Strategy #7 - Materials


This performance area intends to control material flows through a district by encouraging the use of local and regional materials, resource sharing, choosing materials responsibly and eliminating the generation of waste. The goal is to reduce material consumption at every opportunity and to change the way products move in and out of neighborhoods, capturing as much value from each material as possible. Intentional material flows maximize the full potential of each material and minimize the negative impacts of waste generation. We will collaborate with the community, public services, businesses, and trades on best management practices and support the community through education while encouraging participation throughout the process. This performance area recognizes that there are opportunities to rethink the definition of “waste” and create more intentional material flows.


Optimize materials management.


  1. Optimize material reuse and salvage reclaimed materials for reuse that could also contribute character
  2. Encourage the use of locally and regionally manufactured products or parts to support local businesses and reduce heavy transportation costs and the associated pollution
  3. Encourage resource sharing such as parking lot shares, car shares and bike shares to lessen costs, reduce waste and save valuable space
  4. Minimize use of virgin materials and minimize toxic chemicals in new products, encourage using green products
  5. Eliminate practices that produce waste wherever possible
  6. Where opportunities for waste prevention are limited, maximize use of products made with recycled content
  7. Capture greatest residual value of organic wastes (including food) through energy recovery and/or composting


Restaurant Composting and Recycling

This project is made possible by a grant from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control for a pilot project in the EcoDistrict intended to divert food waste from being landfilled and direct it toward donation and composting instead.  The project will provide resources and training to help Upper Peninsula Initiative restaurants initiate food waste composting programs, and will also provide resources to help further their recycling programs.  The grant is in collaboration with Charleston County Environmental Management.  Metrics relating to quantity of food waste diverted from the landfill and cost analysis data will be made available.  It is hopeful the results of this pilot project will bring greater awareness to reducing food waste in the landfill and will benefit all restaurants and citizens in the Charleston region who are interested in streamlining their waste.  More information about this project can be found here:

Selecting Sustainable Materials

In partnership with our Urban Agriculture task force, our July 2016 monthly gathering event showcased a hands-on workshop to “build your own raised bed”, ideal for vegetable growing.   The event took place at Perrin Woodworking, a local business in an authentic warehouse in the Upper Peninsula, who were able to acquire sustainably sourced wood for this workshop.  The experts at Perrin Woodworking partnered with the pros at The Green Heart Project to lead the workshop. More details and pictures from the event can be found on the Facebook event page.

Incorporating the use of sustainably sourced regional materials for new building construction is encouraged and incentivized in the new Upper Peninsula Zoning District as part of the Charleston RISES building certification program thanks to efforts from this group of stakeholders.

Waste Diversion at Construction Sites

Our group is updating a waste diversion brochure originally produced by the Green Business Challenge to share contacts of organizations who may collect byproducts of construction such as used wood pieces, old appliances, glass etc. to be reused or recycled.