The Zero Waste Committee is focused on issues related to the waste stream.
Our main goals are to explore ways to reduce the large percentage of our trash that gets sent to landfills, and to encourage City residents to adopt some easy and innovative ways to minimize household waste.
Why is waste such an important issue?
Waste has a significant impact on the environment. Consider the following facts:
- Each individual in the U.S. produces more than 4 pounds of waste a day. That amounts to 254 million tons a year for our entire population.
- There are more than 2,000 active landfills in the U.S. that leak toxins into the surrounding environment and produce the greenhouse gas methane.
- Transporting garbage long distances (an increasing need) uses an enormous amount of energy and creates pollution.
There are simple things we all can do to make a difference:
- Reducing how much we buy and consider the types of materials we purchase.
- Taking steps to reduce food waste.
- Recycling is an effective way to conserve natural resources that decreases the overall amount of landfill trash by 34%.
- Fixing things rather than replacing them
- Composting reduces the amount of methane emitted from landfills. It also has the potential to reduce the amount of landfill trash by 25%.
Following on the success of last year’s event, we’re organizing another community-wide recycling event on Saturday, October 20th from 9:00-2:00 at the SPAC parking lot of the west side of Route 50. Are you cleaning out your garage or basement and don’t know how to reuse or recycle your unwanted stuff? We’ll be collecting a wide variety of items, including clothing, coats, shoes, sleeping bags, towels, rags, sheets, comforters, and quilts; large and small household appliances; electronics; metal objects; and bicycles. We will also be accepting TVs and monitors for an additional fee. Help us spread the word and start setting aside your “junk” today!
Check out our Recycles Day webpage for all the details!
Do you like fixing things? We are bringing the repair movement to Saratoga Springs! Sustainable Saratoga and the Saratoga Springs Public Library have started a Repair Café in Saratoga. Repair Cafés are free community events with the goals of repairing broken objects to extend their life, keeping things out of landfills, and fostering an appreciation for the art of repairing things. We held our first event in June, and our second event will be September 29 from 12-3 pm. Check out our Repair Café webpage for additional information.
We’ve updated our handy brochure for reducing your household waste! This guide includes a local directory of organizations that accept all kinds of items for donation or disposal, as well as handy tips for single stream recycling.
Would your organization like to be listed in our guide? Send us an email.
We’re currently piloting a composting program that helps local families learn how to easily convert food scraps and lawn trimmings into rich nutrients for their gardens. Participants receive a compost bin, an introduction to composting techniques, and the ongoing support they need to make reducing food waste easy and fun.
If you would like to compost, but don’t know how to get started, WE CAN HELP. Contact us to join a future backyard composting group!
The Zero Waste Committee grew out of our Bring Your Own Bag initiative (BYOBag), which aimed to minimize the negative impact of plastic bags on the environment by decreasing local retailers’ and consumers’ dependence on single-use shopping bags. The BYOBag campaign provided our signature reusable canvas shopping bags to residents and businesses, organized educational activities to raise awareness about the harmful effects of plastics, and advocated for local legislation to systematically reduce our use of disposable shopping bags.