The Big Picture
SMMP Credit: Advanced Comprehensive Sustainable Materials Management Policy
(2 Points, Reciprocal)
This credit aims to promote and provide environmental stewardship that includes the highest and best use of available materials to reduce overall generation of waste. This policy is intended to set a high bar for material management.
Effective SMMP policy aims to establish a clear statement of waste reduction goals for the company, minimize the generation of waste at the source, improve management practices for landfill operations, and plan employee education or information programs. Furthermore, the lack of proper waste management and materials use can have disastrous consequences on both the environment and public image, indicating the stark necessity of proper SMMP policies.
To meet this requirement, SSMP documentation showing policy elements including: disposal material bans, mutual aid agreements, etc. must be submitted.
Case Study and Benefits
Boulder, Colorado’s 2015 Universal Zero Waste Ordinance is a great example of how this policy can have positive and near immediate impacts on the prevention of waste generation as well as post collection recovery. This ordinance required property owners to provide compost bins to their tenants and all businesses to have containers especially for composting. Under the plan, the city’s diversion rate has increased from 32% in 2014 to 57% in 2018.
Intent and Requirements
To adopt policies and programs to promote environmental stewardship, including highest and best use of materials, to reduce overall generation of waste.
Local Government and Industry Requirements:
Implement the requirements of SMMP Prerequisite 1 and adopt additional policy elements that cover most/all of the following, as applicable to the Local Government or Company:
- Regular collection of waste characterization and volume/weight data
- Measure and or calculate vehicle, disposal, and processing emissions (greenhouse gas, and criteria air pollutants) of each of the three major programs: trash, recycling, and compost.
- Collection and treatment of organics
- Energy efficiency and contamination standards for material recovery facilities (MRFs)
- Research, Development & Deployment (RD&D) incentive and education program for advanced sustainable material management technology and products for recovered materials
- Disposal material ban(s)
- Mutual Aid Agreements that require a sustainable materials management plan for disaster debris management on the part of included agencies
Why We Care
By promoting environmental stewardship, each person who interacts with and impacts the environment around them feels a sense of responsibility for the environmental quality. Need for environmental stewardship is needed around the world, as we continue to damage and disrupt our ecosystems without being held personally responsible. SMMP Credit: Advanced Comprehensive Sustainable Materials Management Policy aims to adopt programs and policies to promote environmental stewardship, including highest and best use of materials, to reduce overall generation of waste.
To achieve this credit, local governments/businesses must evaluate different data collection options for regular waste characterization studies, develop an organics processing strategy, and determine precedents for banning certain materials from disposal. Austin, Texas, Boulder, Colorado, and The State of Vermont have all implemented some of these aspects with great success. These cities have implemented waste characterization data collection, publication of emission calculations, and disposal material bans, key steps towards receiving this credit.
By promoting environmental stewardship, each person who interacts with and impacts the environment around them feels a sense of responsibility for the environmental quality. This responsible use of natural resources takes into account future society and future generations, as well as the needs of private entities. Need for environmental stewardship is needed around the world, as we continue to damage and disrupt our ecosystems without being held personally responsible.
How to Meet the Requirements
- Evaluate different data collection options for regular waste characterization studies.
- Develop an organics processing strategy.
- Determine feasibility, including cost, infrastructure, etc. and legal precedent for banning certain materials from disposal.
SMMP Document showing policy elements including: disposal material bans, mutual aid agreements, etc.
Case Studies & In-Depth Information
Practices required under this credit:
Regular collection of waste characterization and volume/weight data
Austin, Texas needed a way to collect accurate data on a mass scale following their 2012 Universal Recycling Ordinance. Using Re-TRAC Connect as a data collection platform saved the city and residents time, money, and energy. While Austin previously used text-based data dumped into an Excel sheet, Re-TRAC created a system for 30,000 property owners with over 100 data fields. Read the full report here.
Measure and or calculate vehicle, disposal, and processing emissions (greenhouse gas, and criteria air pollutants) of each of the three major programs: trash, recycling, and compost
Boulder, Colorado, publicizes their “Greenhouse Gas Emissions From City Operations and Facilities,” updating the page annually. This page gives absolute amounts of CO2 from sources ranging from city buildings (~8,700 MTCO2e) to solid waste (~190 MTCO2e) and shows trends of the sources that make up the biggest shares of city emissions. Check out the page here.
Collection and treatment of organics
Boulder also included requirements in their 2015 Universal Zero Waste Ordinance that required property owners to provide compost bins to their tenants and all businesses (not just dining establishments) to have containers especially for composting. Under the plan, the city’s diversion rate has increased from 32% in 2014 to 57% in 2018. To view the city ordinance summary, click here. To view the city manager’s rules on the ordinance (and penalties for violations), click here.
Disposal material ban(s)
The State of Vermont bans recyclables, organics, and hazardous materials from landfill disposal. While residents of the Green Mountain State are restricted from disposing of these materials through the usual avenues, they can drop off these materials at other locations. The bans coupled with other recycling rules are expected to increase the state’s diversion rate from 35% to 60% if residents fully comply. View the list of items here, and more information here.
Criteria Air Pollutants (defined in credit)
Idaho Department of Environmental Quality Definition: The criteria pollutants are carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, particulate matter, and sulfur dioxide. Criteria pollutants are the only air pollutants with national air quality standards that define allowable concentrations of these substances in ambient air.
Mutual Aid Agreements
FEMA Definition– “Mutual aid agreements establish the terms under which one party provides resources—personnel, teams, facilities, equipment, and supplies—to another party. Because most jurisdictions do not maintain sufficient resource levels to handle extreme events independently, mutual aid agreements provide a means for jurisdictions to augment their resources when needed for high demand incidents.”
Research, Development & Deployment (RD&D)
Investopedia Definition of “R&D”: Research and development (R&D) includes activities that companies undertake to innovate and introduce new products and services.
Sustainable Material Management: (Refer to previous credit for same definition)
EPA Definition– “Sustainable materials management (SMM) is a systemic approach to using and reusing materials more productively over their entire life cycles. It represents a change in how our society thinks about the use of natural resources and environmental protection. By looking at a product’s entire life cycle, we can find new opportunities to reduce environmental impacts, conserve resources and reduce costs.”