Sustainable Solutions

In developed countries like the U.S. one of the best ways to improve sustainability is reduce the amount of waste produced.  In the U.S. in particular waste management companies usually charge a flat rate for waste disposal.  A good way to reduce waste would be to charge by the weight or volume of the waste.  This would encourage people to save money by generating less waste.  A company called WasteZero has employed a similar program in over 800 cities and counties and seen an average waste reduction of 44% (“Results,” 2015).  The results of their efforts can be seen in the figure below.  Another key to reducing the solid waste in produced is to encourage manufacturers to pursue cleaner production methods.  This can be done by attaching monetary benefits to clean production.

Developing countries however face a different set of challenges and require different solutions.  These nations often face economic challenges not present in more developed and industrialized nations.  The first requirement to any sustainable solution starts with including any scavengers or informal waste pickers in the formal sector and make sure they have sanitary working conditions (Ogawa, 2008).  Another key to successful, sustainable, waste removal in developed countries is to make sure the implementation of waste reduction and recycling is promptly rewarded (Ogawa, 2008).  Finally, there is one similarity to the solutions for developed countries and that is that cleaner industrial production practices should be encouraged.

More Information

Results. (2015, February 27). Retrieved March 3, 2017, from
Ogawa, H. (2008). Sustainable solid waste management in developing countries : waste management. IMIESA, 33(9), 57–71.