GAIA Zero Waste MasterPlan - Page 7

Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA)
Zero waste is an essential part of recovery.
Through policies, programs, and infrastructure
to minimize municipal waste streams and
sustainably manage what’s left, cities can support
local economic development and livelihoods,
improve air quality, and mitigate climate change.
Zero waste is a means towards environmental
goals and a holistic tool of social intervention
towards well-being for all.
“Zero waste” is often conflated with recycling, and
while recycling plays a role, we can’t stop there.
If business-as-usual waste growth continues,
municipalities will likely face difficulties in
securing the land and financial resources
necessary to keep building additional waste
management infrastructure. While improving
waste management systems to more effectively
recover and repurpose materials is necessary,
emphasis must be placed on upstream strategies
to reduce waste at the source.
These overlapping crises
present an opportunity to
build more resilient cities. By
investing in a sustainable, just
economy, we can mitigate the
impact of future crises and
bring much-needed relief to

Accelerates economic recovery - cities
need equitable and inclusive recovery. Zero
waste creates more jobs than traditional
forms of waste disposal and presents new
opportunities for local businesses.

Protects public health - waste incineration
causes serious health problems that lowincome communities and communities of
color are disproportionately living in. Zero
waste reduces air pollution to ensure safe,
liveable neighborhoods.


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