In recent decades, another dimension has been added to the efficiency of waste management systems in Charleston. It is about the capacity to recover waste, long forgotten. When the people and governments of the city of Charleston, like most cities in North America, talk about effective waste management, they are talking about effective public management.
On the model of international standards, the objective is for the public authorities to assume responsibility for all waste management, even if some municipalities sometimes delegate this task to service providers.
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The second factor is the involvement of the population in waste management. The self-management system is based on a very high level of participation of households and waste producers. In order for the risks associated with the presence of waste to be reduced, the population that produced this waste must be involved in the management process.
If it did not make the effort to take her waste to the recyclers, burn it, or throw it into the nearby stream, the health risks to her would be much higher. Informal circuits also contribute to this strong involvement of the population in waste management.
This time it is about local residents creating their informal micro-enterprise, participating in the well-being of the community by managing waste. They naturally carry out this action for profit (even if the gain remains minimal); however, they do so to the detriment of their health.
However, the model towards which most of the municipalities want to move, that is to say the public management system, aims to eliminate any involvement of the population. Non-involvement in waste management then appears to be a comfort factor, a marker of a certain social status: not having physical contact with waste so that it can be removed from the neighborhood.
From this perspective, only the most marginalized populations can have direct contact with the litter. In addition, the public waste management system wants to make the operation more technical, allowing only trained staff and specialized companies to get involved.
Removing waste from the daily life of residents helps to limit health risks to a certain extent. However, today it is possible to find compromises that do not systematically associate the handling of waste with the propagation of risk.
In addition, the distance of waste from the daily living environment generates a great lack of interest in the future of this object. That is to say, people now just worry about whether waste is being removed from their neighborhood.
The very strong political administrative division of the city of Charleston means that if the mayor of one of the city’s districts manages to have the waste removed from his jurisdiction, the population will brag about its merits, regardless of the final destination of the waste.
As for the whole of this article, we can observe here that if the decline in the involvement of the population in waste management brings a certain daily comfort, it makes it more difficult to take into account all of the issues. the processing chain and limits the possibility of recycling, at least initially.
Articulation of the two factors to move directly to shared waste management
It is therefore the articulation between these two factors that makes it possible to better understand the interweaving between the different theoretical waste management systems. Moreover, in a context of worldwide assertion of the need to take better account of the environmental issue, the implementation of recycling at source is gaining momentum.
This observation, initially circumscribed in the discourse of the populations of rich cities, is quickly anchored in developing cities. The equation that preserving the environment is reserved for the better-off is then called into question on many points.
North America is seeing the development of a series of initiatives including dumpster rental near me services that once again emphasize waste recycling. However, this practice of recycling at source, directly by households, requires strong involvement of the population.
Moreover, it is often the lack of involvement that makes it difficult to set up these systems in Europe, involving long and costly awareness campaigns. The affluent district of Charleston has extended its public waste management system by carrying out selective collection.
Today he is experiencing the same difficulties of demobilizing populations in sorting within the household. We are seeing a comeback, after having succeeded in eradicating it in order to set up a public management system, of the need for the involvement of the various actors in waste management, first and foremost the inhabitants who produce waste.
It remains to be seen to what extent this implication factor could be highlighted in affluent and middle class neighborhoods, and how the American experience can shed light on the return of this factor in curbside recycling practices in Europe.