What is Zero Waste?

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 incrementts toward the goal of zero waste through the core principles of:

    ~  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 reuse of discarded products and materials to stimulate and drive local economic and workforce development; and  
    ~  Improving 'downstream' recycling  of end-of-life products and materials to ensure their hightest and best use.

The city of Fresno Solid Waste Management Division collects 450,000 tons of trash, recyclables, and green waste annually from 105,000 single family homes, 2,500 multi-family complexes (approx. 30,000 units), and 4,000 businesses. As waste collection is a core businesss service of the Public Utilities Department of the City of Fresno, it is the responsibility of this department to manage these resources in the most cost efficient and ecological manner.

The new Zero Waste Goal changes the way we look at waste generation, focusing on three components:

  • Reduce Up-Stream Wastes - "Waste Avoidance"
  • Reuse Mid-Stream Wastes - "Reuse of Discards"
  • Recycle Down -Stream Wastes - "End-of-Pipe Diversion" 

The City Recycling Team proposes a new City philosophy on the managing of our citizen's waste streams: "To manage our resources through the highest and best use hierarchy:

For more information please click on one of the following links:
2007 "Heroes of Zero"
 City of Fresno Zero Waste Strategic Action Plan
"Going Beyond 50 Percent" Resource Recycling, April 2008
"Fresno rivals San Francisco" The Business Journal, April 18, 2008