Promoting Zero Waste to Public Officials
Last modified: March 22, 2019

ZW Kit
What's In
The Kit?
What is
Zero Waste?

Zero Waste is as much about creating a new "set of rules" as it is about changing mindsets. Educating the elected and appointed officials who shape public policy and make legislation in your community is an important component of moving Zero Waste forward. When you call, FAX, e-mail, write or meet with elected officials to promote Zero Waste in your community, consider the following tips:
  • Have plenty of real-world examples of how Zero Waste is working elsewhere. Examples from places with demographics or environmental/economic issues that are similar to your own will be especially helpful.
  • To the extent possible, highlight the costs and the problems associated with cleaning up and operating landfills.
    · Make a case for the business opportunities associated with Zero Waste: new jobs, sustainable enterprises, and dollars kept in the local economy, among others.
  • Remember that politicians take into consideration the level of public support for new ideas-they look at opinion-editorials and articles in the newspaper, they consider the volume and quality of correspondence directed to them by citizens, and they listen to what business leaders and other community leaders (not to mention friends and trusted colleagues) have to say. Pitching Zero Waste to a public official will be much more effective if the concept is already winning approval among the general population, and this is something you can accomplish by working with the media and other community groups on the issue.
  • Avoid acronyms and other Zero Waste jargon that your public officials may not understand. For example, if you talk about EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility), explain clearly what that means. Try to couch Zero Waste concepts and ideas in everyday language.

Model Zero Waste & EPR Resolutions

Your elected officials may want to see something in writing. After all, what precisely do you have in mind when you talk about Zero Waste "legislation?" A good start is to furnish a model Zero Waste or Extended Producer Responsibility resolution. These resolutions provides evidence that such things are taken seriously in a number of places around the United States. [*Note: You'll need to click your back button to get back here from the resolutions in the above list.]

Zero Waste resolutions

Producer Responsibility Resolutions

Also, check out these model Zero Waste plans. Zero Waste plans provide a sense of the comprehensive thinking required if Zero Waste is to be effective. Another advantage to sharing these documents with your elected representatives is that those officials or their staff may want to contact the authors and obtain more details about the programs discussed.

Co-producers of the Zero Waste Activity Kit

  Contact Us © Zero Waste USA ©
Archive maintained by Laughter On Water