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Seattle Take Big Steps Toward Zero Waste

As we usher in the new year, Seattle is embarking on a journey towards a future without waste! Our city is at the forefront of sustainable practices and committed to reducing, reusing, and preventing waste at the source by embracing a culture of using and producing less. 

The Seattle Public Utilities’ 2022 Solid Waste Plan Update: Moving Upstream to Zero Waste is a commitment to breaking free from traditional recycling norms. While responsible recycling is still very much important, our plan moves beyond this to keep valuable food waste in compost to reduce generation of greenhouse gas emissions in landfills and prevent food waste from occurring in the first place. It’s about changing behaviors, influencing industry practices, and shaping policies. We’re advocating for producing and using less to combat the adverse impacts of climate change, and we’re proud to share that Seattle is leading the charge in best practices for materials management.  

Our plan looks at the whole life cycle of materials, addressing root causes to minimize impacts on health and the environment. We’re working upstream to advance waste prevention and diversion from landfill through policy, customer outreach and education, investments in the circular economy, and enforcement of solid waste rules, regulations, and contracts.  

Our focus on examining material lifecycles aims to mitigate harm to individuals, communities, and the environment, reducing waste, toxins, pollution, carbon emissions, and protecting natural resources.  

With the adoption of the 2022 Plan Update, Seattle is establishing new metrics for success beyond the traditional recycling rate and taking a holistic approach to zero waste where the entire life cycle of materials and their impacts are measured and managed.  

Check out this video series and dive into the details of our 2022 Plan Update efforts. Let’s make this a year of impactful change, together!