Waste management is an increasingly important topic for businesses and consumers across the country. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the total generation of municipal solid waste (MSW) in 2018 was 292.4 million tons, or 4.9 pounds per person, per day. Of this waste, just 69 million tons was recycled and 25 million tons composted. Combined, that makes a recycling and composting rate of just 32.1%.
Statistics detailing commercial waste generation are harder to come by for two reasons: 1) there is a large crossover with consumer waste, and 2) national agencies currently don’t track industrial and commercial solid waste as a category. Many researchers suggest that a 97-3 ratio is a good baseline, with industrial and commercial waste eclipsing that of MSW.
These figures are based on an EPA study conducted in 1987 that measured 7.6 billion tons of manufacturing waste and then compared it to the 250 million tons of MSW generated that year. The age of this report leaves us with little evidence of the true level of business-generated waste.
The good news is that new laws and legislation covering everything from electronics to organic waste are now being implemented across the US, with core principles that aim to more effectively track commercial and industrial waste generation. But what does this mean for businesses and how can you ensure you stay up to date on legislation while also improving your sustainability metrics?
The first step is to learn exactly what your city expects from you and what your business needs to do in order to remain compliant. Whether your business is looking to reduce the amount of waste produced to meet local law, or you simply want to boost your brand’s sustainability scores, knowing where to go for news, practical advice, and guidance is key.
To help you find exactly the information you need, we’ve compiled five resources about waste management in the US.
One of the best-known waste management resources on the internet, Waste360 provides a huge amount of information on everything related to recycling and waste diversion. Serving 90,000+ professionals worldwide, you’ll find information, events, and commercial resources that are up to date about the industry. There is also a dedicated business area that contains information on legislation, labor relations, government initiatives, and mergers and acquisitions.
As well as the comprehensive web portal, Waste360 has a podcast, a number of white papers, and regular webinars, that run alongside their flagship event, WasteExpo, which is held annually. The site is also home to a wealth of waste management educational resources and offers up-to-date news on the latest innovations in the area. If you’re an individual or business looking to learn more about waste management, Waste360 is a great place to start, and it has played a crucial role in connecting industry professionals across the globe.
As the name suggests, wastedive.com plunges deep into the world of waste management and recycling with in-depth journalism and news. The site features a waste management library, a calendar of industry events, and information on everything from packaging and recycling through tech to investing and politics. With such a broad scope, the website has helped to spark ideas for decision-makers across a broad range of industries.
A great resource for individuals and companies that want to keep up to date with the latest events and stories, Waste Dive also has a useful “what we’re reading” section that allows you to explore even more waste management resources. Additionally, by signing up for the Waste Dive newsletter, you can get what’s new in waste management delivered straight to your inbox.
The National Waste & Recycling Association
Based in Washington DC, the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) is a trade association that represents private waste and recycling companies, as well as manufacturers and distributors of waste processing equipment. It also represents the service providers that work with businesses involved in waste management and recycling.
The NWRA has information on advocacy, the latest rules and regulations affecting waste management and recycling, and a variety of waste management educational resources. Take a look at the site to find out about upcoming events, get the latest industry news, and learn about safety standards relating to waste management and recycling.
The International Journal of Integrated Waste Management, Science and Technology.
The International Journal of Integrated Waste Management, Science and Technology is ‘devoted to the presentation and discussion of information on solid generation, characterization, minimization, collection, separation, treatment and disposal.’ Academics and professionals can submit manuscripts and papers, and readers can access in-depth information on a huge range of industry topics.
You can read articles online or download editions of the waste management resources journal from the website. Recent articles include, ‘Technologies for chemical recycling of household plastics – A technical review and TRL assessment’, ‘Plastic recycling in a circular economy; determining environmental performance through an LCA matrix model approach’ and ‘Waste to bioplastics: How close are we to sustainable polyhydroxyalkanoates production?’.
Environmental Protection Agency
When looking at resources for waste management, it’s always worth reading the latest information published by the government. The United States EPA is home to a huge selection of facts, figures, and statistics on waste management and recycling. It also lists the most recent laws and regulations that may affect your business.
Here, you can also find legislative information on hazardous substances such as lead, mold, pesticides, toxic chemicals, and radioactive waste, as well as learn what the government is doing to address some of the most pressing issues in waste management.
In addition, RTS offers on-site and virtual training programs for you and your employees to further waste management goals, and you can keep up with the latest industry insight within our resources section. For more information, contact RTS today to discuss your requirements with one of our TRUE-Advisors.