How To Get There > Zero Waste goals & plans > Zero Waste Goal: Carrboro, North Carolina, USA

Zero Waste Goal: Carrboro, North Carolina, USA

Carrboro, North Carolina

In 1998 the Town of Carrboro passed a resolution to create a Zero Waste plan. A 2002 town report recommends appropriate short-term steps Carrboro could take to begin Zero Waste practices.

Action(s) Taken

  • Zero Waste goals & plans



Year Enacted



In 1998 the Town of Carrboro became the first community in North Carolina to pass a resolution for a Zero Waste plan.

The Board of Aldermen instructed staff to study and make recommendations on appropriate steps to move toward Zero Waste, such as reducing solid waste, increasing recycling, identifying and attracting businesses that use local waste products as raw materials, and supporting national efforts toward Zero Waste.

Overview of the Zero Waste Plan

The 2002 report titled “Toward Zero Waste: Strategies for Carrboro” offers policy and program recommendations for moving the town toward Zero Waste. The report acknowledges that some of the recommendations may require the commitment of substantial resources over time.

The list of recommended actions (below) is intended for the short-term to lay the foundation for future progress.

  • Lead by example with a waste reduction policy for all Town operations and by practicing deconstruction instead of demolition for Town projects. Create a “buy recycled” policy for Town purchasing to help support recycling markets.
  • Focus community education efforts on source reduction through buying in bulk, reusing materials, non-toxic cleaners, xeriscaping and backyard composting.
  • Work with the county and local food service businesses to first increase food donation programs and then increase composting of unusable food.
  • Increase education, promotion and technical assistance programs to the underserved business community and explore recycling incentives, disposal bans and mandatory recycling ordinances to increase commercial recycling.
  • Adopt the county’s recycling ordinance for construction materials and require all new buildings to provide ample space for recycling facilities.

Collaborate with Orange County to expand the existing collection, processing, and marketing infrastructure for recycling, and explore the potential for incentives and other targeted business development to recruit recycling-based businesses to the area.

Additional Information

While it does not directly address the Zero Waste resolution, the town’s “Carrboro Vision 2020” includes a section on solid waste. It states that “The town should aim to recycle all solid waste as a ‘No Waste’ community, and should devise strategies to minimize landfill waste.”


Town of Carrboro Report: “Toward Zero Waste”: (includes 1998 resolution in the Appendix)

Carrboro Vision 2020

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