Under this approach, waste reduction strategies are prioritized as follows:
- 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.
- 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.
- If a waste cannot be reduced at the source or recycled, reused or reclaimed, then it should be treated prior to disposal.
- 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: