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Why do we demolish buildings instead of deconstructing them for re-use?

Dismantling buildings piece by piece to preserve the reusable parts within keeps materials out of landfills and creates more jobs than demolition.

Why aren’t we mining landfills for valuable materials like metals and soil?

Many old dumps contain useful materials. Whether they’re worth extracting depends on how we value other benefits such as preventing pollution and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

World Food Day

Today is World Food Day, a day to promote wasting less food, eating better and adopting a sustainable lifestyle which are key to building a world free of hunger and a healthy planet for future generations. It is a day to remind us of the role that food plays in our survival, how it is integral to all of the world’s cultures, and how we grow, process, and dispose of food has far reaching effects on our world.

Think Globally, Act Locally

On Monday, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released “The Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C.” The findings of the latest IPCC assessment are ominous—that the world has only 12 years to keep global temperatures below 1.5°C and avoid catastrophic environmental breakdown. Disposing of biodegradable materials, including paper products, food scraps and yard trimmings, in a landfill results in anaerobic decomposition of these organic materials, which creates methane. Methane is a greenhouse gas which is 72 times more potent than CO2 over a 20-year period. We can act locally to make a difference by stepping up our recycling efforts to keep clean, recyclable paper out of the landfill and by composting food scraps and soiled paper.

Materials Management and Rural America, Part 2

Across America, some rural and small communities are flourishing, just as some urban areas are growing and thriving, while other communities, rural and urban, are on the decline. Effective strategic planning, dedication on the part of local stakeholders, and a focus on resident education and involvement can help make waste diversion successful in rural and small town communities. Beyond the potential economic benefits, materials management can help to build communities, bring citizens together, promote public participation, and help to spur a sense of community pride.