DC's Zero Waste Omnibus Act passed unanimously and has been signed into law by Mayor Bowser. This legislation is unprecedented in the district and adds onto previous efforts to ensure DC becomes waste free.
More specifically, while recycling in the District of Columbia (“D.C.”) has increased from 20 to 30 percent recently, the city faces serious problems with solid waste and recycling. D.C. has no composting guidelines or programs, sends 77 percent of solid waste to landfills, and continues to incinerate trash, impacting public health and the environment.
Proper recycling and composting procedures benefit natural resources and help fight climate change, while saving taxpayer dollars and providing jobs for underskilled and underemployed workers.
The Zero Waste Omnibus Act directs DC to:
Provide better composting and recycling infrastructure;
Enhance the recycling process;
Advance efforts to reduce contamination in recyclables and compostables;
Require all delivery applications in the district such as UberEats and DoorDash to have an option for customers to request only the specific utensils they need; and
Establish a reuse and donation program to reduce waste in landfills and incinerators.
Many of Surfrider DC's members sent emails to their City Council Members urging them to pass this bill. Additionally, Surfrider DC's chair met with City Council Members to inform them about the bill and how it would benefit the DC community.