From  R
x  dim
 cing  Waste
"WasteWise reminds us
 that we are not just
 recycling for the
 department, but also for
 the community at large.
 Tracking the data helps
 us determine if we are
 in line with our recycling
 program goals and are
 actually increasing
 diversion, as well as
 reducing GHG emissions."
 Karen Higgins
 Recycling Manager
 Los Angeles Department
  of Water and Power
 WasteWise, which promotes waste prevention and recycling prac-
 tices G'ointly referred to as waste reduction), is one of EPA's pre-
 mier partnership programs. Its focus is threefold: waste preven-
 tion, recycling, and buying and/or manufacturing recycled-con-
 tent products. In addition to cost savings and efficiencies, waste
 reduction  has positive effects on climate change. The manufac-
 ture and distribution  of products, and the subsequent manage-
 ment of solid waste, can contribute to the formation of green-
 house gases. To  reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as for
 other environmental benefits, EPA encourages waste  reduction
 efforts  through its WasteWise program.

 What  is WasteWise?
 Since January  1994, EPA has been working in partnership with American busi-
 nesses; federal, state, local, and tribal governments; and institutions to reduce
 municipal solid waste. Presently, more than 1,250 organizations are WasteWise
 partners. Partners are located all across the country and represent a variety of
 business, civic, and industrial sectors, ranging from small local governments to
 Fortune  1000 corporations. WasteWise also includes over 130 endorsers, pri-
 marily associations  and local governments, who work to promote the program
 and encourage new partners to join.
 Through the WasteWise program, partners make a voluntary commitment to
 implement or expand a solid waste reduction  program  with three complemen-
 tary  components:
 •   Preventing waste. The cornerstone of WasteWise is waste prevention,
    which means using less material to do the same job or produce the same
    product. WasteWise partners commit to implementing three significant
    waste prevention activities of their choice.
 •   Recycling collection. By collecting recyclables, WasteWise partners divert
    materials from  disposal. They commit to initiate, expand, or improve
    internal programs to collect recyclables. For example,  offices may add new
    materials to an existing program or boost recycling rates by educating
    employees or the community.
 •   Buying or manufacturing recycled-content products. WasteWise partners
    can play a key  role in integrating recycled-content materials into con-
    sumer markets. They commit to purchasing products with recycled con-
    tent. Manufacturers may also raise the percentage of postconsumer mate-
    rials in  the products they make.

WasteWise partners design their
own solid waste reduction programs,
tailored to  meet their needs and
operations. Partners monitor their
progress during a 3-year period and
report annually to EPA on their
accomplishments. The WasteWise
program helps participating  organi-
zations  discover waste reduction
opportunities and set waste reduc-
tion goals.  Partners have access
(through a  toll-free helpline) to
WasteWise representatives, who pro-
vide personalized assistance, and to
a wide range of waste reduction
publications and electronic support
services. EPA also publicly recog-
nizes individual organizations and
program successes.

How Does
Help Reduce
Gas Emissions?
The three cornerstones of WasteWise
—waste prevention, recycling collec-
tion, and buying/manufacturing
products with recycled content—are
among the most effective ways to
reduce the greenhouse gases trace-
able to  municipal solid waste.
WasteWise partners divert millions of
tons of material from disposal each
year. They also attain higher levels
of efficiency by using only the
materials they really need. And as
these organizations prevent  more
waste and recycle more materials,
fewer greenhouse gases are  emitted
into the atmosphere.
Waste prevention, in particular, can
greatly  reduce the emission  of
greenhouse gases by conserving raw
materials and the energy expended to
retrieve, process, and manufacture
them into products. In addition, waste
prevention keeps materials out of land-
fills and incinerators. Certain materials
generate greenhouse gases as they
degrade in landfills or burn in incinera-
tors. Overall, waste prevention provides
more climate change benefits than any
other waste management option.
By boosting their recycling collec-
tion efforts, WasteWise partners
keep valuable  materials out of land-
fills and incinerators. In particular,
many organizations have increased
their recycling of office paper and
corrugated containers.  Keeping
paper products out of landfills cuts
methane emissions. Recycling  used
paper saves energy and can leave
more trees standing in  the forest.
Trees take large amounts of carbon
dioxide out of the atmosphere and
store it in wood.
WasteWise  partners  are also encour-
aged to manufacture or buy products
made from recycled materials.  This
helps ensure that recovered materi-
als, rather than raw materials, are
used in manufacturing  processes.
Typically, manufacturing products
from recycled rather than virgin
materials consumes less energy.
To help partners understand how they
can help reduce the risk of climate
change and obtain recognition for
their activities, a new WasteWise
Climate Change Initiative has been
launched. This  initiative explicitly pro-
motes waste-related  climate change
reductions by highlighting the rela-
tionship between waste and climate
change as a key element of the
WasteWise message, and delivering
new climate change outreach and edu-
cational tools for planning and imple-
menting "win-win" solutions. The
WasteWise Climate Change Initiative
also provides additional recognition
and publicity to partners who pursue
waste-related  GHG reductions.
WasteWise is already having measur-
able impacts on climate change. In
2000, the Los Angeles Department of
Water and Power (LADWP), a
WasteWise partner, recycled 76 per-
cent of its waste,  including paper,
yard trimmings, plastics,  and wood.
This reduced GHG  emissions by
roughly 4,000 metric tons of carbon
equivalent (MTCE, the basic unit of
measure for greenhouse gases).
Similarly, the  Seydel Companies  have
prevented the disposal of 813 tons of
high density polyethylene (HOPE)
through packaging waste reductions
and changes to their manufacturing
processes. These changes have result-
ed in the reduction  of approximately
400 MTCE. Likewise, the Battelle
Memorial Institute of Columbus,
Ohio, reduced 443  MTCE by imple-
menting a comprehensive employee
education campaign on reducing
waste.  Notable WasteWise success
stories are growing in all sectors, and
more are in the making each day.
For more information on WasteWise, call
the WasteWise helpline at 1 800 ERA-WISE
(372-9473) or go to www.epa.gov/wastewise.
For more information on climate change,
including how to estimate greenhouse gas
(GHG) emissions from solid waste management
activities using EPA's WAste Reduction Model
(WARM), you can access EPA's Climate Change
and Waste Web site at www.epa.gov/mswclimate.
  Solid Waste and
  Emergency Response
          *  1
EPA 530-F-03-009
March  2003
       Printed with Vegetable Oil-Based Inks
       on Recycled Paper
       (Minimum 50% Postconsumer)
       Process Chlorine Free