Zero Waste

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) uses the following definition of "Zero Waste," which was developed by the 2004 Planning Group of the Zero Waste International Alliance.

Zero Waste is a goal that is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary, to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use.
Zero Waste means designing and managing products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve and recover all resources, and not burn or bury them.
Implementing Zero Waste will eliminate all discharges to land, water or air that are a threat to planetary, human, animal or plant health.

Solid Waste Management Plan: The plan aids City of Seattle staff in preparing and running solid waste programs. It helps decision makers in the City Council and SPU leadership select among the many options that will pick up the pace toward zero waste.

Zero Waste Resolution (pdf): The Zero Waste Resolution (30990) was adopted by the full City Council on July 16, 2007 establishing new recycling goals for the City of Seattle and providing direction on waste-reduction programs and solid waste facilities.

Recycling & Waste Reduction Study - Zero Waste Study: This study, completed in 2007, evaluated both new strategies and existing programs adopted previously under the guiding principle of "zero waste" as originally laid out in the 1998 Seattle Solid Waste Comprehensive Plan, "On the Path to Sustainability." Zero Waste and collection strategies with the potential to divert significant tonnage away from landfill disposal were identified in this five month comprehensive study.