WGP Prerequisite 1: Measuring and Calculating Waste Generation, Recovery and Disposal (Required)



Develop an understanding of waste generation and characteristics as a good foundation for public policy making or business strategy and program implementation for measuring macro and micro progress towards achieving sustainable materials management objectives.

Local Government and Industry Requirements:

Based on the SMMP Performance Path (SMMP Credit 1) or Prescriptive Path (other applicable SMMP credits pursued), the Local Government or Company should estimate, calculate or measure the generation of municipal solid waste, including, as appropriate, construction and demolition (C&D) waste within the boundaries of the Local Government’s jurisdiction or the Company’s service area by the Residential and Nonresidential (i.e. multifamily, commercial and non-hazardous industrial premises) sectors.

The Local Government or the Company servicing the community should report total aggregated annual tonnage of all generated and collected materials within the boundaries of the jurisdiction including mixed waste, recycling (including contamination), green waste, and C&D as weighed on certified scales, or the equivalent, at the final destination of the material. Total waste imports should be measured/quantified separately but should not be included in the calculation of waste generation within the Local Government jurisdiction or Company’s service area.

The Local Government and Company must collect data on how their waste is ultimately disposed of. This includes noting the type of facility the waste is disposed at, naming the specific facilities in use, and categorizing how much of the recycling stream is being diverted or sent to disposal.

 Potential Strategies:

●      Companies are only responsible for measuring or calculating materials that they handle through collection, processing or disposal. Companies can focus their analysis only on their services within the jurisdiction seeking certification or within the geographical service area, which could be applied to multiple jurisdictions.

●      Local Governments should conduct, or private Companies should utilize or support the development of, a recent baseline study of waste generation and characterization in the Local Government jurisdiction or Company’s service area including total quantity and composition, by residential and nonresidential sector. Update this information on a 5 to 10-year basis.

●      Encourage or require solid waste haulers (i.e., service providers of waste collection) to conduct studies of collected materials by sector on a regular basis.

●      Conduct or support the development of regular (as defined in SMMP Credit 4) studies or surveys of major waste generators and/or haulers to estimate the total amount of waste by type generated in the Local Government jurisdiction or Company’s service area. Typically, the top 30% of individual sources generate upwards of 70% of all waste in that sector.

●      Encourage or require transfer stations and material recovery facilities to conduct studies of received materials, any recovery, and residual disposition.

●      For C&D associated with permitted projects, generation may be calculated based on lbs. per sq. ft.

●      If field data are not available, use default waste generation and characterization values in the SWEEP+ Certification Manual to estimate waste generation and characterization.

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