Cheh introduces legislation that will modernize the District’s Waste Management Program

Bill aims to ensure that the District will meet zero waste goal of the Sustainable DC plan.

Washington, D.C. – Today, Councilmember Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3) introduced legislation that will drastically reform the District’s outdated waste and recycling laws by adopting 21st Century trends in recycling and waste reduction. The reforms outlined in Cheh’s legislation aim to ensure that the District will meet its goal of zero waste by 2032, as expressed in the Sustainable DC Plan. Among the requirements, Cheh’s legislation creates a broad education campaign to promote increased recycling; mandates that electronic manufacturers establish recycling programs; and requires that carry-out containers from District restaurants be either compostable or recyclable.

“Currently, the District waste diversion rate is about 23%, which is 10 percent below the national average and substantially lower than other jurisdictions, including San Francisco, which has an 80 percent diversion rate, and Montgomery County, which achieves about 60 percent waste diversion,” said Cheh. “And although the District has taken meaningful steps towards reducing our waste, in order for our city to achieve the goal of zero waste by 2032, substantial changes must be made to the outdated legal framework currently guiding the District’s waste management practices. This legislation will do just that. Additionally, this legislation will place the District in line with other jurisdictions, such as New York, Portland, Seattle, and San Francisco.”


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