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[GreenYes] Fwd: Oakland, CA Zero Waste Strategic Plan Adopted

Apologies for Cross-Postings

>From: "Gagliardi, Mark" <mgagliardi@no.address>
>Subject: Oakland, CA Zero Waste Strategic Plan Adopted
>Date: Wed, 6 Dec 2006 09:22:53 -0800
>On Tues. 12-5-06 the Oakland, CA City Council unanimously adopted a Zero
>Waste Strategic Plan:
>The Strategic Plan will guide Oakland's planning, decision-making, and
>actions toward achieving the Goal of Zero Waste by 2020, which was
>established in March 2006. The Plan is closely aligned with one of the major
>goals of Oakland's current policy budget adopted by the Mayor and City
>Council: Develop a Sustainable City.
>Development of the Strategic Plan was guided by a public participation
>process, which is detailed at the web site for Oakland's Zero Waste
>Initiative: The City extends its great
>appreciation to all who participated in the adoption of Oakland's Zero Waste
>Goal and development of its Zero Waste Strategic Plan.
>Pursuit of Zero Waste and other sustainability goals is more a journey than
>a destination, and now the real work begins - implementing strategies
>identified in the Plan:
>The following five strategies comprise traditional recycling programs as
>well as system redesign solutions for product waste, and policy and
>regulatory changes. They provide the framework for Oakland's Strategic Plan
>to achieve Zero Waste by 2020.
>1. Expand and Improve Local and Regional Recycling and Composting
>Oakland residents recycle more each year, local private-sector recyclers
>with access to Pacific Rim markets via the Port of Oakland help businesses
>reduce waste, and construction and demolition debris recycling continues to
>increase. Yet large amounts of recyclable and compostable materials are
>landfilled each day. Maximizing waste reduction from programs that are
>already capitalized and in place is both efficient and cost-effective.
>Increasing recycling and composting will require greater engagement with the
>business community and general public; additional local and regional
>recovery facilities and services; and new initiatives and innovations.
>2. Develop and Adopt New Rules and Incentives to Reduce Waste Disposal
>Oakland's Municipal Code and garbage franchise have provided a good
>framework for achieving 50% waste diversion. However, meeting the City's 75%
>waste diversion and Zero Waste goals will require ending the current
>incentive for landfilling. Other cities in and beyond the Bay Area have
>developed systems that realign economic incentives to reward all parties for
>reducing waste, and end the incentive to landfill. Development and adoption
>of a new waste management system design in preparation for Oakland's next
>collection and disposal contract is key to the goal of reducing waste. Other
>new rules and incentives detailed in the Plan are needed to encourage and
>reward reuse, repair, and reduced consumption.
>3. Preserve Land for Sustainable Development and Green Industry
>Increased recovery of a broader variety of materials will require more
>businesses and more services, producing more green collar jobs for Oakland
>residents. Industrial land close to the Port and to transportation and other
>support services is urgently needed for concrete crushing, recycled asphalt
>production, and other activities that reuse and recycle building materials.
>Reuse and deconstruction businesses create more jobs than recycling and
>disposal, and also need space to grow. Manufacturing new products from local
>recycled materials could drive further green industry and workforce
>development, and will require appropriate industrial land. Land for Zero
>Waste infrastructure should be strategically allocated, just as it is for
>vital public infrastructure such as wastewater treatment facilities and
>power generation.
>4. Advocate for Manufacturer Responsibility for Product Waste, Ban Problem
>Every year brings an increase in complex, toxic and non-recyclable products
>and packaging. This increase is outpacing local government's ability to
>safely and cost-effectively handle the associated wastes, as well as
>increasing Oakland's future environmental liability. Unless this cycle is
>corrected, not even a high-performing recycling region like ours can recycle
>our way to Zero Waste. Oakland needs to join regional, statewide, national,
>and international efforts to end the "waste subsidy" for manufacturers that
>is currently borne by local governments and ratepayers, and to insist that
>the costs and risks to manage end-of-life products and materials be the
>responsibility of manufacturers. Such measures can provide incentives for
>manufacturers to "design the waste out" so that products can be readily
>reused, repaired, reconditioned, or recycled. Local retailers can assist in
>collecting and returning selected products to manufacturers. Use or sale of
>problematic products can also be banned, as Oakland has recently done for
>expanded polystyrene food packaging and the European Union and China are
>doing for hazardous materials in electronic products.
>5. Educate, Promote and Advocate a Zero Waste Sustainability Agenda
>Efforts have been made in Oakland to educate, inform, and instruct the
>general public and specific targeted audiences on how and why to reduce,
>reuse, and recycle. Yet many do not participate, even where convenient
>recycling systems are in place. Meanwhile, much of the language of Zero
>Waste and sustainability has been focused on a policy-making audience and
>not the general public. There is a need for messaging and communications
>that speak clearly and concisely about Zero Waste and sustainability in a
>way that makes sense in people's daily lives, in order to move society from
>awareness into acceptance and action. Educating and engaging diverse
>audiences will require innovative developments in the message and how it is
>communicated, along with effective price signals and other financial
>incentives. It will be necessary to develop partnerships within and beyond
>Oakland to pursue and advocate for needed policy and behavioral changes,
>incentives and new rules, and to listen to questions, concerns, and ideas
>about the new approach.
>Environmental Hierarchy to Guide Oakland's Zero Waste Strategies, Policies,
>and Actions
>As detailed in the Plan, Oakland's pursuit of its Zero Waste Goal will be
>guided by an environmental hierarchy for 'highest and best use' of materials
>and pollution prevention in all phases of production, use, and disposition
>of products and materials. This hierarchy is derived from the core Zero
>Waste principle of preventing, rather than managing, waste and pollution. It
>recommits to the priority ordering of the waste reduction hierarchy: first
>reduce consumption; next, reuse products by maintaining their form and
>function; and finally, recycle anything that is no longer usable and
>landfill any residual. The hierarchy formalizes, organizes, and clearly
>presents how Zero Waste is a fundamentally different approach to waste
>reduction than the recycling programs of the past 15 years: Zero Waste
>tackles the root causes of wasting and broadens responsibility for the
>solutions to include government, producers, and consumers.
>Measuring Progress Toward Oakland's Zero Waste Goal
>Oakland's Zero Waste Goal is to cut the City's current waste disposal of
>400,000 tons per year to 40,000 tons per year - a 90% reduction. This will
>require double the waste disposal reduction that Oakland has achieved over
>the past 15 years. Rather than use the state of California's "waste
>diversion" calculation, progress toward the Zero Waste Goal will be measured
>by the actual amount of annual waste landfilled, with key milestones at
>5-year intervals between now and 2020.
>The City will continue to update and develop its Zero Waste Initiative
>website ( and your suggestions on improving its
>impact and usefulness are always welcome.
>Please share any thoughts and questions via the City's Zero Waste Yahoo
>Group at:
>You can join by going to:
>And clicking on "Join This Group"
>Thank you for your continuing commitment and efforts to working toward Zero
>Waste Sustainability!
>Zero Waste Strategic Planning Team
>Public Works Agency/Environmental Services
>City of Oakland
>250 Frank Ogawa Plaza; Suite 5301
>Oakland, CA 94612
>Phone: (510) 238-SAVE
>Fax: (510) 238-7286

Gary Liss
Fax: 916-652-0485

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