[CHALLENGE] Waste Ownership in Shared Spaces

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city-vancouver
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#1

How can we change the existing waste system to encourage individuals to take ownership of the waste they produce?

In shared spaces (multi-unit residential buildings, commercial/public areas, etc), it is often the business owner that gets fined when there is cross-contamination in the organics/recycling/garbage bins. This is because our current waste system focuses on the physical aspect of waste rather than who created it; whoever has the waste is responsible for it.

Example: The strata management is responsible for the contents of their bin even though the residents are the ones who create the waste. If the hauler takes it, then it becomes the hauling company’s responsibility. If the hauler refuses the load due to contamination, the strata is then stuck with the role of sorting out the contaminants and/or face a fine. In most cases, it is impossible for them to track down the residents who did it, so the situation does not improve over time.

The current waste system and its backward ripple of fines is not effective because it often does not reach the individuals causing the contamination.

  • Are there ethical methods of tracing waste back to their owner?
  • Open source metrics for households/businesses/buildings? Can waste collection become a crown corporation (like BC Hydro)?
  • Is it possible to have an incentive-based approach to waste diversion rather than the current fine-based? What would it look like?

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