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What is the US EPA Program WasteWise?

What is the US EPA Program WasteWise?

(Boston, Mass. – Dec. 14, 2011) – Three WasteWise partners in New England were recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for outstanding achievements as 2011 WasteWise award winners. Nationally, there were 29 winners, with awards in categories including business, government, and educational sectors.  You can read the full news release here, but I think I’d be remiss if I didn’t send a shout-out to those three New England companies:

  • Raytheon Company, Mass.
  • Cannon Grange #152 Inc., Conn.
  • Genzyme Corporation (Mass.)

So just what exactly is WasteWise?  You can learn much more about it from its website, or check out this factsheet, but WasteWise – founded in 1994 and with more than 2,700 members – is a US EPA program that encourages a variety of different organizations and businesses to voluntarily commit to waste reduction and recycling goals.  By becoming a member of WasteWise, you obtain access to a variety of tools to help you reach those waste goals and to promote your efforts to your customers, your community, and the world.

Organizations may join WasteWise as either a Partner or an Endorser.  A Partner commits to reduce their own waste production whereas an Endorser is a branch of government or other organization that uses the tools available through WasteWise to convince its members of the benefits of waste reduction and recycling.  Eligible members include but are not limited to all sizes of:  US businesses, State & local governments, non-profit organizations, and trade associations.

As a member, you have access to all of the following:

It’s the third bullet point of the above that you see on display at the top of this article, and on the US EPA website of the 2011 WasteWise Award Winners.  As a member, you have the opportunity to promote your company – and be promoted – as a company that cares about the environment and is doing something about it; this alone might be reason enough to join up.  An additional incentive is having access to the WasteWise Re-TRAC System.  This new data management and reporting system allows you to collect, organize, analyze, and report your waste reduction activities and to generate reports such as the WasteWise Climate Profile report.

If you are considering becoming a member, but don’t know if WasteWise has the resources to assist your specific interests, check out their Targeted Initiatives and see if there is a Challenge or Campaign that directly addresses your waste generation.  And why not involve the office personnel as well?  WasteWise has a tool for determining the carbon footprint of office operations including:  company-owned vehicle transportation; purchased electricity; waste disposal; and leased assets, franchises, and outsourced activities.

Take a look at the information available, determine if WasteWise is a good fit for your operations, and then take it to management and see what they think.  Let me know how it works for you, I’ve never been able to convince a company to voluntarily commit to any US EPA program.  Perhaps you’ll have better luck.