Belajar Mengelola Sampah dari Negara Maju

Cara terbaik mengurangi sampah adalah dengan tidak menghasilkannya. Hal ini berlaku bagi semua negara tak terkecuali di negara maju.

Masalah sampah muncul seiring pertumbuhan ekonomi dan meningkatnya kesejahteraan masyarakat. Data dari Lembaga Perlindungan Lingkungan AS (Environmental Protection Agency) menyebutkan, penduduk Amerika menghasilkan 250 juta ton sampah padat per tahun pada 2010. Bandingkan dengan jumlah sampah padat yang dihasilkan oleh penduduk Indonesia pada periode yang sama yang mencapai 56,3 juta ton pertahun.

Menurut data statistik Eurostat, setiap tahun, masyarakat Uni Eropa membuang 3 miliar ton sampah – 90 juta ton di antaranya adalah sampah beracun. Dari angka tersebut berarti, setiap pria, wanita dan anak-anak di Eropa membuang 6 ton sampah padat setiap tahun.

Namun menemukan cara mengelola dan membuang sampah – tanpa merugikan lingkungan – terus menjadi masalah besar di semua negara hingga saat ini. Di Eropa, kebanyakan dari sampah tersebut dibakar di tempat pembakaran sampah (incinerators) atau dibuang ke tempat pembuangan sampah akhir (67%). Namun kedua metode ini sama-sama merusak lingkungan.

Kebutuhan lahan untuk lokasi pembuangan sampah terus meningkat. Sampah juga mencemari udara, air dan tanah, melepas karbon dioksida (CO2) dan metana (CH4) ke udara, serta bahan kimia dan pestisida ke tanah. Hal ini membahayakan tidak hanya bagi kesehatan manusia, namun juga bagi hewan dan tumbuhan.

Amerika Serikat maupun Uni Eropa, berpegang pada tiga prinsip berikut untuk menangani sampah:

1. Mencegah produksi sampah

Strategi ini adalah yang terpenting dalam pola pengelolaan sampah yang sangat terkait dengan upaya perusahaan untuk memimimalisir kemasan dan upaya memengaruhi konsumen untuk membeli produk-produk yang ramah lingkungan.

Jika upaya ini berhasil – dengan bantuan media dan lembaga terkait – maka dunia akan bisa mengurangi sampah secara signifikan dan mendorong penggunaan bahan-bahan ramah lingkungan dalam setiap produk yang dikonsumsi oleh masyarakat.

2. Mendaur ulang dan menggunakan kembali suatu produk

Jika kita masih sulit untuk mencegah terciptanya sampah, langkah daur ulang adalah langkah alternatif yang bisa dilakukan untuk menguranginya.

Baik AS maupun negara Uni Eropa, mereka sudah menentukan jenis sampah apa saja yang menjadi prioritas untuk diolah dan didaur ulang, meliputi sampah kemasan, limbah kendaraan, beterai, peralatan listrik dan sampah elektronik.

Uni Eropa juga meminta negara-negara anggotanya untuk membuat peraturan tentang pengumpulan sampah, daur ulang, penggunaan kembali dan pembuangan sampah-sampah di atas. Hasilnya tingkat daur ulang sampah kemasan di beberapa negara anggota Uni Eropa mencapai lebih dari 50%.

Di AS, keberhasilan upaya daur ulang sejumlah produk juga sangat menggembirakan. Jumlah baterai (aki) kendaraan yang berhasil didaur ulang mencapai 96%. Jumlah surat kabar dan kertas yang berhasil didaur ulang ada di tempat kedua sebesar 71% dan sekitar duapertiga (67%) kaleng baja berhasil didaur ulang. Tantangan terbesar ada pada upaya mendaur ulang produk-produk elektronik konsumen dan wadah gelas. AS baru berhasil mendaur ulang seperempat (25%) dan sepertiganya.

3. Memerbaiki cara pengawasan dan pembuangan sampah akhir

Jika sampah tidak berhasil didaur ulang atau digunakan kembali sampah harus dibakar dengan aman. Lokasi pembuangan sampah adalah solusi terakhir. Kedua metode ini memerlukan pengawasan yang ketat karena berpotensi merusak lingkungan.

Uni Eropa baru-baru ini menyetujui peraturan pengelolaan TPA yang sangat ketat dengan melarang pembuangan ban bekas dan metetapkan target pengurangan sampah yang bisa terurai secara biologis.

Batas polusi di tempat pembakaran sampah juga telah ditetapkan. Mereka juga berupaya mengurangi polusi dioksin dan gas asam seperti nitrogen oksida (NOx), sulfur dioksida (SO2), dan hidrogen chlorida (HCL), yang sangat berbahaya bagi kesehatan.

Catatan penting, berdasarkan data EPA, upaya daur ulang dan pembuatan kompos di AS berhasil mencegah pembuangan 85,1 juta ton sampah pada 2010, naik dari hanya 15 juta ton pada 1980.

Prestasi ini setara dengan mencegah pelepasan sekitar 186 juta metrik ton emisi setara karbon dioksida (CO2) ke udara pada 2010 atau setara dengan memensiunkan 36 juta mobil dari jalan raya dalam satu tahun!

Upaya pengelolaan sampah yang baik tidak hanya memecahkan masalah pencemaran lingkungan tapi juga bisa menjadi solusi memerlambat efek pemanasan global. Sampai di mana kita?

Redaksi Hijauku.com

sumber : http://www.hijauku.com/2012/05/08/belajar-mengelola-sampah-dari-negara-maju/

Produced but never eaten: a visual guide to food waste

Whether the wastage is measured in tonnes of spoiled goods, hectares of agricultural land or household expenditure, the scale is frightening

How much food is wasted globally each year?

Each year 1.3bn tonnes of food, about a third of all that is produced, is wasted, including about 45% of all fruit and vegetables, 35% of fish and seafood, 30% of cereals, 20% of dairy products and 20% of meat.

What does this mean for agriculture?

About 1.4bn hectares, or close to 30% of available agricultural land, is used to grow or farm food that is subsequently wasted. This is particularly alarming given estimates that by 2050 food production will need to have increased by 60% on 2005 levels to feed a growing global population. Reducing food wastage would ease the burden on resources as the world attempts to meet future demand.

Where, how and when is most of the food wasted?

In developing countries there are high levels of what is known as “food loss”, which is unintentional wastage, often due to poor equipment, transportation and infrastructure. In wealthy countries, there are low levels of unintentional losses but high levels of “food waste”, which involves food being thrown away by consumers because they have purchased too much, or by retailers who reject food because of exacting aesthetic standards.

 

How about the UK – What type of foods do we waste most?

In the UK, 15m tonnes of food is lost or wasted each year and consumers throw away 4.2m tonnes of edible food each year. The foods most commonly found in British bins are bread, vegetables, fruit and milk.

What does this mean for the average family?

The average family throws away £700 worth of perfectly good food a year, or almost or almost £60 worth of food a month. The average weekly expenditure on food and non-alcoholic drinks in 2013 was £58.80 according to the ONS, which means a typical family throws away a week’s worth of groceries each month.

sumber : http://www.theguardian.com/environment/ng-interactive/2015/aug/12/produced-but-never-eaten-a-visual-guide-to-food-waste

Lebanon’s drowning in its own waste!

Lebanese garbage crisis

Want a peek into a dystopian future? This is an update on the garbage crisis in Lebanon, which is largely attributed to a corrupted political system, but it’s also a cautionary tale about uncontrolled consumerism and environmental arrogance that could happen in nearly every free market zip code.

Since the nation’s largest landfill closed in July, Lebanon has been drowning in its own garbage. The waste crisis escalated last weekend when angry demonstrators tried to storm the parliament in Beirut. Riot police responded with tear gas and water cannon, and according to some reports, rubber bullets and live ammunition. An unspecified number of demonstrators and more than 35 Internal Security Forces (ISF) members were wounded, according to an ISF online statement.

lebanon's largest landfill

The Naameh dump site in the mountains southeast of Beirut (shown above) had been the endpoint for waste generated by half of Lebanon’s four million people. This summer,  when authorities failed to find an alternate landfill, Naameh residents blocked trucks from dropping new garbage, which triggered a waste collection shutdown across wider Beirut. So began a domino effect that resulted in the death of one Beirut protester, and as yet undefined environmental fallout.

port of beirut

Garbage dropped near the Port of Beirut (shown above) triggered a mid-August work stoppage over mounting health and safety concerns. “We will not accept our port becoming the capital’s dumping ground. The health of all who enter the port is at risk, workers, visitors and customers.” Bchara Asmar, president of the Union of Beirut port employees, told ITF Global. He added that the Lebanese government has not provided a viable long-term waste management solution; forcing municipalities to resort to temporary remedies.

Beirut garbage protests

The situation has prompted protests across Beirut, but also grassroot solutions. Local priests are calling for reduced pollution, citing Pope Francis’ recent criticism of our “throwaway culture”. The mayor of northern town Roumieh organized volunteers and city employees to collect recyclables and biodegradable waste (such as food scraps) on a regular schedule. Recyclables with commercial value will be sold to help underwrite the initiative.

Lebanese demonstraters take shelter behind a rubbish container during clashes with security forces following a demonstration, organised by the "You Stink" campaign, against the ongoing trash crisis in the capital Beirut on August 22, 2015. Thousands of protesters, including children, gathered to protest the Lebanese government's inability to find a lasting solution to the country's worsening waste problem. AFP PHOTO / STR

Beirut business owner and environmental engineer Ziad Abichaker told the Wall Street Journal, “I think it is a golden opportunity now to start saying to people that you need a paradigm shift. You need to stop looking at waste as a problem and start looking at it as a resource.”

These efforts – quietly pursued before the protests – are garnering increased attention by a public desperate to dig out of the stinking debris. (Reports state some 20 tons of rubbish have been dumped in the capital’s streets).

Lebanon has been without a president for 15 months.  Its government is viewed as paralyzed and ineffective, a reputation underscored when Environment Minister Mohammed el-Mashnouq posted a statement saying his office was “working silently” to resolve what he called “a tragic situation”.

Reduce, reuse, recycle. Those actions won’t fix a broken bureaucracy, but will lessen the pain when civil services collapse.

source : http://www.greenprophet.com/2015/08/lebanons-drowning-in-its-own-waste/