With technology and consumer needs on the rise, people are beginning to ask how we can make the future greener here in the UK. Waste disposal is a must, but what if we could find ways to make our waste useful again? Let’s explore some of the ways that this question is being answered.
Reducing Pollution in New Construction
7.7 million tons of biodegradable municipal waste are sent to landfills annually; what if we could put that waste to use and reduce the carbon emissions produced in the construction of new roads? Aston University’s European Bioenergy Research Institute and the Aston Institute of Materials Research have teamed up to offer an ingenious solution that does just that. They’ve created an environmentally friendly alternative to the bitumen used in asphalt by melting down food, plastic, and paper waste, meaning what used to be trash could literally pave out the roads of the future.
Recycling by Manufacturers
Manufacturing industries tend to be carry a stigma of being wasteful. One sauce company however, has made a genuine effort to reduce their carbon footprint. Panesar partnered with a waste disposal company in order to recycle the jars of sauce that would otherwise get thrown out. Where all those glass jars used to be transported to landfills, they’re now being reused to their full potential. The glass is separated from the food waste and taken to a waste disposal and recycling centre, while the food waste is used to generate energy. Not only is this practice more environmentally sound, but Panesar says that it has also cut their waste management costs in half.
Recycling by Consumers
Often, the impact of recycling at home can be overlooked when we think of ways to increase our sustainability. When Millom started receiving kerbside service, however, the amount of material collected by waste crews for recycling was nearly tripled in just 4 weeks, from 124 tonnes to 300 tonnes. In fact, there was such an increase in recycling participation that those working to collect the waste have found themselves working overtime. This is just one example. Recycling services are becoming more accessible throughout the UK and with time we’ll be able to see just what a difference this makes.
While these are only isolated examples, they serve as excellent proof that our options for sustainability are expanding. Further research and scientific advancement will surely inspire ever more useful ways to address pollution in the modern world.