Zero waste is a fresh 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).
Zero Waste seeks to eliminate negative impacts of designing, producing, using, and discarding of products and packaging:
Development of a Zero Waste Plan is a multi-year effort and is undertaken in preparation for new collection, processing, and landfill service agreements. Prior to these plans, the City's Source Reduction & Recycling Element provided the guidance for programs and goals. The City’s current collection, processing and disposal agreements expire at the end of 2021.
On March 24, 2009, the Mountain View City council adopted an Environmental Sustainability Action Plan that calls for, among other actions, the creation of a Zero Waste Plan. The creation of this plan was one of 89 recommendations presented to the Council in the September 2008 final report of the Mountain View Sustainability Task Force. The Action Plan helped guide development of new programs in conjunction with the renewal of a collection services agreement in 2013. See the documents and zero waste plan related to the 2013 agreement at this link.
As a first step in the process to develop a plan, Mountain View conducts a waste characterization study that examines what types of materials our community disposes (waste composition), and whether these materials can be diverted from the waste stream through increased recycling, waste reduction, composting, and other diversion programs. Such programs conserve landfill space and natural resources while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Studies are conducted about every 10 years in preparation for new collection, processing, and landfill service agreements. The last study was done in 2010 in preparation for the 2013 collection services agreement. A new study is being conducted in 2018 in preparation for the collection, processing and disposal agreements, which are set to expire at the end of 2021.
Mountain View's progress is significant. In 2006, Mountain View diverted 72 percent of the community's waste away from landfills, the second highest diversion rate in the county. by 2015, the community achieved a 77 percent diversion rate. The current diversion rate is 78 percent. We have a little further to go to meet our 90 percent goal.
Charting Progress. To see history of landfill tons by population and employment, and our progress on reducing trash because of the food scraps program, visit this link.
After the 2018 waste characterization study is done, the City will hold a Zero Waste Plan Workshop in 2019 to identify the policies, programs and infrastructure needed to achieve the City's goal of 90 percent waste reduction and recycling by 2030. At the workshop, the City will provide information about our current achievement of 78 percent, present the results of the waste characterization study, and discuss ideas for new or expanded policies, programs, and regional efforts needed in waste prevention, recycling and composting to help us achieve the new goal of 90 percent by 2030. If you would like to be notified of opportunities to provide feedback, please visit MountainView.gov/mymv and subscribe to Zero Waste and Service Agreements notifications.
Zero Waste Plan Workshop 2019 Flyer - March 4, 2019 - Thanks for your Input!
Draft Zero Waste Action Plan - will be posted when available.
Final Zero Waste Action Plan - will be posted when available
The following documents help educate residents and businesses about Zero Waste and more will be posted as the plan evolves.