Frequently Asked Questions

What is SWEEP?

  • SWEEP stands for “Solid Waste Environmental Excellence Protocol”.
  • SWEEP (Solid Waste Environmental Excellence Protocol) is a market transformation standard targeting municipalities & waste management service providers that will identify and reward leaders in Sustainable Materials Management. SWEEP also defines a roadmap to evaluate comprehensive policies and calculate achievement metrics, as well as provides performance benchmarks for sustainable waste collection, recovery and disposal practices and technologies.


What are the Vision and Mission of SWEEP?

  • SWEEP Vision
    “A world without waste where materials are valued and continually utilized for their highest and best purpose, without causing harm to human health and the environment.”
  • SWEEP Mission
    “To promote continuous improvement toward a zero waste society that is environmentally restorative, economically productive, socially just, and to recognize and reward municipal and industry leadership in sustainable materials management.”


Why is SWEEP being developed?

  • In spite of stagnant performance in the industry there is a strong and growing interest in the lifecycle of sustainable materials management.
  • There are no universally accepted standards, protocols or definitions governing municipal and waste management industry performance for sustainable materials management for MSW.
  • Voluntary standards, such as LEED, have led to profound positive transformations of the industries that adopt them.


Who will be rated/covered by SWEEP?

  • Initially, two complementary SWEEP standards will comprehensively address sustainable materials management performance of
    • Municipal solid waste programs and,
    • The waste management service providers that support these programs.


How is SWEEP being developed?

  • The SWEEP Steering Committee will issue draft language that will be commented on and/or modified by experts and crowdsourced intelligence through an online wiki platform.
  • As the standard develops and the participating community grows, additional technical and market committees will be introduced.


What is the structure and what are the requirements of SWEEP?

The current proposed structure is as follows:

    1. Sustainable Materials Management Policy

KPIs in

      • Efficiency/Effectiveness (Regulatory Compliance)
      • Regulatory/Policy Ambition at Municipal & Company Level
      • Public Participation/Engagement
    1. Waste Generation and Prevention
    2. Collection
    3. Post Collection Processing and Disposal

KPIs in:

    • Efficiency/Effectiveness
    • Environmental Performance;
    • Economic Performance;
    • Working Conditions/Social Impact
    • Public Participation/Engagement


How can I get involved?

  • We are beginning the process of forming several new committees:
    • Market Committees: Municipalities and Solid Waste Industry
    • Performance Category Committees:
      • Sustainable Materials Management
      • Waste Generation & Prevention
      • Collection
      • Post-Collection Processing and Disposal
    • KPI Categories (listed above)
  • Go to the SWEEP website: and send us a statement of interest that includes some basic biographical information on your background and how you would like to participate.
  • Write us at:
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