Resources for Waste Diversion and Reduction
This page highlights solutions and resources for organizations looking to increase waste diversion, decrease source generation, and create financial savings. The resources are organized into the following categories:
You can learn more about the Waste Reduction Network and how to get involved here.
Making the Business Case
The resources in this section address policies, audits, and making the business case for waste reduction and diversion at your organization.
Sprint’s Systematic Approach to Waste Management
Sprint's systematic approach to waste management resulted in the company steadily increasing its waste diversion rate each year since 2008. Read about the strategies and processes they used. This resource also addresses Data Accuracy and Analytics, Source Reduction, and Employee Engagement.
Bendix Develops Zero Waste to Landfill Certification Process for Manufacturing Facilities
Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems developed a "Zero Waste to Landfill" Certification Process for its manufacturing facilities, promoting zero waste to landfill across all plants in 2021. Read about how they created and implemented the process. This resource also addresses Data Accuracy and Analytics, Source Reduction, and Employee Engagement.
Arizona State University: Student Pavilion
Due to the location and student-centric focus, the Student Pavilion was selected to become the first Net Zero Energy building at Arizona State. The pavilion provides an opportunity to demonstrate and teach Net Zero Energy and Zero Waste practices. Learn more about this building showcase. This resource also addresses Source Reduction.
Early Best Practices from the Waste Reduction Pilot
In this webinar, participants in DOE's Waste Reduction Pilot shared best practices for waste management, early results from the pilot, and relevant resources from DOE and beyond. There was also a moderated discussion with commercial and industrial partners to explore the waste and energy nexus as well as waste management lessons learned. This resource also addresses Source Reduction and Employee Engagement.
Waste Not, Want Not: Waste Reduction and the Circular Economy (2019 AEE Conference)
Centralizing Waste and Recycling: Flowers Foods
This presentation explored Flowers Foods' solution to manage, reduce, and/or recycle the waste in addition to reducing operating costs. This resource also addresses Data Accuracy and Analytics and Employee Engagement.
Total Waste Reduction: Volvo Group North America
In this presentation, Volvo Group North America shared its various initiatives to encourage employee participation in waste programs while implementing source reduction measures. This resource also addresses Data Accuracy and Analytics and Source Reduction.
Working Towards Circular: Bristol Myers Squibb
Bristol Myers Squibb presented its efforts to create a circular economy within its business model and the various partnerships they use to make progress. This resource also addresses Source Reduction.
Waste Reduction Pilot: U.S. Department of Energy
In this presentation members of DOE's Waste Reduction Pilot explained the relevance to program partners and how to participate. This resource also addresses Employee Engagement.
Data Accuracy and Analytics
Data is one of the most challenging aspects of waste. The resources in this section address data availability, accuracy, and analytics.
Taxonomy of Wastes
This resource shows the various ways to categorize waste, including solid (hazardous and non-hazardous) and non-solid waste types. This resource also addresses Making the Business Case.
Managing and Reducing Wastes: A Guide for Commercial Buildings
Office buildings, schools, stores, hotels, restaurants and other commercial and institutional buildings generate significant amounts of materials and waste. Here are tools and resources to help facility managers, building owners, tenants and other stakeholders improve waste management in their buildings, reduce costs and enhance sustainability. This resource also addresses Employee Engagement.
DOE Waste Pilot Webinar: Program Welcome (February 2020)
This webinar featured presentations from pilot participant Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation and DOE's Plastics Innovation Challenge; it also covered the pilot’s waste data reporting form. This resource also addresses Employee Engagement.
DOE Waste Pilot Webinar: Plastics (August 2020)
The webinar focused on plastics recycling, featuring presentations from pilot participant Armstrong Flooring and the Recycling Program Development Director at the University of Colorado, Boulder. This resource also addresses Making the Business Case, Source Reduction, and Employee Engagement.
A key strategy for waste, source reduction is often employed as a proactive step to avoid waste later down the line. The resources below cover source reduction strategies from various sectors.
JBG SMITH’s North End Retail Composting Program
JBG SMITH set a goal to hit a waste diversion rate of 60% by 2030. Recognizing that the weight of organic material is a significant portion of the landfill waste stream, the sustainability team started a composting pilot program to divert organic waste from landfills at their North End Retail property in Washington, D.C.
Montefiore Medical Center: Waste Management Program Reduces Overall Waste and Cost
Montefiore developed a comprehensive recycling program using waste audits and source generation methods to reduce and divert waste in operating rooms and throughout their medical campuses. Read more about their approach. This resource also addresses Making the Business Case and Data Accuracy and Analytics.
Bristol Myers Squibb: Application of Principles of Green Chemistry Leads to Significant Reductions in Material Waste
In an effort to reduce process waste and improve efficiency, staff at Bristol Myers Squibb leveraged the American Chemical Society’s Principles of Green Chemistry to enhance their sustainability efforts. Read more about the results. This resource also addresses Making the Business Case.
Sustainable Materials Management: Non-Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Hierarchy
EPA developed the non-hazardous materials and waste management hierarchy in recognition that no single waste management approach is suitable for managing all materials and waste streams in all circumstances. The hierarchy ranks the various management strategies from most to least environmentally preferred. The hierarchy places emphasis on reducing, reusing, and recycling as key to sustainable materials management.
The Waste Landscape and Solutions for the Retail Industry
This report from the Retail Compliance Center provides retailers with information to help them navigate the complex issue of solid waste as they work to find solutions along their supply chain to reduce and eliminate waste. This resource also addresses Making the Business Case and Data Accuracy and Analytics.
Solid Waste Resources from the Retail Compliance Center
From the Retail Compliance Center, this page features solid waste resources related to retail store operations, regulations, and more. This resource also addresses Making the Business Case and Data Accuracy and Analytics.
Design Guidance for Recyclability: Paper Packaging
This report presents findings on the recyclability of paper-based packaging that contains non-fiber elements, like barrier coatings or adhesives. This resource also addresses Making the Business Case.
DOE Waste Pilot Webinar: Food Waste (May 2020)
This food waste-focused webinar included presentations from the Food Waste Team at World Wildlife Fund U.S. and pilot participant Flowers Foods. This resource also addresses Making the Business Case, Data Accuracy and Analytics, and Employee Engagement.
Sustainable Materials Management: Non-Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Hierarchy
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency developed the non-hazardous materials and waste management hierarchy in recognition that no single waste management approach is suitable for managing all materials and waste streams in all circumstances. The hierarchy ranks the various management strategies from most to least environmentally preferred. The hierarchy places emphasis on reducing, reusing, and recycling as key to sustainable materials management.
Employee outreach and engagement is a key strategy for successful waste diversion. The resources below provide helpful tips and tricks for engaging employees and visitors.
City of Beaverton: User Testing for Effective Waste Signage
The City of Beaverton, Oregon, utilized a user testing process to develop waste signage that was effective and easy to understand. Read more about the results.
Waste Reduction Outreach and Engagement Fact Sheet
Through DOE's Waste Reduction Pilot, Commercial partners participated in an outreach and engagement working group to share challenges and discuss solutions; this fact sheet summarizes some of the key best practices. This resource also addresses Making the Business Case.
Shorenstein Properties: Improved Waste Diversion with Training and Audits
Shorenstein utilized three main components – policy, training and outreach, and auditing – to achieve success with their waste diversion program. Read more about their approach. This resource also addresses Making the Business Case.
Model Recycling Program Toolkit
This toolkit from the EPA can help states, territories, local governments, tribes, schools, nonprofit organizations, companies, and public-private partnerships create effective programs for recycling, composting, anaerobic digestion, reuse, repair and waste reduction. Materials in the toolkit can help communities increase participation in recycling programs and reduce contamination in the recycling stream.
A Guide to Workplace Composting
The U.S. Composting Council, with support from Kimberly-Clark Professional and Keep America Beautiful, developed this guide to provide information on workplace composting programs that support sustainability, waste reduction, and zero waste initiatives. This resource also addresses Making the Business Case.