Waste Prevention Resources

What is Zero Waste?

Arcata is striving to achieve zero waste. Zero waste is a materials management approach that first prevents waste and then establishes reuse and recycling policies, programs, and infrastructure for all materials entering the community. The goal is to ensure that nothing is sent to a landfill or incinerator by ensuring that resources we take from the earth continue to be used efficiently without waste and excess burden on the environment. After you have done all you can to prevent waste and then reuse, download the materials management guide for City of Arcata residents to help responsibly manage your remaining waste. 

How do we get to Zero Waste? 

The Arcata City Council adopted a Zero Waste Action Plan written by Zero Waste Humboldt with input from Arcata citizens and businesses. The 10-year Plan identifies various waste prevention, reuse and recycling practices Arcatans can use to get as close as possible to zero waste.

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The Zero Waste Action Plan outlines 8 implementation goals to help guide Arcata towards zero waste. The City of Arcata is currently striving for zero waste by fostering the following goals:

  1. Zero Waste public education will create behavioral change and a citywide Zero waste culture.
  2. City operations and policies will integrate zero waste strategies.
  3. Waste prevention is Arcata's top priority for sustainable materials management.
  4. Materials reuse is Arcata's second priority for zero waste strategies.
  5. Recycling drop-off and collection options are fully used by residents and businesses.
  6. Increase effective and efficient food and organics waste prevention and reuse options.
  7. reduce construction and demolition waste and promote reuse of materials.
  8. Zero waste and recycling market development is an integral component of local economic development.

What can I do to help?

  1. Prevent waste in your home and at your work.
  2. Recycle and compost whenever possible.
  3. Handle hazardous & special materials with care.
  1. Reduce
  2. Reuse
  3. Donate

Preventing waste, or source reduction, is the first step towards a waste-conscious lifestyle. Recycling and composting manage waste after it is generated, but waste prevention reduces the amount of materials generated in the first place. Waste prevention means taking advantage of reuse, donation and other reduction opportunities to get the most environmental and economic benefits possible. The first step to achieving zero waste is to look at your current consumption habits and reduce them as much as possible. By purchasing only what you need, you are able to eliminate unnecessary waste from being generated. Click here for food waste prevention tips!