Zero Waste

WHAT IS ZERO WASTE?

A goal to:
  • Reduce the volume and toxicity of waste and materials
  • Conserve and recover all resources
On December 9, 2008, City Council adopted the Zero Waste Policy and on April 23, 2013 adopted the Zero Waste Strategic Plan which included both a waste characterization study and a long-term plan.

WHAT DO WE CURRENTLY THROW AWAY?

The cities of Sunnyvale and Mountain View coordinated efforts on a comprehensive waste characterization study of incoming solid waste from residential, commercial and construction/demolition sources from the two cities. The waste was analyzed prior to being sorted out at the SMaRT Station so it doesn’t reflect the additional amount of waste that gets diverted after sorting (18-25 percent).

Results from the study showed that:
  • 76 percent of the overall waste stream is recyclable or compostable 
  • The remainder is material that would be very difficult to recycle (i.e., diapers, treated lumber, food service plastic, carpet padding).

LONG-TERM STRATEGIC PLAN

The long-term Zero Waste Plan report was approved with the following goals:
  • 70 percent diversion by 2015 (City is currently at 66 percent diversion)
  • 75 percent diversion by 2020
  • 90 percent diversion by 2030
The goals of the Zero Waste Strategic Plan will be met through:
  • Expanding outreach and education
  • Collecting more recyclable materials curbside
  • Collecting food scraps curbside and from businesses
  • Collection of recyclables at multi-family complexes
  • Improving separation technology at the SMaRT Station
  • Exploring technologies to recover the food waste and other compostable material left in the waste stream

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE STRATEGIC PLAN

The full Zero Waste Strategic Plan is available for reading (broken into three parts because of file size):

Zero Waste Strategic Plan (part 1)
Zero Waste Strategic Plan (part 2)
Zero Waste Strategic Plan (part 3)

Great things are in store to help Sunnyvale move closer to zero waste!

 

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