Footsteps 107 - Waste

Footsteps 107 is packed with practical advice and inspiring stories about dealing with waste in our communities.

Editor's note

Zoe Murton

My eyes stung, my throat was aching and I was struggling to breathe.

Someone was burning an enormous pile of rubbish, dumped by the river behind our house in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The smoke was thick and foul-smelling, and lasted for several days. It was not a pleasant experience! But it is one that so many people face around the world as part of everyday life. 

In this edition, we look at the subject of waste – something that we all produce. But when we throw things away, how much thought do we give to where ‘away’ is? Is our waste being disposed of in a responsible way that protects rather than harms the environment? Are we and our governments doing all we can to recycle? A well-known quote in the recycling community is, ‘Waste is just a resource in the wrong place’. But how can we stop producing so much waste in the first place? 

In this edition we tackle some of these tough questions. We look at how to set up a simple community waste collection service and feature an exciting project in Pakistan that collects and recycles 90 per cent of household waste. We include advice on advocating with decision-makers about waste and hear from two inspiring ‘waste entrepreneurs’ from Haiti. And we share practical tips on organising a litter clean-up event and making charcoal briquettes from woody waste.

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Footsteps articles

A green revolution in Pakistan

An exciting project in Pakistan is recycling 90 per cent of a community’s waste.

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Bible study: Taking care of God’s earth

Do we see ourselves as rulers or stewards of God’s earth?

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Children’s zone: Where do we put our waste?

A page of fun activities for children, to download and share (PDF).

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Cleaning up the system: How to advocate on waste

Through advocacy, we can create a better system for reducing and managing our waste.

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News, views and a ‘knotty problem’.

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Five steps to great compost

How to make soil-improving compost from plant and food waste.

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How to organise a litter clean-up

Clean-up events are easy to organise and can transform people’s attitudes to litter.

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How to turn woody waste into charcoal briquettes

Practical instructions for turning your woody waste materials into valuable fuel.

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Interview: From trash to treasure

Two young entrepreneurs in Haiti are turning plastic waste into stylish bags.

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Setting up a community waste collection service

Could you start a waste collection service in your community?

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The problem with plastic

Plastic waste is one of the biggest environmental challenges we face today.

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A selection of books, websites and training material about waste.

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Why talk about waste?

Better waste management can improve public health, provide jobs and protect the environment.

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