Update and implement the Zero Waste Management Plan.
The City is in the process of developing an update to the Zero Waste Management Plan. The City defines ‘Zero Waste’ as no waste going to landfill due to reuse, recycling and composting programs. The plan will identify policies that are designed to reduce the amounts of waste requiring disposal through source reduction, recycling and composting programs to achieve the zero-waste goal by 2040.
Key components of the Zero Waste Management Plan should prioritize the following initiatives. For each, a phased approach will be undertaken, beginning with incentives, moving towards mandates.
Universal Recycling Ordinance
(for the commercial sector) Adoption of a Universal Recycling Ordinance involves requiring affected property owners to ensure that tenants and employees have access to convenient recycling. The program will be implemented through the City’s franchised haulers by requiring that they provide recycling services for reasonable rates. The ordinance does not require business to have a recycling program, however, it will incentivize businesses to recycle due to increased costs of standard collection.
Adopt Green Building Code
This code is related to the management of construction and demolition debris. As part of building construction permits, it would require developers and builders to present a solid waste management plan that incorporates efforts to reduce or recycle building materials. In order to implement this ordinance, it would require a significant public information program targeting builders to initiate voluntary recycling. The City should support by assisting in developing markets for materials that could be recycled (See action SW3). The City can also initiate a recognition program or provide grants for projects that include significant recovery of materials from either demolition or incorporate recycled materials in new building construction.
Evaluate advances in technology to convert waste to energy
The majority of waste generated by the City is disposed of at the McCommas Bluff Landfill. There are technologies being developed which may result in an environmentally acceptable alternative. Most of these technologies are currently at the demonstration scale and are significantly more expensive to manage than the City’s landfill. As landfill capacity decreases, and technologies advance, the increased cost of disposal may make technologies such as pyrolysis or gasification more feasible for Dallas. The City will periodically monitor and evaluate waste to energy alternatives.