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Waste

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Wast

Paul Palmer

Contents

Chapter 1

Waste

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We live in a world, a society, where waste is taken for granted. The ubiquitous garbage can beckons everywhere, offering free or cheap receptacles for anything we don’t want. An automobile may be forced to keep running for twenty years but normally it goes to the scrap heap after seven. A television can last for decades but will it still process the current signals and connect to modern equipment? Tools and appliances last just until the warranty expires and then they disintegrate. In the industrial center, where most waste is generated, the situation is no better. Packaging abounds. Raw materials arrive in trainloads of cardboard boxes which serve for a single use and then are smashed and baled. The raw materials themselves arrive in large pieces that are cut and shaped leaving abundant scraps to be thrown away. Electricity is consumed in batches of hundreds of kilowatts for gigantic machinery which also use up heat for melting, drying or gluing and the heat is then thrown away into the air, a river or the sea. Profligate waste is the norm in every corner of our society for a simple reason. Materials and energy are considered to be cheap. Usually much cheaper than labor though that too is changing as labor is replaced with computers, with outsourcing and with the desperate unemployed.

***

The worst wasting goes unrecognized. We are a visual species. What we see is what we believe in. If we see a crate of outdated peaches thrown into dumpster we may bemoan the waste of those specific peaches but we never think of the work that went into producing them that will now have to be repeated because the world wants peaches. The same with poorly made VCR’s, cellphones, computers, desks, windows, kitchen cabinets, clothes, bicycles, houses and packages. We think that the waste inherent in the discard of these items, such as the bulldozing of buildings, as being the loss of the materials we see going into a dump. “If only we could reuse those materials to make something else” we think, “the waste would be temporarily avoided”. But we are totally wrong. Reusing the materials has virtually no effect on wasting. What is mostly wasted, ninety percent of the waste, comes from creating and then discarding the high function of the products we discard. We expend huge amounts of resources to plant forests, grow trees, water and fertilize them, cut them down, saw them up, dry the lumber, finish it, cut it to size, put a brand on it, carry it to a distributor, convey it to a lumber yard, sell it to a developer, truck it to a job site and only then, nail it into a wall. When that wall comes down and the dirty, broken lumber goes into a dumpster for its final trip, what good does it do to take that lumber and burn it for fuel or cut it for a crude fence. All of that work, in factories that were built, designed, financed and staffed, will have to be done all over again for the next house. The actual act of throwing the lumber into a garbage can is meaningless. Recycling the lumber, especially when that means chipping it up into low grade mulch, is a hopeless, meaningless, poorly thought out last-ditch attempt to stop the train that long ago left the station.

***

This result is general. Discard may be the critical step that effectuates the waste that has taken place but merely changing the form of the discard, by recycling or low grade reuse such as in a thrift shop, is of little meaning. Stopping discard where it starts, in the original design of the goods subject to discard, that is the only intervention that holds out hope for meaning.

***

A lumber wall that is specifically designed to be standard, and removable qua wall, not as lumber but as a high function product, that is what will stop the wasting process in its tracks. If lumber is made for walls, and the walls are used essentially forever, new lumber will not need to be made. But this requires a new kind of consciousness of design. The way in which walls are designed has to be changed. They can no longer be made on the job site, out of random pieces that happen to be around or are custom cut, to sizes that have no relation to future use, making use of one-trip fasteners such as nails. This appears convenient, but in fact it is full of problems.

***

I had a shed, essentially a small house, constructed in my yard. Every piece was factory cut and standardized. One man delivered all the materials and finished the job in six hours. At one time, Sears Roebuck delivered entire Victorian houses out of a catalog, with every piece pre-cut. Are these success stories for avoiding waste? Not really. Not at all. Because the design process was standardized only for the front end, for the assembly part. What about the dismantling of the shed or house years later? That was not only not designed for, it was not even a thought in the mind of the engineer who designed the house. I take that back. He did actually have a plan for the house’s dismantling. Hit it with a wrecking ball, scoop it up in bulldozer and take it to a dump. Some plan!

***

We are talking here about wooden buildings but the same thinking applies to concrete tilt up warehouse, to steel frame buildings, to large office buildings and to nuclear power plant containment vessels. Everything has a potential reuse in its highest function if we choose to enforce a design environment that makes that demand. The amazing thing is that the same kind of analysis applies to every single other object made by man.

***

Ordinary people of a leftist or humanist persuasion find it easy to bemoan waste of any kind when they encounter it. They are joined by many economic theorists who designate waste to be a form of market inefficiency and therefore to be despised and avoided. Most readers will be in these camps and will assume that any thinking person would agree. They would be wrong. It is important to fully realize that among those who make the design decisions, waste is a highly desirable design feature, one to be incorporated into the design of products, of social interactions and into industrial processes.

***

In a recent article, a New York State farmer explains that retailers want him to produce an onion of a size which is large enough that most cooks will use only half of it and discard the rest (4). In the same way, large carbonated beverages and beers are sold in containers that allow the gas to escape after opening, thus insuring that the rest of the bottle will go flat and be discarded. Not all of us are primarily concerned with keeping a finite planet humming along with as little damage as possible. In a capitalist world, the people making decisions are those who have found a way to exploit some corner of the economy for profit. Profit is the key, and no one should forget it. Efficiency is only useful if it leads to profit. Long or short life is to be judged by its effect on profit. To simply assume that “of course”, everyone wants to cut down on waste is to be a Pollyanna. However, in these pages, I do adopt a distaste for wasting, and I assume the reader agrees with me.

***

On my website, http://zerowasteinstitute.org, I present many completely worked out designs for many different products. Some are ready to go if anyone wants to run with them, to start a company producing an innovative product that can last some kind of forever. Some are more theoretical. But the point is that designing for perpetual reuse is not very hard. The only thing that is hard is to change the lazy consciousness of human beings that are always trying to keep on doing whatever they are used to just because they are used to it. When a crisis arrives, and something has to change, they will reveal their creativity. But until then, they are lazy, unoriginal, and wasteful. The crisis is here. The earth is groaning. But each one of us can stop up his ears for a while longer. And so the wasteful society marches on, making the same assumption that has worked before, that energy is abundant, raw materials are cheap and waste has no victims. It is time to make adjustments.

***

I assume that none of this strikes the reader as peculiar. Hopefully she thinks immediately, “well it isn’t making sense the way it is now so let’s change the way we design things so that products are handled differently.” Maybe she doesn’t know how it could be different but would love to make it better in some way. I myself thought that this would be a immediate and inescapable conclusion of most people after learning about the problem. I didn’t make allowance for the sheer inertia of public consciousness. There is a strong current of thinking which takes whatever is being done or has been done as the main model. Up to now, it has been normal for polluting industries and garbage companies to take whatever was unwanted and just throw it somewhere unprotected. Maybe a hole in the ground, a river, an ocean or into the air. As a result, the dominant paradigm in many people’s minds, and among many environmental theorists who should know better is “nature’s carrying capacity”. This means that nothing should be done to humanize or rationalize the production and wasting of resources but it must remain standard practice to take anything we don’t want and hand it to Mother Nature in some way and she will take care of it for us. In this view, the only parameter is how much can Nature absorb – her carrying capacity. Up to that amount, there is no problem. Exceed that amount and we need regulations to scale back.

***

In early 2014, David Suzuki, a noted environmentalist and a deeply caring person, gave a talk in Santa Fe New Mexico that I heard broadcast. This truly deep and devoted thinker said there: “we take the resources of the earth, we use them for a short time and then we throw them back into the earth.” This is the tragedy of shortsighted thinking. Though he has written forty books and thought deeply about many environmental trends, when it comes to products at the end of their first uses, he cannot see past the bankrupt notion of handing it all back to Nature. He is not alone. One environmentalist after another expresses the same thought. Surely it is time to move on mentally.

***

There is a dominant paradigm put forward worldwide for a bastardized form of reuse that appears to ordinary people to make sense. It is called recycling, and a rather complete study of its history, rationale and applications can be found in the relevant Wikipedia article on Recycling. In one way after another, the article presents a microcosm of the reality of recycling and is therefore worth teasing apart. For one thing, without saying so, the article promotes recycling by emphasizing its benefits throughout. For completeness, quantitative critics are quoted. Where recycling claims to recapture materials for making new products, critics who cast doubt on the scope of those benefits are cited. However, the criticisms are kept entirely within the framework of recycling theory, rather than presenting fundamental alternatives to recycling entirely. Burying garbage is denigrated as an alternative, but that only serves as support for recycling. For example, the common American obsession with jobs at any cost, used as a straw man, is batted about between the few jobs spent collecting and reprocessing materials by recycling and the many jobs spent extracting virgin materials from the earth. The earth itself, figures nowhere. It is just there to provide jobs endlessly and without notable degradation. The jobs argument is so easily overthrown by environmental concern for a finite planet, that, as a counter to recycling, or its wise grandfather, reuse, it is ineffective. Creating jobs willy nilly is not a reason for wanton wasting. The quality of life and the quality of work it requires is far more fundamental. Jobs must never be simply counted. That is meaningless.

***

Throughout the article, the sole means of recovering anything of value from discarded goods is assumed to be the crushing or destruction of the goods followed by retrieval of some tiny portion of its component materials. At no point is there even a hint that products could be designed in any way that recognizes the losses to society and to the planet of the wanton wasting of function, much less the materials used. The concept of basic design requirements for a finite planet incapable of being exploited endlessly, plays no role whatsoever in the thinking about recycling. Garbage is considered fundamental, unchangeable, something to be accepted without question. This article fairly accurately sums up the notions of recycling.

***

Certain products that fail to fit the recycling mold are simply ignored, without apology. The reuse of software, surely a major part of our world, is not mentioned because it is not material so there is no software to crush up and bale for sale to China. There are disks and tapes and paper but those are not the software itself, which uses a method called object oriented programming to reuse blocks of software. Zero Waste theory applies forcefully and directly to producing and reusing software, but recycling has no thoughts on the subject. Similarly, the Wikipedia article on recycling mentions chemicals but has nothing to say beyond the depolymerization of plastics. The entire world of chemicals, billions of tons of chemical products of every kind used worldwide every month, is simply beyond their ability to contemplate making one intelligent comment about, even though chemicals are actually among the most valuable and reusable of all commodities and the most dangerous to ignore. The world of recycling has nothing useful to say about this gigantic element of the industrial and consumer world.

***

One can only wonder at the shamelessness of a group of resource planners who pretend to deal with all resources in some effective manner but who miss the major contributions to the problem they claim to deal with. Where does such effrontery come from? The source is clear.

***

Recycling is pretty obviously a solution to a minor, unimportant problem, blown up by advocates with a clear bias, to pretend to be a solution to quite a different problem. The problem that recycling deals with directly is that of a user of goods, an individual, with no power to make any fundamental changes in product design or fate, wondering what to do with an empty glass bottle. Should she rinse it out and send it out for reuse of the glass itself, as a broken material or should she cavalierly toss it into the garbage can. Her conscience tells her to be a good citizen, get whatever small return can be gleaned from this cheap item, and put it into a recycling bin somewhere. Then other similar choices by other people will result in a flood of bottles all going to a reuse facility and the proof of the procedure is that someone makes money through the sale of cheap broken glass so it must be a worthwhile act.

***

This individual consumer is never forced to think about the factory that made the bottle or the theory of distribution that resulted in her bringing home the bottle when all she wanted was a soda or some mustard. She has no reason to keep in mind the enormously greater amounts of waste/garbage produced by the industrial machines that created that bottle in the first place. She pays no attention to the tiny fraction of the problem of garbage which her choice concerns, imagining instead that what she sees is what really counts. The recyclers then join her personal delusion with that of scores of other consumers, all reinforcing the delusion that they are wrestling with saving the earth, instead of being funneled into a tiny fraction of one percent of a large question. Recycling is sold as a religion, with priests and hoary texts. The politicians get on board, further promulgating this non-solution which brings them popular acclaim and generous political donations. The result is a self-serving, interactive system typical of most effective propaganda programs.

***

Many recyclers, thinking about the problem of waste, go directly to the one product that they use every day, that they need to live and that they think they have a handle on, namely food. Instead of dealing with the overall problem of millions of different products, they focus exclusively on food – growing it, distributing it and eating it. The movement called “freeganism” looks for sources of free, discarded food, often in dumpsters behind supermarkets or food markets. Insofar as they are able to personally beat the system – by getting their food for free – there is a well-deserved personal euphoria. Where it becomes problematical is when supporters try to hold up food as the one quintessential example of how to deal with waste.

***

The personal delusion is found in many forms in many fields. When health specialists discover that a particular chemical is toxic to them, the immediate thrust is to ban it. Why that chemical is in their orbit or how to change its industrial control or why it might be socially useful to retain it is not explored. Ditto with plastic bags or excess medicines. Just ban them or destroy them. Don’t explore the larger question of how to reorganize the creation or usage of the products so that the problems are eliminated while maximizing benefits. Consider astrology: trying to understand why life proceeds as it does, why things go wrong, victims of the personal delusion imagine that far away galaxies and planets can actually control their insignificant personal vicissitudes. The same can be said for the religion delusion that one’s personal successes and misfortunes are the concern of supernatural beings, usually called gods, capable of creating whole worlds, but still concerned with the intimate details of personal belief systems.

***

Lierre Keith roots personal delusion in her analysis of the way vegetarians view food production:

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Refraining from factory farm animal products is a righteous act for animals and the earth but it will not feed a single hungry person. The hungry don’t have the money to buy North American grain; getting the money means further dependence on the masters of globalization; and cheap commodities from afar only further destroy local food production, the only real food security that can exist. This is why there are no international aid agencies that suggest vegetarianism as a solution to world hunger; it isn’t one. I understand how the desperate longing for a just and fed world can lead us to cling to simple answers, especially answers that are easy to institute in our personal lives. But buying a soy burger is an emotional quick fix that does not address the tenacious and terrible roots of power and inequality. (2) p. 118

***

She is addressing the same personal delusion that I am describing which afflicts the garbage world. She is saying that vegetarians mislead themselves into thinking that their personal decisions control the social fate of animals, that they are unaware that they are not being asked to make the big decisions which set up the systems for growing animals. Just as vegetarians have no impact on our societal rules of animal husbandry, such as packed filthy pens and manure pollution, so also do recyclers have no impact on the decisions which cause garbage creation to be the norm.

***

In his weekly health talk on the show Your Own Health and Fitness, Jeffry Fawcett on March 24, 2015 discussed the movement for personal happiness that leads to gurus, religions, a reliance on brain science in the form of neuropsychology, meditation and special diets. He comments that there is a delusion that “a happy brain is a happy society”. He distinguishes between what you think and what you do, as a better distinction. Achieving personal happiness is not the same thing as achieving a happy, harmonious society.

***

If recycling is so useless, why is it so widespread? One of the major reasons is that it is heavily promoted and subsidized by the garbage industry – Big Garbage! Naively, one might wonder why Big Garbage would want to promote a program which appears to reuse materials to keep them out of the hands of Big Garbage and its dumps. Here is where we encounter one of the failures of naivete to answer deep questions. The waste of resources is not capable of being understood on a superficial basis. The ironies and contradictions of resource wasting are intricate and intertwined in hidden ways that the public is not aware of. Even environmentalists have no idea how resource wasting works, because the recycling propaganda is so effective.

The reason for recycling’s widespread adoption by Big Garbage is that it actually increases the amount of garbage available to them. While the public has a conservative and ancient bias against wanton waste, the invocation of recycling puts that bias to sleep. I myself recently turned down an unneeded paper bag at a hardware store, only to be brightly reminded by the clerk; “it can be recycled”. Accepting an unnecessary bag for no good reason was therefore recommended because magical recycling would somehow neutralize the waste. This is a universal mental trick and it is a ploy that Big Garbage recognizes and encourages. Wherever recycling is heavily promoted, garbage generation increases and Big Garbage grins broadly.

***

Jared Diamond, in discussing his book Collapse, about the collapse of many civilizations, reports that he asked his class what they think the man who cut down the last tree on Easter Island said to himself. “A new technology will replace trees” was one answer. But now we know what it must have been. “No problem, trees are recyclable” is what it surely was.

***

Let us take a look at the large scale implications of the ability of this naive acceptance of recycling to put defenses against wasting to sleep. One of the most pervasive and pernicious applications of recycling propaganda is to foster the delusion by cities, counties and some countries that the encouragement of a huge recycling effort can actually reuse all of the materials which would otherwise go into a dump, thus eliminating dumps and garbage once and for all. This delusion is in turn fostered by a well financed (by Big Garbage) cadre of self-styled “recycling consultants”. The delusion goes by the name of Zero Waste To Landfill (ZWtL). Out of all the municipalities and countries which have attempted to apply it, not one single effort that ran its projected and announced term was successful in any sense. Every one was a failure! Arguably, the most prominent effort of this type is that mounted by San Francisco California. Their ZwtL program is no better or different from the many others which have already run their terms and quietly subsided into invisibility. They have set their goal as 2020, so they have a few more years. There is no reason to think that their program will be any more of a success than any of the others which have already collapsed and vanished. This whole topic is discussed by Robert Krausz in his writings (1).

***

What happens if we pull back and look at the larger picture? An entire society is not bound by a simple choice between the green bin and the gray bin. The design and manufacturing sectors of society have the power to continue to exploit raw materials egregiously or to change the overall design so that no consumer is ever required to make meaningless decisions about recycling versus garbage disposal. Considered as social and industrial policy, any larger society can change the design of goods for intelligent reuse that is built into the very fabric of society, not added on desperately when choice is lost. This might require that the goal of industrial policy is not simply naked profit. Is this possible within a capitalist system? To some extent, it is, and the new experiments in design should be played with today to explore the systems they would require. However, a full bore reusable society will probably need to await fundamental changes in social planning and organization to a more humanistic and cooperative form of society.

***

It is unfortunate that not all of us can be activists, educating ourselves on the grand idea of changing the way products are designed. Most, if not all of us, labor under the regime(s) imposed on us by the elites seeking profits. We are stuck with the simple if minimally effective choice of to recycle or not to recycle. On this low level, the decision to recycle makes a kind of desperate sense. It is the only choice given to us so choose we must. There is nothing wrong with this. However, our thoughts go terribly wrong when we begin to believe that we can extrapolate from our insignificant choice to the larger, social choice. We must never confuse a personal, imposed choice with the social design for wasting. They are completely different. To equate the two levels is a version of the Stockholm Syndrome.

***

The Zero Waste Institute website (3) shows a number of product redesigns that could actually be put into place equally in today’s society or “after the revolution”. It doesn’t matter because the new designs can be applied to manufacturing at any time. In fact, many such proposals could lead to the creation of new businesses for making superior products. These new businesses could be, and should be, started today and need to be incorporated into manufacturing no matter what the economic or social system.

***

In developing Zero Waste theory as an actual, scientific theory, I have been forced to tease apart certain principles that it would necessarily depend on. The rest of the creative work largely consists of filling in the interstices between these principles, the substrates on which they will work, how they will interact and what their obvious consequences will be. Along the way there is also a need to criticize existing methods, but I hope to always minimize this non-constructive part of the development.

***

The very first principle is this: if a material, a good, a commodity, a unit is not to become an excess, a burden on society, in a word, garbage, then the only way to achieve this is by reuse. No other approach can insure that something is usable; not unusable. You must find a use for it if it is to be usable. This means that every product that is made must be designed to be reused over and over perpetually. If this is completely unachievable, this must be a rare exception which is handled gingerly and reluctantly. All of the levers of social control must come into play into guaranteeing that every product is used perpetually. Unless atoms are converted into energy, they will persist. Even if they are used up, exhausted in use, they are still there and can be reused. Occasionally a material is deemed to be so dangerous that it is banned. So-called nuclear waste might appear to be an example but this is not so, once scientists are allowed to find reuse pathways. The uranium 238 left over from refined uranium production once appeared to be unusable but the military regularly reuses this dense metal to make artillery shells (I am not endorsing this use, just observing it). Asbestos has been banned in many applications but when it is bound up and not free to circulate in the air, it has good properties. Mining it, if necessary, must be done by robots. Excess pharmaceuticals have been put forward as useless but this only reveals the poverty of imagination for the way that these products are packaged and distributed. Instead of jumping to the irresponsible conclusion that they can be discarded wantonly, the medical industry must take far greater responsibility for their usage modalities.

***

A prime example is food, which is eaten, yet must ultimately be returned to the land it came from in whatever secondary form it may take. Today, the digested products are sent to waste water treatment plants and usually the critically needed output is discarded into a waterway.

***

Perpetual reuse is not a trivial concept. Consider a window consisting of glass in a frame. It must be limited to standard, well marked and organized forms to foster reinsertion again. But because it will be used forever, it can be made out of vigorous materials and assemblies. In fact, it must be! It must not be made out of junky junk such as compressed oak leaves that fall apart after one season. Nor from mixed, dirty plastics that were left over from some other dirty application. If there is to be glass and a frame, then the frame must be designed to be repaired easily and repeatedly. There needs to be defenses against the glass breaking, such as its thickness or rubber bumpers. If the glass breaks, as it must occasionally, then there will be a socio-economic institution (a Zero Waste Repair Station) ready and waiting to remelt and reform it. Not every window, smashed after a single use, as the recyclers would have it, but accumulated broken glass collected together from accidents everywhere over a fairly long time. Similarly, the frames can be remade repeatedly but some day they may need to be disassembled and redirected into a new use. If they are made of aluminum for example, they can go to an aluminum smelter. But this will happen to only 0.01% of existing frames in any decade. It will be a rare event but finally, after serving for two hundred years or more, even the fate of the materials will be planned for. Nothing will be “discarded”, a concept that will no longer be understood. All aluminum alloys will not be forced together but each alloy will be marked for easy identification and handled for its unique qualities.

***

The next principle is repair, over and over and over. The design of every commodity will encourage repair and make it easy. A cadre of knowledgeable technicians, with all the blueprints, schematics and test instruments will exist in all societies. If parts are needed, these too will be permanently available. Perhaps 3-D printing will be pressed into service. In any case, lack of replacement parts will not be allowed to interfere with the principle that all society will embrace – perpetual repair.

***

The next principle is standardization. No unit will be allowed to be manufactured until it is as fully standardized as humanly possible. This doesn’t mean that the entire unit must be a clone of every other, just that all the parts must be as identical as feasible to similar parts in all other units of the same function. In a capitalist market, any manufacturer with a large market share specifically designs his parts to be incompatible with those from other manufacturers so as to degrade their market acceptance. This concept must be turned on its head.

***

Another important principle is modularization. To the maximum extent possible, all units must be composed of interlocking but separate parts which can be individually replaced and repaired. By swapping out modular parts, units can be immediately returned to a customer while repair goes on behind the scenes. Upgrades in a single module do not destroy the utility of the whole unit.

***

Lastly, there is the principle of maximum information. No part or unit or product can be placed into production without extensive knowledge of the intimate details of its construction being immediately available. Every part will have a label in the form of a bar code, a serial number or an embedded micro or rfid chip. Every product will be labeled as to its intended use, its place and date of manufacture, its component materials, the location of its design plans and to the maximum extent possible, the tests that can be performed to test it out. The latter takes on special importance with electronic items. All information about it must be available on the internet for everyone to see.

***

Much of this is predicated on voiding one of the premier, if unstated, principles of modern capitalistic organization. Primacy is always given to the ability of any manufacturer, developer or capital association to make a profit. The impact their project may have on society, on the planet, their neighbors or anyone else comes in second.

***

Current examples abound. Fracking is a brand new concept for removing petroleum and natural gas from certain mineral formations where it is bound up between mineral layers. Opening these layers to remove the fossil products requires enormous pressures (requiring great inputs of energy to produce), enormous amounts of chemicals and other minerals to open up the layers and enormous quantities of fresh water to carry the pressure to the layers. While extracting the fossil products, the water and chemicals are belched up with the excess natural gas (mostly methane) and must be controlled. Commonly, the water and chemicals are put into surface ponds to contaminate land and air. Even worse, they may be injected deep underground to contaminate unknown regions, temporarily out of sight and out of mind. Often, a soporific government, dazzled by the new source of fossil fuel, allows the contaminated mixture to be injected into clean aquifers! The underground methane is allowed to pass into local aquifers where it can then emerge in local water supplies creating drinking water that burns. The final insult comes when fossil products are burned for energy, creating carbon dioxide which worsens the galloping change in our climate. All of this makes money for various industries and so gets one pass after another. Laws may be broken but there is virtually no enforcement, at least in the US (Europe is being more careful). Nearby ranchers and residents are expected to simply put up with the burning water, the chemical pollution, the loss of their fresh water, the contamination of their aquifers, the smell and any consequent diseases that may come later. Why must they put up with all these assaults? Because an industry knows how to make a profit and that trumps all objections.

***

The primacy of profit over all external and social costs is an inborn rule of capitalist society that is intolerable to any democratic state. In separate writings, we will discuss the way that, using the internet as our tool, true democracy can be substituted for this election based, corrupt, profit driven form of capitalism we wrongly call mainstream democracy.

***

As you can see, Zero Waste design is at the same time, simple and obvious and also explosively revolutionary. The revolutionary aspect comes about only by comparison to today’s designs which are designed for collapse, obsolescence and maximum waste. Breaking that paradigm will be called revolutionary, even though the new design goal is achievable and even conservative in its finest sense.

***

NOTES

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1- Robert Krausz, http://researcharchive.lincoln.ac.nz/dspace/handle/10182/5301

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2- The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith, PM Press, (2009)

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3- http://zerowasteinstitute.org/?page_id=30

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4- goo.gl/e98ti

A farmer explains why stores demand a certain size of onion:

“They want this size because they know you won’t use more than half of one of these in cooking a meal. And you’ll throw away the other half. The more you waste, the more you’ll buy.” The stores know this. So wastage is a strategy, not a by-product.”

***

Paul Palmer is a chemist who founded a chemical reuse company called Zero Waste Systems Inc. which pioneered the scientific study of resource management aimed at the total elimination of waste throughout society.


Waste

  • Author: Fomite
  • Published: 2017-01-20 12:55:22
  • Words: 6035
Waste Waste