A guide to the circular economy transition: Sustainable waste management

Smart Waste Management | 19 min Read
A guide to the circular economy transition: Sustainable waste management

A new phrase is used alongside sustainability by those who want to make their dreams of a more livable and better world a reality: Circular economy. This phrase, which we hear everywhere, is an integral part of the action plans of governments, non-governmental organizations, and international institutions. We can roughly call the circular economy a strategy developed against the problematic linear economy model. The problems have led to such still ongoing threats like the climate crisis and the pandemic due to limited resources and unlimited growth targets at any cost. But what exactly does circular economy transition mean? Is circular economy the answer to our environmental problems really? Let’s find out!

transition to the circular economy

What is the circular economy?

Unlike the linear take-make-dispose economy, the circular economy is a model that prioritizes respect for the planet by trying to avoid waste. It focuses on optimal use of raw materials and resources by yielding the highest economic value. The following principles form the basis:

  • Eradicate waste and pollution
  • Regenerate nature
  • Circulate products and materials

In short, the circular economy focuses on the efficient use and reuse of resources by linking many factors in production chains. For this, it is essential that every step, from consumption patterns to the extraction of raw materials, is handled sustainably. If we continue along the linear line, the battle for limited resources due to the growing population can conduct even more harmful growth methods, leading us to a cliff edge.

Fortunately, the circular economy foresees a more sustainable and collaborative understanding with a new market that is “closing the loop.” In addition, while countries make worthwhile contributions to reducing carbon emissions against the climate crisis, they can also decrease their dependence on imported resources and create economic growth with new employment sites. To achieve this, the governments and the private sector should start the transition process hand in hand with sustainable business and governance models.

circular economy diagram

What is a circular economy strategy?

The circular economy strategy may simply remind you of the three Rs, “Reduce, reuse, recycle,” but it’s so much more than that! This concept takes an entirely new approach to the production stage, and the three Rs can only be a subset of it. The rule of thumb includes:

  • Rethink: Start by changing the way of thinking. For example, research, if this product could be produced with fewer resources, is it the one that meets the most needs?
  • Redesign: Prioritize eco-friendly design to see if repair or recycling is an option.
  • Reuse: Feel free to reuse products!
  • Repair & Remanufacturing: Make maintenance and repair your primary.
  • Recycling: Act by considering the end-of-life impact of waste.
  • Recover: Energy recovery is essential.

We’ve seen the basic principles, but what are the tools?

  • Renewable energy: Transition from fossil energy should start from now.
  • Natural capital: Prioritize conserving natural resources and staying away from toxic substances.
  • New revenue models: For example, you can start requesting a use rather than a purchase payment.
  • Product design: It should be in a structure that can meet all the basic principles of the circular economy.
  • Supply chain collaboration: You cannot do this transition alone. Companies must be open-minded to new alliances.
  • High-value recycling and reuse: If you expect both being eco-friendly and the highest value from a product, it is not possible without resorting to these methods!

Using digital innovation, entire value chains and material flows must align with these principles. But how? As you may have noticed, the circular economy is actually based on waste management in light of sustainable development!

sustainable waste systems

What is circular economy in waste management?

The circular economy is based on the reiterated use of products produced with an environmentally sustainable design, which shows that waste management is one of the main pillars in the new economic vision. Because waste either has to turn into:

  • A resource or
  • Energy recovery is required from that waste

In any case, there is a gain and reuse. However, it is impossible to do these without a smart waste management infrastructure, including separating waste at its source to the last stage in recycling facilities. European Commission reports also emphasize the importance of separate waste collection for the Green Deal and circular economy transition through the segregation of waste stream with advanced sorting technologies to facilitate recycling. With decreasing use of both harmful waste disposal techniques and landfills as well as the reduction in landfill emissions, an important step is recorded for zero carbon targets.

On the other hand, circular economy critics argue that even currently used waste sorting and collection methods are quite problematic, let alone improved waste management technology. They think that a long duration of time and high costs are needed for a waste management structure taking care of everything from educating individuals on waste prevention and recycling plants. Obviously, they haven’t met Evreka’s sustainable and cloud-based waste management solutions yet!

smart bins

Your biggest supporter in circular economy transition: Evreka

Evreka is a company that has taken action in waste management by seeing the transformation in the world towards sustainable growth trends. Offering all-in-one and end-to-end integrated digital waste management solutions in more than 20 countries and acting with the motto #AlwaysBetter, the company facilitates agility during your transition to the circular economy with AI technologies.

Evreka Crew carefully plans everything from involving individuals in the process more interactive to the follow-up of each operation, enabling you to perform with cost and time savings. How about a brief review of Evreka products, which will allow you to achieve your zero carbon and zero waste goals more quickly?

Citizen Management

One of the essential steps for reuse is to separate the waste at the source. Here, one of the most significant roles is given to citizens! Evreka, aims to increase citizen awareness about waste prevention and segregation, and thanks to its module:

  • Citizens can view containers and bins to get instant information. So, they can separate the waste in accordance with the rules.
  • Managers can see all requests and feedback from citizens on a single screen and update the plans in need.
  • Citizens can see the collection days, times, and changes and request a new service.
  • Planning and reporting processes are simplified
  • Overall, while the administrative workload is reduced, a much more agile, customizable, educational, and cost-saving process is experienced.

Asset Management

Asset Management provides the complementary step of separating waste at the source: effective waste collection. Thanks to Fill Level Sensors, the threshold status of the containers is learned, and collection plans are created accordingly, also in line with Fleet Management. thus achieving the highest performance at the lowest cost. This way:

  • Inventory control becomes more manageable with both old and real-time data.
  • Assets will not be lost or destroyed.
  • Managers can plan accurate maintenance strategies.

Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) Management

If you want to improve your recycling and recovery actions, which are the roots of the circular economy, check out Evreka’s most striking solution! MRF Management was designed to end the mess in material recovery facilities order and pland every detail. With this module:

  • Trackability, the biggest problem, is solved by displaying all the data.
  • Customized activities are developed according to various materials, assets, and other resources.
  • Managers can maximize inbound and outbound control.
  • You can do it all and more with a mobile app.

Operation Management

It’s time for the software that lets you handle almost all all-in-one solutions: Operation Management. Thanks to this module, which also includes data of Employee Management, Customer Management, and Finance Management:

  • Managers can view all feedback from citizens, customers, employees, fleets, and assets on a single dashboard.
  • With reporting and mobile app, establishing the right strategies can be facilitated.
  • Significant modifications can be made when required.
  • Operational excellence is ensured at every step.

If you have started the circular economy moves that require a strong waste management infrastructure, request a demo from Evreka to get the most efficient and sustainable solutions!

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