The attention that the just claim of the community of Chillán Viejo, where the Ecobío landfill is located, has deserved due to the arrival of thousands of tons of garbage from other regions, should not remain only in the claim and make us forget that as important as The complaint and protest is the search for solutions for the future, because the landfill has 5 to 6 years of useful life left.
When we talk about garbage, we normally think of household waste, where there are solid waste, organic waste and liquid waste, which are the most common. This view is narrow, since it is equally or more important to have treatment for industrial and hazardous waste, digital scrap and the always difficult control of clandestine garbage dumps.
Beyond landfills, it is essential to move towards more modern definitions, where garbage management is accompanied by its reuse, its use to generate energy, recycling and other alternative benefits that can be obtained from its proper management.
Regarding the reuse of garbage, it is important to teach people that what may be waste for some may be useful for others, also collaborating with the care of the environment. Examples of this type of reuse of what others eliminate are computers and cell phones, which constitute one of the problems of this century.
Another issue in which we are very behind is the use of organic waste, which can be converted into fertilizer through the compost procedure, an organic fertilizer rich in nutrients and which does not take more than two months to generate. This not only contributes to the environment, but is a business opportunity, since it can be sold, generating income to more disadvantaged sectors. However, a selection of waste from home is previously required, since organic waste must be separated from the rest of the waste to be subjected to the conversion procedure into organic fertilizer.
The possible energy use of garbage is another of the pending challenges in waste management. Although it is true that a significant initial investment and a considerable amount of waste are required for its production to be profitable, it could be considered to establish a system of compensation for this type of new studies and businesses resulting from energy generation.
Solid waste recycling is also a source of better reuse of garbage, but it is still very incipient and there is a lack of greater commitment on the part of the population to have a true recycling culture.
Public policies, education, public-private agreements and international experience are all elements that must be promoted, and this requires not only environmental but also citizen awareness regarding the importance of not continuing to throw garbage without measuring the impacts that it has. This has.