Zero Waste Day

On October 27, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) and its partners will celebrate Tennessee’s inaugural Zero Waste Day. The event aims to raise awareness about waste in Tennessee and educate citizens on actions they can take to reduce it. TDEC and several local and regional partners including the Tennessee Department of Transportation, the Tennessee Environmental Council, the Southeast Recycling Development Council, and the Tennessee Recycling Coalition are challenging Tennesseans to improve their waste habits.

In 2018, Tennesseans produced 8.1 million tons of waste, which amounted to 6.56 pounds of waste generated per person each day. This is 31.7% more waste generated per person each day than the national average of 4.51 pounds of waste per person per day.

On Zero Waste Day, TDEC and its partners are encouraging citizens to participate in challenges that support each of the following five waste reduction actions:

·         Re-think – adjust your behavior as a consumer and make purchasing choices that limit your impact on the environment

·         Reduce – be mindful of unnecessary and wasteful items and learn to live without them

·         Reuse – give possessions a second life through creative reuse, repurposing, or donation

·         Recycle – use existing products to create new ones and reduce dependence on virgin materials and associated natural resource impacts

·         Re-Earth – compost your organics to divert the single largest waste stream from landfills

Challenge participation will open up on October 27, 2021. Participants will have the full day to complete waste reduction challenges in support of Zero Waste Day.  Zero Waste Day is a way for Tennesseans to either take their first steps toward zero waste, or share their pro-tips for becoming zero waste, while encouraging others to do the same.

How to participate:

  • Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and/or Re-Earth your waste
  • Take a photo of yourself going zero waste with your zero waste tip in the caption
  • Post the photo on Instagram or Facebook using the hashtags #LetsGoZeroWasteTN #ZeroWasteDayTN and tag @TNSustainability (FB) or @theStateofSustainability (IG)


Winners will be announced the week of November 2nd.

To learn more about TDEC’s Zero Waste Day, follow @TNSustainability on Facebook, @thestateofsustainability on Instagram.

If you are interested in learning more about how you can go Zero Waste, visit our Consumer's Guide to Zero Waste