In March 2008, the district contracted with Burns & McDonnell/CalRecovery to conduct a study to provide a snapshot of the region’s current waste management system, a future snapshot if no changes are made in the next 20 years, and alternative strategies which could improve the region’s waste reduction habits, ultimately leading to a zero-waste system. The study recommends alternative diversion scenarios through a phased-in approach to achieve 40, 60, 80 percent and near zero waste reduction over the next 20 years.
In response to the recommendations outlined in the 2008 Sustainable Solid Waste Management Study, the district embraced a goal to achieve 80 percent waste diversion by 2023. The district developed a primer for local governments to explain the concept of sustainable solid waste management. The district also developed a road map to achieve the interim goals outlined by the study using proven waste diversion strategies. The road map uses incremental steps to target residential, commercial, and construction and demolition waste streams.
The district is seeking the commitment of its local government members to work toward a sustainable solid waste management system. In 2013 the district evaluated the commitment and contributions of its local government members in achieving the goals established by the district in a benchmarking study.