While the municipal and community Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions inventory reflect a small percent to the overall carbon footprint in Missoula. The overall process of creating, transporting and landfilling the products we use on a daily basis, require a lot of fossil fuels. For example, organics sent to the landfill creates methane, which is 26-28 times more dangerous than carbon dioxide.
Zero waste practices can stimulate job growth in its communities. Recycling creates 9x more jobs more than trash, composting creates 2-4x more jobs as landfills incineration facilities, and reuse creates 30x more jobs than landfills.
IN ECONOMIC ACTIVITY ANNUALLY
The US recycling industry generates $117 billion in economic activity annually. According to the EPA’s 2020 Recycling Economic Information (REI) Report, recycling and reuse activities in the United States accounted for: 681,000 jobs, $37.8 billion in wages, and $5.5 billion in tax revenues.
OF POTENTIAL REVENUE
Materials that get tossed into our local landfill contain products like paper, plastic, metal, and valuable building materials. The US landfills over $11 billion every year in potential revenue from materials that were trashed instead of being sold for recycling or reuse.
TONS OF RECYCLABLE MATERIALS
Based on the City of Missoula Waste Composition Study, over 24,000 tons of potential recycling can be diverted from our landfill. This equivalent 19 wind turbines running for a year.
TONS OF COMPOSTABLE MATERIALS
Garden City Compost facility collected over 29,400 tons of compostable material from the community in 2021. This is equivalent to the carbon sequestered by 485K tree seedlings grown for 10 years.
Based on the Advancing Sustainable Materials Management: 2018 Fact Sheet (updated December 2020) by the EPA, over 600 million tons of construction and demolition (C&D) debris was generated in the U.S. This is more than 2x the amount of generated municipal solid waste. The City is working with local deconstruction organizations to divert these materials from our landfill.
5TH GRADE ELEMENRTY SCHOOLS
The Zero Waste Ambassadors Program (ZWAP!), hosted by Home ReSource, has reached 17, 5th grade schools in Missoula. ZWAP! Provides an award-winning education that teaches the connection between our community and what happens to the places where we recreate.
MATERIALS DIVERTED FROM THE LANDFILL
In the summer of 2021, the River City Roots Festival, diverted 65% of materials from the landfill, which included 6,500lbs of the material going to compost or recycling.
GLASS DIVERTED FROM THE LANDFILL
Glass is one of few materials that be recycled endlessly, without losing quality. Thanks to the efforts of our community and Recycling Works, around 433,000lbs of glass was diverted from our landfill in 2021, and they are estimating to exceed that number in 2022.
TONS OF MSW
As of 2019, the community of Missoula generated over 96,000 tons of municipal solid waste. This is equals a little over one ton of trash landfilled per capita. Between 55-87% of that material can be recycled, composted, or recovered for reuse, but Missoula is only diverting about 24% of that waste.
FOOD WASTE REDUCTION AWARENESS
The City and County's Food Policy Advisory Board has created a subcommittee working to education Missoula residents, restaurants, grocery stores, and others about food waste reduction efforts.
The City of Missoula Parks and Recreation staff have initiated a zero-wood waste effort to keep and use resources in our local community. By milling the wood from dead trees found in our urban forest, and using that wood to build park amenities, this project is a great example of hyper-local reuse.
- Deconstruction Resource Guide - learn how to locally reuse, repurpose, and recycle demolition materials, to reduce waste in the landfill
- Materials Donation - donate leftover building materials for future projects
- Zero Waste Event Toolkit - learn how to host a zero waste event
- Zero Waste We Pledge Program - learn how your business can pledge to be zero waste
- ZWAP! - empower your 5th grader class on zero waste practices
NOT SURE WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR COMPOSTABLES?
Tackle your compostable materials at home and by learning more about composting on the Zero by Fifty Composting page. You can also take your compostable items to Garden City Compost or support local services from Missoula Compost Collection or Soil Cycle.
WHAT DO I DO WITH…?
Unsure how to properly reuse, reduce or recycle materials from your home or business? This detailed list on the Zero by Fifty site answers those burning questions. If you have any items that could use repair services, try checking out the next Fix-it-Clinic, hosted by Home ReSource, where you can learn how to fixit.
GOT HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE (HHW)?
Those toxic, corrosive, ignitable, and reactive wastes (e.g., batteries, household cleaners, motor oil, etc.) are dangerous to human health and the environment. Home ReSource and Missoula County Water Quality District can answer questions and assist with where to disposal of these items.