‘Zero Waste’ is California Dreamin’

A recent article in the September 12 edition of The Wall Street Journal describes how several major California cities are leading the way for aggressive landfill-diversion goals.

The article, “The Urban Quest for ‘Zero Waste’” by David Perry of Oakland, Ca., describes how Los Angeles, San Diego and especially San Francisco now prevent up to 77 percent of municipal wastes from hitting landfills.

While critics claim that these goals are unrealistic, the article describes how inaction is often more expensive:

For cities with limiteed landfill space – and the higher fees that come with it – most zero-waste activities cost less than normal garbage disposal, says Gary Liss, a zero waste consultant who has helped about 20 cities for plans to reduce waste.”

Composting of mixed organics takes on an important role in major cities including Seattle, Austin and San Francisco. In fact, San Francisco was among the first US city to mandate food composting in 2009 and currently collects about 600 tons per day of wet paper, food scraps and other certified compostable products.

Other West Coast communities, including Eugene, OR, have recently announced a large-scale food composting project involving food scraps, wet paper and other mixed organics that could help more than 3,200 tons of trash annually to be readily composted and avoid the landfill.

– gws –