This Small Japanese Town is Modeling Zero Waste for the World

Read the full story at Shareable.

What would a Zero Waste world look like and how do we get there?

One small Japanese town is showing the world that Zero Waste begins with a community-wide commitment to reduce waste.

Kamikatsu, a town of 1,700, wants to become the country’s first Zero Waste community by 2020. At this point, it’s well on its way, recycling 80 percent of its waste, with the remaining 20 percent going to a landfill.

The town has no garbage trucks, so residents bring their recyclables and waste to a facility where they separate them into 34 different categories including paper, plastics, bottles, caps and much more. When possible, items are repurposed, upcycled or shared. There’s even a factory where goods, such as old clothing, are made into new teddy bears, bags and new clothing.

Spurring Innovation Through Zero Waste: A Q&A with Lawrence Black

Read the full interview in Environmental Leader.

Lawrence Black sees the circular economy finally moving from theory and high-level strategy to practical applications in design, engineering, and marketing. He has a clear view of these changes as senior advisor to the Waste Management-McDonough Sustainable Innovation Collaborative, a partnership formed in 2013 to improve the recyclability of packaging and products.

Black, who also advises Fortune 200 companies on how to create waste and recycling strategies, will be discussing the business case for circular economies at the 2017 Environmental Leader Conference in June. We caught up with him to get his perspective on how this tool can be a driver for innovation.

First Steps for Corporate Zero Waste

Read the full story from Triple Pundit.

Despite regional pressures on municipal landfills, the U.S. still has plenty of space in which to dispose of its garbage. The waste management industry is quick to dispel the concept of the disappearing landfill as a myth, and the costs of solid waste disposal are, at worst, increasing at a modest rate year-to-year.

Nevertheless, Americans generate a lot of garbage. One estimate suggests that if all the garbage collected in the U.S. over one year was dumped in a pit 400 feet deep, that hole would consume 1,000 acres of land.

At a time when companies are trying to cut costs wherever they can — and prove to their stakeholders that they are a lean, responsible or environmentally-conscious organization — tackling waste is one place to start. So it make sense that more companies are striving to go zero waste to landfill (ZWTLF), or as close to it as possible.

San Francisco’s Race to Zero Waste Has One Last Major Hurdle

Read the full story at Medium.

We often hear about San Francisco’s success in waste management and recycling: how the city is a leader in this field, diverting 80% of its waste through reusing, recycling, and composting. This diversion rate is impressive and superior to that of every other major city, which raises the question: How is San Francisco diverting 80% of its waste?

Zero Waste is Within Our Reach, But….

Read the full post from U.S. EPA.

I would have guessed that my fellow EPA employees would be leaders when it comes to recycling and reducing wastes. Turns out we are leaders, but not quite as far out front as I had hoped. In 2015, a presidential Executive Order on Sustainability directed federal agencies to do their best to divert at least half our non-hazardous wastes into recycling and composting, and to work our darnedest to reach zero waste. While we at EPA’s New England office have indeed succeeded in diverting more than half our waste to recycling and compost,  our regional office has yet to achieve net-zero waste (defined as sending at least 90 percent of our waste to recycling or composting) despite our best efforts.  We, like many other organizations, face many of the same challenges when it comes to modifying our own behavior.

 

Waste Management: There Are Several New Standards for That

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

Companies are increasingly realizing the environmental and economic benefits of effective waste management — fewer methane emissions from landfills, reduced waste hauling costs and new revenue streams from reuse and recycling among them.

Several new tools aim to help companies and other organizations achieve these goals and receive recognition for their work.

New ISTC fact sheet: Zero Waste Program Case Study: Spraying Systems Co.

Download the document.

Spraying Systems Co. manufactures industrial and agricultural spray products, including spray nozzles and accessories. The company wanted to reduce its waste generation and increase diversion. ISTC’s Zero Waste program helped them achieve their goals by providing the company with an accurate baseline measurement of waste generation at its Wheaton, Illinois headquarters. In addition, ISTC staff collaborated with Spray System’s operations, manufacturing, and sustainability teams to devise a plan for improving waste diversion. Finally, ISTC staff conducted a post-implementation waste stream characterization to measure success and identify opportunities for improvement.