China is now the destination for 70 percent of the computers, televisions, cell-phones, and other waste recycled globally each year. Roads adjacent to waste processing workshops find that lead levels were 330 and 371 times higher than non e-waste sites located 5 miles and 19 miles away. Copper levels were 106 and 155 times higher.
The City Recycling Challenge:
Every eco-district must face waste treatment and recovery in the implementation phase as well as in the district’s daily life. Recycling impacts the quality of life and resource preservation and must take into account financial and educational aspects. The whole urban waste cycle must be taken into account: recycling, waste to energy and collection optimization. Thus, the waste is no longer considered worthless, but a valuable commodity.
- Supporting good sorting practice and implementing financial incentives: Pedagogy and information on sorting and recycling by targeted communication actions are two key levers to raise resident’s awareness. If necessary, they are accompanied of systems measuring individual quantity of waste disposed combined with financial incentives. For example, the implementation of a chip on the waste bin will weigh and invoice based on the quantity collected.
- Adapting collection stations to facilitate sorting and recycling: The design and equipment of waste stations, whether individual or collective, affect usage of the sorting and recycling devices. For example, the kitchen design can have a significant influence on the storage and sorting of waste. Organic waste valorization passes through the establishment of compost areas at the building and district level. The location, size and maintenance of the collection points impact usage. For example, putting dedicated public containers by type of waste on public spaces widens sidewalks, reduces condominium fees and limits noise nuisance in buildings. This set-up encourages sorting practices. The effectiveness of this approach is measured by two indicators: The waste volume to be disposed and the proportion that can be recycled. The establishment of a collecting method which is clean, quiet, used a waste recovery by-product (Biogas) can encourage residents to sort waste for recycling.
- Taking into account waste management in construction: At the start of the project, the establishment of a “Green construction site” policy educates and empowers the company. This policy addresses three issues: How to make a diagnosis of waste management in the demolition or major rehabilitation of the building? How to limit the production of waste in the construction phase? Clean construction site, reuse of the soil, use of recovered materials for balancing embankments/cuttings and waste storage area. How to identify local recycling channels?
- Limiting the production of waste from the beginning: A global reflection on the standardization of building construction should consider a waste reduction program from the start.
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