The Status of San Diego's Zero-Waste Plan | Voice of San Diego

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The Status of San Diego's Zero-Waste Plan

The city of San Diego wants to achieve zero waste by 2040. Here’s where that plan currently stands.

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This post originally appeared in the Sept. 17 Morning Report. Subscribe to the Morning Report here.

Veronica from San Diego asked: What’s the status on San Diego being a zero-waste city? 

First, a brief explanation of what zero waste means to the city of San Diego. It means either preventing waste or reusing, recycling or composting it, according to their Zero Waste Plan. The city’s target is to divert 75 percent of all trash by one of these methods by 2020; then 90 percent by 2035 with an ultimate goal of zero waste by 2040.

The city acknowledges, though, that zero waste probably doesn’t mean we’re going to have absolutely no waste disposal. “Think of it as a continual improvement process with as little waste disposal as possible,” wrote Alma Rife, a spokesperson for the city, in an email.

The city says it reached a waste diversion rate of 67 percent in 2019, but it doesn’t have numbers for 2020 at this time (probably because of the pandemic).

This is a good reminder for MacKenzie Elmer, our environment reporter, to dig deeper into this whole zero waste policy goal a little further. So, thanks, reader.

Have a question about local governments or schools, coronavirus rules or even a random San Diego thing you’ve been wondering about for years? We’re taking your questions — and we’ll take a stab at answering them in future Morning Reports.

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