Austin, Texas hopes to reduce the trash sent to landfills by 20 percent by 2012 and eventually achieve zero waste by 2040. The city recently hired the California firm of Gary Liss and Associates to spend half a year writing a plan to reduce to zero the amount of garbage the city sends to landfills. With the plan, Austin will join other cities, such as Seattle and San Francisco, as well as other counties, who already have or are writing similar long-term solid waste plans.
Last year, Austin announced an aggressive climate protection plan that will cut its carbon dioxide emissions to almost nothing by 2020
Zero waste plans utilize both recycling and ways of preventing garbage from getting to landfills in the first place, such as penalizing customers who produce the most trash and offering incentives to businesses to reuse their packaging and products.
In addition to the plan, Austin will be opening a single-stream recycling facility in 2008 or 2009.