CM: SMMP Prerequisite – Comprehensive Sustainable Materials Management Policy and Programs

The Big Picture

SMMP Prerequisite: Comprehensive Sustainable Materials Management Policy and Programs 

(Non-Reciprocal, Required) 

 

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

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 1:

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 2:

         

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

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 increasin 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.

 

Intent and Requirements

Intent 

To promote the highest and best use of materials.

Local Government Requirements

Design and adopt a Comprehensive Sustainable Materials Management policy that covers all of the following elements as applicable to the jurisdiction:

  • Include a clear statement of waste reduction goals
  • Establish programs that minimize the generation of waste at the source. Develop a roadmap that ultimately diverts materials away from landfills and waste-to-energy facilities.  
    • Set procurement rules for environmentally preferred products (EPP) and recycled content products, with emphasis on domestic infrastructure.
    • Define requirements for source separation of materials, depending on the material management system used.
      • Includes a Disaster Debris Management Plan.
  • Adopt environmental and energy performance standards for collection vehicles.
  • Establish a public and Local Government employee education and information program
  • Require best available management practices for landfill operations (methane recovery, leachate treatment, odor and vector control, safety, alternative daily cover contamination minimization)
    • Provide thorough 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. 
      • Conduct a net benefit analysis that assesses whether producing energy from LFG recovery systems produces less GHGss than flaring emissions or producing energy from fossil fuels.
      • Provide thorough documentation of emissions leakage from energy recovery systems.
    • Landfill facilities that utilize LFG as a renewable energy source can be managed to maximize landfill gas recovery but must not be managed to maximize landfill gas production, such as treating it like a bioreactor and/or recirculating leachate. 
    • Alternative Daily Cover (ADC) use should meet Federal and State regulations as well as the following:
      • Use of ash and sewage sludge is prohibited unless the face of the landfill is covered by a tarp or other approved dust suppression techniques are used (e.g. foams or slurries).
      • Require the use of continuous active dust suppression techniques
      • Do not permit the use of glass or other materials that have established markets for recycling diversion. Recyclable materials used as ADC do not count towards diversion rate regardless of a market being available.
  • Adopt specific MWBE/Veteran owned business share goals 
  • Include a stakeholder outreach and participation plan that:
    • Establishes practices and/or programs to timely respond to any community complaints.
    • Includes both business and residents and is inclusive of all communities
    • Is sensitive to environmental justice concerns, including accounting for:
      • Impacts on public health and quality of life
      • Impacts on the job market and communities’ employment opportunities

 

Industry Requirements 

Design and adopt corporate environmental goals and programs that cover all of the following elements as applicable to the activities of the company:

  • Include a clear statement of waste reduction goals for the company.
  • Establish programs that minimize the generation of waste at the source. 
    • Develop a roadmap that ultimately diverts materials away from landfills and waste-to-energy facilities.
    • Set procurement rules for environmentally preferred products (EPP) and recycled content products, with emphasis on domestic infrastructure. 
    • In cooperation with the relevant local government authorities, define requirements for source separation of materials, depending on the material management system used.
      • 3a) Includes a Disaster Debris Management Plan
  • Environmental and energy performance standards for collection vehicles.
  • Establish an employee education and information program. 
  • Require best available management practices for landfill operations (methane recovery, leachate treatment, odor and vector control, safety, alternative daily cover (ADC) contamination minimization).
    • Provide thorough 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.
      • Conduct a net benefit analysis that assesses whether producing energy from LFG recovery systems produces less GHGs than flaring emissions or producing energy from fossil fuels.
      • Provide thorough documentation of emissions leakage from the energy recovery system.
    • Landfill facilities that utilize LFG as a renewable energy source can be managed to maximize landfill gas recovery but must not be managed to maximize landfill gas production, such as treating it like a bioreactor and/or recirculating leachate
    • Alternative Daily Cover (ADC) use should meet Federal and State regulations as well as the following:
      • Use of ash and sewage sludge is prohibited unless:
        • The face of the landfill is covered by a tarp or other approved dust suppression techniques are used (e.g. foams or slurries)
        • Require the use of continuous active dust suppression techniques.
      • Do not permit the use of glass or other materials that have established markets for recycling or diversion. Recyclable materials used as ADC do not count towards diversion rate regardless of a market being available.
  • Adopt specific MWBE/Veteran owned business share goals 
  • Include a stakeholder outreach and participation plan that:
    • Establishes practices and/or programs to timely respond to any community complaints
    • Includes both businesses and residents and is inclusive of all communities
    • Is sensitive to environmental justice concerns, including accounting for:
      • Impacts on public health and quality of life.
      • Impacts on the job market and communities’ employment opportunities.

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.

Comprehensive sustainable materials use and management policy is essential to diverting waste from landfills. Materials use policy will allow for industries and municipalities to drastically improve their green practices on a larger scale. Historically, we have seen how disastrous improper materials management can be. While on a much more dramatic scale than what is feasible for most industries, events like the BP Oil Spill are potentially mitigated or ameliorated by proper concern of material use and environmental consequences. Simple programs and practices to mitigate the generation of waste at the source and prevent the mistreatment of waste materials is key to private and public sector sustainability. 

How to Meet the Requirements

To meet the requirements, businesses will present a draft of their new policy regarding corporate environmental goals within their employee handbook or training material. Within the draft, there should include steps for implementation of the policy and the immediate forecasted effects. Municipal governments should upload a draft of an ordinance, policy, or ongoing program aligned with adopting a Comprehensive Sustainable Materials Management policy.

Required Documentation

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. 

 

Case Studies & In-Depth Information

According to the EPA, Sustainable Material Management is a systemic approach to examining how material can be productively used and reused over their entire lifecycle. Specifically, the life cycle approach examines each step of a product’s life cycle to identify opportunities to reduce environmental impact, conserve resources, and reduce costs. A product’s life cycle includes steps from the materials extraction to end-of-life management. By examining each step, one method that has been successful in reducing environmental impact is redesigning a products’ manufacturing process to use fewer, less toxic, and more durable materials. 

 

The EPA published a Sustainable Materials Management Program Strategic plan for the Fiscal Years 2017 – 2022. The strategic plan aims to decrease the disposal rate (through source reduction, reuse, recycle, and prevention), reduce environmental impact of materials across their life cycles, increase socio economic benefit, and increase adaptation of SMMP policies through state and local governments. 

Three areas of priority that the EPA and major stakeholders including states, industry and nongovernmental organizations have chosen include:

  1. The built environment – Implement improvements to construction, maintenance, and end-of-life management of roads, building, and infrastructure to conserve material and increase the life of materials. Strategies include targeting large construction or demolition projects for beneficial use or recycling and expanding measurement and tracking systems used by the EPA, FEMA and the Army Corps to capture actual debris amounts and disposition.
  2. Sustainable Food Management – address food loss and food waste. Strategies include increasing the number of new and existing composting and anaerobic digestion facilities that accept wasted and connecting sectors that produce excess food and other organic residuals with those who can beneficially use the materials.
  3. Sustainable packing – increasing the quantity and quality of reused and recycled materials from MSW. Strategies include researching new materials, and/or recycling processes for hard-to-recycle materials, and leveraging partnerships with the Department of Defense and its Net Zero Program to support development and optimization of community-based and local recycling infrastructure.

 

Referenced Standards

N/A

 

Definitions

Alternative Daily Cover (ADC) 

CalRecycle Definition: Alternative daily cover (ADC) means cover material other than earthen material placed on the surface of the active face of a municipal solid waste landfill at the end of each operating day to control vectors, fires, odors, blowing litter, and scavenging. Federal regulations require landfill operators to use six inches of earth material as daily cover unless other materials are allowed as alternatives.

Waste 360 Definition: Material covering all waste delivered to a landfill in order to protect the surrounding environment and community from material blow over, leachate runoff, odor, and vectors. At least 6 inches of daily cover is required by federal regulation to ensure effectiveness.

Solid Waste Combustor Ash  

ReTRAC Definition: Tonnage of incinerator byproducts (i.e. ash and filtered material) disposed of in landfill.

US DOT Federal Highway Administration Definition: Municipal Solid Waste Combustor Ash is the by-product that is produced during the combustion of municipal solid waste in solid waste combustion facilities. 

EPA Definition: At an MSW combustion facility, MSW is unloaded from collection trucks and eventually sorted and burned, which creates steam as a by-product that is then used to produce electricity. The remaining ash is collected and taken to a landfill where it is put through a filtering system that captures particulates.  The facility transports the ash residue to an enclosed building where it is loaded into covered, leak-proof trucks and taken to a landfill designed to protect against groundwater contamination. 

Bioreactor 

EPA Definition: A bioreactor landfill is a municipal solid waste landfill (MSWLF) in which liquids are added to help bacteria break down the waste. The increase in waste degradation and stabilization is accomplished through the addition of liquid and air to enhance microbial processes. This bioreactor concept differs from the traditional “dry tomb” municipal landfill approach. 

Disaster Debris Management Plan 

Franklin Regional Council of Governments Definition: The specific goals of planning for disaster debris management through development of a Disaster Debris Management Plan in advance of an emergency are to: Improve response and recovery times following an emergency, reduce the costs of debris management, and qualify for Federal reimbursements. 

Diversion Rate  

City of Boulder, Colorado Definition: Annual Waste Diversion is calculated by dividing the total diverted waste (recycled, composted and reused materials kept out of the landfill) by the total generated waste (diverted materials and landfilled materials). This statistic includes all four waste streams (trash, recycling, organics, reuse) and several services including curbside collection, roll-off, construction & demolition (C&D), drop-off centers and many more. Because there are so many different wastes contributing to the Annual Waste Diversion, the diversion rate can change significantly year to year, especially with contributions from things like construction and natural disasters that vary widely and unpredictably.

EPA Definition: EPA facilities minimize solid waste generation through source reduction, recycling, reuse or composting. Waste diversion also reduces disposal costs and the burden on landfills.

ReTRAC Definition: Here is an example of a Waste Diversion Goal: “by 2020 40% of waste generated in state X will be diverted from disposal facilities, including landfills and incinerators.”

Dust Suppression Techniques 

Waste 360 Definition: Spray-on alternative daily covers like foams and slurries can be applied to landfill surfaces to form a thin layer over the waste. Foams are made up of soap, starches or resins mixed with water, and slurries are made by mixing solids with water and spraying the mixture on the landfill surface.  

Agg-Net Definition:Wet dust suppression techniques use water sprays to wet the fugitive material so that it generates less dust.”

Landlock Natural Paving Definition: “The most common approach to dust control at landfills is to simply keep the roads damp/wet (with water).”

Environmental Justice 

EPA definition: Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. This goal will be achieved when everyone enjoys the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards, and equal access to the decision-making process to have a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work.

Sample SWEEP definition: Environmental Justice ensures that negative environmental burdens that result from industrial, governmental, or commercial operations are not imposed disproportionately on certain communities. Rather, all people must have the opportunity to participate in development and regulation decisions that influence their communities’ environmental wellbeing and public health. 

Environmental Procurement Policy (EPP) 

TRUE Definition: “A concept that melds procurement and environmental sustainability into an environmentally conscious purchasing strategy, utilizing multifaceted environmental purchasing factors”

EPA Definition: Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) Program participates in consensus standards development to provide greater market clarity and definition around the manufacture and purchase of goods and services which are environmentally preferable and then supports the uptake of those standards in federal procurement.”

Duke Finance Definition: A policy that gives preference to products that have a lesser or reduced negative effect on human health and the environment when compared to competing products that serve the same purpose. This comparison may consider raw materials acquisition, production, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, reuse, operation, maintenance, and disposal of the product. This term includes recyclable products, recycled products, and reusable products.

Sample SWEEP Definition: A set of purchasing guidelines that facilitates the purchase of products and materials that minimize harmful effects to the environment from their production, transportation, consumption, and disposal while performing the same function as more environmentally harmful alternatives.

Flaring Emissions  

Energy Education CA Definition: Flaring is the process by which natural gas is burned off in a controlled manner when extracting oil. Otherwise, the natural gas can burn in an uncontrolled way and be very dangerous. Usually, natural gas is captured, but when this is impossible it’s flared. Flaring reduces the risk of gas ignition to facilities or to eliminate product that has been isn’t fit for use. The volume of gas flared off is generally measured in bcm or billion cubic meters. Flaring releases significant greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere and doesn’t produce any work (useful energy) as a result. However, flaring the gas actually results in a less dramatic global warming effect than if the natural gas was to simply escape into the atmosphere. 

Landfill Gas (LFG) 

EPA Definition: Landfill gas (LFG) is a natural byproduct of the decomposition of organic material in landfills. LFG is composed of roughly 50 percent methane (the primary component of natural gas), 50 percent carbon dioxide (CO2) and a small amount of non-methane organic compounds. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas 28 to 36 times more effective than CO2 at trapping heat in the atmosphere over a 100-year period, per the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment report (AR5)

Net Benefit Analysis 

Center for Effective Government Definition: Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is a tool used by regulatory decision makers to identify the costs and benefits, in financial terms, of a regulation to society as a whole. Persons preparing a CBA attempt to assign a monetary value (also know as monetizing) to all the predicted costs and benefits of a regulation. These include not only the direct costs and benefits, but any tangential effects a regulation may impose on society. In evaluating the effects on society, CBA includes costs and benefits to industry, government, individual citizens, communities, the environment, and the economy at large. The net benefits measure is the difference between the monetized costs and monetized benefits of a regulatory alternative. The net benefits measure is expressed in dollars.

EPA Definition: CBA is a technique intended to improve the quality of public policy decisions, using as a metric a monetary measure of the aggregate change in individual well-being resulting from a policy decision.

Sample SWEEP Definition: A cost-benefit analysis compares impacts of a program or policy to understand cost effectiveness and inform decision making. Total costs are subtracted from total benefits to calculate a net benefit value (referencing ideas from CalRecycle).

Recirculating Leachate 

EPA Definition (Leachate): formed when rain water filters through wastes placed in a landfill. When this liquid comes in contact with buried wastes, it leaches, or draws out, chemicals or constituents from those wastes.

Ohio EPA Definition: Leachate recirculation is an option for managing leachate. It is the process of reintroducing collected leachate back into the landfill. Benefits of leachate recirculation include: improvement of leachate quality, faster stabilization of the landfill, and enhancement of gas production. 

Sewage Sludge  

Center for Food Safety Definition: Solids separated from liquid waste during wastewater treatment processes containing materials flushed into the sewage system including household, chemical, medical, and industrial wastes.

Stakeholders 

EPA Definition: A stakeholder is a person (or group) who is responsible for making or implementing a management action, who will be significantly affected by the action, or who can aid or prevent its implementation. Engaging and involving stakeholders means recruiting stakeholder group members and using their strengths and knowledge through an active stakeholder committee, group or board.

Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) 

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. 

Waste Reduction Goals  

EPA Definition: Source reduction, also known as waste prevention, means reducing waste at the source, and is the most environmentally preferred strategy. It can take many different forms, including reusing or donating items, buying in bulk, reducing packaging, redesigning products, and reducing toxicity. Source reduction also is important in manufacturing. Lightweighting of packaging, reuse, and remanufacturing are all becoming more popular business trends. Purchasing products that incorporate these features supports source reduction. Source reduction can save natural resources, conserve energy, reduce pollution, reduce the toxicity of our waste, and save money for consumers and businesses alike.

Sample SWEEP 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).  

Waste to Energy 

Student Energy Definition: describes various technologies that convert non-recyclable waste into usable forms of energy including heat, fuels and electricity. WTE can occur through a number of processes such as incineration, gasification, pyrolysis, anaerobic digestion, and landfill gas recovery 

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