Goal 18: Increase Diversion: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Goal Description: 

Increase diversion of solid waste generated by Jefferson County sent to local landfills from 49% in 2012 to 90% by 2042 at a rate of 7% every five years.

Update / Why is this important?: 


Recycling and resource recovery, through compost and reuse efforts, help conserve landfill space and reduce the demand for raw materials, thus helping to conserve our natural resources. Incremental targets have been set to better assess the progress of this very long term goal.

Health Legend

Goal or initiative is completed.
Goal or initiative is not started but is expected to start on time.
Goal or initiative is in progress, on schedule, and expected to be completed on time.
Goal or initiative is not started and is overdue or goal or initiative is in progress, but behind schedule and has an issue that will affect completion date.
Goal or initiative is in progress, but behind schedule and has an issue that may affect completion date.

Initiative Health: What are we doing to accomplish this?

Community Stakeholders and consultants are working together to develop strategies and set goals for improving and sustaining an integrated solid waste management system.

  • Current State: Consultant group hired, stakeholders identified, and a three phase process has been initiated.
  • Phase 1: Waste Characterization: What is currently going into the landfill(s) that can be recovered; sampling is scheduled to take place in February and April.
  • Phase 2: Collection System Evaluation: How is the waste collected and processed?     Consultants and community stakeholders have met to solicit information on the current collection system. Next Steps: Compare current regulatory framework  with alternatives and perform a cost of services analysis.
  • Phase 3: Develop Solid Waste Master Plan: Establish best practice and develop a roll out schedule. Reviewed plan with community stakeholders and solicited ideas about opportunities and challenges. Next Steps: Gather information from Phases 1 and 2 to complete a review of the full collection system; identify key performance metrics, and develop master plan recommendations.

While much has been done in the area of recycling, we intend to use the results from the research and development initiative to set a strategy for accomplishing the goal. (Three month lag, metric update will be available March 2016)

  • Completed three year partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies focusing on recycling which included 23 different recycling initiatives spanning residential, commercial and construction and demolition sectors.
  • In October 2015, a partnership was established with Coca Cola in an effort to increase curbside recycling.
  • Next Steps: Develop a pilot residential Wet-Dry Recycling Program to be launched in early 2016.

Similar to increasing reuse, reducing solid waste gets little attention. Reducing production of solid waste has traditionally occurred in the manufacturing of new goods and packaging. The 10 Year Feasibility Study will provide more direction and insight about developing action steps to address this challenge.

A team of industry leaders is being convened to focus on strategies for increasing reuse.

  • Stakeholders have been identified and contacted.
  • Host a kick-off meeting to introduce the Collective Impact Model to the team and set strategies to accomplish the goal.
  • Next Step: Committee will develop long and short term projects to increase reuse of materials in Louisville/Jefferson County.
  •  A committee was formed to research possible alternative use for construction and      demolition materials.
  • A waste characterization study was conducted to identify possible materials for     alternative use and recycling.