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Getting to Zero Waste

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Rediscover the loop.

One of the most powerful ideas we can adopt as a community is the concept of Zero Waste. This is the notion of reducing waste to the extent that only the smallest percentage needs to be landfilled, and that solid waste is either recycled, re-used, or converted to energy. It is a lofty goal, but we are working in that direction, and it will help us to build a more resilient and sustainable community.

Most people think about waste only when it needs to be thrown away. The fact is that the things we buy and use every day impact our environment and our waste stream long before we decide to throw them in a blue, black or green cart. While it is vital for us to put waste in its place, it is equally important to shrink the overall amount of waste we create.  This saves Earth's precious resources and prevents further environmental harm.

The Four Rs

We invite Fort Lauderdale neighbors to rediscover the loop – reduce, reuse, recycle!  The resources used to make products, as well as those used to package, transport and market those products all create waste. Adopting a zero waste viewpoint means being thoughtful not only about our disposal but also our consumption.  The bonus? The things you do to cut down on waste can save you money, help needy people and create jobs in our community, reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions and even make our City more beautiful. 

How does zero waste living work?

  1. Purchase wisely. Try to reduce the amount of material that goes into the products you buy. Look for sustainably manufactured and packaged products. 
  2. Reuse everything that you can.  If you cannot reuse an item, give it to someone who can, either directly or by upcycling it.
  3. Recycle and compost as much as you can.  Approximately 85% of household waste can be recycled and another 15% of what goes into your trash generally can be composted.
  4. Put waste in its place to ensure that we can collect it and direct it appropriately to those who can turn that waste into marketable materials and energy.
  5. Safely dispose of everything else.

This section of our website holds helpful tips for greening your purchasing routine and reducing the amount of overall waste your generate.  Whether you want to cut down on the junk mail you receive or the amount of food you throw away, look here for practical tips and links. 

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