Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Resources
The EPA roadmap for the future based on materials management – fulfilling human needs and prospering by using less materials, reducing toxics, and recovering more of the materials used. “If we want the US to be competitive in the world economy, the sustainable use of materials must be our goal. Shifting to a materials management approach will refocus the way the economy uses and manages materials and products.”
Opportunities to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions through Materials and Land Management Practices (EPA, September 2009)
The 2009 EPA Report, which describes the link between climate change and the materials and land management programs carried out by EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER), and its federal, regional, state, tribal, community, and other public and private partners. The purpose of the document is to increase the understanding of the link between materials and land management and GHG emissions, and to present a set of materials and land management scenarios as a first step to identify areas of opportunity for EPA and its partners to reduce GHG emissions through materials and land management.
Materials Management in Oregon: Vision and Framework: In 2011, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality convened a workgroup to help develop the 2050 Vision and Framework by starting with a future vision and looking back to identify steps needed to achieve this vision. The Vision and Framework serves as an update to Oregon’s State Integrated Resource and Solid Waste Management Plan. The document envisions an Oregon in 2050 where producers make products sustainably and every option is a sustainable one, people live well and consume sustainably, and materials have the most useful life possible before and after discard.
“Rethink. Think Beyond Waste doesn’t just mean making good decisions about the end of a product’s life cycle (recycling, composting, energy recovery, and landfilling). It refers to sustainable materials management – the use and reuse of materials in the most productive and sustainable way across their entire life cycle. Sustainable materials management conserves resources, reduces waste, slows climate change, and minimizes the environmental impacts of the materials we use. Learn more about what SMM, and what EPA is doing.”
Formerly the Resource Conservation Challenge (RCC), the series provides information on EPA’s materials management stakeholders through webinars related to EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management Program. Through the Web Academy, you can learn about key issues, successful projects, and a variety of best management practices for creating stellar waste management programs.
Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Resources
“Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) helps the federal government ‘buy green,’ and in doing so, uses the federal government's enormous buying power to stimulate market demand for green products and services.” The site includes useful links for consumers, such as: finding and evaluating green products and services; tools and related links.
EPEAT is an easy-to-use resource for identifying high-performance, environmentally preferable products. EPEAT is a comprehensive global environmental rating system that helps purchasers identify greener computers and other electronics. Joining EPEAT can help you make informed purchasing decisions for purchasing greener electronics, and showing progress toward sustainability goals and building environmental reputation.
Waste Management Resources
“Find a Composter is a free directory of composting facilities throughout North America, created and managed by BioCycle magazine and sponsored by the Biodegradable Products Institute.” You can locate a composting facility by Zip Code.
“EPA created the Waste Reduction Model (WARM) to help solid waste planners and organizations track and voluntarily report greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions from several different waste management practices. WARM is available as a Web-based calculator and as a Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet.”
This link includes information and resources regarding Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) Programs, where residents are charged for the collection of municipal solid waste (ordinary household trash) based on the amount they throw away. This creates a direct economic incentive to recycle more and generate less waste.
The Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Data Management System is a reporting tool to track and report your organization’s waste generation and reduction activities. This link provides information on how to join the SMM Data Management System, how the system works, what the system does, and the benefits of the system.
EPA's State and Local Climate and Energy Program provides technical assistance, analytical tools, and outreach support to state, local, and tribal governments. The State Climate and Energy Program helps states develop policies and programs that can reduce GHG emissions, lower energy costs, improve air quality and public health, and help achieve economic development goals. EPA provides states with and advises them on proven, cost-effective best practices, peer exchange opportunities, and analytical tools.
The Sustainable Food Management webinar series is designed to help increase our understanding of food waste issues, and to support grocers, venues, and universities in EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge.