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WasteWise update: the measure of success – calculating waste reduction

Author: EPA

The first step is to determine what your organization needs to measure. Some data collection techniques work better than others for certain waste reduction approaches, depending on the materials, activities, or locations involved. If your organization chooses to measure electronic equipment sold or donated for reuse, for instance, it will be easier to obtain data by examining sales records or donation receipts than by examining hauler records. As a WasteWise partner, you probably already set goals in the areas of waste prevention, recycling collection, and buying or manufacturing products with recycled content, so start by reviewing your WasteWise goals to determine the following: Range of materials covered; Types of activities captured; Operational areas included. The larger the facility and the more complex the waste stream, the more data you might need to collect and the more complicated the ultimate analysis might be. If your organization has several facilities, you might designate a team of employees (e.g., one at each facility) to collect the data that will ultimately be combined into one report.

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