How Atlanta is targeting the residential, commercial and tourist sectors to be sustainable

March 11,2016

One of the most iconic statues in Atlanta sits in the city’s Woodruff Park and depicts a woman with outstretched arms raising a phoenix skyward. The artwork symbolizes Atlanta’s rebirth after the Civil War to become a major international city. But in many ways, a bird on the verge of flight is also an apt symbol for Atlanta recycling.

In 2012, Mayor Kasim Reed announced a 90 percent diversion goal as part of a larger commitment to help make Atlanta a top-tier city in terms of sustainability. Power to Change, the city’s action plan to achieve that vision, identified 300 stakeholders that could work together within 10 impact areas. It’s clear waste diversion has a place at the table: One of the identified impact areas is materials management and recycling.

So how can this major Southeast metropolis move from plan to action on recycling issues? In short, the strategy is to appropriate attention to the multitude of different types of waste generators in the city. Less than half a million people live within the city limits, but the Atlanta metropolitan area has more than 5.5 million residents and an estimated 331,450 commute in for work daily.

Furthermore, 44 million visit Atlanta each year, according to the Atlanta Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.This article describes how a variety of partners are working together to target all the necessary segments of waste generation to
progress toward Atlanta’s lofty goals.