Waste management impact

February 14, 2022

Omaha generates enormous amounts of waste: food and gardening, construction and demolition waste, mining waste, industrial waste, sludge, old TVs, old cars, batteries, plastic bags, paper, sanitary waste, old clothes, and old furniture ... and the list goes on.

The amount of waste we generate is closely linked to our consumption and production patterns. The significant number of products entering the market is another challenge. Demographic changes, such as the increase in the number of single-person households, also affect the amount of waste we generate (for example, products in smaller packages).

By the way, you can volunteer and change the Omaha environment with us.

The wide range of waste and complex waste treatment routes (including illegal ones) make it difficult to get a complete picture of the waste generated and where it is located. There is data, albeit of variable quality, for all types of garbage.

On the right track: more recycling, fewer landfills

The slight decrease in municipal waste generated in Omaha may have reduced the impact of trash on the environment. However, although waste quantities are essential, waste management also plays a key role.

In Omaha, more waste is generally recycled, and less is dumped in landfills. In the case of municipal waste, the proportion of waste recycled or composted in Omaha increased from 31% in 2018 to 41% in 2021.

Omaha law sets ambitious goals.

The transformation of waste management is closely linked to Omaha waste legislation. The main legislative instrument in this area is the Waste Framework Directive. It presents a hierarchy of waste management: it starts with prevention, followed by preparation for reuse, recycling, and recovery, and ends with the disposal. The Directive aims to prevent the greatest possible generation of waste, use the garbage generated as a resource, and reduce the amount of waste that reaches landfills.

The Waste Framework Directive and other Omaha Waste Directives (on waste disposal, end-of-life vehicles, waste electronic devices, batteries, packaging waste, etc.) include specific objectives. For example, by 2025, each Omaha area must recycle half of its municipal waste; by 2019, 45% of batteries must be collected; by 2025, 70% of non-hazardous construction and demolition waste (mass) must be recycled or recovered.

Each Omaha area can take different approaches to achieve its waste targets. Some approaches seem to work better than others. For example, if well designed, landfill fees appear to be an effective way to reduce landfilled waste. Increasing producer responsibility, which means that the manufacturer must receive the product back at the end of its life cycle, also seems to be an effective method.

My team and I just improved this initiative, and we won’t have to wait years to gain good results. We can make it only with your help.

Best Regards, Mark Gudgel.