ILSR’s U.S. EPA-Sponsored Waste Reduction Project

ILSR’s Waste Reduction Record-Setters project (1996-2000), funded under an U.S. EPA grant, identified and documented record-setting waste reduction programs in the public and private sectors. The project identified 100 communities and nearly 200 businesses, institutions, and other organizations reporting waste reduction — the combination of waste prevention and recycling — rates at 50 percent or higher. In fact, some are reducing their municipal solid waste by as much as 85 or 90 percent. What makes these programs so successful? At what cost? What role to waste prevention, reuse, and composting play? What can other communities, governments, and organizations — and the nation as a whole — learn from these record-setters?

To answer these questions, ILSR wrote a series of publications, published by the U.S. EPA. The following resources highlight model programs, costs, benefits, and tips for replication.

Waste Reduction Record-Setters Program Profiles November 1998 View online

Features more than 50 examples of cutting-edge recycling programs.

Cutting the Waste Stream in Half: Community Record-Setters Show How by Brenda Platt and Kelly Lease 1999171-page report, EPA-530-R-99-013- Download PDF file fact sheet packet , EPA-530-F-99-017- Download PDF file

This report and fact sheet packet of the same title feature 18 cities and counties recovering 40 to 65% of their residential waste. They profile each community’s program, drivers for waste reduction levels, materials accepted, set-out and collection methods, and equipment and operating costs. The fact sheet packet summarizes and complements the full report. Essential reading on cost-effective recycling.

Building Savings: Strategies for Waste Reduction of Debris from Buildings by Kelly Lease, Mark Jackson, and Brenda Platt 2000, fact sheet packet (20 pages)EPA-530-F-00-001 Download PDF file

This fact sheet packet profiles seven building projects-from new construction to renovation and deconstruction-that are recovering 42 to 82% of materials otherwise destined for disposal. Policymakers wanting to encourage building material recovery, building owners and developers interested in green building design, and contractors seeking a competitive edge will find this document useful.

Complex Recycling Issues: Strategies for Record-Setting Waste Reduction in Multi-Family Dwellings by Kelly Lease, Brenda Platt, and Joanne Goodwin 1999, fact sheet packet (26 pages)EPA-530-F-99-022 View online

Multi-family buildings are often overlooked when communities offer their residents recycling services. This fact sheet packet features four model apartment buildings and complexes, from garden apartments to high-rises, that are recycling between 20 and 65% of their discarded materials. Also profiled are five communities that provide recycling service to their multi-family dwelling sector.

Don’t Throw Away That Food: Strategies for Record-Setting Waste Reduction by Brenda Platt and Joanne Goodwin 1998, fact sheet packet (24 pages)EPA-530-F-98-023 View online

A growing number of food-related businesses are diverting their food discards to useful purposes in place of the dump. This fact sheet packet documents nine programs with record-setting food recovery levels, from a hospital and prison to an urban produce market and supermarkets. The packet includes tips for solid waste planners and resources for more information.