The Waste Reduction Group is recommending that the Portland Public Schools adopt the long-range goal to work towards becoming a zero waste community, according to a rolling timeframe. Zero waste aims to re-purpose what we usually define as trash into a resource material for re-use. This means that a community (however defined) must change its operations to be more mindful of the cycle of resource use, specifically by purchasing materials so that waste is minimized. Moving toward zero waste is a process over time, and the achievement of this goal is measured in percentages of waste reduction over a period of years.
The Sustainable Portland Plan for the City of Portland emphasized zero waste as a goal for the entire Portland community. The Recycling Program is another step in the same direction to attain this goal.
Find out more about the principles of zero waste.