#4 :: Zero-Waste Economics

A Berkely apartment building made from recycled materials, including old CalTrans signs.
Photo by Lane Hartwell. www.fetching.net
In March, 2005, Berkeley adopted a Zero Waste resolution, under which the city will reduce solid waste 75 percent by 2010 and to zero by 2020. Although the plan is ambitious, the resolution points to Berkeley‘s 1984 ballot measure to reduce waste by 50 percent—a radical proposition at the time, which became state law a mere five years later. The city‘s Solid Waste Commission is now the Zero Waste Commission. Expanding on the standard Three Rs of waste, Berkeley‘s position is, “If it can‘t be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled, or composted, then it should be restricted, redesigned, or removed from production.” Right, a Berkeley apartment building made from recycled materials, including old CalTrans signs.