University and Community Collaborators:
Rural Action; Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs
The Appalachia Ohio Zero Waste Initiative (AOZWI) is a comprehensive collaboration within Southeast Ohio that is turning waste into resources and changing the way the region thinks about waste. Since the Sugar Bush Foundation’s incubation of the AOZWI in 2010, recycling rates in Athens and Hocking Counties have doubled. The feasibility study that AOZWI conducted led to the building of the new Athens Hocking Recycling Center, which now employs over 30 people. Rural communities now have recycling drop-off sites and dump site cleanups. AOZWI formed Zero Waste Events, a small business that helps local event organizers sort the event waste, diverting over 90 percent to recycling and composting. The City of Athens and many local businesses have also taken the Zero Waste Action Pledge to improve recycling within their buildings. O'Bleness Hospital took the Zero Waste Pledge and has now published a five-year sustainability plan.
Waste not, ohio today Spring 2016
Funding period: 2010/2011 — 2018/19
Funding to date: $1,264,964