Sanitation Services working toward “Zero Waste” by 2040
When the City’s Zero Waste Plan was passed in 2013, it established the goal of Zero Waste with phases and milestones at specific intervals. The goals are 40% diversion by 2020, 60% diversion by 2030 and Zero Waste by 2040. What is diversion?
“Waste diversion means you’re diverting materials from the landfill. That includes reusing and recycling materials, composting and using environmentally correct methods for hazardous waste disposal”, said Murray Myers, Creativity Captain for Sanitation Services. “A diversion rate refers to the percentage of material that you’re recycling.”
Sanitation Services worked with commercial stakeholders (e.g. Apartment Association of Greater Dallas, BOMA Dallas and Hotel Association of North Texas) to establish a baseline diversion rate in 2014. The results of the follow-up survey in 2015 show that there’s been some improvement but several properties are still not recycling. Overall, hotels, apartments and building offices are recycling 14% of their waste and 44% of the properties that responded to the survey provide recycling.
Ultimately, it’s up to the commercial sector to provide recycling but Sanitation Services is evaluating various recycling programs that will help with commercial recycling efforts. One of them includes a pilot to service smaller properties with recycling roll carts.
Myers said, “We learned from last year’s survey and from the associations that several small properties have space restrictions and cannot fit another waste container on the property. Recycling roll carts are smaller and mobile,” said Myers. Residents who do not have the option to recycle at their apartment can take their recyclables to one of the recycling drop-off sites in the City or there is an alternative. “When more residents start asking about recycling at their office, their apartment or a hotel, it creates greater awareness. Eventually, the demand for recycling hits a point where the property manager must respond,” Myers added.
To find out more about the City’s Zero Waste Plan, visit DallasRecycles.com. The 2015 Commercial Recycling survey can be found there.