CM: SMMP Credit- Comprehensive Sustainable Materials Management Lifecycle Analysis and Policy Program

The Big Picture

SMMP Credit: Comprehensive Sustainable Materials Management Lifecycle Analysis and Policy Program 

(10-19 Points, Non-Reciprocal)

 

Credit Summary

To ensure that materials are used more productively over their entire life cycles and divert materials away from landfills, municipal governments and businesses should implement a Comprehensive Sustainable Materials Management policy or equivalent initiative. This credit can be attained by implementing company wide policies, programs, materials use policies, or city ordinances.  

 

Impact Summary

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. 

 

Submittal Summary

Option 1:

Local Governments and Industry leaders should submit a copy of a comprehensive waste ordinance, policy, or programmatic evidence that the key aspects of Sustainable Materials Management described by the credit are implemented. Certifying entities should submit brief descriptions of their SMMP policies (including material use policies), programs, and/or city ordinances explaining the intention, and potential impact of said initiatives. 

 

Option 2:

Local Governments and Industry leaders should submit a copy one of the following:

  • A comprehensive waste ordinance. 
  • A Sustainable Materials Management use policy. 
  • A Sustainable Materials Management program. 
  • And/or a Sustainable Materials Management city ordinance. 

Any document which you choose to submit should explain the initiative’s intention and potential impact. 

 

Option 3:

         

UPLOAD

(one of the following documents)

Local Governments & Industry Leaders
  • A comprehensive waste ordinance. 
  • A Sustainable Materials Management use policy.
  • A Sustainable Materials Management program. 
  • And/or a Sustainable Materials Management city ordinance.

 

Case Study & Benefits

Fort Collins, Colorado was able to divert 50% of landfilled material by establishing programs that improved source reduction and by using the EPA Warm Tool to help establish additional steps to decrease waste and emissions. Fort Collins now has a long term Zero Waste Plan that would improve the social and economic aspects of the community while reducing waste to landfill. 

As seen below, the EPA lays out specific guidelines for decreasing the disposal rate (through source reduction, reuse, recycle, and prevention), reducing environmental impact of materials across their life cycles, increasing socio economic benefit, and increasing use of SMMP policies. The EPA focuses on three areas: the built environment, sustainable food management, and sustainable packing. These three points of focus have been adhered to by stakeholders like industry and local governments.

For more information, visit the Definitions, and Referenced Standards.

* The first reference of each defined term is highlighted. If a term appears more than once, it is not highlighted after its first reference.*

 

Intent and Requirements

Intent

Drive to the best environmental solutions for materials managed (generated, disposed, and processed) by local governments.

Local Government Requirements

Develop a plan where the program is designed to produce the highest and best environmental result based on life-cycle thinking principles. The comprehensive plan can be a Sustainable Materials Management (SMM), Zero Waste, Closed Loop, Circular Economy, or comparable plan.

Tier 1 (10 points)

Develop a comprehensive 10-year (at a minimum) SMM, Zero Waste, Closed Loop, Circular Economy, or comparable plan that includes provisions for periodic updates to reflect new opportunities or significant legislative changes.

  • Prepare a comprehensive Waste Characterization Study (WCS) for materials handled within the local government jurisdiction following the requirements of SMMP Credit 4: Regular Waste Characterization and Source Reduction Programs.
  • Conduct material-specific analysis for all material categories identified in the WCS that prioritizes policies and programs that provide the greatest environmental benefit. The analysis should assess environmental elements of the material categories, as well as social and economic elements of the material categories.
    • Minimally, the assessment 2 should include:
      • Evaluating and documenting
        •  All GHGs, Criteria Air Pollutants, Hazardous Air Pollutants, and Biogenic Emissions emitted from disposal facilities and sites
        • The number of people impacted within a given radius and the demographics and health disparities of the impacted population
        • Jobs generated
      • Evaluating and quantifying the externalized costs of
        • The health impacts of pollution on impacted communities
        • Environmental and social impacts disposal facilities and sites from air emissions
        • Production and disposal
      • Assessing social and economic components.
  • The Plan will list and propose actions for at least the top 10 materials that result in the largest environmental benefit, or improvement, based on the current version of the EPA WARM Model analysis using the methodology outlined in the Certification Manual.
  • The Plan will also require keeping track of how all materials identified in the WCS are being:
    • Generated: (Tons of Disposal + Waste-to-Energy + Composting/Digestion + Recycling)
    • Reduced: The Plan will include per-capita waste reduction goals over at least 10 years from the Base Year at the start of the program.
      • Achieve reduction in per capita waste disposal (MSW + Bulky Waste + C&D):
        • 5 points for 6.0 lbs./person disposal
        • + 3 points for 5.85 lbs./person
        • + 2 points for 5.7 lbs./person
      • List the strategies, policies, programs and projects being considered to achieve these goals.

Tier 2 (19 points)

Conduct the comprehensive SMM analysis and develop policy program solution described in Tier 1 based on analysis using:

  • A life cycle assessment (LCA) tool, such as MEBCalc, or equivalent, in place of EPA WARM. Using the baseline assumptions described in the Certification Manual.
    • Achieve reduction in per capita waste disposal (MSW + Bulky Waste + C&D):
      •  8 points for 6.0 lbs./person disposal
      • +6 points for 5.85 lbs./person
      • +5 points for 5.7 lbs./person

 

Industry Requirements

Develop a sustainable materials management (SMM) or equivalent (e.g. Zero Waste, Closed Loop, Circular Economy) business and/or strategic plan that supports the achievement of the goals of the SMMP Prerequisite, where the program is designed to optimize the efficiency and the best environmental and social result based on life-cycle thinking principles.

Tier 1 (10 points)

Develop a set of comprehensive long-term economically, socially and environmentally sustainable corporate goals for the company that includes provisions for periodic updates to reflect new opportunities.

  • Support the development of and/or utilize a comprehensive waste characterization study (WCS) for materials handled within the Company’s service area, or the territory of the jurisdiction seeking SWEEP + Certification where the Company does business. The WCS should comply with the requirements of SMMP Credit 4: Regular Waste Characterization and Source Reduction Programs.
  • Operational sustainability and value chains
  • Conduct material-specific analysis for all material categories identified in the WCS that prioritizes policies and programs that provide the greatest environmental benefit. The analysis should assess environmental elements of the material categories, as well as social and economic elements of the material categories.
    • Minimally, the analysis should include:
      • All GHGs, criteria air pollutants, hazardous air pollutants, and biogenic emissions emitted from disposal facilities and sites
      • The number of people impacted within a given radius and the demographics and health disparities of the impacted population
      • Jobs generated
    • Evaluate and quantify the externalized costs of:
      • The health impacts of pollution on impacted communities
      • Environmental and social impacts of air emissions from disposal facilities and sites
      • Production and disposal
    • As well as social and economic components.
    • Assessment should not account for waste diverted from landfills to waste to energy and thermal conversion facilities.
    • The Plan will list and propose actions for at least the top 10 materials that result in the largest environmental benefit, based on the current version of the EPA WARM model analysis using the methodology outlined in the Certification Manual.
  • The Plan will also require keeping track of how all materials identified in the WCS are being:
    • Generated: (Tons of Disposal/waste to energy + composting/digestion + recycling)
    • Reduced: The Plan will include per-capita waste reduction goals over at least 10 years from the Base Year at the start of the program.
      • Achieve reduction in per capita waste disposal:
Points  MSW + Bulky Waste/Capita C&D/Capita
5 4.6 lbs./capita 1.4 lbs./capita
+3 4.5 lbs./capita 1.35 lbs./capita
+2 4.4 lbs./capita 1.3 lbs./capita
  • List the strategies, policies, programs and projects being considered to achieve these goals.

Tier 2 (19 points)

  • Conduct the comprehensive SMM analysis and develop policy program solutions described in Tier 1 based on analysis using a lifecycle assessment tool, such as MEBCalc, or equivalent, instead of EPA WARM. Use the baseline assumptions described in the Certification Manual.
Points MSW + Bulky Waste/Capita C&D/Capita
8 4.6 lbs./capita 1.4 lbs./capita
+6 4.5 lbs./capita 1.35 lbs./capita
+5 4.4 lbs./capita 1.3 lbs./capita
  • List the strategies, policies, programs and projects being considered to achieve these goals.

Potential Strategies:

  • A Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) framework is the principal guiding concept for the SWEEP+ standard, but Local Governments and Companies may consider Zero Waste plans as the most environmentally, socially and economically beneficial option. In all cases, organizations seeking Certification should conduct an analysis to show the benefits of the plan.
  • Educate and engage the community in looking at how materials are wasted, especially food.
  • Consider landfill material bans (e.g. green waste as ADC) or source reduction bans or fees (e.g. on single-use bags, straws, polystyrene)
  • Look at prevention as a low-cost, high leverage strategy.
    • Research from Oregon demonstrates that food waste prevention shows a 6-7x better environmental benefit than post consumption processing.

 

Why We Care

Setting goals and demonstrating intent is the first step toward implementing environmentally responsible best practices. Establishing a well thought out sustainable materials management plan in policy-form at the headquarter level provides a roadmap for the rest of the organization. Long term plans are key to sustainable practices, and there must be analysis of all the potential effects of waste generation in order to understand all the potential benefits of reducing waste. 

This credit drives the best environmental solutions for materials managed (generated, disposed,and processed) and asks local governments and industry leaders to develop a plan where a program is designed to produce the highest and best environmental results based on life-cycle thinking principles. To hold our waste management system up to a higher environmental standard, it is imperative to implement a  plan that takes into account a material’s full life-cycle—from the extraction of the raw material to the material’s end-of-life. 

Life-cycling thinking is a tried and true best practice for sustainable materials management, and by creating a SMM plan or comparable plan based on life-cycle thinking principles, a certifying entity demonstrates a complete understanding of the true environmental impact of a material as is moves through the various portions of its value and supply chain. 

 

How to Meet the Requirements

Provide documentation of all greenhouse gas emissions from landfills and describe the use of the best available technology as approved by the US EPA to monitor greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Required Documentation

Local Government Tier 1

  • Comprehensive SMMP 10 Year (minimum) Plan 
  • Comprehensive waste characterization Study (WCS) that follows SMMP Credit 4
  • Assessment of all materials in the WCS

Tier 2

  • MEBCalc instead of EPA Warm 

Industry Tier 1

  • Comprehensive set of corporate goals
  • Comprehensive waste characterization Study (WCS) that follows SMMP Credit 4
  • Assessment of all materials in the WCS

Tier 2

  • MEBCalc instead of EPA Warm 

 

Case Studies & In-Depth Information

Local government 

In 1999, Fort Collins, Colorado developed a goal to divert 50% of all discarded resources from landfills, and in 2016 Fort Collins achieved a 51.1% diversion rate1. After successfully reaching this goal, Fort Collins created a new plan in 2013 to achieve Zero Waste by 2030, or to divert at least 96% of materials that are currently landfilled. This plan also had interim goals of 75% diversion by 2020, and 90% diversion by 2025, and a new goal of achieving per capita waste generation levels of 2.8 pounds/day by 20251

Fort Collins used EPA WARM to estimate greenhouse gas production from their existing solid waste system and the reduction in emissions from achieving a Zero Waste goal. They estimated that there could be a 187,389 MTCO reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per year through this Zero Waste goal. This is equivalent to removing 29,071 vehicles from the road or reducing oil consumption by 436,137 barrels. The research conducted using EPA WARM while setting this goal is essential for understanding the impacts and benefits. 

Fort Collins implemented programs that would reduce waste at the source, such as a Pay-As-You-Throw program that encourages residents to decrease their waste. They also added fees on plastic bags to incentivize reusable bags, and encourage manufacturers to take back difficult to recycle products and packaging. 

This long term Zero Waste plan included a proposal for programs dedicated to educating and training residents, businesses, and visitors in Zero Waste programs and policies. 

Fort Collins analyzed economic benefits from implementing a Zero Waste goal, and they found that creating facilities that were able to process materials and aid in diversion would cost about $12.5-16.5 million, while the alternative would be purchasing a new landfill that would cost $20-80 million1. There are currently several facilities that have been proposed that should begin operations in 2022 that will help Fort Collins reach this interim goal of 75% diversion.2

The social impacts were analyzed as 434 jobs could be created, and there would be reuse programs that offer residents high quality products at low prices. Donating food is a program that reduces waste but also contributes to the community. 

 

Industry

Athena Sustainable Materials Institute (ASMI) is a non-profit research collaborative bringing life cycle assessment to the construction sector.5 By working with designers, regulators, and engineers, ASMI is able to apply a comprehensive life cycle analysis to the construction sector. Their life cycle analysis looks at materials and products used and sets benchmarks to measure improvements upon. Additionally, they use it to encourage credibility and transparency to stakeholders and customers. Finally, life cycle analysis is important when implementing new products or research, when environmental impact is important to the longevity or future cost of a product.6 

ASMI prepared a lifecycle report for the Canadian Wood Council, an organization that manufactures wood products and represents the Canadian wood products industry.7  They used a variety of information from the organization, including: inputs and outputs of a product system, comprising mass and energy flows that contribute to outputs, and inventory. Additionally, the analysis investigates energy use and greenhouse gas emissions and which units have the largest impacts. These impact categories are shown in the table below. 

This comprehensive analysis aimed to develop life cycle inventory data and impact assessment results for the Canadian Wood Council. In the future, they can use this to develop a N. American EDP. Life cycle inventory elements that enable better understanding of waste flows and a cradle to grave report were also included.8 

 

1 Fort Collins Road to Zero Waste Plan https://www.fcgov.com/recycling/pdf/RoadtoZeroWasteReport_FINAL.pdf

2 Coloradoan Fort Collins Approves Recycling Requirement Construction Waste https://www.coloradoan.com/story/news/2019/04/17/fort-collins-approves-recycling-requirement-construction-waste/3494091002/

3 Fort Collins Zero Waste https://www.fcgov.com/zerowaste/

4 Fort Collins Waste Characterization Study https://www.fcgov.com/recycling/pdf/2016_Landfill__Waste_Composition_Report_28Fort_Collins29.pdf?1485558125

5 Athena Sustainable Materials Institute 

http://www.athenasmi.org 

6 Who Does LCA & Why? 

http://www.athenasmi.org/resources/about-lca/who-does-lca-why/ 

7 Canadian Wood Council 

https://cwc.ca 

8 A Cradle-to-grate life cycle assessment of Canadian Oriented Strand Board – OSB

http://www.athenasmi.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/CtoG-LCA-of-Canadian-OSB.pdf 

 

Referenced Standards

SMMP Credit 4: Regular Waste Characterization and Source Reduction Programs

Definitions

Base Year

TRUE Standard Definition: first year of recording data to serve as comparison or control value

Bulky Waste 

John’s Refuse Definition: The term “bulk waste” is used to describe waste that is too large to be collected by a regular waste collection. However, bulk waste can often be picked up from streets and pavement areas. A fee is usually associated with this kind of collection. Bulky waste items include household furniture, tires, appliances, metal, and scrap wood. 

EPA Definition: Refers to those items that are large enough to warrant special collection services separate from regular residential curbside collection. Examples include major appliances and furniture.

Circular Economy 

EPA Definition: Circular economy is about changing the way we produce, assemble, sell and use products to minimise waste, and to reduce our environmental impact. A circular economy is all about valuing our resources, by getting as much use out of products and materials as possible, and reducing the amount of waste we generate. For example, using recycled materials in manufacturing, repairing household goods before buying new ones, or repurposing items that are no longer used.

Closed Loop 

Ellen MacArthur Foundation Definition: A process of production in which products have extended life-designed to reenter the supply-chain as inputs for production at the end of their lifecycle to reduce overall waste generation. 

Construction and Demolition Waste (C&D)

Construction, Renovation and Demolition (CR&D) Waste – Construction, renovation and demolition (CR&D) waste, also referred to as demolition, land-clearing and construction waste (DLC), refers to waste generated by construction, renovation and demolition activities. It generally includes materials such as brick, painted wood, drywall, metal, cardboard, doors, windows, wiring, etc. It excludes materials from land clearing on areas not previously developed. It excludes materials from land clearing on areas not previously developed. CR&D waste can come from residential sources such as house renovations or from non-residential sources for example the construction or demolition of office buildings.

EPA Definition– debris generated during the construction, renovation and demolition of buildings, roads, and bridges. Construction and demolition (C&D) materials are generated when new building and civil-engineering structures are built and when existing buildings and civil-engineering structures are renovated or demolished (including deconstruction activities). C&D materials often contain bulky, heavy materials such as: Concrete, Wood (from buildings), Asphalt (from roads and roofing shingles), Gypsum (the main component of drywall), Metals, Bricks, Glass, Plastics, Salvaged building components (doors, windows, and plumbing fixtures), Trees, stumps, earth, and rock from clearing sites

CORR Definition of C&D materials – Building materials from the construction, renovation or demolition of building structures (excluding land clearing, grubbing, and excavation materials).

EPA WARM

EPA Definition: EPA created the Waste Reduction Model (WARM) to help solid waste planners and organizations track and voluntarily report greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions, energy savings, and economic impacts from several different waste management practices. WARM calculates and totals these impacts from baseline and alternative waste management practices—source reduction, recycling, anaerobic digestion, combustion, composting and landfilling.

Landfill Material Bans  

CSWD Definition: CSWD’s Ordinance requires that all residents and businesses separate the following items from their trash and manage them appropriately. A Banned Materials Fee of $20 per ton (minimum fee of $60) will be assessed on loads dumped at transfer stations that contain any amount of hazardous waste, or 10% or more (by volume) of mandatory recyclables, yard trimmings, or certain other “special wastes” that have been banned from landfilling. Banned items include liquids and hazardous waste, dangerous wastes, mandatory recyclables, certain electronics and batteries, scrap metals, tires, clean wood, yard debris, large appliances, and construction and demolition waste.

Life Cycle Thinking Principles 

EPA Citation – page 1. Assessing the full scope of environmental performance of products and processes by taking into account the energy inputs and emission outputs of all stages of a product’s lifecycle from “cradle to grave,” including raw material acquisition; manufacturing; use, reuse, and maintenance; and managing disposal. 

Material-Specific Analysis  

An evaluation that assesses environmental elements of the individual materials, as well as social and economic elements of each material category.

MEBCalc

Measuring Environmental Benefits Calculator; a software that analyzes the environmental impacts of a solid waste system. It calculates health impacts in addition to what WARM calculates. To learn about the LCA approach to sustainable material management check here:https://www.ecocycle.org/files/pdfs/Understanding_MEBCalc_and_Environmental_Impacts.pdf

Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) 

EPA definition: Municipal solid waste (MSW) (also called trash) consists of everyday items such as product packaging, yard trimmings, furniture, clothing, bottles and cans, food, newspapers, appliances, electronics and batteries. Sources of MSW include residential waste (including waste from multi-family housing) and waste from commercial and institutional locations, such as businesses, schools and hospitals. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) definition of MSW does not include industrial, hazardous or construction and demolition (C&D) waste. 

Residential Waste  

Residential waste refers to waste from primary and seasonal dwellings, which include all single family, multi-family, high rise and low rise residences. It includes:

  • The waste picked up by the municipality, (either using its own staff, or through contracted companies), and
  • The waste from residential sources which is self-hauled to depots, transfer stations and landfills.

Source Reduction Bans 

EPA Definition: Preventing waste from its original source through the banning of single-use products like plastic bags and utensils. 

Source Reduction Fees  

Sample SWEEP Definition (Based on EPA Definition of Source Reduction Bans): Disincentivizing waste by placing fees on the original source (single-use products like plastic bags and utensils).

Sustainable Materials Management 

EPA Definition: 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. This method minimizes solid waste generation and improves the performance of solid waste collection, processing, and recovery practices. 

Tons of Composting / Digestion 

  • Composting – The process of converting organic materials into biologically stable soil amendment through intentional and active manipulation. Manipulation may include, but is not limited to, grinding, mixing, turning and adding liquid and/or bulking agents. 
  • Anaerobic Digestion – Anaerobic digestion refers to a controlled and managed microbiological process that is used to decompose organic wastes in the absence of oxygen. Biogas and digestate is produced from the AD process. Anaerobic digestion can take place at industrial scale facilities or at small on farm facilities.

Tons of Disposal 

Total tons of MSW disposed at landfill (excluding yard trash) – Total tons of MSW disposed at the landfill.

Tons of Recycling 

  • Recycling refers to the series of activities by which discarded materials are collected, sorted, processed and converted into raw material and returned to the economic mainstream by being used in the production of new products. Does not include the use of these materials as a fuel substitute or for energy production. 
  • Total Recycled Tons – Total Recycled Tons= DEP Certified Numbers + Non-Certified Numbers.

Tons of Waste-to-Energy 

Energy Recovery includes (1) harnessing the heat from solid waste incineration or other thermal destruction processes to produce steam for direct use or the generation of electricity; (2) Extracting fuel from landfill gas; (3) Converting solid waste into liquid or gaseous fuels by chemical, thermal, or biological processes. Waste-to-energy is a subset of energy recovery. Energy recovery is solid waste tonnage managed within the state and includes imported tonnage. 

Thermal Conversion 

Definition: the conversion of solid wastes into gaseous, liquid and solid conversion products with the concurrent or subsequent release of heat energy 

CalRecycle Definition: The thermal conversion process is a technology that enables the conversion of waste feedstock into specialty chemicals, oils, gases, carbons and fertilizers. The thermal conversion process, or TCP, mimics the earth’s natural geothermal process by using water, heat and pressure to chemically reform organic and inorganic wastes into useful chemicals and compounds. These materials are supplied in their raw forms and can be delivered as the original materials as in plastics from computer cases, tires or solid waste streams. These materials are first reduced into a manageable homogeneous material that can be fed into the TCP processing system. The TCP process reduces them into the basic molecules as fuel gas, oils and other useful materials. Even heavy metals are transformed into harmless oxides.

Waste Characterization Study 

Definition based on CalRecycle Video and Website: A study or audit during which trash samples are collected from landfills or transfer stations to find out which materials make up the waste stream (paper, glass, food waste, etc.). Waste characterization studies can help in planning for waste reduction, setting up recycling programs and conserving money and resources. 

Waste Reduction Goals 

EPA Definition: Goals set by waste managers (public or private) to minimize waste volumes generated in order to reduce overall management costs and environmental impact (i.e. greenhouse gas emissions). Goal should be supported by implementation strategies to increase the efficiency of materials in use and reduce unnecessary materials (education programs for consumer-side and purchasing policies for producer-side waste reduction).

Zero Waste 

Definition of Zero Waste According to the TRUE Standard (pg. 56) “The only peer-reviewed, internationally accepted definition of zero waste is that of the Zero Waste International Alliance (zwia.org): Zero waste is a goal that is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary, to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use. Zero waste means designing and managing products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve and recover all resources, and not burn or bury them. Implementing zero waste will eliminate all discharges to land, water or air that are a threat to planetary, human, animal or plant health.”

  • Here is an example of a Zero Waste Goal: “State X will achieve zero waste by 2020 and state X defines zero waste as Y”

 

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