Zero Waste Reporting and Diversion: A Step Towards Sustainability
In the quest for a sustainable future, the concept of zero waste has emerged as a key strategy. It involves minimizing waste generation and maximizing the reuse and recycling of resources. A crucial aspect of this approach is zero waste reporting and diversion, which provides valuable insights into waste management practices and their impact.
Understanding Zero Waste Reporting and Diversion
Zero waste reporting and diversion involve tracking and documenting the generation of every commodity or waste at a facility and how these materials are processed. This requires compiling 12 months of data for each commodity and waste stream, ensuring that the data shows an overall annual average diversion from landfill, incineration, or the environment of 90% or better.
The data must be broken down by month and, if certified or otherwise documented weights are not available, guidelines from the EPA, state agency, or similar reference for volume to weight conversions are acceptable. This credit allows for the inclusion of reuse and reduce, provided each commodity in this category has been tracked.
The Role of Financial Data in Zero Waste Initiatives
Tracking financial data for diversion and waste disposal is crucial to understand the fiscal impacts of zero waste initiatives. For instance, the Follett Higher Education Group Dist Center in Aurora, IL, gathered data on weights and volumes of all material streams for their baseline year and the current year to date. This data was collected from invoices, receipts, and other documents from service providers and was listed in a spreadsheet by month and material for each year.
Diversion Credits: A Measure of Progress
The TRUE Advisor Training provides a system of credits based on the percentage of waste diverted:
Credit 1.1: Diversion is 90.1 -94.9%
Credit 1.2: Diversion is 95% -96.9%
Credit 1.3: Diversion is 97% -98.9%Credit 1.4: Diversion is 99 -99.9%
Credit 1.5: Diversion is 100%
These credits quantify the percentage by weight of waste material that is reduced, reused, recycled, or composted as compared to the total volume of waste generated.
Climate Impact Reporting: A Glimpse into Environmental Benefits
Understanding the environmental benefits of waste reduction activities is another crucial aspect of zero waste reporting. This can be achieved by generating a climate impact report using the U.S. EPA WARM Model. This tool requires the entry of data for all applicable material types on an annual basis, at a minimum.
Zero waste reporting and diversion are powerful tools in our journey towards sustainability. They provide us with the necessary data to make informed decisions and take effective action. By understanding our waste generation patterns and working towards reducing them, we can make significant strides towards a sustainable and waste-free future.