Taught by Ruth Abbe, this class builds on the popular Introduction to Zero Waste class taught in November 2016 in Frederick County. We will cover the physical infrastructure and social infrastructure of Zero Waste with a special focus on resource recovery parks. The resource recovery park concept has been evolving naturally at landfills and transfer stations across the country. These facilities provide reuse and recycling opportunities for all 12 market categories of materials and co-location of reuse, recycling, compost processing, manufacturing, and retail businesses in a central facility.
The individual functions of a resource recovery park can be decentralized and located throughout a community. This is referred to as a “serial MRF.” We will profile example resource recovery parks and serial MRFs and identify opportunities for local development. Using Montgomery County as an example, we will evaluate the existing physical infrastructure and social infrastructure for Zero Waste and identify the local service voids. We will then discuss opportunities for moving forward to pursue Zero Waste in Montgomery County and throughout Maryland.