What is Zero Waste?

Three Sort Bins

Since 2005, the City of Palo Alto has been working toward achieving Zero Waste in the community by the year 2021. In a nutshell, Zero Waste is the state in which no waste is either burned or buried. This, however, means much more than the 3 R’s of reducing, reusing, and recycling. Zero Waste seeks to design “waste” entirely out of the flow of resources in society by designing products to minimize waste, creating incentives to encourage sustainable business practices, and building community collaboration, among other factors that come together to help improve society. Most importantly, Zero Waste requires participation from the whole community.

Zero Waste Champion Program

ZWC Org Chart

Beginning in the 2015-16 school year, PAUSD and City of Palo Alto entered an innovative collaboration to promote the concept of zero waste across PAUSD's school campuses.  This program is called the Zero Waste Champion program, and is jointly managed with the District and the City.  Participating schools have the benefit of an onsite employee to oversee zero waste efforts at the site level. The City provided initial Champion training and ongoing support and education to each champion.  Do not hesitate to reach out to your site's Champion for help with zero waste issues! 

Helpful Zero Waste Documents