Waste reduction planning

The generally recognized waste management hierarchy (Source Reduction, Recycling/Reuse, Treatment, Disposal) is supported by Covestro LLC and is consistent with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's recommended "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" approach.

Under this approach, waste reduction strategies are prioritized as follows:

  1. The first objective in a waste reduction effort should be source reduction--which means to avoid generating waste in the first place. Review production methods and procedures and implement changes that help minimize process waste.
  2. Use closed-loop recycling within a production process where possible to further minimize waste levels.If a waste cannot be reduced at the source--or recycled within a production process--then it should be recycled onsite or sent offsite for recycling, in that order of preference.
  3. If a waste cannot be reduced at the source or recycled, reused or reclaimed, then it should be treated prior to disposal.
  4. Finally, treated waste should be disposed of in accordance with applicable federal, state and local regulations.

Waste reduction program elements

Guidance on getting a waste reduction program started, or improving an existing program by using a more structured process, is available from various sources. Based on experience at Covestro, key elements for managing an ongoing waste reduction program include:

  • Training
  • Teaming
  • Accounting
  • Targeting
  • Ranking
  • Assessing
  • Implementing