ZERO by FIFTY Progress 

ZERO by FIFTY is a community-wide effort involving everyone who lives, works, and plays in Missoula. Everyone has a role in it. The City will be required to develop transparent systems with clear lines of accountability to track progress toward targets and evaluate program efficacy.

Metrics & Tracking

The most essential tool to measure progress will be an effective methodology for tracking disposal and diversion activities. Several methodologies exist; the City of Missoula will need to select the ones that work best to meet the demands of evaluation and the particulars of Missoula’s waste sector. Creating a foundation for comprehensive tracking of disposal and diversion activities will require cooperation from haulers and materials handling facilities. Missoula could explore hauler franchise agreements, hauler permits, or business licenses that require metrics tracking and reporting as a method to obtain the necessary data. From there, additional systems to quantify participation in Zero Waste programs and services, efficacy of education and outreach programs, and other ZERO by FIFTY strategies can be developed.

Development, monitoring, coordination, and adjustment of metrics tracking systems would fall under the responsibilities of the Zero Waste staff member. Landfill disposal data will be the cornerstone for evaluating progress toward ZERO by FIFTY targets.

Sector-based tracking can be helpful to monitor sector-specific reductions from the baseline in MSW generation. Sectors include single-family residential, multi-family residential, institutional, commercial, and industrial sources. This information will help inform policy developments, education, outreach, and other programs and initiatives. The data collected through these efforts can also inform community greenhouse gas emissions calculations in support of goals outlined in the City of Missoula Conservation and Climate Action Plan and the Missoula Community Climate Smart Action Plan v1.0.

Evaluation & Communication

Metrics will provide the data necessary to evaluate the efficacy of ZERO by FIFTY actions. Evaluation will also dovetail with community outreach and provide the opportunity for transparency in public engagement around ZERO by FIFTY progress. Details including shifts in per-capita MSW generation, quantities of materials composted and recycled, and quantities of materials diverted for reuse will help Missoulians understand the impacts of programs and policies and the impacts of their actions as participants in ZERO by FIFTY. The Zero Waste staff member will use online resources and social media to engage the community with information relevant to this initiative.

[excerpt from ZERO by FIFTY: Missoula’s Pathway to Zero Waste plan]