- Orlando, FL-based MSW Consultants, Seattle-based Cascadia Consulting Group, and Alameda, CA-based Abbe & Associates have been contracted by the Louisville Department of Public Works to create a 10-year Solid Waste Master Plan and help the city and Jefferson County reach its 90% diversion goal by 2042, according to Waste360.
- The $350,000 project will involve three phases: a waste characterization study to identify what waste Jefferson County is generating and to quantify diversion options; examination of residential and commercial waste and recycling collection systems, focusing on policies and cost and efficiency of services; and the actual development of the 10-year plan.
- Stakeholders who may be called on for input to help shape the region's waste management system include city and county departments, private haulers, recycling and disposal centers, outlets of used materials, schools, and businesses.
This is the first time Jefferson County has dug in this deep to assess the solid waste management landscape and then decide how to move forward. The looming goal of 90% diversion was an impetus to make the multi-hundred thousand dollar investment to make this proactive move.
"We haven't done a waste characterization in Jefferson County before, so it is kind of hard to come to a solution or help meet our 90% goal of diversion by 2042 without actually knowing what we’re dealing with. So I think it was just time that we really had to get a handle on the waste," said Angela Futter, public education coordinator for the Louisville Department of Public Works, to Waste360.
Involving multiple players is key to coming up with a comprehensive plan.
"We really … [wanted to get] every sector of the community involved in this from the very beginning, because we know that it is going to take the support and the cooperation and the belief and understanding from everyone to make something work," she said "And when I say 'something,' I don’t know what that something is going to be yet."
Beginning in unchartered waters on the way to developing a comprehensive plan that guides solid waste management for the next decade will mean being very calculated—from creating an inventory of the current system, to establishing metrics to monitor system performance, to ultimately creating specific best practices. Though the multi-stakeholder piece is their most important navigation tool, figures Futter.
"That’s really the way you have to look at solid waste. It affects everyone, and everybody has a role in it," she said to Waste360.
The findings from the first two study phases will be introduced this summer at which time possible solutions will be discussed. The new project is in line with the Louisville Metro region’s concentrated effort lately to try and independently ensure its own waste management direction.