Systems Planning

Responsible Resource Use

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Responsible Resource Use Goal 

Produce zero waste and optimize the use and reuse of resources in our community

How are we doing?

​Ann Arbor set a target to increase citywide waste diversion to 40% by 2017. This target was met in 2013. The U.S. EPA has recognized Ann Arbor as one of the top recycling and composting communities in the country for having such a high recovery rate. 

In 2013, the ​Ann Arbor City Council adopted the Waste Less: Solid Waste Resource Plan Update that identifies recommendations to move towards the goal of zero waste. In 2014, the City of Ann Arbor expanded its curbside compost collection service to include plate scrapings. In 2015, Ann Arbor City Council approved funding to conduct a comprehensive organics management plan. Ann Arbor's Climate Action Plan also highlights 23 different actions to achieve more responsible resource use in the community, including reducing packaging waste and facilitating zero waste events. ​​​​

What are the indicators?

Percent ​Waste Diverted

Accounting for residulas, 27% of the Ann Arbor waste stream was diverted from the landfill, either composted or recycled, in 2014. The remaining franchised and unfranchised waste ended up in the landfill. There is a City wide target of 40% diverted by 2017.

Source: City of Ann Arbor 

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Recycling Collection                     

In 2015, almost 90% of National Citizen SurveyTM respondents rated recycling collection in Ann Arbor positively. While this rating has remained steady, Ann Arbor has dropped from being "much higher" to "similar" compared with national benchmarks.  ​​ 

Source: National Citizen SurveyTM



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What way cool projects are underway?

Waste Less: Solid Waste Resource Plan

  • City Council approved the Waste Less: Solid Waste Resource Plan on Oct. 7, 2013. The plan was developed by City of Ann Arbor staff and community advisors. The plan identifies strategies to work towards zero waste. Recycle Ann Arbor recently received a $19,500 grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to expand zero waste events in Ann Arbor.  

Expanded Curbside Compost Collection

  • Ann Arbor's seasonal compost collection program runs between April and December each year.  In 2014, Ann Arbor expanded the compost collection program to accept more materials, such as plate scrapings (including meat and bones). Compost carts are an optional container are managed by the City of Ann Arbor. The carts are available for purchase and pickup at the City Hall Customer Service Center, 301 E. Huron Street.

Multi-Family Recycling Pilot

  • The City of Ann Arbor is working with Recycle Ann Arbor on a pilot to increase recycling rates in multi-family rental properties.


  • Ann Arbor completed a biodigester feasibility study in 2014. A biodigester project was added to the City's capital improvement plan. The City is currently looking into the appropriate scale for a community biodigester.

Organics Management Plan

  • ​​In May 2015, Ann Arbor City Council allocated $100,000 to develop a comprehensive organics management plan by December 1, 2015.



Where are we now?
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​Poor​Not Assessed
Where are we going?​ ​
​Getting Better​Stable
​Getting Worse​Unknown