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Zero Waste – Oakland, CA

| Written by admin | No Comments | Updated on Jan 12, 2009 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/rule/2463-2/

Oakland, California (pop. 400,000) passed a zero waste resolution on March 7, 2006. The city directed its public works department to come up with a strategic plan to meet the zero waste goal by 2020.

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Full Text of Oakland, CA, Zero Waste Resolution – passed March 2006

RESOLUTIONADOPTING A ZERO WASTE GOAL BY 2020 FOR THE CITY OF OAKLAND AND DIRECTING THE PUBLIC WORKS AGENCY, IN CONCERT WITH THE MAYOR’S OFFICE, TO DEVELOP A ZERO WASTE STRATEGIC PLAN TO ACHIEVE THE CITY’S ZERO WASTE GOAL

WHEREAS, the California Integrated Waste Management Act of 1989 (AB 939) required that all California jurisdictions achieve a landfill diversion rate of 50% by the year 2000, and reduce, reuse, recycle, and compost all discarded materials to the maximum extent feasible before any landfilling or other destructive disposal method is used; and

WHEREAS, in 1990 Alameda County’s voters passed ballot Measure D (The Alameda County Waste Reduction and Recycling Initiative Charter Amendment), setting a requirement for the County to reduce land filling by 75% by 2010; and

WHEREAS, in 1990 the City Council adopted Resolution #66253 C.M.S establishing solid waste reduction goals, including returning discarded materials to the local economy through reuse and recycling; applying the waste management hierarchy in priority order (reduce, reuse, recycle and compost) to the maximum extent; and promoting recycling market development; and

WHEREAS,in 2002 the City Council adopted Resolution #77500 C.M.S. establishing the goal of 75% reduction of waste disposal landfills by 2010 for the City of Oakland in alliance with the countywide 75% waste reduction requirement; and

WHEREAS, in 2001 the California Integrated Waste Management Board set a goal of Zero Waste in its strategic plan for the state; and cities, councils, counties, and states worldwide have adopted a goal of achieving zero waste, including the counties of San Francisco, Santa Cruz, San Luis Obispo and Del Norte in California; the cities of Palo Alto and Berkeley in California, Seattle in Washington, Toronto in Canada, and Canberra in Australia; and the state of New South Wales in Australia; and 45% of New Zealand’s local government councils; and

WHEREAS,strategies to reach zero waste can help to promote the over-arching goal of each generation leaving less and less of an ecological footprint on the earth thus allowing more and more of nature to restore; and

WHEREAS, Zero Waste principles promote the highest and best use of materials to eliminate waste and pollution, emphasizing a closed-loop system of production and consumption, moving in logical increments toward the goal of zero waste through the core principles of:

  • Improving ‘downstream’ reuse/recycling of end-of-life products and materials to ensure their highest and best use;
  • Pursuing ‘upstream’ re-design strategies to reduce the volume and toxicity of discarded products and materials, and promote low-impact or reduced consumption lifestyles;
  • Fostering and supporting use of discarded products and materials to stimulate and drive local economic and workforce development; and

WHEREAS, in 1992 the City Council adopted Resolution #68780 C.M.S. authorizing establishment of a City staff supported Recycling Market Development Zone; and recycling continues to be a significant local industry, whose long-term viability is a key component to Oakland’s current and future waste reduction achievements, economic development, and workforce development of ‘green collar’ jobs; and

WHEREAS, in 1998 the City Council adopted the Sustainable Development Initiative (Resolution #74678 C.M.S) embracing the concept of meeting people’s current economic, social, cultural, and environmental needs in ways that enhance the ability of future generations to meet their needs; and

WHEREAS,Oakland’s FY 2005-07 Mayor and City Council Goals include: Develop A Sustainable City through maximizing socially and environmentally sustainable economic growth, including conserving natural resources; and

WHEREAS,in alliance with the Oakland’s Sustainable Development Initiative and Sustainable City goal, in June 2005 Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown joined mayors of 50 of the world’s largest and most visionary cities as an original signer of the United Nations World Environment Day Urban Environmental Accords, pledging that Oakland would implement 21 action steps toward sustainable cities in the areas of energy, waste reduction, urban design, transportation, environmental health, and water including: Establish a policy to achieve zero waste; and

WHEREAS,adopting a goal of zero waste disposal and pursuing Zero Waste principles is consistent with, and an explicit validation of Oakland’s Sustainable Development Initiative and Sustainable City Goal;

Now, therefore be it

RESOLVED,that the Mayor and City Council hereby adopt a Zero Waste Goal by 2020 for the City of Oakland and direct the Public Works Agency, in concert with the Mayor’s Office, to develop a Zero Waste Strategic Plan to achieve the City’s Zero Waste Goal; and be it

FURTHERRESOLVED, that Public Works Agency, in conjunction with the Mayor’s Office, will convene a Zero Waste working group to develop a Zero Waste Strategic Plan that will provide guidance in the planning and decision-making process to achieve the City’s Zero Waste  Goal; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, Oakland will assume a leadership role, partnering with other Zero Waste local, regional and international communities and sustainability advocates to actively pursue and advocate for strategies and incentives to advance Zero Waste principles for materials management, system re-design, highest and best use of discarded products and materials, and a closed-loop sustainable production and consumption society.

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