Crunching the Numbers: How to Calculate Your Waste Diversion
Waste diversion is a key performance indicator in measuring an organization’s sustainability efforts. It represents the amount of waste that is prevented from going to landfill through reduction, reuse, recycling, composting, anaerobic digestion, and other processing technologies. But how exactly do you calculate waste diversion? This blog post explains the steps and uses dummy numbers for a hypothetical facility to make the calculation process clear.
Steps to Calculate Waste Diversion Rate
Step 1: Measure the Total Waste Generated
First, you need to determine the total waste generated at your facility. This is the sum of all waste produced, whether it ends up in a landfill, is composted, recycled, or otherwise processed.
Let’s consider our hypothetical facility generated a total of 1,000 tons of waste in a year.
Step 2: Measure the Amount of Waste Diverted
Next, calculate the total amount of waste diverted. This includes waste that is reduced, reused, composted, recycled, processed through anaerobic digestion, or treated with other processing technologies.
Let’s break down the diverted waste for our facility:
- Reduction: 100 tons
- Reuse: 150 tons
- Composting: 200 tons
- Recycling: 300 tons
- Anaerobic digestion: 50 tons
- Other processing technologies: 50 tons
This gives us a total of 850 tons of waste that was diverted from landfill.
Step 3: Calculate the Diversion Rate
The waste diversion rate is the amount of waste diverted (from Step 2) divided by the total waste generated (from Step 1), multiplied by 100 to get a percentage.
For our facility, the calculation would be as follows:
(850 tons ÷ 1,000 tons) x 100 = 85%
Therefore, our facility’s waste diversion rate is 85%.
Understanding the Diversion Rate
An 85% diversion rate means that 85% of the total waste generated at our facility was diverted away from landfill. This could be through reduction at source, reusing materials, composting organic waste, recycling materials, or processing waste through technologies like anaerobic digestion.
The goal is to increase this percentage as much as possible, aiming for a ‘zero waste’ scenario where no waste is sent to landfill. Regular calculation of the waste diversion rate is important, as it allows the tracking of progress over time and helps identify areas where further improvements can be made.
Remember, every bit counts! Even small steps towards reduction, reuse, recycling, and composting can make a big difference in your diversion rate. By understanding and applying this calculation, you can monitor your facility’s environmental impact and make data-driven decisions to improve your sustainability efforts.