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Brent Perdue

University of Texas at Austin, MS
EREF Scholar 2015

Analysis of Municipal Landfill Diversion Ordinances

Project Description:
Brent’s research will analyze municipal landfill diversion ordinances utilizing case studies of large urban areas. The research aims to explain and explore existing landfill diversion ordinance development and examine successes and failures of landfill diversion ordinance case studies.

The world’s population is growing and society is increasingly urbanizing. As society urbanizes, waste can become an increasing burden – straining land resources, governmental budgets, and ecological systems. Yet, waste can be transformed into a resource – conserving land, creating economic development opportunities, and preserving ecological resources.

Waste is not inevitable. It is a mindset – and through innovative approaches this mindset can be shifted towards viewing waste as a resource. Discarded rubbish linearly destined for a landfill is potential material with alternate life cycles.

Many municipalities are grappling with issues of solid waste management out of budgetary, economic development, and/or environmental concern. Governmental regulatory environments and market conditions varies across metropolitan areas. No “one-size-fits-all” solid waste management solution exists. The research will focus on attempting to answer this question: What effect do municipal recycling ordinances have on landfill diversion of recyclable and compostable materials?

Brent’s research will survey and compare several U.S. municipal landfill diversion ordinances. In addition, Brent will investigate international political and economic structures and policies that influence solid waste management in the context of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Brent grew up in Austin, Texas and attended the University of Texas at Austin. After receiving a double major Bachelor of Arts in History and Government, Brent worked for seven years as co-director of the nonprofit Ecology Action of Texas, a recycling service provider and environmental education organization. During his time at Ecology Action, Brent also served for four years on the City of Austin Zero Waste Advisory Commission – the City of Austin Resource Recovery Department’s citizen oversight board.

Brent is pursuing two master degrees at the University of Texas at Austin in the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the School of Architecture’s Community and Regional Planning program. Brent is interested in the relationship between cities, businesses, consumption, and zero waste planning and policy.

Research Publications:
Final Thesis
Agency Analysis Report
Curbside Organics Collection Policy Analysis
Landfill Diversion Policy Analysis
Reporte sobre la Recolección de los Residuos Sólidos por FUNDSAZURZA