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Sustainability is a integrated term for a number of areas of concern. The best companies already reduce waste across-the-board as simply a best business practice. But what the movement for sustainability portends is integrating resource integrity into all aspects of product design, production and life cycle activities. This means designing products from materials that are recyclable and in such a manner that they can be easily “taken back” by the system. Instead of the one-way attitude of cradle-to-grave, you seek to implement a reuse system of cradle-to-cradle. It seeks to emulate nature where one way or another, everything is recycled.
As far as a local list of the top areas that need retooling to reduce waste, well, the #1 on my list is just that – the way San Diego continues its one-way waste mentality with high rates of trash generation and low rates of recycling.
We have a system that supports making money off of waste instead of making money off of recycling.
No city can claim it cares about sustainability without changing that status quo situation.