The Zero Waste Challenge was part of the NYC Mayor’s OneNYC commitment to send zero waste to landfill by 2030. In it’s inaugural year, 31 businesses across all five boroughs participated to help reduce waste, where RTS client, Whole Foods Market, committed to divert at least 50 percent of its waste from landfill and incineration within five months.

RTS Solution

Compliance Education and Training

RTS’s team of TRUE Advisors worked in partnership with back of the house teams on site to integrate solutions that would allow for optimal waste stream sorting, such as signage, compliance requirements and bin placement.

Diversion Reporting

Since diversion tracking was an essential part of the challenge, RTS’s tracking system was able to confirm recyclables and organics reached the proper facilities and report back on diversion efforts. RTS also provided insight when material streams may have been contaminated to improve internal processes to increase diversion.

On-Demand Support

In addition to scheduled services, RTS provided on-demand pickups for unanticipated material that had an opportunity to be recycled and further diversion efforts.

RTS Solution

Optimize Route Logistics

RTS established real-time communications between its drivers and the building operations team, which removed guess work around truck arrival and delivery completion times. Confirmation of truck arrival gave on-site staff early notification to clear the dock space and prepare materials for removal, allowing the driver and the on-site staff to reduce pickup times. Over time, routing optimization resulted in better allocation of resources and more effective staffing plans.

Consolidate and Measure Recycling Data

RTS software provided historical waste collection data, giving operations accurate information and new insight into what material was being removed and where it was being delivered. This process ultimately increased efficiency in the building’s waste and recycling streams and eliminated unwarranted service pickups.

Customize Sorting Options

To simplify the process for collecting organic materials, RTS provided specific containers for food waste and dispatched trucks dedicated to organic waste removal. Based upon RTS relationships with best practice partners, including local area haulers, recycling facilities and organics waste processing facilities, food waste was diverted away from landfills and sent to appropriate facilities.


Diversion Rate

Increased the diversion rate by nearly 10 percent, getting Whole Foods to more than 50 percent diversion.

“Working with RTS to incorporate their innovative solutions into our process for organics and waste diversion has helped us achieve new waste removal goals. Even though the challenge ended, together with RTS, we will continue to commit to reducing more waste each day.”

– Whole Foods Market Green Mission Specialist