Sustainability 101

Zero Waste: What is it? What Does It Mean?

A lack of clarity about what zero waste really means may be keeping some businesses from reaping the benefits of going zero waste. So lets dispel the misconceptions.

What is zero waste? Exact definitions may vary, but to put it simply, going zero waste means working towards producing less waste in the first place through prioritizing waste reduction, as well as reuse, resource efficiency, and recycling with the ultimate goal of closing that loop. In a sense, going zero waste means effective waste management.

In terms of certification, such as the TRUE Zero Waste program, points are given for diverting 90% or more from the landfill or by other means.

Zero waste does NOT mean that you will be under pressure to produce no waste at all immediately.

Instead, a zero waste strategy means that you commit to putting a plan in place to deal seriously with waste.

Going zero waste is also a strategy to combat and control rising waste costs. With the cost of waste removal rising over the past decade (one study predicts waste disposal services to increase at an annualized rate of 2%), zero waste is increasingly becoming the only long term strategy for effective waste management.

So now you know. Zero waste is an achievable goal. Here’s how to start to go zero waste in 3 steps.

Have questions? Talk to our certified TRUE Zero Waste experts.

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