What is Zero Waste?

Zero Waste focuses on reducing and redesigning wastes out of the system first, reusing discarded materials and products for their highest and best use in their original form and function for as long as possible, then recycling and composting the rest.

Zero Waste offers economic sustainability, entrepreneurial and employment opportunities, an improved overall quality of life and a healthier, cleaner environment.

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The Zero Waste International Alliance

defines Zero Waste as a goal that is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary, 

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to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles,

where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use.

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Defining Zero Waste

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Zero Waste means designing and managing products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve and recover all resources, and not burn or bury them.

Implementing Zero Waste will eliminate all discharges to land, water or air that are a threat to planetary, human, animal or plant health.

The Planning Group of the Zero Waste International Alliance adopted the following definition of Zero Waste on November 29, 2004.

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