Local Solutions to World Urban Recycling Problems

To have a truly effective and functional MESH City, ideas on how to make communities sustainable have to come from the people who use them. Call it crowd sourcing or just old-fashioned community involvement, but before going to the Globe2012 conference last week I asked some colleagues what solutions would make for more livable cities. There were a lot of good, big picture ideas, but it was one small idea that stood out due to its simplicity. Ramesh writes:

Have you ever thought of concept of planning “super recycling collection depot” (SRDC) in every community? Its a place where people can walk to a SRCD and drop their knife sharpener, battery, curling iron, heater, etc. at their end of its life cycle. The responsible respective collecting agencies could make periodic trip to the SRCD and make room for next items. Currently, people may have to drive a few kilometres to drop these items making it less attractive for consumer to participate in recycling activities. So, like a park, playground, community centre, there is a SRCD in all green communities. Funding should not be a problem as there are laws in different provinces on these activities call EPR (Extended Producers Responsibility). Some of them have visible Eco fees and others are funded by sometimes complex formula including industry, municipality and province. Current legislation for this pie of sustainability differs in almost every provinces making it unsustainable. To begin with, I like EPR by province of BC due to its transparency.

Where would these drop offs be located? Many communities have postal pickup boxes rather than home delivery. It makes sense to locate a SRCD at every one. Alternatively, community centres could be workable or local postal offices.

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