Time for a Community Led Just Transition to Zero Waste
Through public public policy, resources and land use, South Baltimore has developed into a regional center for burning and burying hundreds of thousands of tons of waste each year. We are not alone – frontline communities across the world find themselves in the same position of serving as the involuntary hosts for disposing of the waste produced by a system built around extraction and exploitation. Our front row seat to this broken system puts us in a position to sound the alarm and take the lead in creating something new.
Through 10 years of research and action – starting with the successful community led effort to prevent the construction of what would have been the largest incinerator in the US – we have developed a systematic approach to a just transition to Zero Waste led by communities and workers. Here are the broad strokes of what we believe it will take in order to create healthy and stable communities.
- Establish a “Just Transition for Zero Waste Fund” to develop new community-owned compost, recycling, deconstruction and reuse infrastructure
- End subsidies for the incinerators and landfills we are transitioning away from along with the single use, made for disposal, products that feed them
- Build and strengthen local end markets for compost and recycled materials
- Establish protections for sanitation workers as we transition from outdated technologies to current approaches
- Create relief funds for the communities that have hosted toxic waste infrastructure for decades
From here, you can:
- Take a more in depth look at the Zero Waste Plan led by communities and adopted by Baltimore’s City Council here.
- Sign up to learn more and help advance a part of the plan here.
- Learn more about efforts communities are taking across the world to transition to Zero Waste and apply those lessons to our local work here in Baltimore.