GAIA Zero Waste MasterPlan - Page 33

Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) 33
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1. Planning for Zero Waste Infrastructure
Getting to zero waste requires a bold vision to move away from the status quo. Historically,
disproportionate investments in waste must be redirected to a broad array of local infrastructure
that invigorates reuse and reduction and provides for disassembly, recycling or composting at the
end of a product’s life. Investing for zero waste requires careful planning for each facility, including
knowledge of the current discard compositions and volumes, to ensure investments reflect long-term
community goals and the economics don’t disincentivize future opportunities for reduction and reuse.
Local infrastructure investments in authentic circular and zero waste strategies eliminate the need for
extraction of resources while equitably creating jobs and economic development opportunities.
Reduction is the ultimate goal of a zero waste
plan as it eliminates the upstream waste
associated with extraction, manufacturing, and

Sharing: facilitating convenient and
accessible sharing of goods that are
infrequently used reduces the demand for
purchasing individual items. Successful
examples of physical or virtual lending
libraries exist for sharing or renting tools,
equipment, and other household items.

Reuse: both an upstream reduction and
downstream diversion outlet, investments
in promotion, tax breaks, no interest loans
and other business support help reuse
enterprises compete with cheap, newly
manufactured goods.

Reuse Store: many models of successful
for profit and nonprofit reuse stores
exist, focused on household goods and
textiles, building materials salvage
stores, antique stores, sporting goods
and others.

Online material exchanges facilitate the
trade of usable goods from businesses,
institutions or residents.
Repair: taking action to reverse planned
obsolescence by repairing broken items
results in job creation and extends the life of
the product.

Repair Workshops provide training and
technical expertise to simultaneously
build capacity and community.
Repair Stores have declined over several
decades, but were once a way of life.
Investments in electronics, textiles,
furniture and other repair options build
a local economy and local resilience.


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