Waste systems

Waste production has become an integral part of our life, almost like CO2 in respiration, everyday we produce some amount of it ,which depends on our location and lifestyle. Waste production is a result of industrialization, which forever altered the “no waste” or the “ waste is food” cycle, existing in nature. The most important cause for this to happen would be ignorance.

Ignorance can further be split into two categories, one that willfully knowing all the negative effects of waste production, still decides to use and throw objects and produce difficult objects, the other lacks in knowledge about the products we use and their impacts either during use or after use on the environment. William McDonough’s idea of change in the waste cycle from the idea of no waste to production of waste , clearly shows that our ignorance has brought us to the peak of this issue, waste has accumulated so much so that it is unable to go back to the cradle , is rather creating a grave. It is shocking to see facts from the food industry in the US , 40 % of the food produced goes uneaten, when some parts of the world are suffering from malnutrition and lack of food. This imbalance in the food cycle, which is one of the contributor’s of the waste cycle, is an example of how the excess production can result in waste production and accumulation, it is similar for other industries as well.

Tackling the problem that waste accumulation faces has been an area of interest in the past century. Educating public about the negatives of the process can aid in change of mindset to reduce the waste production and may interest people in trying and using biodegradable products and recycling. Major part of the production or manufacture of the harmful objects ranging from food to television sets happens in developing countries that do not care about pollution control and other effects from producing these non- degradable objects. This lack of knowledge combined with excessive production has resulted in high waste productions, that in the case of Canada, the landfills were too full, and new waste had to be moved to Michigan for land filling. Here instead of improving the status, one city is degrading the other.

Only when the ignorance changes to importance, like fabric production, where the fabric changes from harmful to more than neutral element as a biological nutrient, can the cycle be brought back to its natural form. Then the concept of “ use and throw “ will be ok, because “throw” does not relate to waste, it is rather an ingredient for the next cycle. Careful and planned use of available resources is the simplest form of tackling this issue; only producing no waste can solve the problem, not less waste.


McDonough, William, and Michael Braungart. 2009. Cradle to cradle: remaking the way we make things. London: Vintage. – Chapters: 01. A question of Design (pg. 17 – 44) and 04. Waste equals Food (pg. 92 – 117)

 Gunders, D. (2012.). Wasted: How America is losing up to 40 percent of its food from farm to fork to landfill. Natural Resources Defense Council, Retrieved from (http://www.nrdc.org/food/files/wasted-food-IP.pdf)

 Pierre Bélanger. “Airspace: The Economies & Ecologies of Landfilling in Michigan.” Trash. Ed. John Knechtel. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2006. 132-155.


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