inited States
                 nvironmental Protection
           Solid Waste and
           Emergency Response
July 1999
asteWise Update
Approaches .... 3

Data Collection.. 6

Benefits. .   .12
                 HE  MEASURE  OF
Preserving Resources,
 Preventing Waste
                                  1 Printed on paper that contains at least 30 percent postconsumer fiber.

WasteWise Update
Calculating   Waste

                You developed a waste reduction program for your
                organization—now can you prove,  in tons and dol-
                lars, that those efforts are making a difference? Your
                waste reduction activities benefit the environment and
                your bottom line,  but, until you measure  them,  their
true impact will remain unknown.
Why Measure?
   Measurement is critical to every component of a waste
reduction program—including waste prevention (preventing
waste before it is generated, also known as source reduction),
recycling collection, and buying or manufacturing products
with recycled content. WasteWise partners report the follow-
ing six main benefits of measurement:
• Justifies waste reduction programs to management.
  Measurement is an essential factor in perpetuating most
  partners' waste reduction programs.  "By tracking the
  results of our waste reduction efforts, we are able to justify
  the continuation of our program and maintain upper
  management's support," explains Maureen Burke of Bell
  Atlantic, a 1998 WasteWise Partner of the Year.
• Provides positive publicity opportunities. Public recogni-
  tion of an organization's environmental stewardship is a
  considerable marketing asset. Just ask the eight organiza-
  tions recognized as WasteWise Partners of the Year in
   1998 (see page 3). But this type of positive publicity from
  WasteWise or other programs is only possible when part-
  ners take the time to  monitor and report their waste
  reduction successes.
• Reveals the economic value of waste reduction. By demon-
  strating economic benefits, measurement helps justify your
  organization's continued involvement in environmental
  activities. Effective measurement reveals, for example, which
  waste reduction activities are most efficient and which save
  the most money—vital information for your organization's
  future allocation of resources. George Thomas of Eastman
  Kodak Company, a 1998 WasteWise Program Champion,
  agrees, "Waste reduction measurement, including cost sav-
  ings results, is critical  for obtaining top management sup-
  port for our efforts." Management often finds clear,
  indisputable cost savings data to be the most persuasive.
• Uncovers opportunities for process efficiency. Measurement
  can bolster the overall productivity of your organization.
  Careful measurement, for example, can reveal that your orga-
  nization is wasting money on materials that simply get thrown
  away, such as unnecessary forms and paperwork.
• Motivates employees. Measurement also can be a valuable
  tool in motivating employees to participate in waste reduc-
  tion programs. Evidence that individual workers' waste
  reduction efforts have made a real difference can be the
  key to maintaining the energy and dedication to sustain
  successful environmental programs.
• Fulfills a WasteWise partner responsibility. Yes,
  WasteWise is a voluntary program, but it also carries with
  it a few important responsibilities—in particular, the
  responsibility to measure waste reduction results.
  Measuring results allows you to compare your organiza-
  tion's efforts to others and contribute to the aggregate
  waste reduction results published annually by WasteWise.

It Doesn't Have to Be Hard
  To some companies, measurement might seem like a com-
plex, labor-intensive task. But, as WasteWise partners across
the nation have repeatedly shown, the most effective mea-
surement systems often are simple and user-friendly. This
Update provides step-by-step instructions on how to establish
or improve your measurement system and explains a variety
of options requiring different levels of effort and expense.
The key steps are:
• Selecting a measurement approach that's right for your
• Maintaining a dynamic data collection system.
• Determining what your "ounce of prevention" is worth.
  To help you along the way, this Update also includes a list
of measurement publications, tools, and Web sites.

                                                                                       WasteWise Update
Selecting  the  Right  Approach
Now that you know why you should measure your organizations waste reduction efforts,  where do you begin?
Answering the key questions below will help you draft a measurement plan that works for your organization.
What Is the Scope  of the Waste

Reduction Program?
  The first step is to determine what your organization
needs to measure. Some data collection techniques work bet-
ter 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 preven-
tion, 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. The types of wastes you
  measure will directly impact your data collection process.
  To justify material-specific programs or goals, you need
  to collect data on a material-specific level. To measure
  office paper reduction, for example, records of how much
  paper your organization purchases will show particularly
  useful data.
• Types of activities captured. To justify waste reduction in
  general, an aggregate result based on hauler records might
  be sufficient. To justify discrete waste reduction activities,
  such as getting suppliers to switch to reusable containers,
  you need to measure results on an activity-specific level. A
  survey of employees responsible for coordinating reuse of
  containers with the supplier, for example, might help to
  estimate the number of reusable containers used in a given
      1998  Partners of the Year:
           BankAmerica  Corporation
                   Bell Atlantic
                  Target Stores
     Public Service Electric &  Gas Company
              Schlegel Systems, Inc.
               Southern Mills, Inc.
            Applied Specialties, Inc.
              Sligo Adventist School
  time period. These estimates would help demonstrate the
  amount of transport packaging conserved and could be
  translated into cost savings as well.
• Operational areas included. Consider the type and size of
  your organization's operations and whether you include
  one or more facilities in your waste reduction operations.
  Are your waste removal and purchasing operations cen-
  tralized for all facilities, for example, or would you need
  to coordinate with several facility managers to obtain the
  data you need?
  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.

What Data Sources Are

  After determining the scope and possible resource constraints
for your measurement project, you can now evaluate the sources
available to find the data you need. Options include:
• Examining hauler, purchasing, or sales records.
• Conducting a facility walk-through.
• Surveying your employees to find out how much waste is
  being generated and reduced.
• Conducting a waste sort.
  Table 1 (page 4) provides an overview of the various
options for collecting waste generation data and compares the
strengths and limitations of each. If your organization does
not have much experience in waste reduction and measure-
ment activities or if you have resource constraints at this time,
you might consider beginning with just one of these
approaches. Later, you can expand the scope of your project
and use a combination of approaches as necessary.
  For more detailed information, see the following section,
Maintaining a Dynamic Data Collection System.

Waste Wise Update
                                TABLE 1:   Where Can  I  Find the  Data?
      Data Source
      Hauler Records
      Waste and recycling haulers can pro-
      vide your organization with regular
      (e.g., biweekly or monthly) records of
      the tonnage of waste recyclables gen-
      erated and collected.
• Information can be required as part
  of a hauler's contract if you request it.
• Can provide recyclables tonnage on
  a commodity-specific basis if you
  request it in your contract.
• Might provide total weight or vol-
  ume of waste  generated at a facility.
  Detailed records might not exist if you
  don't ask for them in your contract.
  Might not provide component-
  specific information if materials are
  combined before being discarded or
  collected for recycling.
  Can be difficult to use if you share
  dumpsters with others or if hauler
  picks up from  multiple sites.
      Purchasing Records
      An internal examination of your pur-
      chasing records can reveal how much
      money was spent on different products
      from one year to the next, as well as
      quantities purchased. Organizations
      also can ask their suppliers for invoic-
      es, which contain the same kind of
  Can provide data for estimates of
  waste generation of specific materials.
  Tracks potential wastes from the
  point of origin.
  Can track low-volume or seasonal
  waste materials.
  Helps identify the most expensive
  components of an organization's
  Can identify and track recycled-
  content or source-reduced purchases.
  Might provide incomplete picture of
  waste generation if all materials
  are not tracked from the point of
  Can be difficult to track if you have
  decentralized purchasing.
  Tracks  quantity purchased, not vol-
  ume or weight.
  Might be difficult to  correlate pur-
  chase date with use or discard date
  if materials are stored for long
  periods of time.
      Sales  Records
      Sales records can provide information
      on revenue from resale of surplus
      equipment or materials.
  Documents the financial benefits of
  reuse including total revenues and
  (potentially)  avoided disposal costs.
  Only valid for those items that are
  Typically does not provide data on
  weight or volume of items resold.
      Employee Surveys
      Periodic surveys of employees that deal
      directly with waste generation, dispos-
      al, and recycling of a particular prod-
      uct can yield specific data on waste
      generation and reduction.
  Can monitor the effectiveness of
  employee education programs and
  indicate behavior changes.
  Can provide information about spe-
  cific waste components.
  Can be a burden depending on
  scope and frequency of survey.
  Most likely relies on estimates
  rather than exact measurements.
      Facility Walk-Through
      A facility walk-through involves touring
      an entire facility or a portion thereof
      (e.g., the administrative office but not
      the manufacturing plant) to observe
      the activities of different departments
      and talk with employees about waste-
      producing activities and equipment.
  Allows first-hand examination of
  facility operations and raises aware-
  ness of all involved.
  Can provide qualitative information
  about major waste components and
  waste-generating processes.
  Allows interviews with personnel,
  which can reveal waste prevention,
  recycling, and purchasing opportu-
• Might not identify all wastes
• Might not be representative if only
  conducted once.
• Relies on estimates of waste gener-
      Waste Sort

      A waste sort involves the physical col-
      lection, sorting, and weighing of an
      organization's waste. The goal of the
      sort is to identify each waste compo-
      nent and calculate its percentage of
      the overall waste stream.
  Provides the most accurate waste
  generation data for an entire facility
  or functional area, depending on
  Might require multiple staff and
  significant workspace.
  Might not be representative or sta-
  tistically valid if only conducted
  once or on a small sample.
  Does not provide qualitative  infor-
  mation on how or why wastes are
      See Table 2 on page 8 for information on how to collect data for specific activities and materials.

                                                                                            WasteWise Update
How Can You Maximize
Your Measurement
   Keep in mind that for WasteWise
reporting purposes, material-specific
estimates based on best professional
judgment are all you need. But
for the many reasons discussed
at the beginning of this Update,
you might want to conduct more
detailed measurement activities,
which usually require higher resource
investments. Conducting a waste
sort, for example, often
requires more time and
resources than working
with hauler or purchasing
records. Making the decisions discussed in the previous
section—how your organization  will use its waste reduc-
tion data and what approaches and sources to use—will
help you target your measurement resources.
   A good way to maximize time and resources is to estab-
lish a waste reduction team to coordinate measurement
efforts among appropriate departments. Teamwork can
generate useful input and perspectives throughout an
organization. An employee in purchasing, for example,
will be more familiar with how much of a given item the
organization purchases, while an employee in field opera-
tions will know more about how that item is used and dis-
carded. Another way to streamline your measurement
responsibilities is to piggyback the project on existing
training, reporting, invoicing,  or auditing activities.
   Also, consider the following ideas  to help you maximize
available resources as you begin to  collect data:
Conduct a Pilot Test
   Initially, your organization might opt to implement its
waste reduction activities on a small scale, and  measure
results to reveal how effective these activities are. If your
organization already has an established waste reduction
program, you might consider pilot testing measurement
approaches first with a specific facility,  material, or activi-
ty to determine the feasibility of each approach.
Use Established Estimates
   It is sometimes helpful to use  default weights when cal-
culating pounds of waste prevented. In determining the
amount of waste prevented through an office paper reduc-
tion program, for example, you might only know the total
number of paper purchases (e.g., reams) avoided. Knowing
that one ream (500 sheets) of 8-1/2 by 11-inch copier
   paper is equivalent to approximately 5 pounds can help
     you calculate the total tonnage of waste prevented.
        Refer to page 11 for information on default prod-
        uct weights and estimated number of reuses for
        products used in typical business operations. For
        selected volume-to-weight conversion factors,
        visit . In addition, the
        waste characterization database developed by
        WasteWise partner California Integrated Waste
        Management Board (CIWMB) provides typical
        waste profiles and compositions for different
      industries. The database is available  through
       CIWMB's Web site at .
Enlist Support
   University students can help collect data and design a
measurement strategy for a minimal cost. Organizations
with more resources available also might consider using
consultants with experience  in measurement who can help
tailor a program to fit a particular organization.
                                                             Bell Atlantic Makes the
                                                             Waste Reduction Connection
                                                             Bell Atlantic established a waste reduction team com-
                                                             prised of employees from seven different departments.
                                                             This team helped Bell Atlantic measure the waste it
                                                             eliminated in 1997—more than 2.9 million
                                                             pounds—and the dollars it saved—more than $6
                                                             million. In working to achieve its waste reduction goals
                                                             and measure the results, the  team consolidates and
                                                             synthesizes a variety of data "inputs" from throughout
                                                             the organization, ranging from waste prevention and
                                                             recycling data to legislative trends and market informa-
                                                             tion. The team evaluates and addresses these inputs to
                                                             help produce and organize a series of "outputs,"
                                                             including internal and external reports and updated
                                                             waste reduction guidelines.

Waste Wise Update
Maintaining   a  Dynamic

Data  Collection  System
                   Once you determine the scope of your waste reduction
                   measurement effort and consider the merits of
                   various measurement approaches,  it's time to
                   collect your data. While the details of mea-
                   surement processes will vary from program
to program, the basic steps are the same.
                        Step One:
                        Establish the
  A baseline, or set of data representing the conditions from
which you start, serves a number of purposes. First, it provides
a frame of reference for your waste reduction program. To mea-
sure waste prevention progress, for example, you need to know
how much waste your organization was generating before you
implemented your prevention program. Establishing this base-
line and periodically collecting waste generation data are the
core activities of waste prevention measurement.
  Developing a baseline also helps your organization estab-
lish a consistent data collection procedure. Before starting a
waste reduction program, take the time to answer the plan-
ning questions described on pages 3 through 5 and make the
key measurement decisions discussed there. You don't have to
get it absolutely right the first time. The trial and error of
setting a baseline is an opportunity to explore which data
collection approach works best. Once you decide on a mea-
surement approach, however, you should stick with it. Make
sure you're satisfied with the data collection method and be
certain your data sources are likely to remain available. An
organization that establishes a waste generation baseline
using purchasing records, but later switches to hauler records,
for example, probably would find the data from the two
sources difficult to compare.
  Finally, baseline setting provides an opportunity to
inventory current waste prevention activities. Your baseline
should take these activities into  account so your previous
accomplishments are recorded when you measure your
progress. This inventory of current prevention practices can
help define the scope of the waste prevention program. You
might realize, for example, that  the prevention practices
occurring in one area might  work in others—a shipping
department's successful
pallet return program with a rou-
tine customer might inspire the purchasing
department to include a pallet return provision into other
supplier contracts.

                               Step Two:
  Waste reduction is a dynamic process. Once your waste
prevention program is underway, you'll need to continue col-
lecting data to evaluate the program's effectiveness. Evaluate
the program periodically to accomplish the following:
• Track program successes and build upon them.
• Identify areas needing improvement.
• Determine the effect of any changes to the program, such
  as new waste prevention activities.
• Develop new ideas for waste reduction.
• Keep employees informed and motivated.
• Document compliance with state and local regulations.
  Collect a second set of data after the program has been in
place long enough to affect your organization's waste genera-
tion rate, usually 6 months to 1 year. Since you have already
developed a data collection process to determine your base-
line, subsequent data collection should be much easier. It also
might be worthwhile to conduct additional waste assessments
periodically to determine further changes in the composition
of your organization's waste. Trends in waste generation

                                                                                                 WasteWise Update
might indicate changes should be made to your waste pre-
vention program. If new incoming supplies are creating large
amounts of excess polystyrene, for example, a company
might consider working with the supplier to develop alterna-
tive or reusable packaging options. As you add new materials
to your waste prevention program, make sure to  develop and
document appropriate baseline waste generation  rates for
those materials as well.
Data Collection for Specific Materials and Activities
  Certain data collection methods, such as examining hauler
records, can be a good indicator of overall waste  reduction.
But what if your organization wants waste prevention or
recycling data for specific materials or activities?  Or what if
you need data on the quantity or types of products pur-
chased with recycled content or information on the percent-
age of postconsumer recycled content in those products?
Some data collection techniques are better than others for
certain goals, materials, and activities. Table 2 (page 8) pro-
vides a few examples.
                            Step Three:
   Before preparing your waste prevention results, consider the
level of detail your organization needs to evaluate the effectiveness
of its waste prevention program. Some organizations might not
need extremely detailed results. Depending on the level of accura-
cy you require, how you collect data, and how much time you
want to spend on waste prevention measurement, calculations can
range from simple estimates to more complex equations.
   Once you determine the level of detail required, your
organization is ready to calculate its waste prevention results
by comparing the baseline to subsequent waste generation
data. When measuring the amount of waste prevented, select
the time period (e.g., weeks or months) easiest for you to
measure.  Multiply these figures by the appropriate annual
multiplier to come up with an estimate of the amount of
waste reduced per year.  Annual waste prevented should also
be converted to either weight or volume  figures.  If you are
charged for waste removal based on weight, you can convert
the amount of waste reduced to a standard measure (i.e.,
tons). If you are charged for waste removal by volume or per
pull, you can convert this amount to cubic yards.
   The sample calculations on pages  9 and 10 will help you
determine results for two common waste prevention activi-
ties: multiple-use packaging and paper reduction.
Baseline  Setting  at
Baxter  International
When WasteWise partner Baxter International, a global
medical products manufacturer,  decided to implement a
comprehensive waste reduction program, it knew it was
going to have to cast a wide net to get the waste genera-
tion data it needed. With more than 100 facilities, 45,000
employees, and an extremely diverse waste stream, Baxter
wanted a measure that would capture companywide waste
generation without overburdening field staff, many of
whom did not have experience conducting waste audits.
Baxter's solution? To obtain the weight of each municipal
solid waste dumpster load from  each facility, with coopera-
tion from local waste haulers. The company planned to
total these weights at the end of each year to develop an
annual nonhazardous waste generation figure at each
facility, each division, and finally for the company as a
whole. This corporate-level approach did  not target any
specific materials, it allowed the individual facilities to tai-
lor their programs to the composition of their waste.
While this method of establishing a waste generation
baseline was fairly straightforward, the company did face
some challenges. Some Baxter facilities used contract
waste haulers that did not weigh individual dumpster
loads. For facilities using these haulers, Baxter developed
a table of dumpster default weights that allowed the facili-
ties to estimate the weight of different types of dumpster
loads: "full but loose," "full and  compacted," "half full
and compacted," and so on.
Using the hauler information and dumpster default
weights, Baxter compiled its companywide waste genera-
tion baseline in  1989, allowing the company to measure
its progress toward its goal of reducing all nonhazardous
waste by 65 percent (per unit) over the next 7 years.
According to Baxter's director of environmental engineer-
ing Ron Meissen, "To conduct a waste reduction program
you have to have a challenging  but achievable goal." And
the best way to determine if you're meeting those goals is
to measure your progress toward them.

Waste Wise Update
TABLE 2: How Can 1 Collect Data for Specific Activities & Materials?
Sample Activities/Materials
Waste Prevention
Encourage employees to reduce
Communicate with employees and
customers using e-mail.
Replace paper manuals with online
Reuse office supplies.
Lightweight packaging.
Switch to reusable containers.
^^^ .yv \
Work with suppliers to reduce waste
from inbound shipments.
Replace disposable cafeteria items
with reusable ones.
Donate materials.
Compost on site.
Reduce waste in a particular
Recycling Collection
Collect more recyclables.
Buying Products With
Recycled Content
Increase percentage of recycled
content in products purchased.
Increase the quantity and types of
purchases containing recycled
Sample Data Collection Methods
• Survey employees about how much paper they are using before and after the start
of a paper reduction program.
• Study paper purchasing records. See Calculation 2, page 1 0 for a sample calculation.
• Study paper purchasing records.
• Track copier and fax machine counters.
• Survey employees.
• Estimate weight of old manual and multiply by the number of employees to which
it would usually be distributed.
• Survey employees.
• Estimate weight of reused office supplies using the table of default weights below.
• Examine packaging supply invoices (multiply boxes supplied by the reduction in
weight per box).
• Examine past and present packaging supply invoices. Work with a reusable
container vendor to determine number of times containers can be reused before
disposal. See Calculation 1, page 9 for a sample calculation.
• Write into contracts that vendors must detail packaging specifications on invoices.
• Look at cafeteria purchasing records or invoices.
• Conduct pilot test to monitor cafeteria consumer behavior over a given time period.
• Work with cafeteria contractor to obtain cafeteria product usage figures.
• Examine donation receipts.
• Estimate weight using volume-to-weight conversions for yard trimmings listed at
• Direct a waste sort, or a series of waste sorts, at the particular department.
• Review hauler records for data on volumes and tonnages of recyclables collected.
• Estimate total volume of recycling bins and track frequency of collection. See the
EPA Recycling Measurement home page at . Convert volume collected to weight using conversion factors listed
at .
• Work with vendors to track percentages of recycled content, particularly postcon-
sumer recycled content, on their invoices.
• Add a column to current purchasing records to include percentage of recycled content.
• Work with vendors to find recycled-content products and indicate quantity and
weight of the products on invoices.
• Look at purchasing records to determine the dollar amount spent on recycled-
content products.

                                                                                               WasteWise Update
             Calculation  1:
             Single-Use Versus
             Multiple-Use Containers
                 This method calculates the amount of
               packaging materials conserved resulting
               from a switch from disposable (single-use)
             to reusable (multiple-use) containers. Reusing
containers can lead to significant cost savings and waste
reduction. Corrugated containers generally can be used up
to 12 times, while plastic containers might be reusable 250
times. To estimate the weight of the single- and multiple-use
containers, you  can weigh them, obtain a figure from the
manufacturer, or use  the values presented in  the table of
default weights  on page 11.
   To calculate the packaging reduced, obtain the following

Weightsingle  =

Numbermulti =
Weightmuld  =

TriPsannual   =
Weight of the disposable container previ-
ously used.
The number of reusable containers pur-
chased by your company. This informa-
tion should be available from your
purchasing department.
Weight of the multiple-use container.
The number of trips expected to be made
annually. If your business needs have not
changed, this should equal the number of
single-use containers previously purchased
per year.
The number of multiple-use containers
discarded each year, because reusable con-
tainers will eventually need to be recycled
or, if not recyclable, thrown away. To esti-
mate this figure, divide the number of
trips made per year (Tripsannual) by the
estimated number of trips each multiple-
use container can make in its lifetime
(Reusesmu[t;). (This information should
be available from the manufacturer or you
can use estimates in the table of default
weights on page 11.)
  Discardedmulli = (Tripsannud) / (Reuses,
                                                  Annual reduction in packaging
                                                  Reduction = (Tripsannua| x Weightsing|e)
                                                         (Discardedmu|ti x Weightmu|ti)
   By focusing on annual figures, this equation assumes you
will dispose of an equal number of reusable containers each
year. In reality, your organization might not dispose of any
of the reusable containers in the early years of implementa-
tion. Instead, you might need to throw away or recycle all
containers in the final years of their estimated lives. If you
prefer, you can calculate the total waste reduction benefit
over the entire lifespan of the product rather than annually.
This calculation also assumes that the manufacturer's esti-
mated life projection is  correct. If the container's lifespan is
shorter or longer than expected, the waste reduction benefits
will be decreased or increased, respectively.
   A business purchases 200 reusable plastic containers
weighing 5-5 pounds each. It plans to use these containers
to transport  calculators  an average of 1,000 times per
month, for a total of 12,000 trips annually. The estimated
life of each container is  250 trips. The new containers
replace corrugated containers, weighing 1.5 pounds each,
which were used one time and discarded.
Numbermujtj   =   200 containers
Reusesmujtj     =   250 trips/container
Weightsingle    =    1.5lb
Weightmujtj     =   5-5 lb

Tripsannuai     =    12,000 trips
Discardedmujtj  =   48 multiple-use containers per year
   To calculate the waste reduced annually, the business first
estimated the number of reusable containers that it would
have to throw away each year:
          (12,000 trips)/(250 trips/container) =
         48  containers  discarded or recycled per year
   The firm  used this information to calculate the annual
reduction in packaging:
     (12,000 trips x 1.5 lb) - (48 containers x 5-5 lb) =
               18,000  lb-264 lb= 17,736 lb

Waste Wise Update
              Calculation 2:
               Reducing  the Number
1 -    _^\   of Pages  Used
                  To measure a specific paper reduction
                activity where document length is known or
                can be easily estimated, you will need to
              obtain or estimate the following information:




                     Sheets of paper that would have been
                     used before implementing the office
                     paper reduction activity.
                     Sheets of paper used after implement-
                     ing the activity.
                     Number of times per time period (e.g.,
                     week or month) the document is
                     Number of people to whom the docu-
                     ment is distributed.
                     Weight of the paper. If you are unable
                     to actually weigh the paper, you should
                     be able to estimate the weight using the
                     table of default weights on page 11.

                     Percentage of reduction from the activity:
                     (Sheetsbefore - Sheetsafter) / Sheetsbefore
                                                            Reduction = Sheets^^ x Frequency x
                                                               Distribution x Weight x Reduction Factor
   A government (still in the process of updating its electronic
network to allow e-mail) encouraged its departments to begin
double-sided printing for its 25-page interdepartmental project
updates. Each of the 10 departments distribute approximately
one update per week to 200 people. By duplexing, they were
able to reduce the amount of paper used.
Weekly paper
                                                          Annual paper
    25 sheets
    13 sheets
    200 people
    10 times per week
=   1 sheet x (5 lb/500sheets) = 0.01 Ib

    (25 sheets - 13 sheets)/25 sheets = .48

=   (25 sheets) x (10/wk) x (200 people)
    x (0.01 Ib/sheet) x (0.48) = 240 Ib
               =   (240 Ib/yr) x (52 wk/yr):
                       12,480 Ib/yr
   Table 3 (on the right) provides default weights for a range
of packaging materials and office products.
   Keeping  Tabs  on  Paper Reduction  at Janus  Funds
   Surveys can be very effective measurement tools for widely used materials like office paper. Janus Funds, a financial services com-
   pany with approximately 1,000 employees, used an electronic survey to gauge the  number and performance of paper reduction
   activities companywide. A waste reduction team met with each department and asked for a commitment to three paper reduction
   goals. After the departments began implementing some of their paper reduction ideas, the team circulated the following form via e-
   mail asking the departments to indicate the different ways they had reduced paper  usage, noting that estimates were acceptable.
                       Sample Janus Capital  Paper Reduction E-mail Survey Form
Weekly status
# of Pages
2 on avg.
Goes to 1 person
from 8 people
Goes to
200 people
New Method
Now we
use e-mail
Now we use
Started This Before
the Team Meeting?

Result of the
Team Meeting?

1 6 pgs./wk
700 pgs./wk
  The questions about whether the department implemented the activity before or after the meeting helped the team determine which
  activities were a result of their efforts. The form also included a space to suggest ideas that other departments might find helpful.
  The form allowed the waste reduction team to measure paper reduction companywide without a substantial amount of effort.
  Although this form was developed specifically for paper reduction, organizations  can use a similar tool to measure reductions of
  other widely used materials such as file folders and binders. Surveys also are useful for
  assessing the waste prevention activities of vendors and suppliers.

                                                                                           WasteWise Update
        TABLE 3:  Default Weights for Selected Materials and Products
Type of Container
Corrugated (single-wal
Corrugated (one-way)
Reusable Corrugated
Corrugated (single-wa
Reusable Plastic
Source: D. Saphire.
Type of Paper
White Ledger
File Cabinet
Personal Computer
Computer Monitor
Dimension (in)
) 14.25 x 12 x 9.25
1) 18x18x16
1 994. Delivering the Goods:
Dimension (in)
8.5 x 11
9.5 x 11
Double Pedestal
Double Pedestal
2 Shelves
5 Shelves
4 Drawer, Vertical
Swivel Arm
Volume (ft3)
Benefits of Reusable Shipping
Sheets Per Pound
500 sheets per 5 Ibs
1 ,650 sheets per 1 5 Ibs
Container Weight (Ib) Number of Reuses
Containers; WestPack Conference
Sheets Per Ton
200,000 sheets per ton
220,000 sheets per ton
Size (in)
72 x 36
72 x 36
36 wide
36 wide
Letter Size
October 18, 1995.

Avg. Weight (Ib)
Source: JC Penney's, Office Depot, Sears N/A = Not available
                          Step Four: Make
                          Allowances  for
   Once you prepare your initial results, you need to analyze
that information more closely to develop an accurate picture
of waste prevention in your organization. After all, waste
prevention measurement often requires more than just sub-
tracting the baseline waste generation from the organiza-
tion's current waste generation. There also are external
variables that might affect the waste generation figures.
These can include:
• Variations in the prices of supplies
•  Changes in the size of the workforce
•  Seasonal variations in production
•  Changes in the type of materials used
   These variables can have significant impacts on waste
generation and, depending on how waste generation is
measured, might cause an inaccurate estimate of the
effectiveness of waste prevention activities. One organiza-
tion that measured waste generation by examining pur-
chasing records, for example, discovered that its
purchasing agents bought paper based on paper prices,
rather than on actual paper consumption. Basing waste
generation data only on the amount purchased would
have yielded a less accurate estimate, because much of the
paper bought was not being used.
  Another business noticed that its overall paper consump-
tion actually increased during its waste prevention program
due to a significant increase in staff. This was not an indica-
tion that waste prevention was not taking place. Rather, the
firm determined that its waste prevention program was
effective because the paper waste generation rate per
employee decreased as a result of the waste prevention activi-
ties. To measure the paper waste prevented, therefore, the
business compared the amount of paper that would have
been generated at the paper consumption rate before paper
reduction activities were initiated with the amount of paper
generated per employee after the activities were implement-
ed. The difference between those figures provided  an esti-
mate of the paper waste prevented.

Waste Wise Update
                       Determining What  an

                       Ounce  of Prevention  Is  Worth
                                       An ounce of prevention might be worth hundreds of dollars, an
                                       acre of trees, a metric ton of greenhouse gas, or a cubic meter
                                       of landfill space, depending on how you calculate it. Before
                                       you share the  results of your waste reduction activities,  consid-
                                       er how those pounds of waste reduced translate into  cost sav-
                     ings, environmental benefits, and additional hidden profits.
                   For WasteWise
                   Partners, Being
                   Green Means
                   Saving Green
  "Management listens when you can convey actions in
terms of profits," says Terry Bedell of The Clorox Company,
a 1998 WasteWise Program Champion. Demonstrating the
financial impacts of your measurements can go a long way
toward garnering management support for your organiza-
tion's waste reduction program. The financial benefits of
waste reduction include the following areas:
Operational Efficiencies
  An often overlooked benefit of certain waste reduction
activities is cost savings through  more streamlined work
practices. A division of WasteWise partner State of Ohio's
Department of Administrative Services, for example,
replaced a time-consuming manual paper ordering request
system with an online system, recovering more than 470
hours of human resources previously spent making copies
and an additional 520 hours previously spent filing, mailing,
and locating orders in the request process. Similarly, by out-
lining detailed specifications to suppliers for packaging
reductions, Target Stores, 1998 WasteWise Partner of the
Year, recovered $4.5 million that would have gone toward
manually unwrapping merchandise. To determine if waste
reduction would streamline operations in your organization,
it is helpful to survey employees on the time required for
various activities. For more information on how Target
Stores' packaging reduction efforts helped streamline opera-
tions, see Alameda County, California's, report Profiting
From Source Reduction: Measuring the Hidden Benefits, listed
on the Resources insert included with this issue, or the
WasteWise Update: A Fresh Look at Packaging (available on
the WasteWise Web site at ).
   Avoided Waste Removal Costs
     WasteWise partners also have saved millions of dollars by
   reducing the amount of solid waste that contractors haul to
   the landfill. Waste removal costs vary depending on the
   method haulers use to charge clients. Some haulers charge by
   weight or volume of material, while others might charge a flat
   fee or charge per pull. The Oak Hill Semiconductor Product
   Sector facility of WasteWise partner Motorola, Inc., reduced
   the number of pulls—and their disposal costs by approxi-
   mately $60,000—after the company's hauling vendor
   installed pressure gauges on its compactors to more accurately
   determine when pickup was needed. WasteWise partner State
   Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company generated less
   waste and  reduced its disposal costs by almost 50 percent by
   encouraging its individual locations to establish 1-year pick
   up "as needed" contracts with local haulers to provide more
   frequent opportunities for renegotiation of rates and terms.
   For more information on reducing disposal costs, see EPA's
   publication Pick Up Savings: Adjusting Hauling Services While
   Reducing Waste (EPA530-F-96-016), which also is available on
   the WasteWise Web site at .
   Avoided Purchasing Costs
     Many activities, such as reducing paper consumption or
   reusing office supplies and equipment, show up more in
   avoided purchasing costs than in avoided waste removal
   costs. Implementing a double-sided copying policy, for
   example, might allow your organization to purchase fewer
   reams of paper in a given time period.
   Profits From Reselling
     Used materials might still have value; you can sell them to
   a recycler,  but keep in mind that revenues will vary consider-
   ably depending on factors such as geographic location and
   market price fluctuations. You also might consider repairing
   and refurbishing certain products for reuse or for sale.
     See page 14 for illustrations of several waste reduction
   activities and how to calculate the associated cost savings.

                                    WasteWise Update
Calculating Environmental

  Waste reduction measurements also can tell you how
much your organization has saved in another green area—
the environment. Among the environmental benefits of
waste reduction are reductions in greenhouse gas emissions
and in the consumption of natural resources and energy.
Environmental impacts exist through all stages of a product's
life cycle, from the initial extraction of raw materials to the
product's disposal. Waste prevention and recycling can mini-
mize these impacts, and your measurements can help you
quantify the environmental savings.
Use EPtfs WAste  Reduction Model
  To calculate how your waste reduction measurements
benefit climate change, EPA has developed the WAste
Reduction Model (WARM). WARM calculates greenhouse
gas (GHG) emissions reductions from various waste reduc-
tion activities. Greenhouse gases, which contribute to global
climate change, are emitted in nearly every stage of a prod-
uct's life cycle, even when the product is in a landfill. The
amount of GHG emitted depends on the waste manage-
ment  activity and the material type. Waste prevention, or
reducing waste at the source, is the best option for reducing
GHG emissions. Recycling is the next best choice for reduc-
ing emissions; generally, it takes less energy to make new
products from recycled,  rather than virgin, materials.
  To calculate the GHG emission reductions of waste reduc-
tion activities, WARM uses "emissions factors," which repre-
sent the GHG impact—calculated over the full life cycle of
the material—of handling  1 ton of a given material using a
particular waste management option (i.e., waste prevention,
recycling, landfilling, combusting). The emissions factors are
in terms of metric tons of carbon equivalent (MTCE), an
internationally recognized unit of measurement that accounts
for different warming potentials  among various GHGs such
as methane and carbon dioxide. To put MTCE in perspec-
tive, reducing emissions by 1 million MTCE is equivalent to
taking 750,000 cars off the road for 1 year.
  WARM is a useful tool for calculating emissions reductions
and provides an important step toward gauging the impacts of
waste  reduction programs on climate change. Here's an exam-
ple from a WasteWise partner. In 1997, The Procter and
Gamble Company prevented more than  22 million pounds
of corrugated waste by lightweighting secondary and transport
packaging. According to WARM, the company reduced
GHG emissions by more than 9,000 MTCE. To calculate
GHG emission reductions from your organization's waste
reduction efforts, visit EPA's Climate Change and Waste Web
site at , where WARM is available
for downloading in Microsoft Excel format.
  You also can convert your organization's waste reduction
numbers into measurements of other environmental benefits
such as natural resource and energy consumption. Recycling
aluminum cans, for example, saves 95 percent of the energy
required to make aluminum cans from virgin bauxite ore.1
To put these numbers into perspective, recycling 125 cans
saves almost  the same amount of energy consumed by the
average household in 1 day.2 WasteWise partner Anheuser-
Busch Companies, a beverage manufacturer and aluminum
recycler, recycled 20 billion cans  in 1997, saving enough
energy to power approximately 160 million households for
1 day, or nearly 444,000 households for an  entire year!

Accounting for  the "Hidden"
  A successful waste reduction program can yield additional
benefits for your organization. The following benefits are
less obvious and more difficult to measure than  cost savings
and environmental benefits, but they also can impact your
bottom line—by increasing productivity and consumer
product recognition.
Employee  Morale
  Having employees suggest their own waste reduction
ideas can pay off in several ways.  First, employees often are
in the best position to suggest how resources could be used
     Investing  in
     Waste  Reduction
     While tracking the financial aspects of waste reduc-
     tion, you might notice that certain waste reduction
     activities add costs to one area of your organization
     while reducing costs in another area. In some
     instances, the initial  costs might be greater than the
     initial savings. Switching to  reusable containers, for
     example, might initially cost more than it would save.
     In the long run, however, the cost savings will accu-
     mulate. You should examine short- versus long-term
     costs just as you would for any business investment.

Waste Wise Update
                               How to Calculate Cost Savings
                                AVOIDED WASTE REMOVAL COSTS

                                        By weight or volume:
    If your organization pays for waste removal by weight or volume, to calculate avoided removal costs, simply multiply the
    weight or volume of the material reduced by the removal cost per unit weight or volume.

    Example:  Your organization reduced 30 tons of corrugated waste by switching from boxes to reusable plastic totes. Your
    waste hauler charges $40/ton.
                    30 tons
                Weight or volume
                   of material
                         540 ton
                    Disposal cost per unit
                     weight or volume
                             Avoided waste
                             removal costs
                                                 By pull:

    If your organization pays for waste removal by pull, to calculate avoided removal costs, divide the volume of the material
    reduced by the volume of the hauling container itself.  Multiply the result by the cost per pull.

    Example: Your hauler charges $30 for every dumpster-load of waste pulled. Your organization's dumpster holds 10 yd3 of waste. Your
    organization reduced 400 yd3 (or 40 dumpsters worth) of corrugated waste by switching from boxes to reusable plastic totes.
        400 yd3
        Volume of
     material reduced
             Volume of dumpster
                                      Disposal cost
                                      per dumpster
                                         Avoided waste
                                          removal costs
                                  AVOIDED PURCHASING COSTS

    To calculate annual avoided purchasing costs for office paper, multiply the number of reams not purchased (per unit of time)
    by the price of each ream (there are 500 sheets in a ream).

    Example: Your organization eliminated the need to purchase 40 reams of paper each month by implementing a default
    double-sided copying policy.  Each ream of paper costs $3.
    40 reams
  # of reams not
  purchased per
    unit of time
Cost per ream
Avoided costs
  per month
12 months/
Avoided waste
 removal costs
                              PROFITS FROM SELLING RECYCLABLES

    To calculate the revenue from sales of a product, simply multiply the price of the product per unit by the number of units sold.

    Example: Your organization sold 300 tons of clear glass jars to a processor.  The market price for clear glass at that time
    was $30 per ton.
               300 tons of glass
                    Number of
                    units sold
                         $30 ton

                        Selling price
                         of product

                                      WasteWise Update
more efficiently, because they are the most knowledgeable
about your operating processes. Second, rewarding them for
their suggestions by sharing the resulting cost savings and
environmental benefits with them can help improve employ-
ee morale and motivation. Increased motivation, in turn,
can improve productivity.
Public Image
   Waste reduction programs and activities, if well publi-
cized, can have a positive impact on an organization's public
relations. Having such programs can show the public that
your organization has a vested interest in the community in
which it is based and in society at large. For governments,
such programs can demonstrate that they "practice what
they preach." Meanwhile, corporate environmental con-
sciousness is becoming a vital part of success in today's busi-
ness world. Consumers and shareholders are increasingly
interested in the environmental impact and practices of the
companies with which they deal. In fact, a survey by Walker
Research,  a marketing analysis company, found that 78 per-
cent of the nation's customers avoid businesses that have an
irresponsible corporate environmental attitude.^ An article
in the quarterly journal  of the management consulting firm
McKinsey and Company also suggests that the public takes
environmental benefits into consideration in products and
services. Issues "such as environmental friendliness are prov-
ing to be the tie-breaker for otherwise almost indistinguish-
able products and services.
   To communicate environmental accomplishments to the
public, you should consistently provide objective, simple
data on the effectiveness of your environmental activities. In
this manner, WasteWise partners are proving and publicizing
their "greenness." Jim Bosch, with Target Stores, 1998
WasteWise Partner of the Year, notes, "As an engineer, I have
to come up with a lot of measurements  [in waste prevention
and waste reduction]. Measuring allows us to establish
benchmarks, which in turn, also help us present data to our
customers and shareholders." Waste reduction numbers that
can be easily understood by employees and outsiders are
valuable displays of an environmentally positive organiza-
tional philosophy.

  Aluminum Association, Inc.: .
•^ Average  household energy  consumption (71,500 kcal of ener-
  gy per day) based on data from Household Energy
  Consumption and Expenditures 1993, U.S. Department of
  Energy, 1995.
  Aluminum can recycling figures (manufacturing one aluminum
  can requires approximately 600 kcal using virgin bauxite ore
  but only 30 kcal using recycled cans) based on estimates from
  Life-Cycle Inventory Report, The Aluminum Association, 1998,
  and correspondence with Alcan Aluminum Corporation, 1999.
    Sample  Environmental


    Below are some examples of conversions you can use
    to calculate various environmental benefits:
    • Recycling 125 aluminum cans saves enough energy
      to power one home for 1  day.
    • Recycling one glass bottle saves enough electricity to
      light a 1 00 watt bulb for 4 hours.
    • More than 5,400 BTUs of energy are conserved for
      every pound of steel recycled.
    • One ton of recycled paper saves 1 7 trees.
    • 1 million MICE of GHG reduction
      =  750,000 cars off the road for 1 year
      =  The amount of added annual storage from 1
          million acres of trees
      =  The average annual emissions from electric
          power use of 600,000 households
3 Metcalf, K.R, P.L. Willams, R.J. Minter, and C.M. Hobson. 1995.
  "An Assessment of Corporate Environmental Programs and
  Their Performance Measurement Systems." Journal of
  Environmental Health 58:9,9.
^ Christensen, Paul D. 1995.  "The Environment: It's Not Time to
  Relax." The McKinsey Quarterly No. 4,147.
~* Aluminum recycling conversion factor based on estimates from
  Household Energy Consumption and Expenditures 1993, U.S.
  Department of Energy, 1995; Life-Cycle Inventory Report, The
  Aluminum Association, 1 998, and correspondence with Alcan
  Aluminum Corporation, 1999.  Glass recycling conversion fac-
  tors from Recycling and Buy Recycled Fact Sheets, America
  Recycles Day  1998. Steel recycling conversion factors from
  School and College Magazine, June  1993.
  Note: Additional environmental factoids can be found at

               Measurement Made  Easy  at  Texas


               As Tim Mikus, of WasteWise partner Texas Instruments (Tl) puts it, "Tl believes that you cannot
               manage what you do not measure." With the proper equipment, measuring waste prevention
               can be a cinch. Tl, for example, utilizes the heavy equipment primarily used for running a large-
               scale recycling program to  measure the amount of a material sent for laundering and reuse. The
               company sends plastic gloves, booties, and head coverings to its recycling center, where the
               items are automatically weighed and baled for delivery to the cleaners. Twenty-five tons of
               these items were weighed at the recycling center in 1997.
                       If you have received this publication in error, or want to be removed from the WasteWise

                       Update mailing list, please call the WasteWise Helpline at 800 EPA-WISE (372-9473) or

                       send a copy of this page, with the mailing label, back to WasteWise at the address below.

                       Many WasteWise publications, including the WasfeWise Update, are available electronically

                       on the WasteWise Web site at .
    United States
    Environmental Protection Agency
    Washington, DC 20460

    Official Business
    Penalty for Private  Use

               e                o                  r               e
Business Guide to
Reducing Solid Waste
The U.S. Environmental  Protection
Agency (EPA) developed this guide
to assist businesses, governments,
and other organizations in estab-
lishing waste reduction programs.
This guide not only discusses the
development and implementation
of waste reduction programs but
also explains waste assessments
and how to  monitor and measure
waste reduction techniques. To
order, contact EPA's RCRA Hotline
at 800 424-9346.
Buy-Recycled Training Manual
The Northeast Maryland Waste
Disposal Authority (NMWDA) pre-
pared this manual to help public
and private agencies develop
buy-recycled programs and moni-
tor the  progress of those pro-
grams. For  more information,
contact Richard  Keller at
Maryland Environmental Service
at 410 974-7254 ore-mail
Profiling  From Source
Reduction: Measuring  the
Hidden Benefits
Alameda County, California, pro-
duced this report to demonstrate
source  reduction measurement
tools and benefits for businesses
and governments, including basic
source reduction cost analysis and
productivity modeling. The report
can be downloaded from
Alameda County's Web site
ordered in hard copy from Tom
Padia at 510 614-1699. The cost
of reproduction is $20.
Source Reduction Now!
This manual, by the Minnesota
Office of Waste Management, pro-
vides information on how to mea-
sure product and behavior changes
that prevent waste, along with other
information on how to implement
successful source reduction pro-
grams. The manual describes prob-
lems and suggests well-tested solu-
tions. For more information, visit
Minnesota's Office of Waste
Management Web site at
 or call 800 877-6300.
Uncovering Value:
Integrating Environmental
and Financial Performance
This  1998 Aspen Institute report
recommends that companies find
effective ways to measure internal
environmental activities. The
report's findings indicate that
companies experience a competi-
tive advantage when they inte-
grate environmental  considera-
tions into core business  strategies.
In fact, the report specifically finds
that financial institutions place  a
higher value on  organizations
with this type of  integrated envi-
ronmental planning. To  download
a copy of the report, go to
Accounting Software
Application for Pollution
Prevention (ASAPP)
The Electric Power Research
Institute (EPRI) developed waste
accounting software for use by
any industry that generates
byproducts or wastes. The  soft-
ware allows companies to  track
both hazardous and  nonhaz-
ardous waste generation, man-
agement, reduction activities, and
costs. It provides a means  to
gather data from multiple  facili-
ties and operations and to ana-
lyze, graph, compile, and  report
a variety of waste management
information. Users can analyze
waste generation data  and waste
management costs for an entire
company or facility or for a spe-
cific activity. To obtain the ASAPP
software,  contact EPRI at 415
Business Recycling Cost
Green Solutions created this flex-
ible model to help organizations
evaluate solid waste manage-
ment options  by projecting costs
and  results for recycling and
waste reduction. To order, call
Green Solutions at 360 897-
9533 for more information.

Characterization Database
and Buy-Recycled Database
California Integrated Waste
Management Board (CIWMB)
designed this database to provide
local governments with a tool to
determine what's being disposed of
in their waste streams, how to divert
materials from disposal, and how to
conserve resources.  See  CIWMB's
Web site at  for the waste charac-
terization database and
 for the
buy recycled database.
Source Reduction Program
Potential Manual and
Reducelt Software
EPA developed this manual to evalu-
ate the potential impact of various
source reduction  options for local
governments' residential programs.
An organization can calculate the
potential fora particular source
reduction program to reduce waste
using example scenarios and work-
sheets.  In addition to the manual, the
Reducelt software, an electronic ver-
sion of the program potential work-
sheets,  helps calculate waste genera-
tion data, program potential factors,
and savings estimates. The manual
and software can be obtained
through the RCRA Hotline at 800
424-9346 or downloaded from
EPA's Web site at .
WasteNot System
This tracking software, created by
Ecology Action,  helps organiza-
tions conduct waste assessments
and  measurements. It serves as a
guide for collecting relevant infor-
mation and creates detailed
reports showing successful waste
reduction efforts. For more infor-
mation, contact  Ecology Action at
WAste Reduction Model
WARM is a Microsoft Excel spread-
sheet application created by EPA
to help solid waste planners and
organizations track and voluntarily
report greenhouse gas (GHG)
emission reductions. The model
calculates and totals GHG emis-
sions of baseline and  alternative
waste management practices
including source  reduction, recy-
cling, combustion, composting,
and  landfilling. WARM can  be
downloaded from EPA's Web site
at .
California Integrated Waste
Management Board Web Site
The CIWMB Web site contains a
wealth of waste reduction informa-
tion, including two pages focused
on measurement. For information
on measuring waste streams and
determining base-year waste gen-
eration and adjustment methods,
go to . For the fact
sheet, Measuring the Success of
Office Paper Reduction Efforts,
which helps organizations measure
the  impact of office paper reduction
activities and determine cost sav-
ings, go to