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The goal of the Charleston Green Business Challenge is to improve the environmental performance and sustainability of our businesses. Save Money and Resource, Support Environmental Stewardship, and Get Recognized as a Sustainable Business Leader.

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Zero Waste

Summary and Update

The Charleston Green Plan calls for the City of Charleston to pass a “Zero Waste” resolution.  Much as an employer sets “zero accidents” as a workplace goal, the resolution would frame the issue so that garbage is no longer accepted as inevitable.  The recommendations roughly follow the EPA’s solid waste hierarchy of reduce, reuse and recycle.  Specifically, the Charleston Green Plan makes the following recommendations to achieve Zero Waste:

  1. Commit to a Goal of Zero Waste
  2. Expand Recycling and Composting
  3. Explore Energy Recovery Technologies
  4. Educate the Public

The City of Charleston, other municipalities and interested citizens have been working with Charleston County to create a Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan.  A Green Ribbon Committee, with City of Charleston representation, was enlisted to evaluate existing waste management practices and gather public input.  The County also hired a solid waste consultant.

The City of Charleston has worked with the County by being a participant on the committee, and meeting with their consultant and other County staff.  The County has ended its waste incineration program, improved its composting facilities to compost more yard waste and set a goal of 40% recycling.

The Plan encourages the City to continue to work with the County to create a structure that allows businesses and residents to save money when they reduce their waste and recycle, and to increase construction and demolition waste diversion, expand the materials collected and make recycling easier.  For example, recycling collection should be as frequent as garbage collection and ergonomic rolling recycling containers should be available. 

The plan also encourages more efforts for recycling in public spaces and at public events. Thanks to the Charleston County Aviation Authority, the Charleston Airport now has recycling bins throughout the facility and thanks to the Keep Charleston Beautiful program, 24 recycling bins have been installed in four City parks with more on the way. In 2009, the second annual Charleston Green Fair successfully reported a 93% waste diversion rate.

To read the detailed recommendations of the Zero Waste Section of the Charleston Green Plan, click here.

If you would like to get involved with the Recycling and Waste Management Subcommittee, please contact Christine Cooley at vonkolnc@musc.edu


» Zero Waste Report to Green Committee 12_11_07

» List of Measures

» Save As You Throw Presentation 4/1

» The Dangers Of Plastic Bags

» WM&R Working Recommendations 12_15_08

» Construction & Demolition Waste Diversion Brochure

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