Eureka Recycling's mission is to demonstrate that waste is preventable, not inevitable. All of Eureka Recycling's efforts are designed to help individuals, organizations, and communities understand the significance of zero waste and to achieve their own zero-waste goals.
Eureka's services, programs, and policy work present solutions to the social, environmental, and health problems caused by wasting. Some examples of Eureka Recycling's zero-waste work includes:
Zero waste is not just another way of talking about recycling or managing waste. Zero waste includes recycling but goes beyond recycling by looking at the whole flow of resources and waste through human society.
Zero waste means designing and managing materials and resources in ways that conserve and recover them. Not destroying, burying, burning, or transforming our resources by viewing them as merely waste.
It means eliminating discharges to land, water, or air that do not contribute productively to natural systems or the economy. It means preserving the resilience and long-term health of the natural systems that supply the resources and materials upon which our economic prosperity and well-being depend.
In a zero-waste community, healthy and sustainable human systems are like natural cycles, where the outputs are used as an input for another process.
Really? No waste at all?
Yes, really. We not only believe it's possible, we see it happen every day. Many individuals, communities, and businesses are already well on their way to zero waste (just take a look at some of our zero-waste heroes!). Right now we have all the strategies we need and the means to not have waste at all. We don't need any new technology...we just need new thinking.
And we don't have to have to sacrifice or give up our quality of life for zero waste. In fact, zero waste isn't about sacrifice. It's about having safe and reliable products, abundant resources, healthy food, clean air and water, healthy families and communities—the things we really want. Zero waste has even been shown to be one of the fastest, cheapest, and most effective strategies available for combating climate change.
As of January 2011, Eureka Recycling houses two community energy programs formerly of the Green Institute: Metro CERT and the Food Service Energy Leadership Program. The Green Institute and Eureka Recycling share a history of working on waste reduction and energy conservation issues in the metro area. Recognizing the importance of these programs in our community, Eureka agreed to provide stable footing for these programs when it was approached by the Green Institute in 2010. The Green Institute had been incubating these programs, but made the decision in 2010 to re-focus on its role as a historic leader in the green building industry.
Although the work of Eureka Recycling to date has focused almost exclusively on resources, its mission is the prevention of all wastes—including wasted energy. As Eureka Recycling embarks on a strategic planning process throughout 2011, we are examining the strengths and opportunities of a possible integration of these energy programs into Eureka Recycling.
Last Update: August 2011