Fairfax, CA Adoption of Zero Waste as a Goal

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Fairfax, CA, US

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Type: Resolution

Status: Adopted on 3/7/07

Source File: http://www.earthresource.org/zerowaste/zwcommunities/fairfax%20marincounty%203-7-07.doc



WHEREAS, the California Integrated Waste Management Act of 1989 required cities and counties to reduce, reuse and recycle (including composting) solid waste generated in the state to the maximum extent feasible before any incineration or landfill disposal of waste, to conserve water, energy and other natural resources, and to protect the environment ; and,

WHEREAS, the California Integrated Waste Management Act of 1989 mandated that California cities and counties divert 50% of all waste generated by the year 2000, but did not set any subsequent waste reduction goals and the cities and County of Marin have met the 2000 goal of 50% reduction in landfill disposal; and,

WHEREAS, though California reached an overall recycling rate of more than 48 percent in the year 2002, more can be done, especially in “closing the loop” by purchasing products made with recycled content; and

WHEREAS, the County of Marin has established itself as a state leader in waste diversion and sustainability practices by exceeding the requirements of AB 939 to achieve a 77% diversion rate in 2004 and is constantly looking for innovative ways to decrease waste; and

WHEREAS, Zero Waste goals have already been adopted by the Marin County Hazardous and Solid Waste Management Joint Powers Authority Resolution 07-01 but said goals do not include diversion milestones prior to goal achievement; and

WHEREAS, The Town Planning Commission reviewed and passed a recommendation to adopt a Zero Waste policy on March 16, 2006,

WHEREAS, the placement of materials in waste disposal facilities, such as landfills and incinerators, wastes natural resources and wrongly transfers liabilities to future generations, while avoiding the creation of waste or discards in the first place is the most economically efficient and environmentally sustainable resource management strategy and supports a resource recovery-based economy that is more sustainable than a disposal-based economy; and,

WHEREAS, government is ultimately responsible for establishing criteria needed to eliminate waste, for creating the economic and regulatory environment in which to achieve it, and for leading by example; and,

WHEREAS, while the diversion of materials from landfill disposal itself carries a cost, the cost of landfill disposal will continue to increase with no economic return; 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, efforts to achieve Zero Waste in Fairfax should include:

1. a town compost facility
2. banning of town green waste in landfills
3. construction and demolition waste recycling
4. increased commercial recycling
5. Environmentally sound town purchasing
6. landfill bans of truly recyclable materials; and,

WHEREAS, Zero Waste is a philosophy and visionary goal that emulates natural cycles, where all outputs are simply an input for another process. It means designing and managing materials and products to conserve and recover all resources and not destroy or burn them, and eliminate discharges to land, water or air that do not contribute productively to natural systems or the economy.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Town of Fairfax, County of Marin hereby adopts Zero Waste as a long-term goal in order to eliminate waste and pollution in the manufacture, use, storage, and recycling of materials. This goal can be achieved through action plans and measures that significantly reduce waste and pollution. These measures will include encouraging residents, businesses and agencies to use, reuse, and recycle materials judiciously, in addition to encouraging manufacturers to produce and market less toxic and more durable, repairable, reusable, recycled, and recyclable products

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Town of Fairfax, County of Marin hereby establishes a milestone of 80% landfill diversion by the year 2012 towards the goal of Zero Waste by 2020; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Town of Fairfax, County of Marin hereby resolves to revisit the aforementioned milestone in the year 2010.