Zero Waste Team Triples Diversion
Allegheny County has been working with PRC to measure the quantity and type of waste in county facility waste streams in order to increase waste diversion from landfill to recycling since October 2014. An upgraded recycling program in the County Office Building has TRIPLED waste diversion during a one-year period, now diverting 60 percent of the building’s waste from local landfills. This program was designed and implemented by PRC’s Zero Waste Pennsylvania team; ZWPA worked with the county’s Sustainability Office to educate workers, add centralized collection stations for recycling and trash, and to remove all desk-side bins in the downtown Pittsburgh office building. The same program in the Health Department Administrative Building yielded similar results, reflecting a 56 percent diversion of waste from landfill to recycling in just three months.
Zero Waste strategies save financial resources as well as protect and preserve natural resources, according to PRC Western Regional Director Justin Stockdale. “This success is possible to replicate elsewhere, and PRC is eager to work with new organizations, businesses and government entities to develop strategies to reduce and divert waste.”
Kathleen Hrabovsky, the county’s Sustainability Manager, has enjoyed working with PRC: “The PRC staff is knowledgeable and professional in working with all members of our staff to apply the organization’s waste assessment and auditing system. PRC staff validates the type and quantity of recycling and landfill waste by sorting the waste into categories, weighing the various categories, and assessing the overall quantity in order to measure our overall diversion rate. We could not measure and track our success without PRC.”