Source Reduction Program Potential Manual - A Planning Tool
United States Environmental Protection Agency Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response
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This manual is designed to help local solid waste managers determine the potential impact of various source reduction options. The manual examines the program potential, or the portion of a waste stream category that could be addressed by a specific source reduction program. Analyzing program potential can help solid waste managers decide whether to include source reduction in their integrated solid waste management plans. Using data on the national municipal solid waste stream, this manual calculates the program potential for six source reduction options: three residential options (grasscycling, home composting, and clothing reuse) and three commercial, industrial, and institutional options (office paper reduction, converting to multi-use pallets, and paper towel reduction). It then shows managers how to calculate program potential locally by applying their own data. While the manual acts as a planning guide for source reduction programs, it does have some limitations. First, the manual is limited to estimating the potential of source reduction programs. The actual tonnage reduction achieved by a source reduction program will depend on the effectiveness of the program's implementation. Second, the manual is not a "how to" document for designing and implementing a source reduction program. Finally, the manual does not specifically address reducing the toxicity of the waste stream.