I had just watched Trashopolis on the National Geographic Channel; it featured Paris France. On it they showed the history of excess trash and how Paris overcame it. From the principal of rag pickers, they created city sponsored enterprises. Back in the 1800’s a rag picker would be a person or persons who who would pick through trash, fix or clean items and resell the items at flee markets.
With the city sponsored enterprises, the entrepreneurs would run a depot where citizens would drop of batteries, old appliances, clothing and other items. The depots would then clean, fix or re-purpose the items for donation or resale. This seems to be cutting down on garbage, increasing recycling efforts and ultimately saving the city from garbage. As an added bonus, the people running the depots run routes that would allow them to pick up items from vendors, shop owners and households. I can really see the benefits here.
London Ontario every year discuss what they can do to save trash costs, increase recycling efforts and work on new contracts with garbage collectors. Not once I had heard of the idea of a city sponsored enterprise being setup to fix, clean and re-purpose items for resale or donations. This would also help the city encourage entrepreneurship, increase arts and crafts and hit the international stage for becoming more Green.
I think for thing to work, the city would only have to find a person to run things, donate a building and help build a business plan for the person to start. This would be a great venture for a young person with a basic knowledge of electronics and business, recruit some local artists to help re-purpose items and you could have a good little business helping the city to become more green.
May be worth while sending a small team of business and city officials to places like Paris who seemingly are doing things a little better.