What Does "Zero Waste" Mean?

What does "Zero Waste" mean?

Orange County is developing a Solid Waste Master Plan to move the County to “Zero Waste” by 2045. 

Zero Waste is defined as the reduction of solid waste to nothing, or as close to nothing as possible, by minimizing excess consumption by means of responsible production, consumption, and reuse, and maximizing the recovery of solid wastes through recycling and composting.  

Solid Waste Master Plan Goals

As approved by the Solid Waste Advisory Group, the overarching goals for the plan and its development are as follows:

Goal 1:   

Develop a comprehensive and easily understandable Solid Waste Master plan, with identifiable action items and a plan summary;

Goal 2:     

Develop a comprehensive strategy that by 2045 will lead to “Zero Waste,” as defined by the County;

Goal 3:    

Integrate the Plan’s efforts with the ongoing climate action plans of the County, the Municipalities, the University and the University Health Care system.

Goal 4:     

Select a sustainable business model that incorporates the financial, social and environmental; including carbon footprint reduction impacts on our community;

Goal 5:     

Identify future programs, initiatives, facilities, and infrastructure to achieve the “Zero Waste” goal, as defined by the County, while ensuring the long-term financial stability of the County’s solid waste and recycling program; 

Goal 6:     

Identify strategies to increase public education and participation in waste reduction and waste diversion programs through awareness of reduction, reuse, recycling and composting; while addressing ordinance and enforcement requirements;

Goal 7:     

Develop and include an equitable comprehensive public engagement process that effectively includes input by the general public, including groups that historically have been marginalized, and key interest groups, including the municipal and university  partners, and keeps the public informed and updated on the process; and

Goal 8:     

Ensure all proposed programs and policies are in regulatory compliance with local, state and federal requirements.