San Antonio Recycling Growth Story Presented to UN
Waste Management World : March 08 2011
U.S. based recycling company, Greenstar Recycling has been discussing the role it played in helping San Antonio, Texas create a pathway to zero waste at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
Greenstar has been working with San Antonio - the United States' seventh largest city - to help increase recycling volume by 300% in the past five years.
The company has built build of the country's largest, and most automated recycling facilities in the city, and claims to have helped create a sustainable program where discarded materials are viewed as resources instead of waste.
Greenstar Recycling Chief Executive Officer Matt Delnick presented the company's San Antonio case study at UNCSD PrepCom 2, a preparatory committee for the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as 'Rio +20 Earth Summit.'
Delnick discussed how Greenstar and San Antonio officials, working together to implement a 60% residential recycling rate, have created a program that decreases landfill space and energy consumption while removing 600,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent annually (equal to taking 130,000 cars off San Antonio roads each year) and creating well over 100 green jobs dedicated to recycling programs.
According to the company, the case study demonstrates what can be achieved when public and private entities work together to create successful recycling programs.
London Business School will take Greenstar's initial presentation delivered today and create a more in-depth case study that others can view in order to learn from San Antonio's example.
Home to half the world's population, major cities like San Antonio play a strategically important role in the fight against climate change, accounting for roughly two-thirds of world's primary energy demand, and over 70% of global CO2 emissions.
Delnick went on to explain that recycling should be at the forefront of all sustainability efforts, and that a discussion on green infrastructure should always include recycling. Adding that with national recycling rates at about 30%, San Antonio's recycling growth rate of 300% in the past five years is impressive.
"Our key recommendations included that all levels of local government and community members need to be engaged in creating a sustainable recycling program and that education is key to building a successful program," said Delnick
"It was uplifting to show how much cities around the world can learn from San Antonio and the pathway we have worked together to follow toward zero waste." he added.