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Fwd: Oakland, CA Zero Waste Strategic Plan Adopted

Apologies for Cross-Postings

From: "Gagliardi, Mark" <mgagliardi@oaklandnet.com>
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: www.zerowasteoakland.com. 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 ( www.zerowasteoakland.com) 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: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ZeroWasteOakland
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