2016 Supplement to the Solid Waste Management Plan


Decisions Goal
Decisions are practical, understandable and transparent, providing opportunities for innovation while balancing economic, environmental and societal impacts.
This goal begins to build a more robust decision-making framework around what materials are accepted and how they are processed. It also directs the County to identify barriers to the use of necessary facilities and to think critically about how and when to participate in and partner with other entities.
Decision Objectives
D-1 Pierce County and the City of Tacoma develop and implement formal partnership strategies designed to strengthen connections with agencies, for-profit companies and not-for-profit organizations that share in the goals and vision established in this plan (e.g., partnering with the Pierce Conservation District).
D-2 Pierce County and the City of Tacoma develop, document and implement strategies for deciding what materials are diverted and how they move through the materials management system.
D-3 Pierce County and the City of Tacoma develop, document and implement strategies for deciding what materials are targeted for reduction.
D-4 Pierce County Public Works evaluates whether there are barriers to designing and locating the materials management infrastructure required to implement the Solid Waste Management Plan.

Materials Have Value
All products require natural resources to bring them to market. This resource extraction is costly in both dollars and environmental impacts.

Used material is not "waste" but something that has value and should be managed accordingly.

A graphic in the Introduction to this workshop shows the materials management loop. But what if we can go beyond the loop?

What's different about our approach in this Plan is that it isn't just about recycling. We are prioritizing waste minimization and making decisions around the idea of wasting little.
materials management hierarchy

There are groups already doing great work in Pierce County. How do we continue to create opportunities for connection?
Pierce County Public Works has partnered with the Pierce Conservation District since 2010.

What began as a Community Garden Program has grown to include the Gleaning Project, Fruit Tree Stewardship, Share the Harvest and numerous educational projects in support of regional food systems that are healthy and just.

Gleaning Project

More than 44,000 pounds of produce was harvested between June and November of this year.

Fruit and produce is harvested from commercial farms, homesteads, backyards, parks, and gardens.

Instead of going to waste, the food is donated to local food banks, hot meal sites and community organizations.