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Omar Alkantar's picture

Managing personal waste

My pledge is to improve my management of personal disposable waste, that is to actively and consciously be aware of the manner in which waste from general consumption is disposed of. To strive for a sustainable society where people aren’t living in excess of their needs, reducing consumption is paramount. This is the first and foremost step in achieving this goal, however there will always be some degree of waste or by product, and my pledge aims to address this concern. The first step in this pledge and the one that seems most fundamental to me in our current society, is to become more educated and positively educate others on the complexities of waste disposal. I think there is a grand discrepancy between what is commonly known and what should be known regarding the correct processes to how to manage our waste domestically, and where the waste eventually goes. On average, 1 in 4 recycled items are contaminated and are sent to landfill across Australia, however this isn’t due to apathy. Various studies and qualitative data suggest that there is positive support for the need for proper recycling and waste disposal practices in Australia, and their confusion stems from 1. Lack of information, 2. Lack of clarity regarding the right way to do things. For this reason, I will strive to become adept and well versed with the right way to dispose of recyclable and non-recyclable waste. In the process I aim to be more diligent and aware of what I personally do and strive to support my wider circle of relationships. Coupled with that, currently implementing practical approaches for my household such as; having multiple smaller bins in each room to promote active correct measures, composting waste for home garden patch, whilst reducing landfill bound options. With these steps in place, I hope a trickle-down effect can ensue, where knowledge and careful practices are shared and passed on. Similarly, there will hopefully be an economic benefit along with the environmental contributions, it currently costs $235 per tonne to dispose of waste for local councils, with 315 thousand tonnes sent to landfill in 2020 alone. This will hopefully subvert those costs back to the individual and make the current council managed waste management systems more efficient. This pledge aims to satisfy goals 11 – sustainable cities and communities, 12 responsible consumption and production and 13 Climate action. Current Australian waste management systems are gradually improving following 2018, so too should attitudes of the population as well, to go above and beyond goals set by UN.


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