March 29, 2013

Our Work

Recycling Advocacy & Education:

 ZWD is a coalition of over 20 local organizations that advocates for recycling, a materials recovery system that will bring jobs and economic development to the city, and an end to waste incineration.  Thanks to the combined efforts of its members, ZWD has had a significant impact in the city since it was formed in 2007.  Its accomplishments include:

    • 2007, Began to envision a solid waste management system for the City that would stimulate economic and environmental benefits.
    • 2008, City Council Resolution supported ZWD’s solid waste model
    • 2009, City began small curbside recycling program
    • 2010, City’s contracted with the incinerator goes to 2021 but does not require minimum tonnage and allows for a recycling program
    • 2011, voter approved City Charter mandates recycling as first option
    • 2013, waste contracts RFP included requirement to bid on curbside recycling for entire City.
    • 2014, citywide curbside recycling program rolled out
    • 2015, outreach to Detroit residents to sign up for curbside, along with Green Living Science and with support of Dept of Public Works
    • 2017, thru September, ’17 signed up 15200 residents to assist reaching City’s goal of 20% participation rate one month early
    • 2017, honored with Spirit of Detroit award at First Annual Green Task Force Brunch
    • 2017, submitted comments to MDEQ on DRP’s multiple air permit violations
    • 2017, spurred update of City of Detroit’s Public Work’s website, in collaboration with Department of Innovation and Technology and Green Living Science

    With the expansion of curbside recycling to the entire city in the fall of 2014, ZWD is excited for this transition and will work to ensure that the community enjoys the benefits of maximizing participation in the program.

    Watchdog the Detroit Incinerator: 

    In addition to promoting recycling, ZWD educates residents and leaders about the detrimental environmental, health and economic impact of the city’s trash incinerator.  The coalition has urged officials to end the City’s contract with the facility; deny its application for tax credits; and enforce environmental regulations with which it is out of compliance.  ZWD also is engaged in ongoing education and mobilization of residents to monitor odors and emissions from the incinerator.

    The City still maintains a contract with the incinerator, which runs until 2021, but that agreement does not require Detroit to provide the facility with a minimum tonnage of waste and allows for a recycling program.  In that context, ZWD hopes to make the continued operation of the facility untenable by diverting its waste stream to recycling; continuing to hold it accountable for meeting environmental regulations; and working to prevent it from receiving tax benefits it does not deserve.