The Future: A "Zero Waste" Oakland
Oakland is pursuing the goal of being a Sustainable City - a place where we can meet our current needs while ensuring that future generations can live diverse, rewarding, and healthy lives. In March 2006 the Oakland City Council adopted a Zero Waste Goal by 2020 and in December 2006 passed a resolution
adopting a Zero Waste Strategic Plan. The Zero Waste Strategic Plan (Plan) provides a framework of policies and initiatives that guide the planning and decision-making process to achieve the City’s Zero Waste Goal.
Oakland continues to exceed the 50% waste reduction goal mandated by state law (AB 939), primarily through participation in residential recycling collection programs, mandatory construction and demolition (C&D) debris recycling, and businesses served by the many independent recycling companies operating in Oakland. A report to City Council
recommending adoption of the Zero Waste Goal acknowledges that Zero Waste strategies will be necessary for Oakland to reach its goal of 75% waste reduction by 2010 , as well as Oakland’s over-arching sustainability goals. Zero Waste goes beyond recycling discarded materials. It considers the vast flow of resources and waste through our society and economy, and moves to eliminate waste.
Oakland's Zero Waste Strategic Plan
Oakland’s Zero Waste Strategic Plan establishes five strategies, which include traditional recycling programs as well as system redesign solutions for product waste, and policy and regulatory changes:
- 1. Expand and Improve Local and Regional Recycling and Composting
- 2. Develop and Adopt New Rules and Incentives to Reduce Waste Disposal
- 3. Preserve Land for Sustainable Development and Green Industry Infrastructure
- 4. Advocate for Manufacturer Responsibility for Product Waste, Ban Problem Materials
- 5. Educate, Promote and Advocate a Zero Waste Sustainability Agenda
Oakland's pursuit of its Zero Waste Goal is guided by an Environmental Hierarchy for 'highest and best use' of materials and pollution prevention in all phases of production, use, and disposition of products and materials.
Oakland's Zero Waste Goal is to cut the City's waste disposal of to 40,000 tons per year - a 90% reduction from 2005. Progress toward the Zero Waste Goal will be measured by the tons of waste landfilled annually.
Residents and businesses provided input to the development of Oakland’s Zero Waste Strategic Plan through participation in meetings for the general public and business leaders.
Zero Waste Overview
Below are documents that explain basic Zero Waste principles: