The overall objective with regard to sustainable waste management practices is to protect human health and the environment by producing less waste and/or by using generated wastes as a beneficial resource whenever possible.  It has also become prudent for both public and private entities to evaluate sustainable waste management practices to minimize the cost of waste disposal and treatment, and the associated liability. Acceptable approaches to sustainable waste management range from reduction, reuse, recycling, composting, and waste-to-energy projects.

St. Louis County currently has extensive waste management policies and procedures from recycling to composting. The focus now will be to develop Sustainability measures to assist the County in strengthening cross-sector, community goals of waste minimization with specific interim goals and policies that continually minimize the volume and toxicity of all waste produced and maximize reuse and recycling of waste materials.  County stakeholders must leverage funding streams, strengthen or expand existing solid waste programs and diverting construction waste through more robust outreach, and explore public-private partnerships so that the investment has long-term built-in financing. 

Waste Minimization (Formerly Zero Waste)

Establish a cross-sector, community goal of zero waste with specific interim goals and policies that continually minimize the volume and toxicity of all waste produced and maximize reuse and recycling of waste materials.

Establish a goal of zero waste. Set interim goals and policies that minimize the volume and toxicity of all waste produced and maximize reuse and recycling of waste materials

Green Product Market Development

Encourage County manufacturers to take responsibility for product life cycle, including utilization of recycled materials

Through municipal policies and programs, provide markets for manufacturers who take responsibility for product life cycle (formerly manufacturer responsibility)

Materials and Waste Management Infrastructure (Formerly Solid Waste Management Infrastructure)

Develop and improve a system of facilities, services and policies designed to reduce the energy and climate impacts of waste management and collection and help municipalities achieve the goal of zero waste

Reduce energy and climate impacts associated with solid waste collection and management, including reduction in overall waste generated and an increase in recovery rate.

Procurement Policies (Formerly Municipal Purchasing and Contracting)

Support the development of a sustainable local economy through environmentally preferable purchasing (EPP) and procurement policies for municipal operations and educate the community about their role as informed consumer.

Support the development of a sustainable local economy through municipal purchasing and procurement policies

Industry Green Performance Standards

Adopt and implement standards for the operation of industrial facilities to improve energy and environmental management