic waste for biomass). The Masdar-City project in
the Unit ed Arab Emirat es is a good example of a proje ct of a
“zero waste” city, as is the large Japane se city of Yokohama,
which reduc ed its wast e by
thir ty-nin e p ercent b etween
2001 and 2007, despite the city
growing by 165,000 people dur-
ing this period.68 They reache d
their goal by raisin g publi c
awareness about wastef ul con-
sumption and through the active
parti cipation of c itizens and
businesses.69 In A ustralia, the
Zero Waste SA initiative by the
South Australi an gov ernment,
discussed be low, is also highly
behavior change For
waSte prevention
The growth of the economy
cannot continue e ndlessly as
was pointed ou t by The Club of
Rome in 1972, in their report Limits to Growth.70 Therefore, the
core q uestion is about how to best chang e behavior to reduce
consumption, therefore avoiding the creation of waste in the first
place. How do we convince society to consume less? Education
programs aimed at all levels of schooling have proven effective.
Public education aimed at “zero waste” participation is a key to
success. Changing behavior may be easier in smaller towns than
in large cities because of the scale of education efforts needed to
achieve measurable results.
The increase in world flow s of scrap, e-waste, recovered
plastics, and fibers has turned developed countries into a source
of material supply for informal trade in emerging countries.
Research ar ound the United Nations’ initiative, A Decade
of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014), clearly
shows that an important age group for applying beha vioral
change is schoolchildren and adolescents, particularly in relation
The increase in world
flows of scrap, e-waste,
recovered plastics,
and fibers has turned
developed countries into
a source of material
supply for informal trade
in emerging countries.
FALL 2010 34
to their consumption and waste . The initiative aims to educate
them to become environmental citizens, rather than consumers,
and to act as agents of change within their families and schools.71
Several studies have found that environmental education raises
awareness of environmental issues, but does not necessarily lead
to changes in young people’s behavior or an increased level of
concern for the environment. When adolescents decide on how
much to consume and what to consume, they usually do not take
into account how much waste they produce.72 For instance, one
study found the high importance of conven ience in the waste
management process for adolescent s living in multi-apartment
dwellings.73 The impact of income on waste disposal and recy-
cling behavior is well documented.74 It i s obvious that more
research is required into the social mechanisms that will trig-
ger necessary behavioral and attitudinal changes, particularly in
schoolchildren and adolescents.
As has already been pointed out, education to raise aware-
ness is essential, but equally important is that the rules of waste
separation are well explained. The rea l problem may not b e
technology, but rather acceptance and behavior cha nge. What
is needed is social innovation rather than a sol e focus on tech-
nological innovation. The necessary connection between waste
policies and emission reductions are not always well understood
and m ade. The main barriers to “zero waste” incl ude the fol-
lowing: short term thinking of producers and consumers, lack of
consistency in legislation across the states, procurement versus
sustainability, the attitude that the cheapest offer gets commi s-
sioned, and lack of community willingness to pay.75
The following case studies include details of how some cit-
ies and regions are trying to overcome the barriers to achieving
“zero waste.”
caSe StuDieS oF waSte management
Case 1: South Australia’s Leadership in Waste
Management and Resource Recovery
After five years of development, South Australia (“SA”) has
produced the Draft South Australia’s Waste Strategy 2010-2015,
which incorporates “zero waste” principles.76 The strategy offers
strong guidelines for SA’s waste recycling and waste avoidance
efforts. The strategy focuses on two objectives: “Firstly it seeks
to maxim ize the value of our resources, and secondly it seek s
to av oid and r educe waste.”77 These two objectives a re inter-
related, and some of the actions contained in the Strategy apply
to both objectives, including new proposed targets for municipal
solid waste, commercial and industrial waste, and construction
and de molition waste streams.78 Zero Waste SA is one of the
few “zero waste” government agencies in the world and is at the
forefront of waste avoidance in Australia. Zero Wast e SA was
established in 2003 and is financed by levies from landfills.79
The agency pioneered the i ntroduction of the ban on checkout
style plastic bags in Australia in May 2009.80
Increasing recycling and reducing consumption will require
a better understanding of t he composition of household waste.
Recent r esearch at the University of South Australia indicates
that the composition of waste varies according to the income
level of the people producing the waste. For instance, the amount
of food waste tends to be less among lower-incom e earners.81
Such research is pioneering and can help reach higher recycling
rates by aiding in the development of programs for separation at
the source point of waste creation.
Although the SA Draft Waste Strategy is at the forefront
of “zero waste” planning, it is by no means unique. Each of the
EU member states must compile a waste prevention program by
the end of 2013, as required by the 2008 revision of the “Waste
Framework Directive.”82 The EU guidelines are intended to sup-
port the formulation of such programs based on thirty best prac-
tices identified by the European Commission.83
Case 2: The Waste Situation in New South Wales,
Australia: A Looming Crisis?
Australia is the third highest generator of waste per capita
in the world.84 During 2006-2007, only around fifty perce nt of
waste collected in the state of New South Wales (“NSW”) was
recycled.85 Landfilling waste is an inexpensive option compared
to treating and recycling, but has dangerous side effects. For
instance, electroni c waste is still filling up Australian and U.S.
landfills (someth ing not allowed in the EU for t en years), con-
taminating soil and groundwater with toxic heavy metals.86 I n
the mean time, a waste crisis is looming: the City of Sydney’s
four landfill sites (Eastern Creek, Belrose, Jacks Gully, and
Lucas Heights) are reaching capacity and will be full by 2015.87
After the l andfills reach capacity, the city’s annual two million
metric tons of waste will have to be moved 250 kilometers south,
by rail, to Tarago.88 The state government has been inactive and
has failed to make the recycling shift. It lacks recycling policies
and investment in recycling technology. Recy cling needs to be
less expensive for citizens than disposal in landfills, and strong
economic incentives are required, as are strategies to get house-
holds to dram atically reduce the creation of waste. This can b e
achieved, for instance, by reducing bin sizes, raising awareness
and by introducing the three-bin system to separate organic/gar-
den waste, recycling, and residual waste.
While Sydney’s landfill sites are rapidly filling up, and the
NSW government has cu rrently no clear plan to address the
crisis, Sydney’s waste is foreca st to kee p growing by at l east
1.4 percent a year due to population increase and in creasing
consumption.89 Alt hough curbside recycling collected in NSW
increased fr om 450,000 metric tons in 2000 to 690,000 metric
tons in 2007, this increase must be much greater to have any sig-
nificant impact on the waste problem.90 To make things worse,
the N SW government has “raised over $260 million in waste
levies but returned just $40 million of that to local councils for
recycling initiatives .”91 By contrast, the state gove rnment of
Victoria p rovides better suppor t: it raised $43 million in land-
fill levies and channeled it straight back to the agencies respon-
sible for waste management. Despite the smaller levy, Victoria
recycled almost twenty percent more waste than NSW in 2009.92
The fe deral government will introduce a National Waste Pol-
icy in 2011 aiming for a sixty-six percent l andfill reduction by
201493 and hopes are high that this will bring about the urgently
required changes.
Case 3: Waste Management Case Study from Aalborg,
Developed countries such as Germany, The Netherlands,
Japan, Switzerland, and Denmark have been called the “world-
wide leaders in advanced waste management te chnologies.”94
For instance, in some Japanese municipalities up to twenty-four
different categories of waste are separated.95
It is time that we better integrate the linkages between mate-
rial flow, use, and recovery with energy and water consumption.
To date, little research has been done on measuring the impact
of waste treatment systems themselves and waste management
changes over the longer term. However, the Danish city of
Aalborg has proven t hat better w aste management can reduce
greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions and that a municipality can
produce sign ificant amounts of energy with sustaina ble waste-
to-energ y conc epts.96 Two Danish researchers, Poulsen and
Hansen, use d historical data from the munici pality of Aalborg
to gain a longer-term overview of how a “joined-up” approac h
to waste can impa ct a city’s CO2 emissions.97 Their assess-
ment included sewage sludge, food waste, yard waste, and other
organic waste. In 1970, Aalborg’s municipal organic waste
management system showed net GHG emis sions by methane
from lan dfill of almost one hundred percent of the total e mis-
sions.98 Between 1970 and 2 005, the city changed its waste
treatment strategy to include yard waste composting, and the
city’s r emaining organic waste was incin erated for comb ined-
heat and-power (“CHP”) production.99 Poulsen stated that “[o]f
this, waste incineration contributed eighty percent to net energy
production and GHG turnover, wastewater treatment (including
sludge digestion) contribut ed another t en percent, while other
waste treatm ent processes (composti ng, transport, and land
application of treated waste ) had minor impa cts.”100 “Gener-
ally, incineration with or without energy production, and biogas
production w ith energy extraction, are the two most important
processes for the overall energy balance. This is mainly du e to
the substitution of fossil fuel-based energ y,” says Poulsen.101
The researchers calculated “that th e energy potential tied up
in municipal organic waste in Denmark is equiv alent to 5 per-
cent of the country’s total energy consumption, including trans-
port.”102 They also predicted that further improvements by 2020
were possible, “by reducing energy consum ed by wastewater
treatmen t (fo r aera tion), increasing anaerob ic di gestion and
incineration process efficiency and source separating food waste
for anaerobic co-digestion.”
Alborg has s hown that with an unders tanding of natural
systems, technology can be harnessed to resolve environmental
challenges. “Aalborg’s progress shows how far reaching waste
managemen t can be in re aching energy a nd GHG reduction
goals, and should offer encouragement to oth er cities embark-
ing on greener waste management strategies for the future.”104
The potential for emission re duction in waste managem ent is
very large. It is estimated that within the EU, municipal waste
management reduced GHG emissions from “64 to 28 million
metric tons of CO2 per year between 199 0 and 2007, w hich is
equivalent to a drop from 130 t o 60 kilograms CO2 each year
per capita.”105 With such inno vation in waste treatment, the
EU municipal waste sector will achieve eighteen percent of the
reduction target set for Europe by the Kyoto ag reement before
uSing Fewer materialS to better eXploit the
value oF waSte
In contrast to the Club of Rome’s warning of 1972,107 today,
the “limits to growth” ar e defined by climate change and the
depletion of material resources. The scarcity of raw material s
presents an i ncreasing ch allenge. Wi th natural resources and
materials running out, we need better resource protection an d
more effect ive ways to use them. Several essential metals and
resources are already becoming less available—including plati-
num, zinc, tantalum, lead, copper, cadmium, wolfram, and sili-
con—and supplies are concentrated in a handful of countries,
under the control of a few companies.108 This will soon create
major challenges for industries in Europe and the United States
that us e many of these metals in their manufacturing, su ch as
televisions or computers.
The depletion of several natural deposits is drawing closer.
In 2008, the Institut der Deuts chen Wirtsch aft (“IDW”) esti-
mated the availability and coverage of essential resources and
selected metals, as part of a risk assessment for the German
industry in response to the threat caused by scarcity of raw mate-
rials. It found:
Raw Material Reserves Available (estimated)
Lead 20 years
Zinc 22 years
Tantalum 29 years
Copper 31 years
Cadmium 34 years
Wolfram 39 years
Nickel 44 years109
These metals are becoming scarc e and consequently more
expensive, e.g., iron ore, lithium, and copper are already mu ch
rarer than oil.110 In addition, it is also important to know what
resources are used in the products we buy. Many of the extractive
processes for obtaining minerals are harmful to the environment.
In addition, forty percent of the products in our weekly shopping
basket contain palm oil, which, if not produced sustainably, can
cause deforestation of eco logically pr ecious rainf orests.111 A
more conscious use of materials, metals, resources, and products
is imperative when supported by reuse and recycling.
A resource-constrained future can therefore help lead to
recycling -friendly designs with extended producer responsi-
bility; multiple-use devices and expande d product lifecycles;
long-life products and buildings, with optimized material use;
products using less packaging; reduced loss of resources during
the pr oduct’s life-cycle; and resource recovery th rough reuse,
remanufacturing, and recycling.
FALL 2010 36
In his research on s ustainable consumption, Paul-Ma rie
Boulanger came to the following conclusion: “There is a gradu-
ally emerging consensus that tran sition towards sustainability
will need innovations and changes at three different levels:
• at the technological level where products and services with
a lighter ecological footprint must replace less eco-efficient
• at the institutional level where non-market based modes of
provision can be promoted alongside marked-based ones;
• at the cultural level where less materialistic values and life-
styles should be developed and fostered without a loss in the
welfare of people.”112
Only holistic and integrate d approaches will lead to this
desirable shift at the technological, institutional, and cultu ral
level. Waste that contains precious minerals, rare earth meta ls,
and other nutrients is now fully understood to be valuable. The
survival path and rebound effect of materials is un derstood as
extremely critical. Fa ulstich asks if our landfill sites of toda y
“will bec ome the urban mines of the future?”113 Gir ardet pre-
dicts that in future “we will obser ve the emergence of a new
sustainable industrial society, where new industrial systems are
introduced that better reuse and recycle was te, and wh ich are
based on a new circular flow economy.”114
compoSting organic waSte anD improving urban
Organic waste is increasingly viewed as a precious resource,
which must be returned to the soil. Compost is an imp ortant
source of plant nutrients and is a low-cost alternative to chemi-
cal fertilizer s. It has become a necessary par t of contemporary
landscape management and urban farming, as it use s “reverse
supply chain” principles, giving organic components back to the
soil, thus improving the quality of agriculture. Paying attention
to the nutrient cycle and to phosphorus replacement is part of
sustainable urban agricultur e. Although industrial composting
can h elp to i mprove soils, a proper composting i nfrastructure
needs to be established first. In Sweden, for instance, the dump-
ing of organic waste to landfill ha s been illegal since 2005.115
All organic waste should be used for composting, returned to the
soil, or for anaerobic digestion to generate energy.
Food waste is another major concern. Twenty-two percent
of all waste in Australia i s food wast e.116 New biod egradable
packaging helps to facili tate processing o f food waste. Biode-
gradable and compostable solutions for food waste recovery sys-
tems, suc h as using a kitchen cad dy with a biodegradable bag
that is collected weekl y, has become a common solution. Iain
Gulland, director of Zero Waste Scotland, points out that “over
sixty percent of food waste is avoidable. However, if all unavoid-
able food waste in Scotland was processed by anaerobic diges-
tion, i t could prod uce enough el ectricity to run a city the size
of Dundee.”117 In South Australia more than 90,000 metric tons
per annum of food waste goes to landfills and on average, each
household throws out three kilograms of food waste per week.118
The food waste needs to be taken out of the waste stream and
diverted into composting or anaerobic digestion systems, which
are best done through public–private partnerships.119
In 2002, Wi lliam McDonoug h and Michael Brau ngart
began promo ting their “Cradle-to- Cradle” closed-loop sy stem,
arguing for “adapting production to nature’s model.”120 Th ey
argue that “[w]aste equals food. In nature, the processes of every
organism contribute to the health of the whole. One organism’s
waste becomes food for another, and nutrients flow perpetually
in re generative, cradle-t o-cradle cycles of birth, death, decay ,
and rebirth. Design modeled on these virtuous cycles elimi-
nates the very concept of waste: products and materials can be
designed of components that return either to soil as a nutrient or
to industry for remanufacture at the same or even a higher level
of quality.”121
inFormal waSte management approacheS in the
Developing worlD
A staggering ninety-seven percent of global growth over the
next forty years will happen in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and
the Caribbean.122 The following cities provide examples of how
developing countries are addressing urban waste problems.
Curitiba, Brazil
There are ways to improve waste management and change
behavior in developing countries, even i f there is no budge t
for it. For instance, in Curitiba innovat ive w aste c ollection
approaches were developed, such as the “Green Exchange Pro-
gram,” to encourage slum dwellers to clean up their area s and
improve public health.123 The city administration of fered free
bus tickets and fresh vegetables to people who collected garbage
and brought waste to neighborhood centers.124 In addition, chil-
dren were allowed to exchange recyclables for school supplies
or toys.125
Delhi, India
Cities always need to find local solutions for waste man-
agement approp riate to their own particular circumstances and
needs. In Delhi there is an army of over 120,000 informal waste
collectors (so-called Kabari) in the streets, collecting paper, alu-
minum cans, glass, and plastic, who sell the waste to mini-scrap
dealers as part of a secondary raw materials market.126
It is an informal industry which processes fifty-nine percent
of Delhi’s waste and supports the livelihood of countless fami-
lies.127 In Delh i, the private sector doe s the waste management
and the business of collecting and recycling is a serious one for
many of the poor, and a relatively lucrative source of income.
According to Bharati Chaturved, one out of every 100 residents
in Delhi engages in waste recycling.128 Chaturved also estimated
that a single piece of plastic increases 700 percent in value from
start to finis h in the recycling chain before it is reprocessed.129
This i nformal sector of waste collectors saves the city’s three
municipalities a large amount of costs of otherwise arran ging
waste colle ction, particularly in inaccessible slum areas. More
than ninety-fiv e percent of h omes in Delhi d o not have forma l
garbage collection.130
For countries like India or Bangladesh, the introduction of
an industrialized clean-up system and perfected infrastructure like
in the developed world would take jobs from thousands of poor
peasants who are willing to work hard and get dirty collecting and
recycling the waste of the metropolis in order to feed themselves.
An e stimated six million people in India earn their livelihood
through waste recycling.131 On top of a low standard of living,
they now face joblessness with India’s new business-model
approach to waste management—replacing the preexisting infor-
mal Kabari system with a model from developed countries.132 It
is an area where India could probably learn from their neighbor
China, since their cities have similar population densities.
Cairo, Egypt
Another interestin g example is the Egyptian city of Cairo,
which has grown to over fifteen million people and is one of the
most densely populated cities in the world wi th 32,000 people
per square mile.133 The economy of the “Garbage City,” a slum
settlement on the outskirts of Cairo, revolves entirely around the
collection and recycling of the city’s garbage, most ly through
the use of pigs by the city’s minority Coptic Christian popula-
tion.134 In “Garbage C ity” “[f] amilies ty pically sp ecialize in
a particul ar type of garbage that th ey sort and sell—one room
of ch ildren sorting out plastic bottles, w hile in t he next r oom
women separate c ans from the rest.”135 Typicall y for the urban
poor in volved in th e informal w aste management sector, any-
thing that can somehow be reused or recycled is saved. Various
recycled paper and glass products are made and sold to the city,
while metal is sold to be melted down and reused.
The involvement of the i nformal sector in a city’s waste
management can lead to amazi ng result s and high recycling
rates. The circular economic system in “Garbage City” is clas-
sified as an informal sector, where people do not just collect the
trash but live am ong it. Garb age City is home to over 15,000
people and most families typically have worked for generations
in the same area and type of waste specialization, and they con-
tinue to make enough money to support themselves.136 They
collect and recycle the garbage they pick up from apartments
and homes in wealthier neighborhoods. This includes thousands
of metric tons of organic waste, which is fed to the pigs.137 By
raising the pigs, the people provide a service to those who eat
pork in the predominantly Muslim country, while the pigs help
to rid neighborhoods of metric tons of odorous waste that would
otherwise accumulate on the streets.138 At no cost to the munici-
pality, the informal recycling sector provides livelihoods to huge
numbers of the urban poor, while they save the city as much as
twenty percent of its waste management budget by reducing the
amount of waste that would otherwise have to be collected and
disposed of by the city.139 Like the famous “Smokey Mountain”
rubbish dump in Manila, Philippines, could this place become an
official recycling center?
Figure 2. Many developing countries have such active informal sec-
tor recycling, reuse, and repair systems, which are achieving recycling
rates comparable to those in developed countries, at no cost to the
formal waste management sector, saving the city as much as twenty
percent of its waste management budget. Courtesy of Bas Princen.
Decoupling waSte generation From economic
Increased ma terial and energy consumption in a ll nations,
coupled with an inadequate and unsustainable waste manage-
ment system, has forced governments, industry, and individuals
to put into practice new measures to achieve responsible, closed
loop solutions in waste management and resource recovery.
Achieving “zero waste” remains difficult and requires continued
and combined efforts by industry, government bodies, university
researchers, and the people and organizations in our community.
More holistic and integrated approaches are required, combined
with initiatives for waste avo idance and segregation of waste
at the source, and improved technologies to increase the useful
life of products. Governments will need to formulate effective
policies to reduce the en vironmental impa cts of consumption
and production, addressing issues such as household consump-
tion, public procurement, corporate behavior, and technological
innovation. As Berglund noted, we will need to arrive at a better
understanding of the determinants of environmental behavior in
key areas where households exert pressure on the environment,
such as energy use, transport, waste generation, food consump-
tion, and water use.
improving waSte management anD recovery
There are escalating challenges in solid waste management
across the globe. The construction and demolition sect or has a
particularly urgent need to catch up with other sectors in bet-
ter managing its waste strea m, to increase its focus on re using
entire building components at the end of a building’s life-cycle.
Increasing the economic value of recycled commodities , such
FALL 2010 38
as rare metals in e-waste , as well as paper, glass, and plastics,
remains an area for future development and investment.
Energy markets will soon compete with material markets
for re sources. The recycling sector in Germany employs ove r
220,000 people in green jobs. Waste is increasingly being seen
in terms of economic sustainability, and it is a policy issue that
offers great opportunities for the creation of green jobs.
This paper has touched on some of the complexities around
waste management and the l inks between waste man agement
and urban development. The case studies from South Australia,
Aalborg, Denmark , and the informal urban waste managemen t
in deve loping countries provide hopeful models of what must
be achieved globally. It is essential that we continue to reduce
wasteful consumption, avo id the cre ation of waste in t he first
place, promo te the cyclical reuse of materials in the economy,
and maximize the value of our resources to make resource
recovery common practice. Our objecti ve must be to reconcile
the scarcity of our natural resources with the huge quantities of
waste produced by our ci ties and industries; waste which we
must, unfailingly, recover.
Figure 3. Diagram: Waste management is an important key stone in
the effort towards achieving holistically a “Sustainable City.” Courtesy
of the author.
1 Zero waSte Sa, South auStraliaS waSte Strategy 2010-2015:
conSultation DraFt 24 (2010),
2 DaviD baKer et al., what a waSte: an analySiS oF houSeholD
eXpenDiture on FooD (2009),
3 philippe chalmin & catherine gaillochet, From waSte to reSource:
an abStract oF worlD waSte Survey 2009 (2009), http://www.veolia-,753,Abstract_2009_
4 uniteD nationS human SettlementS programme (un-habitat), SoliD
waSte management in the worlDS citieS: water anD Sanitation in the
worlDS citieS 2010, U.N. Doc. HS/105/10E (2010).
5 Dr. Domonic Hogg, Costs for Municipal Waste Management in the EU,
6 mark Milner, Rubbish Reaches Its Tipping Point, the guarDian, Jan. 19,
7 Zhang Yunxing, Beijing Running Out of Landfill Space,
(June 9, 2009),
8 MCD Gets Nod for Bawana Landfill Site, the hinDu, Aug. 9, 2010, http://
9 John Upton, S.F. Expected to Exhaust Landfill Space by 2014, the eXam-
iner, mar. 27, 2009,
10 See JacK lauber et al., comparative impactS oF local waSte to energy
verSuS long DiStance DiSpoSal oF municipal waSte 3 (2006), http://www.
11 Stevie Easton, Manufacturers to Arrange for Recycling of Australia’s
E-Waste, UPIU, (Aug. 7, 2010),
12 JeFF angel, total environment centre, tipping point: auStraliaS
e-waSte criSiS (2008), available at
13 henK De Folter management conSultancy, eXtenDeD proDucer reSpon-
Sibility in the electric anD electronic equipment inDuStry (2007), http://
14 bernt JohnKe, emiSSionS From waSte incineration, http://www.ipcc-nggip.
15 See Greenpeace International, The Problem, greenpeace (Nov. 30, 2004),
16 Id.
17 See id.
18 Milner, supra note 6.
19 SteFFen lehmann, the principleS oF green urbaniSm 262 (2010).
20 Güssing Biomass Fueled Heat and Power Plant, Renewable Energy Network
Austria, renewable energy networK auStralia, available at http://www.
21 Kira Kuehn, ‘Garbage is Not Garbage’ & “Bus Tubes”: Recycling and
Transport in the Sustainable City: Curitiba, Brazil, uw-l Journal oF
unDergraDuate reSearch X (2007),
22 Zero Waste, SFenvironment,
overview.html?ssi=3 (last visited Oct. 27, 2010).
23 philippe chalmin & catherine gaillochet, From waSte to reSource: an
abStract oF worlD waSte Survey 2009 (2009), http://www.veolia-environ-,753,Abstract_2009_GB-1.pdf.
Endnotes: Resource Recovery and Materials Flow in the City:
Zero Waste and Sustainable Consumption as Paradigms
in Urban Development
Endnotes: Resource Recovery and Materials Flow in the City
continued on page 66