Rather than engineering solutions, we might want to explore entrepreneurial solutions for reducing our waste.
Cities have all sorts of tools that they use to attract and encourage new businesses in the community. Have we tried using incentives and public policy instruments to encourage neighbourhood re-shopping opportunities along side shopping opportunities?
Our cities could provide vacant land or relax property taxes for innovative recycling businesses that bring in customers to buy (or sell) discards that would otherwise have gone to the curb.
These can be either clustered with other recycling businesses or tucked conveniently in amongst regular retail outlets.
I learned this week that one tonne of waste incinerated produces the equivalent of one barrel of oil. Even at $137/barrel, it seems like we could get more fun and community benefit from a discard mall than from an incinerator.