The Zero Waste Committee is focused on issues related to the waste stream – reduce, reuse, and recycle
Our main goal is to reduce the large percentage of our waste that gets sent to landfills through education and opportunities for our community to actively participate in easy and innovative ways to minimize household waste.
The Zero Waste Committee grew out of our Bring Your Own Bag initiative, which aimed to minimize the negative impact of plastic bags on the environment by decreasing local retailers’ and consumers’ dependence on single-use shopping bags. We have since grown to include other Zero Waste initiatives, which are described below.
Why is waste such an important issue?
Waste has a significant impact on the environment. Consider the following facts:
- Each individual in the U.S. produces more than 4 pounds of waste a day. That amounts to 254 million tons a year for our entire population.
- There are more than 2,000 active landfills in the U.S. that leak toxins into the surrounding environment and produce the greenhouse gas methane.
- Transporting garbage long distances (an increasing need) uses an enormous amount of energy and creates pollution.
There are simple things we all can do to make a difference (click the links to learn more):
- Reducing how much we buy and consider the types of materials we purchase.
- Taking steps to reduce food waste.
- Reuse – donate or sell unwanted items to extend their useful life and keep them out of landfills.
- Repairing things rather than replacing them
- Recycling is an effective way to conserve natural resources that decreases the overall amount of landfill trash by 34%.
- Composting reduces the amount of methane emitted from landfills. It also has the potential to reduce the amount of landfill trash by 25%.
We offer composting workshops that help local families learn how to easily convert food scraps and lawn trimmings into rich nutrients for their gardens. Backyard composting workshops last approximately 45 minutes and will include an overview of how to get started with backyard composting, identifying and troubleshooting common composting issues, and time for questions. The workshops are free. We will provide information about finding the right bin for your compost needs, and the ongoing support you need to make reducing food waste easy and fun.
If you would like to compost, but don’t know how to get started, WE CAN HELP. Please contact us with any composting questions you have, or to join a future backyard composting workshop!
Our spring 2019 Backyard Composting Workshops are over, but we may have opportunities throughout the year to offer more workshops. If you would like to be included on a list to be notified of upcoming workshops, please email us.
Do you like fixing things? We are bringing the repair movement to Saratoga Springs! Sustainable Saratoga and the Saratoga Springs Public Library have started a Repair Café in Saratoga. Repair Cafés are free community events with the goals of repairing broken objects to extend their life, keeping things out of landfills, and fostering an appreciation for the art of repairing things. We held our first event in June 2018, and hold 3-4 events each year at the Saratoga Springs Public Library. Check out our Repair Café webpage for additional information, including our event schedule.
We’re organizing yearly community-wide recycling events in October. The next one is Saturday, October 26, 2019 from 9-2 at the SPAC parking lot on the west side of Route 50. Are you cleaning out your garage or basement and don’t know how to reuse or recycle your unwanted stuff? We’ll be collecting a wide variety of items, including clothing, coats, shoes, sleeping bags, towels, rags, sheets, comforters, and quilts; large and small household appliances; electronics; metal objects; and bicycles. We will also be accepting TVs and monitors for an additional fee. Help us spread the word and start setting aside your “junk” today!
Check out our Recycles Day webpage for all the details!
We’ve updated our handy brochure for reducing your household waste! This guide includes a local directory of organizations that accept all kinds of items for donation or disposal, as well as handy tips for single stream recycling.
Would your organization like to be listed in our guide? Send us an email.