At first, I was excited to see that the City Council was taking action to fix our broken municipal waste system. But as I read the text of the bill to create a new Zero Waste Commission for Baltimore, I was shocked to see nothing about what’s really important – namely, phasing out trash incineration.
“Instead, Bill 21-0075 only prioritizes ending the practice of sending waste sent to landfills by 2035. In its first year, the commission is to produce a plan for meeting that goal.”
“Nevertheless, we remain optimistic and committed.”
“For the past several years, some of my proudest moments have come from working alongside fellow youth and community members to change this waste system, so that we are the last generation to grow up with it.”
Carlos noted that advocates like himself have already been working on a Zero Waste Plan.
“Together, we’ve already created the city’s first Zero Waste Plan, and have been working ever since to see that it is implemented. Our systematic approach calls for the city to:
- 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
- Build and strengthen local end markets for compost and recycled commodities
- Establish protections for sanitation workers as we transition from outdated technologies to current approaches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”