In striving to create a waste-free world, it is important that we articulate not only our goals but the ways we plan to go about bringing them to fruition. I believe our objectives would be much better served in this regard with a simple word substitution. Rather than focusing on diversion rates as the way we measure recycling success, what we really need to be talking about are “destination rates.”
The Zero Waste strategy says no to incinerators, no to mega-landfills, no to the throwaway society and yes to a sustainable society. While it may sound like an idealistic goal, we can put it into a realistic time frame. We do not expect to reach zero waste next year, but we can anticipate that some communities could be very close to Zero Waste by 2020.