There are over 35 million Canadians creating garbage. Natural Resources Canada claims the average North American will, in his or her lifetime, throw away 600 times their adult weight in garbage. By this estimate, a 68 kg adult will leave a legacy of 40,825 kg of trash, or about 41 tonnes.
Sustainable waste management demands that we be financially responsible in how we deal with our waste while doing so in a socially-acceptable and environmentally-sound manner. We need to assume responsibility for the waste we create, and help those tasked with the job of disposing of it so that the fewest resources possible are used. Embracing the 3Rs hierarchy: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle - in that order - is the first step to sustainably managing waste, whether at home, at work or elsewhere.
Sustainable waste management has many benefits:
- Lowering waste management costs
- Reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions
- Reducing the release of pollutants that harm human health
- Saving energy
- Conserving resources
- Reducing the demand on landfill space and waste treatment technologies
Check out this fact sheet from the World Health Organization (WHO) on health care waste, or click on one of the images below.