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SPU is Moving Upstream Towards Zero Waste

Contributed by Nico Onoda-McGuire, Solid Waste Advisory Committee member & Seattle Resident

Seattle’s vision of a zero waste future builds toward an inclusive and circular economy, where all materials with value are reused or recycled, and nothing is wasted. To move upstream toward zero waste, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is looking at the whole life cycle of materials to eliminate waste and toxins, prevent pollution, reduce carbon emissions, and conserve natural resources as early as possible. The vision and framework for prioritizing waste prevention in solid waste system planning is now outlined in the recently released draft 2022 Solid Waste Plan Update: Moving Upstream to Zero Waste.

As a Seattle community member of eight years and a Solid Waste Advisory Committee member of three years, I am excited and hopeful to see the vision of Seattle Public Utilities’ zero waste initiatives and community-centered services and opportunities come to life. This journey is a long one, but a meaningful one as it involves the everyday choices we make  as individuals and collectively as a society, to prioritize the impact of proactive waste solutions. Zero waste pathways offer us endless and innovative ways to relate to our everyday materials by producing and using less. It focuses on regenerative solutions that bring vibrancy to not only our physical environment, but also our social communities.

I encourage anyone who is keen to learn more and help shape our city’s new relationship with materials and zero-waste solutions, to provide input on the plan and its recommendations by visiting the Seattle public Utilities website.