Zero Waste

What is Zero Waste?

Zero waste is a new approach to waste management and the use of resources. It goes beyond the “end-of-the-line” treatment of waste and promotes not only the three “R’s” (reduce, reuse, recycle), but also focuses on a “whole system” approach to the use of resources including composting and conservation (rot, restore). The City is currently implementing a Zero Waste Plan with the goal of diverting 90% of waste from the landfill by 2030.


In June 2018, the City Council adopted a Zero Waste Policy establishing a goal to divert 90% of waste from the landfill by 2030. In September 2018, the City Council approved a consultant contract to prepare a Zero Waste Plan in support of the Policy. The plan was completed in advance of updating the City’s collection, processing and disposal agreements in 2021. The plan identifies future programs and actions the City can take to reach its Zero Waste goals. 

Before developing the plan, the City conducted a community waste study to identify opportunities to divert waste from the landfill by new or enhanced waste reduction, reuse, recycling, composting programs. Such programs conserve landfill space and natural resources while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

At the Zero Waste Workshop on March 4, 2019, the City provided information about the achievement of 78% waste diversion from the landfill, and presented results of the latest Waste Characterization Study. The City asked participants to identify the policies, programs and infrastructure needed to achieve the City's goal of 90% waste reduction and recycling by 2030. The council reviewed and approved the final Zero Waste Plan on October 29, 2019.


Mountain View has made significant diversion progress. In 2006, Mountain View diverted 72 percent of the community's waste away from landfills. The current diversion rate is 78 percentWe have a little further to go to meet our 90 percent goal. There are other factors affecting the City's ability to meet this goal.

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