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Managing and Transforming Waste Streams – A Tool for Communities

Examples and Resources for Transforming Waste Streams in Communities (#1-50)

The resources listed on this page are referenced by the measures in the Tool. To search for examples by city or county name, use your web-browser 'find on page' command (Control+f).
See also: Examples and Resources for Measures 51—100 »

Most of the links on this page exit the site Exit

1. High Diversion Goal/Plan
Sector: Community

Adopt a goal and plan for reaching 50% or more diversion from landfilling and combustion by a specific year through "reduce and reuse" as well as recycling and composting.

Examples

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2. Zero Waste Goal/Plan
Sector: Community

Adopt a goal and plan for reaching 90% or more diversion from landfilling and combustion by a specific year through "reduce and reuse" as well as recycling and composting. Consider renaming the Solid Waste Department to the Zero Waste Department.

Examples

Resources

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3. Goal Integration Across Plans
Sector: Community

Make linkages between achieving high diversion and how this would serve objectives of other plans for the community, including Climate Action, Sustainability, General and Economic Development Plans.

Examples

  • New York, NY
    OneNYC (PDF) (354 pp, 48MB), the City's Vision Plan for addressing growth, equity, sustainability, and resiliency, includes a goal to achieve Zero Waste by 2030 (see pg. 176)
  • Fort Collins, CO
    The City's Road to Zero Waste Plan (PDF) makes linkages to the City's Climate Action Plan
  • Portland, OR
    The City's Climate Action Plan includes goals to reduce total solid waste generated by 25% and to recover 90% of all waste generated
    Climate Action Plan
  • Newark, NJ
    The City's Sustainability Office and Environmental Commission included Zero Waste initiatives in the 2012 Newark Sustainability Action Plan
  • Sacramento, CA
    The City included a goal of Zero Waste to landfills by 2040 in its 2035 General Plan update policies (see pg. 2-178, section U 5.1.1)
    General Plan

Resources

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4. Zero Waste Goals for Organics
Sector: Community

Adopt a Zero Food Waste hierarchy; adopt a goal to phase out compostable organics from refuse collection and from entering local transfer stations, landfills or incinerators.

Examples

  • Fort Collins, CO
    The City's Road to Zero Waste Plan (PDF)(43 pp, 862K) includes a goal to phase out the disposal of compostable organic materials in landfills by 2018, along with promoting "reduce" and "reuse" as first-line actions (see page 12)
  • Austin, TX
    The City's Resource Recovery Master Plan (2011) incorporates EPA's Food Waste Recovery Hierarchy as well as a Highest and Best Use Food Waste Composting Hierarchy, also acknowledging the importance of compost to enrich soil for strengthening sustainable food production; the City's Plan sets forth a phased approach towards diverting organics from all waste generating sectors over time

Resources

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5. Landfill Ban - Organics
Sector: Community

Adopt an ordinance to limit, then ban organics from refuse collection and from entering local transfer stations, landfills and incinerators; support adoption regionally and statewide after expanding composting and digestion programs as needed.

Examples

Resources

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6. Landfill Ban – Recyclables
Sector: Community

Adopt an ordinance to ban specific recyclable or toxic materials from entering local transfer stations, landfills, and incinerators.

Examples

  • Fort Collins, CO
    The City adopted a regulation to prohibit corrugated cardboard boxes/packaging from disposal in the landfill; this affects all commercial, industrial, and residential generators. The City also banned the landfill disposal of electronics.
  • Seattle, WA
    The City prohibits the disposal of certain recyclables – such as paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, and aluminum cans – from residential, commercial, and self-haul garbage.
  • Vancouver, British Columbia Canada
    Metro Vancouver, a regional district representing 21 local governments, banned clean wood from disposal. The applicable Bylaw (PDF) establishes a 50% surcharge to loads of garbage that contain clean wood in excess of 10% of the weight or volume
  • Montgomery County, MD
    In 2005, the County adopted an ordinance prohibiting materials that are required to be recycled from being delivered for disposal at the County's transfer station or other solid waste disposal facilities
  • King County, WA
    As of October 2005, computers, monitors, televisions, and cell phones are not accepted in the garbage or at any of the County's transfer stations, as provided by the County's Waste Acceptance Rule
  • States with electronic waste laws, including disposal bans
    U.S. State and Local Legislation, Sustainable Electronics Initiative, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • State of Vermont
    The State's Universal Recycling Law requires every community to offer Pay As You Throw and recyclables collection
    Vermont's Universal Recycling Law (Act 148)

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7. Lead By Example – Green Procurement (voluntary)
Sector: Government

Encourage green purchasing practices; pursue regional purchasing cooperatives to buy recycled products; adopt the "precautionary principle" for purchases and services and support regionally.

Examples

  • Los Angeles County, CA
    The County established a Cooperative Purchasing Program enabling government entities, including school districts, to purchase recycled-content bond paper. The County also established a Green Products Purchasing Policy, in which purchasing preference is to be given for products that minimize environnmental impacts, toxics, pollution, and hazards to worker and community safety to the greatest extent practicable, and for products that include recycled content
  • Alameda County, CA
    The County hosts Green Purchasing Roundtable meetings for cities, school districts, and special districts in Alameda County to learn and share information on how to make greener purchases, get buy-in from users, and implement successful green contracts
  • Omaha, NE
    The City's Environment Element of its Master Plan (see pg. 107 -- procurement guidelines) includes implementing an Environmentally Preferable Purchasing program through City/County coordination

Resources

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8. Lead by Example – Green Procurement (mandatory)
Sector: Government

Require green purchasing practices in contractual agreements.

Examples

  • San Francisco, CA
    In keeping with its Precautionary Principle Policy, City departments are required to buy SF Approved green products per the City's Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Ordinance (exceptions allowed through waiver applications). San Francisco Department of Environment and other City staff review ingredients, recycled content, energy efficiency, product ratings and more
  • Alameda County, CA
    The County incorporates green purchasing specifications into its bid specifications, requiring by Resolution use of an Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Policy, including several green construction specifications for County-funded construction or remodelling projects
  • King County, WA
    In 2011, the County updated its Environmentally Preferable Product Procurement Policy (PDF) to require that all of its Departments purchase 100% recycled paper, implement paper conservation strategies, and use only recyclers that meet specific standards for computer and electronics recycling; the County also requires use of compost-amended soil in its maintenance and construction projects, relying on locally-supplied sources
    King County Electronics Recycling Bid and Contract

Resources

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9. Lead by Example – Zero Waste Procurement
Sector: Government

Incorporate Zero Waste objectives into contractual purchases and services, e.g., avoiding purchase of disposable goods, minimal waste in product and packaging design, product take-back services, and lifecycle analysis

Examples

  • County of San Diego, CA
    In December 2016, the County proceeded with Eat Well Practices as part of its Live Well San Diego Food System Initiative. The Eat Well Practices provide guidance for all foods and beverages offered at County facilities and contracted sites, including procurement practices to prioritize food and beverage products with no or minimal packaging, reuseable food and beverage serviceware, and tap or filtered water and reusable containers over bottled water
  • Multnomah County, OR
    The County incorporates sustainability critiera into its procurement specifications, mandating that Requests for Proposals allocate at least 25% of total evaluation points to sustainability. The County maintains a Language Library and Sustainability Checklist for County employees that addresses waste reduction, toxic reduction, materials reuse, minimal packaging (including for food purchases or food service), and other sustainability considerations
  • San Jose, CA
    The City adopted a Zero Waste Strategic Plan that established Zero Waste goals for procurement (pgs. 1-12); the City's Environmentally Preferable Procurement Policy is carried out across its departments, contracts, grants, construction, operation, and maintenance activities
  • State of Washington
    The State has a broad legislative and policy mandate for environmentally preferable purchasing, including an Executive Order that directs State agencies to reduce the use of equipment, supplies and other products that contain persistent toxic chemicals
    State of Washington EPP Laws & Directives

Resources

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10. Lead by Example – Road Construction
Sector: Government, C&D projects

Incorporate reusable and recycled materials into municipal road construction and maintenance projects; support adoption regionally.

Examples

  • Chicago, IL
    The City's Green Alleys program applies permeable pavements to alleys, with use of recycled content materials such as concrete aggregate, slag, and recycled tire rubber (see content related to recycled construction materials); use of slag to substitute for a percentage of Portland Cement in concrete reduces generation of greenhouse gases from Portland Cement production
  • Eugene, OR
    The City's Pavement Preservation Program incorporates warm-mix asphalt, increased use of reclaimed binder, and in-place recycling into pavement projects. Between 2009 and 2014, the City placed approximately 361,000 tons of warm-mix asphalt concrete, resulting in an estimated greenhouse gas reduction of 8,700 metric tons of carbon dioxide; in 2014, the City used over 13,700 tons of Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement
    (see page 12 of the 2014 Annual Report)
  • Sacramento County, CA
    The County's Department of Public Works uses Rubberized Asphalt Concrete (RAC) on maintenance overlays and capitol improvement projects, and has placed over a half million tons of RAC on roads, recycling more than 1.5 million waste tires
  • Boulder County, CO
    The County's Roof To Roads Project applies recycled asphalt shingles into paving projects

Resources

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11. Zero Waste Public Venues & Events
Sector: Government

Adopt and implement Zero Waste goals and action plans for all public venues and events. Provide training and technical assistance to venue and event coordinators, displays and signs.

Examples

  • San Francisco, CA
    Every event held in San Francisco is required to offer recycling and composting at the event. The City offers special assistance and customizable event signs to help event operators comply with the Mandatory Composting and Recycling Ordinance
  • Austin, TX
    The City provides a Zero Waste Event Rebate as a financial incentive for event organizers to make their outdoor events more sustainable and help reduce the amount of trash sent to area landfills
  • Boulder, CO
    The City requires all special events open to the public and held on Boulder Parks and Recreation land to be Zero Waste events. By ordinance (PDF), the City requires that all special events must provide recyclables and compostables collection. The City refunds up to $250 per event for the purchase of eligible compostable products or collection and/or education services to be used at a permitted special event
    Zero Waste Incentive Form For Special Events in the City of Boulder (PDF)(4 pp, 189K)
  • South Bend, IN
    The City developed an online Zero Waste Events Planning Guide for community events celebrating the City's 150th anniversary

Resources

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12. Universal Provision of Service
Sector: Residential, ICI

Require haulers to provide curbside recycling and/or compostable collection along with trash service for their customers within jurisdictional boundaries.

Examples

  • Boulder, CO
    In 2001, the City adopted an ordinance requiring that haulers collecting trash must provide recycling and composting to single-family residents and recycling to multi-family complexes (the City later adopted additional requirements that apply to residents and property owners or managers)
  • Eugene, OR
    The City requires that haulers provide curbside recycling and yard collection service to their single-family household customers

Resources

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13. Universal Access to Service
Sector: Residential, ICI

Require haulers to offer curbside recycling and/or compostable collection along with trash service to their customers within jurisdictional boundaries.

Examples

  • Fort Collins, CO
    The City adopted requirements for solid waste collectors licensed by the City to offer curbside recycling service and a recycling container to their multi-family and commercial customers
  • Portland, OR
    The City requires every garbage and recycling company that offers commercial service to offer composting collection
  • King County, WA
    By ordinance, the County requires that all single-family and multi-family residences in the unincorporated service area have access to recyclable materials collection

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14. Mandatory Subscription – Recycling
Sector: Residential, ICI

Require all households and/or businesses and institutions within jurisdictional boundaries to sign up for recycling collection service.

Examples

  • Austin, TX
    The City adopted a Universal Recycling Ordinance requiring all properties to provide recycling services to their tenants and employees by October 1, 2017
  • Boulder, CO (PDF)
    In June, 2015, the City adopted a Universal Zero Waste Ordinance that, among other things, requires all property owners or managers to provide onsite collection of recyclable and compostable materials in convenient locations for tenants and occupants
  • Vail, CO
    The Town requires subscription to recycling by all residential, multi-family, and commercial customers that contract for solid waste service (in 2014, the Town also adopted mandatory recycling requirements)
  • Antioch, CA
    Mandatory Recycling Subscription Ordinance (applies to commercial entities)
  • Alameda, CA
    Mandatory Recycling Ordinance (applies to businesses and multi-family complexes)
  • Fairfax County, VA (PDF)
    The County requires all businesses, institutions, and multi-family building owners to provide a recycling system to their tenants, occupants, employees, or vendors
  • San Antonio, TX
    The City passed an ordinance requiring multi-family properties to provide recycling services for their residents

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15. Mandatory Subscription – Organics
Sector: Residential, ICI

Require all households and/or businesses and institutions that dispose organics within jurisdictional boundaries to sign up for organics collection service.

Examples

  • Alameda County, CA
    The County requires that businesses, institutions, and multi-family property owners provide containers and service for organics (food waste and compostable paper)
  • Austin, TX
    The City's Universal Recycling Ordinance (URO) phases in requirements between October 2016-2018 for businesses with a food permit to ensure their employees have convenient access to organics diversion services (food and yard trimmings); food permitted facilities are required to submit an online Organics Diversion Plan annually

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16. Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT)
Sector: Residential, ICI

Enact a volume-based fee structure for trash.

Examples

  • Fort Collins, CO
    By ordinance, the City requires private haulers to provide curbside recycling to residents at no extra charge, apply volume-based pricing, and offer a range of trash can size options; the ordinance further requires that the charge for additional containers of the same volume capacity be no less than the charge for the first container
  • Castro Valley, CA
    The Sanitation District established volume-based rates for trash service, embedding the cost of recycling into trash service rates for businesses and multi-family properties that subscribe to no more than 3 cubic yards of trash service per week; 85% of commercial properties subscribe to 3-yard trash bins or smaller
  • Gainesville, FL
    In establishing variable rates for residential solid waste collection that assessed higher monthly rates for use of larger garbage containers, the City achieved an 18% reduction in the amount of solid waste collected, resulting in a savings of $7.95 per home
    PAYT Success Story: Gainesville, FL

Resources

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17. Mandatory Recycling / Source Separation
Sector: Residential, ICI

Require by ordinance compliance of households or businesses with recycling / properly separating recyclables from refuse.

Examples

  • Cambridge, MA
    The City mandates all residents and businesses to separate designated recyclable materials from refuse. See section 8.24.070 of City code "Mandatory Recycling"
  • Vail, CO
    In 2014, the Town adopted an ordinance requiring source separation of recyclables by residential, multi-family, and commercial customers
  • District of Columbia, Washington D.C.
    The City mandates all residents and businesses to separate designated recyclable materials from refuse
  • Alameda County, CA
    The County established requirements for businesses and institutions to recycle designated recyclable materials.
  • Fairfax County, VA (PDF)
    The County requires all businesses and institutions to recycle mixed paper and cardboard. Also, all residents are required to source-separate specific recyclable items from trash.
  • Santa Barbara County, CA
    Under the County's mandatory commercial recycling program, the County prohibits specified recyclable materials from being discarded in the trash and enacts a non-compliance fee on businesses that do not recycle equal to 20% of their trash collection rate

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18. Mandatory Recycling Percentage
Sector: Residential, ICI

Require by ordinance that owners of businesses, institutions, or multi-family complexes recycle a specific percentage of solid waste generated.

Examples

  • Portland, OR
    The City requires all businesses and multi-family complexes to recycle 75% of the solid waste they produce, including paper and recyclable containers. See section 17.102.270 of City code "Businesses and Multifamily Complexes Required to Recycle"

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19. Mandatory Composting
Sector: Residential, ICI

Require by ordinance compliance of households or businesses with composting and/or properly separating organics from refuse.

Examples

  • San Francisco, CA
    In 2009, the City adopted a Mandatory Recycling and Composting Ordinance requiring residents and businesses to keep both compostables and recyclables out of their trash bins; the City provides multi-lingual outreach to help residents and businesses properly sort materials. Over 99% of all residential and commercial locations city-wide have composting service and 175,000 tons of organics per year are diverted from landfill
  • Seattle, WA
    By ordinance, the City requires recyclable and compostable materials be kept out of garbage; the ordinance is enforced through visual inspections, warning notices, and fees and the City tags garbage containers filled with more than 10% recyclables and compostables. The City's multi-lingual outreach team, drawn from members of the community, has successfully engaged businesses to increase recycling and composting rates
  • New York, NY
    Effective in 2016, the City's commercial organics law (PDF) requires large-scale food service vendors to separate organic waste from trash and recyclables, including food scraps not sold for repurposing or donation, plant trimmings, soiled paper, and certified compostable products; covered establishments must provide organics processing on site or transport all source-separated organics to a processing facility for composting or anaerobic digestion

Resources

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20. Single Stream Recycling
Sector: Residential, ICI

Streamline recyclables collection by enabling customers to place recyclables into a single bin or cart for added convenience.

Examples

  • Reno, NV
    In 2012, the City approved a new franchise agreement to facilitate implementation of a single-stream recycling program which has led to an annual increase in residential recycling of approximately 10,000 tons
  • Fort Wayne, IN
    In implementing a single-stream residential recycling program in 2011, along with switching from bins to larger capacity carts for curbside collection, the residential participation rate in recycling more than doubled in a single year
  • Ann Arbor, MI
    The City provides single stream recycling for single family and duplex residences; recyclables are delivered to the City's Municipal Recycling Facility, which processes 20 tons per hour

Resources

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21. Product Fees
Sector: ICI

Adopt point-of-sale fees for products that are toxic and/or hard to reuse, recycle or compost.

Examples

  • Hartford, CT
    The City played a leadership role in getting a state law passed for a Mattress Recycling Program, funded by a $9 recycling fee on all mattresses and boxsprings sold in the state
    Connecticut programs, Mattress Recycling Council
  • British Columbia, Canada
    The Region's Paint and Household Hazardous Waste Stewardship Plan (PDF), managed by a not-for-profit product stewardship association, is funded by environmental handling fees based on sales volumes of designated products pursuant to the BC Recycling Regulation
  • State of California
    Effective January 2005, the State enacted a fee on the retail sale or lease of video display devices that contain hazardous materials, such as computer monitors and televisions, to help pay for safe recycling of these devices
    Electronic Waste Recycling Fee, California State Board of Equalization

Resources

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22. Retailer Take-Back (voluntary)
Sector: ICI

Encourage retailers to take back products and associated packaging, especially items that are toxic in their manufacture, use, or disposal that are not currently reusable, recyclable or compostable locally.

Examples

Resources

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23. Retailer Take-Back (mandatory)
Sector: ICI

Require businesses that sell items that must be collected as HHW or are not currently reusable, recyclable, or compostable locally to take those items back for proper reuse, recycling, or disposal.

Examples

  • Sacramento, CA
    The City adopted an ordinance (PDF) that requires all retail stores, hospitals, and other point of sale for medical sharps for home use to take them back at no cost to the customer
  • Alameda County, CA
    The County's Safe Drug Disposal Ordinance requires prescription drug producers that sell, offer for sale, or distribute drugs in the County that are covered under the ordinance to participate in a Product Stewardship Program for collection of unwanted products
  • San Luis Obispo County, CA
    The County's SLO Take Back Program has over 300 participating businesses providing free take-back of compact fluorescent light bulbs, fluorescent tubes, and household batteries

Resources

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24. Product & Packaging Bans
Sector: Government, ICI

Adopt ordinances that limit or ban sales of toxic or hard to recover products and product packaging.

Examples

  • Minneapolis, MN
    The City's Environmentally Acceptable Packaging Ordinance adopted in 2015 requires food establishments to use only reusable, recyclable and/or compostable packaging of food and beverages for dine-in or take-out, as well as provide recycling and/or composting bins. The City's health and food inspectors actively check for prohibited packaging that does not meet the ordinance requirements
  • San Francisco, CA
    Effective July 2017, the City adopted an ordinance that expands its ban on polystyrene foam food service ware to include packing materials, coolers, ice chests, pool and beach toys, dock floats and mooring buoys, egg cartons, and trays used in meat and fish packaging made in whole or in part of polystyrene foam
  • Concord, MA
    The Town banned the sale of drinking water in single-serving PET bottles beginning in January 2013
  • Pittsburg, CA
    The City requires take-out food packaging be made of non-CFC material that is reusable or recyclable. See Chapter 8.06, Article IV "Food Packaging Recycling"
  • Westport, CT
    The Town passed the Retail Checkout Bags Ordinance (2008), a ban on plastic bags. See Article VI
  • Mill Valley, CA
    In 2009, the City adopted an ordinance prohibiting local retailers and restaurants from providing customers disposable food packaging with polystyrene foam content; it also requires use of biodegradable disposable food packaging
  • Montgomery County, MD
    The County adopted an ordinance prohibiting the sale and use of expanded polystyrene foam food service ware and the sale of polystyrene loose fill packaging, requiring all food service businesses to use compostable or recyclable disposable food service ware by 2017; the requirements also apply to County agencies, contractors, and lessees

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25. Fees on Disposable Items
Sector: Government, ICI

Adopt an ordinance that places a fee on the sale of certain disposable items, such as disposable shopping bags, to incentivize customer reuse.

Examples

  • San Francisco, CA
    The City's Checkout Bag Ordinance prohibits single-use plastic checkout bags and requires all retail stores and food establishments to charge shoppers 10 cents extra for other takeout and delivery bags
  • Thurston County, WA
    The County and cities of Lacey, Olympia, and Turnwater adopted ordinances that prohibit plastic carryout shopping bags and require retailers to charge 5 cents for each paper carryout bag; six months following the date when the ordinances went into effect, the County observed a 53% reduction in disposal of plastic bags county-wide
    Bag Ordinances: Six Month Implementation Report (PDF), Thurston County Solid Waste, February 2015

Resources

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26. Recycling Provisions
Sector: Residential, ICI

Require by ordinance that trash collection is contingent on recycling bin set out or that businesses and institutions have recycling plans and/or space for recycling.

Examples

  • Pittsburg, CA
    The City requires businesses to submit a recycling collection site plan to the City. See Chapter 8.06, Article III of City code
  • Griffin, GA
    The City requires residential recycling, with trash collection contingent on recycling bin set out
  • Atlanta, GA
    The City requires owners of multi-family dwellings to provide containers for the collection of recyclables and to submit an annual report to document recyclables collected
  • Fort Collins, CO
    The City adopted an ordinance requiring new commercial and/or multi-family home buildings be constructed with adequate space for on-site collection of recyclables
  • Montgomery County, MD
    The County requires multi-family properties over 7 units and businesses with 100 or more employees to submit a waste reduction recycling plan, as well as annual reports on recycling and waste reduction

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27. Recycled Content Buying Cooperative
Sector: ICI

Encourage local buying cooperatives or other coordinated approaches for private sector businesses and organizations to procure recycled content products.

Examples

  • Twin Cities, MN
    Eureka Recycling, a non-profit organization, coordinates a buying cooperative that enables businesses and organizations to purchase recycled-content paper at reduced cost
  • State of Massachusetts
    Massachusetts Operational Services Division provides a statewide contract that public institutions, non-profit organizations and municipalities can purchase from to increase their buying power

Resources

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28. Licensing with Reporting
Sector: Residential, ICI

License all haulers (as an alternative to a franchise agreement or contract). Require haulers to report the amount of garbage, recyclables, and compostables collected.

Examples

  • Austin, TX
    The City requires all private haulers of solid waste, recyclables, and compostables obtain a private hauler license and report semi-annually on the number of tons of waste, recyclables, and organic materials hauled
  • Burbank, CA
    Haulers under contract to the City to collect solid waste, recyclables, or green waste must obtain a permit and license from the City and submit quarterly reports on several items, including the total tons collected of waste, recyclables, and green waste and the number of entities (single-family residences, multifamily complexes, commercial and institutional) participating in recycling and/or green waste programs
  • Boulder, CO
    The City requires all private haulers to be licensed and submit annual reports on the amount of trash and/or recyclables collected. City ordinance also requires haulers to provide residential customers with unlimited collection of recyclables as well as compostables collection

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29. Trash Disposal Surcharge
Sector: Residential, ICI

Enact taxes or surcharges on the disposal of municipal solid waste to increase the tipping fee relative to recycling or compost.

Examples

  • Alameda County, CA
    The County funded its Source Reduction and Recycling plan by instituting a six dollar per ton surcharge on materials disposed of in Alameda County landfills
  • Boulder, CO
    The City enacted a trash tax that funds a variety of waste reduction and diversion activities
  • Central Vermont, VT
    Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District, representing nineteen cities and towns in three counties, assessed a $30 per ton fee on all solid waste collected or generated in the District; the fee helps fund District programs, which include multiple organics management programs

Resources

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30. Source Separation Incentives
Sector: Residential, ICI

Enact discounted rates or fees for separating recyclables and/or compostables from trash.

Examples

  • San Francisco, CA
    Established by ordinance, the City's rate structure (PDF) for commercial garbage collection incentivizes recycling and composting in that businesses can receive up to a 75% discount on their volume-based garbage fees for diverting materials to recycling and composting
  • Cupertino, CA
    The City's franchised hauler collects residential recyclable and organic materials at no extra charge, including the fee for these services in the refuse collection rate; the City's volume-based refuse rates incentivize recycling
  • Del Norte County, CA
    Serving rural communities, the County's transfer station accepts for free drop-off all recyclable materials collected in curbside programs and charges reduced rates for source-separated recyclable materials (e.g., metals, brush, untreated wood, carpet) relative to municipal solid waste; the facility layout fosters sequential unloading of recyclable materials and re-weighing of vehicles
    Del Norte County Transfer Station Rates (PDF)
  • Seattle, WA
    Established by ordinance, the City set a composting collection rate for commercial customers at 32% less than the corresponding rate for garbage collection; the City also provides free recycling to businesses and multi-family home building owners and managers

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31. Lead by Example – Recycling and/or Composting
Sector: Government

Establish non-binding recycling targets with service provider. Provide technical assistance across government operations, including police, fire, facilities, parks and public areas and venues and events to increase recycling and/or composting rates.

Examples

  • Kitsap County, WA
    In 2008, the County was awarded "Partner of the Year" under EPA's Waste Wise program for its exemplary recycling, which saved over $450,000 in a single year; the County has continued its recycling efforts and reports on its successes through a concise tracking system for garbage and recycling at all County facilities
    Waste Wi$e Kitsap 2013 Annual Report (PDF)
  • Boulder County, CO
    The County has equipped all of its offices with recycling and compost bins, in addition to other actions in the context of its Zero Waste Plan

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32. Zero Waste Private Venues and Events
Sector: ICI

Promote setting of zero waste goals to owners/operators of private venues, e.g., sports stadiums, hotel conferences. Provide training and technical assistance to event coordinators for implementation of zero waste action plans.

Examples

  • Atlanta, GA
    Atlanta Recycles, a coalition of government, corporate, and environmental entities, implemented a "Zero Waste Zones" initiative to eliminate practically all of the waste currently going to landfills from large convention and hotel facilities in Atlanta's downtown convention district
  • Eugene, OR
    The City partnered with the organizing committee for the Olympic Track & Field Trials and Sanipac to make the 2012 Olympic Trials a Zero Waste event
    Tracktown USA Repeats Sustainability Success, BioCycle World, Sept. 2012
  • San Jose, CA
    The City requires all events with over 1,000 daily attendees to meet certain recycling policies and pre- and post-event reporting requirements; the City offers free recycling services for events with more than 500 attendees
  • Skagit County, WA
    The County's Zero Waste Events staff provide technical assistance, free borrowing of recycling bins, and zero waste logo certification for event coordinators that register private or public events with the County

Resources

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33. Municipal Recycling Collection Services
Sector: Residential, ICI

Establish curb/dockside recycling collection services for readily recyclable materials.

Examples

  • Cartersville, GA
    The City raised its residential and commercial refuse collection fee by $2 per month in order to fund a residential recycling collection program
  • Houston, TX
    The City expanded its single-stream residential recycling collection services to all of the City's households, providing 96-gallon carts to an additional 90,000 households that lacked curbside recycling

Resources

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34. Expanded Municipal Collection – Recyclables
Sector: Residential, ICI

Expand curb/dockside collection services to include recyclable items that contain toxic materials or are bulky and hard to handle.

Examples

  • Queen Creek, AZ
    The Town offers residents curbside collection of textiles for recycling in a special blue bag that can be placed in the recycling cart
  • San Francisco, CA
    The City's service provider offers a RecycleMyJunk Program that enables residents and businesses to schedule collection of large or bulky items, electronics, textiles, and appliances
  • New York, NY
    Launched in 2013, the City's e-cycleNYC program offers free collection of used electronics at apartment buildings and has collected more than 10 million pounds of electronics from residents; the program, funded by electronics manufacturers, is a public-private partnership between the City and Electronics Recyclers International, a recycler certified to both Responsible Recycling and e-Stewards programs
  • Santa Barbara County, CA
    The County provides residential curbside collection of household batteries by enabling residents to place used batteries in a zip-top plastic bag on top of their recycling bin; the County's service providers place the batteries collected into a separate bucket for recycling

Resources

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35. Expanded Municipal Collection – Yard Debris
Sector: Residential, ICI

Expand existing collection services to yard debris/green waste.

Examples

  • Fennimore, WI
    The City requires yard waste to be separated from refuse and provides for periodic collection of yard waste to all residents (see Chapter 12)
  • Berlin Township, NJ
    The Township provides year-round, weekly collection of yard trimmings for residents
  • Modesto, CA
    The City's integrated composting program collects over 50,000 tons per year of yard debris from residences and street pruning projects and delivers it to the City's composting facility; after processing, the compost is sold back to the community
  • Cincinnati, OH
    The City provides separate curbside pickup of yard debris for residences

Resources

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36. Backyard/ Neighborhood Composting
Sector: Residential, ICI

Encourage and provide incentives for homes, neighborhoods, schools and businesses to set up a bin for composting food and yard waste. (Considered a source reduction activity with upstream impacts.)

Examples

  • New York, NY
    Through its NYC Compost Project established over 20 years ago, the City has supported the growth of community compost sites through partnerships with cultural institutions and non-profit organizations, outreach, and education; there is now a network of hundreds of community compost sites, 225 of which are affiliated with the NYC Compost Project
    2014 NYC Community Composting Report (PDF), NYC Department of Sanitation
  • Santa Barbara County, CA
    The County offers residents free year-round backyard composting workshops, discounts on compost bins for purchase, and distributes information on composting at farmers markets
  • Cuyahoga County, OH
    The County provides seminars for residents on backyard composting and offers compost bins and accessories for purchase
  • Chittenden County, VT
    The County teamed up with a compost company to offer free backyard composting workshops and discounts on compost bins for purchase

Resources

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37. Expanded Municipal Collection – Food Waste
Sector: Residential, ICI

Expand existing collection services to food waste (and soiled paper).

Examples

  • Portland, OR
    In 2011, the City expanded its residential yard waste collection service to include food waste. After one year, the City had collected more than 8,000 tons of food waste from residences for composting. In addition to coordinating a door-to-door outreach campaign, the City launched Portland Composts! to help residents adjust to the new service
  • Lafayette, CO
    In 2015, the City expanded its contracted residential curbside collection service to include food and yard waste, after determining that 40% of the City's waste going to landfill was compostable. With the added composting service, the City's Pay As You Throw rate structure enables most residents to save money by downsizing their trash carts
  • Hamilton, MA
    The Town implemented a residential curbside organics collection program, which, in addition to switching to every-other-week trash collection, has reduced the Town's solid waste tonnage by over 30%
    Case Study: Hamilton and Wenham Massachusetts Curbside Composting Program (PDF) (8 pp, 434K)
  • Cambridge, MA
    In April 2014, the City began a pilot program to expand curbside collection services to food waste; after one year, over 600 households participated in the pilot program and more than 170,000 pounds of food scraps were collected
  • Davis, CA
    As of July 2016, the City's franchised hauler is providing food scraps collection service to all residents and businesses, with twice per week collection service for restaurants, grocery stores, and other high-volume food scrap generator businesses
  • Mountain View, CA
    Following a food scraps collection pilot for 1,000 households, in July 2017, the City began implementing a city-wide residential food scraps collection program with weekly collection of food waste in the yard trimmings cart
  • New York, NY
    In 2013, the City launched a residential pilot food scraps collection program that now serves over 1 million residents, with planned expansion (PDF) to over 3.3 million households at the end of 2017
  • Cities with residential food waste collection (BioCycle, 2015)
  • Cities with source-separated residential composting collection (BioCycle, 2009)

Resources

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38. Expanded Municipal Collection – Multi-Family
Sector: Residential, ICI

Expand existing collection services to include multi-family units.

Examples

  • Saint Paul, MN
    Under an Agreement, a contractor for the City provides recycling collection at small and large apartment buildings; City ordinance requires multi-family unit property owners to separate and set out recyclable materials for collection. In January, 2017, the City upgraded the service to wheeled and lidded recycling carts
  • San Jose, CA
    The City has a contract with one of its haulers to serve multi-family households and offers a financial incentive to the contractor for each ton of recyclables collected and marketed from multi-family households

Resources

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39. Multi-Family Technical Assistance
Sector: Residential, ICI

Provide outreach and technical assistance to owners and tenants of multi-family units to address recycling and/or composting logistics and to increase tenant participation.

Examples

  • Fremont, CA
    The City offers free on-site waste and recycling assessments at multi-family buildings upon request
  • Montgomery County, MD
    The County developed a Property Manager's Guide to Recycling for multi-family properties, a handbook providing step-by-step guidance on starting, maintaining and expanding recycling, waste reduction and buying recycled efforts
  • San Mateo County, CA
    The County provides Buddy Bags to hold recyclables until residents are ready to empty them into the property's recycling cart; also, property managers are provided with Move-In and Move-Out packets to inform residents of on-site recycling programs
    Property Manager's Lounge, Recology San Mateo County

Resources

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40. Curbside Collection Optimization
Sector: Residential, ICI

Upgrade curbside recycling and/or organics containers and improve collection efficiencies (e.g., move from bins to carts, include additional materials, consider degree of commingling).

Examples

  • Atlanta, GA
    In 2012, the City provided larger, 96-gallon recycling carts to all residences allowing for more recyclables to be collected
  • Florence, AL and Columbia, SC (PDF)
    In 2015, the cities of Florence and Columbia switched from 18-gallon recycling bins to recycling carts, funded in part by grants from the Recycling Partnership; the shift from bins to carts is expected to increase the amount of recyclables collected by approximately 1,400 tons per year in Florence and 6,500 tons per year in Columbia

Resources

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41. Expanded Authority for Service
Sector: Residential, ICI

Expand municipal authority to provide or oversee collection services for sectors served by open market private haulers.

Examples

  • Lafayette, CO
    In 2007, the City adopted a single hauler contract to service its approximately 5,000 households, including single stream recycling and a Pay As You Throw rate structure. As a result, the City's diversion rate more than doubled from 10% to 28% over a two-year period with cost savings to most residents
    The Lafayette Experience - Single Stream Recycling and PAYT Trash Rates (PDF)
  • Martinez, CA
    In 2015, the City amended the residential franchise agreement with its only authorized recycler to grant exclusive rights to commercial and industrial recycling, moving to a one-rate system that embeds the cost of recycling and composting into the refuse rate
  • Los Angeles, CA
    Under its RecycLA program, the City adopted eleven exclusive franchise zones to oversee collection services from businesses and large apartment complexes throughout the City to help meet its Zero Waste goals
    San Jose, CA
    The City adopted an exclusive franchise for recycling and organics collection from businesses in the downtown area to help meet its Zero Waste goals

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42. Right Size Service
Sector: Residential, ICI

Provide technical assistance to customers to help them select containers that are the right size for the amount of trash, recyclables and compostables produced.

Examples

  • Tucson, AZ
    The City offers a "Right Size your Can" volume-based service for trash and recycling containers with reduced monthly rates for smaller containers
  • Portland, OR
    The City provides residences options for different size garbage containers with $5-7 more per month for larger containers

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43. Every-Other-Week Trash Collection
Sector: Residential, ICI

Modify trash collection schedule to every-other-week pickup and, at the same time, add or expand weekly organics collection. To reduce contamination from residences, address diaper and pet waste disposal through education and/or separate pickup.

Examples

  • Renton, WA
    The City cost-effectively transitioned from weekly to every-other-week collection of residential garbage and recycling and weekly collection of organics, with no charge for setting out extra recyclable or compostable items
    Zero Waste Case Study: Renton, WA
    Waste Collection Contract - Renton
  • Vancouver, WA
    The City's rates for contracted commercial garbage collection service are lower for every-other week service for each container size option, with a once-per-month collection option for 32-gallon cart service offered at a rate less than half that of weekly collection; commercial customers are allowed up to two 96-gallon recycling carts for no additional charge
  • Portland, OR
    The City provides residential garbage pick-up every-other-week, with options to decrease the frequency of garbage service, along with weekly collection of recyclables and organics in 60-gallon carts; the switch to every-other-week trash collection led to a 35% reduction in the amount of garbage collected and tripled the amount of organics collected

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44. Reusable or Compostable Diapers
Sector: Residential

Promote alternatives to disposable diapers.

Examples

  • Sunnyvale, CA
    After a study found that disposable diapers are the single largest consumer good in the City's trash, with 840 tons per year thrown away at a cost of $111,000, the City launched a campaign (PDF) to promote cloth diapers
  • Oceanside, CA
    The City's Zero Waste Plan includes a number of methods for encouraging reusable cloth diaper use and recommends requiring retailers to set up a take-back system for disposable diapers (click on link to the Zero Waste Plan, see pgs. 62-63)

Resources

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45. Service Provider Rewards
Sector: Residential, ICI

Take actions to compensate haulers for recycling or composting, e.g., recycling rebates or worker rewards.

Examples

  • Boulder County, CO
    The County offers recycling rebates for licensed haulers in the form of shared revenues from the sale of materials delivered to the County's Recycling Center
  • Castro Valley, CA
    The Sanitation District regularly hosts driver appreciation breakfasts and award ceremonies to recognize excellent performance in recycling and composting collection by employees of its contracted waste hauler

Resources

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46. Service Provider Contract and Franchise Agreement Incentives or Requirements
Sector: Residential, ICI

Amend Service Provider contract or agreement to achieve high diversion by providing incentives or setting requirements, e.g., contract extensions, lower franchise fees, bonuses or liquidated damages, limited or no disposal payments, required productive use of organics.

Examples

  • Cupertino, CA
    In 2010, the City negotiated its 5-yr Franchise Agreement to engage its hauler in achieving 75% waste diversion citywide by a target date, making future contract extension contingent upon achieving the goal; increasing organics collection and composting was presented as a key component. Since the City established the 75% diversion goal, more than 2,000 tons of food waste generated by residents and businesses has been diverted from landfill
    California City Advances Commercial Organics Recycling, BioCycle, 2014
  • Palo Alto, CA
    The City's Contract Agreement separates service rates from hauler compensation as a disincentive for keeping trash service levels high
  • Santa Barbara County, CA
    The County's Franchise Agreements require haulers to divert between 40-50% of the waste they handle from landfill
  • San Jose, CA
    The City's innovative contract mechanisms include a tiered incentive payment based on levels of residential diversion achieved, an 80% minimum diversion standard of all material collected from commercial premises, and tipping fee incentives for cleaner commercial organics feedstock
  • Santa Clara, CA
    The City provides reduced franchise fees for non-exclusive franchised haulers that demonstrate meeting specific recycling targets
  • Los Angeles, CA
    The City's exclusive franchise contracts for commercial and multi-family solid waste establish specific requirements for haulers to reduce solid waste disposed, invest in materials reuse organizations, and partner with local non-profit organizations for redistribution of edible food "Before the Bin"; collectively, franchisees are required to reduce disposal in landfills by 1 million tons annually by 2025
    Los Angeles Area Food Recovery Guide (PDF), Los Angeles Food Policy Council (see page 47 for contract language excerpts)

Resources

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47. Zero Waste Collection Infrastructure Planning
Sector: Residential, ICI

Ask Service Provider to develop strategies to transform the current collection infrastructure.

Examples

  • Oceanside, CA
    The City negotiated detailed changes in the collection infrastructure with its waste hauler that would help get to Zero Waste. Click on link to the Zero Waste Plan, see section 4c, "Residential Recycling" and "Recycling Facilities"
  • San Jose, CA
    The City assessed opportunities to redesign the commercial recycling and solid waste collection system in the context of its Zero Waste Strategic Plan, soliciting input from its franchised haulers on the current system, barriers to increased recycling, and redesign options

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48. Food Pickup for Donation
Sector: ICI

Encourage pick-up and delivery of pre-consumer, edible food from food service vendors for donation to food banks or soup kitchens, e.g., by bicycle or electric cart.

Examples

  • Orange County, CA
    The County's Environmental Health Department, responsible for ensuring food safety at restaurants, has partnered with Waste Not OC Coalition to promote food donation by informing the business community on how to safely donate food without concern of liability; the County also helped create a Food Recovery Task Force in two cities to effectively engage restaurants and other food generators in food donation
    Coalition "Feeds the Need" in California County, BioCycle, September 2016
  • Portland, OR
    Urban Gleaners rescues edible food from grocery stores, farmers markets, and restaurants through a team of volunteers that deliver it to open pantries serving low income schools and housing complexes
  • Boulder and Denver, CO
    Boulder Food Rescue and Denver Food Rescue pick up food from businesses by bicycle that would otherwise be discarded and redistribute it to organizations serving low-income residents
  • Arlington, VA
    Food Link, a non-profit organization, alleviates hunger locally by collecting nutritious food donations from local grocers and cafés and distributing it to organizations serving people in need

Resources

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49. Food Gleaning for Donation
Sector: Community

Encourage formation of "Gleaner" volunteer groups to harvest surplus crops from local farms or community gardens and distribute to food banks or soup kitchens.

Examples

  • New Hope-Lambertville region, PA and NJ
    Rolling Harvest Food Rescue, a non-profit organization, partners with and collects donated produce from local farmers for distribution to non-profit hunger-relief agencies in the community
  • San Francisco, CA
    The City's Urban Harvesting Program helps residents and businesses collect food from trees and community gardens for distribution to food banks and shelters

Resources

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50. Food Waste Pick-Up for Composting
Sector: ICI

Encourage pick-up and delivery of food waste from food service vendors for composting by community gardens or small farms if allowed, e.g., by bicycle or electric cart.

Examples

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Examples and resources for measures 51-100 »