According to the US EPA, Americans landfilled or incinerate 65% of our waste (2011). Over 160 million tons of valuable resources are buried in landfills; burned, emitting greenhouse gases and potentially toxic materials in the process. A variety of new products could be manufactured from this material, but we are instead made from virgin materials, depleting fossil fuels and doing harm to natural resources and landscapes. Our goal is to transform waste into assets to that will reduce or mitigate:
- Disposal costs
- Loss of many valuable materials
- Truck traffic and air pollution, disproportionately burdening low-income communities
- Release of millions of tons of greenhouse gases that cause climate change
In response to this growing problem, Global Green is implementing a systematic approach of selecting large waste streams - food and paper - and piloting systems to demonstrate scalable financial and ecological benefits and adoption.
Curbing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Increasing the recycling rate is one of the most readily available mechanisms for reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, and actively engaging the public and industry in the fight against climate change.
Growing Green Jobs
Waste disposal in urban areas currently places a disproportionate burden on lower-income communities. For example, in New York City 25% of waste is processed at 15 transfer stations within a mile radius in the South Bronx, exposing communities to increased truck traffic and air pollution, and lowering property values. Through increasing resource recovery, we can reduce this impact and increase green job growth.
Influencing Material Recyclability and Recovery Systems Globally
The size, prominence, diversity, and growing commitment to sustainability of cities provide a unique opportunity to identify and promote effective waste diversion technologies and programs that can be transferred to major markets throughout the world.