There’s a huge trend right now of communities and even entire countries committing to some pretty stout recycling and environmental protection measures by mid-century. One of the latest entries on that list is a small Danish island called Bornholm. Bornholm is home to about 40K residents and sees another 600K visitors each year. At 227 square miles, the island boasts some fantastic weather, scenic cliffs, and beautiful churches.
Over the next decade, the island also hopes to become known for its lack of trash.
The island has just one facility that manages its trash disposal, and the incineration plant is in need of a major overhaul. Instead of spending the cash on fixing it, the island has decided to eliminate the need for it altogether. Bornholm has committed to being 100% trash-free by 2032. While the details still need to be ironed out, the local government has provided a basic outline for their plan.
Part of the plan will involve the citizens taking a hands-on approach by sorting items into specific recycling categories—plastics, glass, metal, paper, etc. They also plan to put measures in place so that organic waste like garden materials can be converted into energy or be used for fertilizing the fields on the island.
The government also plans to create a culture where the citizens will embrace sharing and borrowing products and services. From kids’ clothes to furniture, they want people to refrain constantly purchasing new items. Citizens can also expect an increase in businesses on the island that specializes in repairing these items so they’ll last longer.
Finally, the government plans to increase the amount of environmental education in its elementary schools so that future generations will have a leg up on the issue.
Bornholm is also one of many communities that have committed to being 100% carbon-neutral by 2035. While eliminating fossil fuel usage is a great step, the island felt that they were behind the times when it came to waste management. The size of the island should make it easy to see the results and benefits of their efforts once all of the changes have been implemented. In the meantime, let’s hope that more communities follow Bornholm’s example.