Map of Miramar Landfill in San Diego. Image via sandiego.gov

The San Diego City Council will consider on Monday a proposal aimed at propelling the city’s “zero waste” goals forward.

The City Council’s proposed zero waste plan was originally adopted in December 2013 with the goal of diverting 75 percent of the waste generated in the city away from landfill disposal by 2020. “Getting to zero” means San Diego will need to reuse, recycle and reduce the amount of waste generated in the city by emphasizing education and legislation aimed at waste reduction.

The city’s goal is to reach zero waste by 2040. San Diego is now gearing up to implement new and additional programming that will help the city reach the first of their three zero waste goals by Fiscal Year 2020.

The Environmental Services Department was tasked to come up with new ways to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. The proposed programs aimed at waste reduction and diversion include additional organic recycling, revising city recycling ordinances and increasing recycling at city facilities and additional education and outreach, among other programs.

The proposed programs are projected to cost the city $8 million but San Diego’s Independent Budget Analyst reports that the options ESD came up with would cover the costs associated with the zero waste plan.

The ESD said programs and diversions can be expanded after 2020 to reach 90 percent diversion of the city’s waste by 2035, a goal that was outlined in last year’s Climate Action Plan.

The city currently diverts 67 percent of its waste from landfills. To meet its 2020 goal, the city will need to divert an additional 332,000 tons of waste annually.

Each of the potential programs will have to be individually approved by City Council at a later date.

City News Service

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