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.

Zero Waste takes initiative focuses on student outreach to reduce ASU’s landfill waste

Read the full story from the State Press.

For ASU’s Zero Waste program, reducing the University’s waste is less about recycle bins and compost and more about outreach.

According to Zero Waste program coordinator and ASU graduate Katie Schumacher, Zero Waste is a diversion program and department that oversees the University’s goal to reduce the total amount of waste sent to the landfill by at least 90 percent.

A Whole New Kind Of Grocery Store Is Coming To The U.S.

Read the full story in the Huffington Post.

Sarah Metz is working to open a zero-waste grocery store in Brooklyn, New York, where customers could bring their own reusable containers to measure out just the right amount of food items and other household products.

The Difference Between “Zero Waste to Landfill” and “Zero Waste”

Read the full story in Waste360.

The pioneers of the zero waste movement were very clear in the mid-90s that “zero waste to landfill” was not the same thing as zero waste. We purposefully aimed high with our definition of zero waste being focused on making the best choices with our natural resources — from extraction to production to consumption to disposal. The zero waste journey involves a constant evaluation about our materials’ choices and a strong commitment to eliminating waste, not just treating it.

There are many communities and businesses making great strides toward zero waste, like General Motors with their 97 percent landfill diversion rates at over 90 manufacturing facilities. But there others that are pursuing “zero-waste-to-landfill”, which is a laudable goal, but then they incinerate large amounts of their waste in an attempt to avoid the landfill. In the opinion of the zero waste International Alliance (ZWIA), that constitutes greenwashing and a misuse of the term zero waste.

10 Zero Waste Supermarkets from Around the Globe

Read the full story at Waste360.

Supermarkets across the world are taking measures to gain the status of zero waste. From eliminating packaging to offering mostly locally sourced food items, these 10 supermarkets are paving the path for the future of sustainable grocery shopping.