In 2009, one of the nation’s and the Southeast’s first Zero Waste Zone programs launched in downtown Atlanta. In connection with the initiative’s success, the National Restaurant Association and Waste Management are announcing new related actions today.

Zero Waste Zones (ZWZ) promote the recycling of commercial waste into reusable products, and teach businesses about the importance of diverting assets destined for landfills back into the production cycle.

Zero Waste Zone Goes National with the National Restaurant Association

The National Restaurant Association, founded in 1919, represents an industry of more than 960,000 restaurants and 13 million employees, as well as suppliers, educators and non-profits. One of the primary goals of the Association is to provide valuable resources to help its members stay ahead in a fast-paced industry. The National Restaurant Association also is focused on sustainability, and its Conserve initiative, which is in part funded by the Turner Foundation, is designed to inspire actions that improve a company's bottom line, and are good for people and the planet.

Inspired by ZWZ success, the National Restaurant Association announces a national collaboration with Ei and ZWZ. The collaboration will identify new best practices, create resources and measure the impact of perishable organics waste management and recycling efforts.

“Atlanta’s Zero Waste Zone program has been greatly successful, and we are now looking to expand that success to communities nationwide,” said Scott DeFife, executive vice president for policy and government affairs, the National Restaurant Association. “Sustainability is imperative to our industry, other business communities and the general public. Working with Elemental Impact, we are bringing industry stakeholders together to enable our members to establish - and succeed in reaching - waste diversion and resource recovery goals.”

Waste Management Explores New Service in Community with ZWZ Focus

Waste Management, the leading provider of comprehensive waste management and recycling services in North America, announces today that the company will begin exploring the initiation of a post-consumer organics materials solution within Metro Atlanta. The ZWZ provided a framework for Atlanta to become a key location for the effort. By establishing a viable processing approach, the company will support the metro Atlanta market with increased options for beneficially converting organics.

“Development of a metro Atlanta solution for recycling organics fits with the company’s overall expansion into this arena in the South,” said Randall Essick, director of business development and government affairs for Waste Management’s three-state South Atlantic Area.
Atlanta Zero Waste Zone Expands

The ZWZ continues to grow and recently added new Atlanta members, including the City of Atlanta, The Woodruff Arts Center, the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Atlanta Community Food Bank. In addition, George McKerrow, co-owner of Ted’s Montana Grill with media mogul Ted Turner, expands their ZWZ commitment with the first multi-use building in Atlanta to begin implementing organics collection throughout the entire facility.

“The Zero Waste Zone’s second anniversary brings amazing new relationships that are staged to expand the environmental and economic impact across the nation within the foodservice industry and beyond,” said Holly Elmore, founder of Elemental Impact, home of ZWZ .