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Eureka Recycling's mission is to demonstrate that waste is preventable, not inevitable. All of our 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 our zero-waste work includes:

If you would like to stay informed about the latest developments in zero waste, visit the News & Views Forum and sign up for our e-newsletter.

What is zero waste?

zero wasteZero 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.

Learn more about what others are doing to create zero-waste communities!  

Energy Programs Find Permanent Homes in 2013

In January 2011, Eureka Recycling provided a home for two community energy programs formerly of the Green Institute: Metro CERT and the Food Service Energy Leadership Program. The Green Institute (which sadly closed its doors in 2011) and Eureka Recycling have long shared 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 support these programs and their people to find the best future, either within Eureka’s programs or elsewhere.  

Although the work of Eureka Recycling to date has focused almost exclusively on not wasting resources, our mission is the prevention of all wastes—including wasted energy. In fact, recycling came out of the energy conservation movement and zero-waste work greatly saves energy, supports sustainable energy efforts, reduces carbon, and much more.

During its recent strategic planning process, Eureka Recycling examined the strengths and opportunities of a possible integration of these energy programs. From this process, we determined we are steadfast in our commitment to energy reduction by addressing products and packaging. After analyzing the intersection between Eureka’s work and these programs, Eureka and these programs mutually concluded to find long-term homes where their work more closely supports the mission of the organization where they live:

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Last Update: August 2011

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