Monday, April 27, 2015

Path to Zero Waste: The District Celebrates Earth Day at UDC

Copyright: Lateef Magnum
On Earth Day 2015, 200 residents, advocates, and stakeholders met to discuss waste management in the District. In an effort to reduce waste in the District of Columbia, the District Department of the Environment and Mayor Muriel Bowser celebrated Earth Day with the first-ever “Path to Zero Waste” Summit. Held at the David A. Clarke School of Law, the summit is part of Mayor Bowser’s bold agenda to move the city towards zero waste, save residents money and create more pathways to the middle class.

“There’s no better time than Earth Day to announce my administration’s pledge to move the District towards a zero waste future,” said Mayor Bowser. “We are making a fresh start on waste policy and Earth Day 2015 will mark the first day of a newfound commitment to changing the dialogue about how we reduce waste, save money and create jobs in DC.”
Copyright: Lateef Magnum
According to the Boswer Administration, the District has demonstrated national leadership on several specific waste-related initiatives, including becoming one of the first cities to place a fee on disposable bags. In a recent survey, 67% of District residents reported a reduction in plastic bag litter since the fee took effect.

Speakers from Seattle, Washington and Edmonton, Canada, joined local experts from the District Government and local community to imagine what the path to zero waste in the District might look like.

“This is the kind of partnership that a city must have to manage waste,” stated DDOE Director Tommy Wells. “This is a jumping off point; to go forward for our city.”

“In CAUSES and as the District’s landgrant, we work closely with the community within a framework known as “Urban Food Hubs,” explained Dr. Sabine O’Hara, Dean of CAUSES. “This concept aligns closely with the Mayor’s initiative and the Sustainable DC Plan overall.” The Urban Food Hubs Concept consists of: Food Production, Food Preparation; Food Distribution and Waste management and recycling.

The livestream of the Summit is available on YouTube. The second year progress report for the Sustainable DC Plan has just been released.

Following the event, participants were able to get a sneak peek of UDC's new green roof. 

Additional pictures from the Summit are available on our Facebook page.

Copyright: Lateef Magnum

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