How SWEEP Key Performance Indicators Can Change Local Recycling Outcomes

How SWEEP Key Performance Indicators Can Change Local Recycling Outcomes

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Have you ever questioned how your waste administration and recycling program efficiency compares with different municipalities? Have you tried to discover a set of goal standards that may constantly consider the efficiency of those applications and located no foundation for comparability? After a program has achieved preliminary objectives, have you ever ever questioned what your metropolis or city might do subsequent to preserve bettering?

When you ask a waste skilled to clarify the sustainability of their waste administration program, you’re asking for an evaluation of the effectivity and effectiveness of a sustainable supplies administration program and its environmental efficiency. But, for this evaluation to be significant, it have to be assessed on the identical foundation as different applications.

Like the LEED program, which scores the environmental efficiency of a constructing, the Solid Waste Environmental Excellence Performance (SWEEP) Standard is designed to be the definitive, comprehensive framework for outlining environmental efficiency within the stable waste business in North America. It helps transfer the business and our financial system from a linear take–make–waste construction to a extra round sustainable supplies administration (SMM) construction. The commonplace being piloted proper now, SWEEP+ (SWEEP-Plus), is a management commonplace focused on the efficiency ranges that outline the highest 25% of the market.

Learn The Terms

In quick, SWEEP provides you and your neighborhood the premise for evaluating its efficiency to others. There are a couple of phrases and acronyms to be taught. Still, the trouble will help you will have a productive dialogue with native leaders about bettering your stable waste system. Over the course of a sequence of articles this yr, Earth911 and SWEEP will present a information to understanding and utilizing the usual in your neighborhood.

Each of SWEEP’s 5 Performance Categories presents key performance indicators (KPIs), defining what management efficiency in every of those areas requires, beginning with the SMM Policy part of this system:

  1. Sustainable Materials Management Policies (SMMP), which take care of the efficiency of the waste system;
  2. Waste Generation and Prevention (WGP),
  3. Solid Waste Collection (SWC),
  4. Post Collection Recovery (PCR),
  5. Post Collection Disposal (PCD).

These KPIs are organized round monitoring these outcomes:

  • Efficiency and Effectiveness,
  • Environmental Performance,
  • Economic Performance,
  • Working Conditions, Social Impact, and Public Participation.

The advantages of a complete and constant sustainability program like SWEEP embrace:

  • Improved effectivity and effectiveness of your native waste and recycling program,
  • Improved neighborhood environmental efficiency and situations,
  • Economic development and extra jobs created by means of the collaboration of municipal, non-public, and nonprofit entities,
  • Helping a significant neighborhood service to turn into round, equitable, and wholesome.

Apply Your New Knowledge

What YOU can do:

  • Citizens: Learn about SWEEEP and ask your native authorities to get entangled!
  • Leaders: Learn in regards to the parts and efficiency benchmarks of sustainable supplies administration. Through SWEEP, start incorporating these best-practice parts into your applications and confirm and validate your efforts by means of SWEEP Certification.

Let’s see how SWEEP’s KPIs outline sustainable supplies administration efficiency to present you and neighborhood leaders a typical language. Taking the time to be taught a little bit of waste administration jargon can unlock your energy to affect the method.

Sustainable Materials Management Policies (SMMP)

The efficiency strategy goals to establish the discarded supplies with the very best environmental or vitality impression and devise applications to optimize restoration of these high-impact assets. Paper and metals, for instance, are supplies with excessive vitality or environmental impacts that additionally carry giant financial advantages when recovered.

SWEEP presents two pathways for demonstrating the effectivity and effectiveness of an area authorities’s sustainable supplies administration framework. The first is a “efficiency” strategy that establishes high-level benchmarks with out figuring out how these benchmarks are achieved. The second pathway is a “prescriptive” pathway that’s extra particular and centered in its necessities that outline how a waste system operates successfully.

Typically, prescriptive necessities are extra easy to realize, however have a lot much less flexibility in programmatic approaches. On the opposite hand, efficiency necessities are harder to outline and implement, however sometimes permit a lot better flexibility and potential for program achievement.

Weighing Progress

In evaluating the best way to outline environmental efficiency by means of SWEEP, our committees and contributors centered on the inadequacy of utilizing the weight-based “ton” to measure program efficiency. Although it’s not too tough to measure and observe weight, the ton tells you nothing about how your program is performing economically or environmentally.

Compare a ton of grass clippings to a ton of aluminum. It doesn’t let you know what number of vans it’s essential gather materials. It doesn’t let you know how a lot airspace is used or stays in your landfill. In each the gathering and landfill circumstances, the density of the fabric is important for figuring out the impacts of this ton on assortment capability or how a lot airspace is required upon disposal. Tons additionally let you know nothing about both materials’s financial or environmental worth.

If not the ton, then what? Consistent with the transfer towards a extra performance-oriented analysis of program achievement, SWEEP has devised two Performance Path choices for assessing the impression of supplies and the way they’re dealt with in your neighborhood:

  1. Energy and emissions outcomes from the EPA WARM modeling are used to explain the carbon emissions related to the fabric. A ton of grass has a really low carbon impression in comparison with aluminum, which have to be mined, transported, refined, and manufactured right into a product earlier than it reaches the buyer.
  2. A lifecycle impression modeling analysis based mostly on the MEBCalc or one other lifecycle assessment (LCA) device, equivalent to SimaPro or Sphera. These instruments assist the waste administration system assess the total impression of the fabric on the surroundings.

SWEEP’s Prescriptive Path below SMMP rewards jurisdictions for adopting recycling/diversion objectives and requires common waste characterization research.

If your neighborhood follows the prescriptive choice, SWEEP additionally provides credit score to municipalities which have a coverage to cut back the greenhouse fuel emissions of its waste administration program and credit score for insurance policies to advertise supply discount.

Ready For The Next Step

Communities should look past the environmental impacts to the financial efficiency of their waste system, which have to be inexpensive for residents and companies. SWEEP provides credit score for insurance policies that promote market-based waste administration applications. The typical strategy to pricing program companies is predicated on the quantity of fabric generated by means of numerous types of “pay as you throw” (PAYT) companies, which have been amply demonstrated to cut back the quantity of waste generated by shoppers and companies.

Finally, SWEEP rewards having public enter into the event and implementation of waste administration insurance policies by means of public participation in committee conferences or having a citizen stable waste advisory board. To summarize, a neighborhood can earn as much as 21 accessible SWEEP factors by means of by bettering its SMMP outcomes.

In our subsequent article, we’ll introduce the Waste Generation and Prevention (WGP) and Solid Waste Collection (SWC) elements of the SWEEP Standard.

In the meantime, you possibly can start your native journey to recycling and accountable disposal affect by asking your neighborhood’s stable waste administration workplace, “How’s your SMMP?” If they don’t have a solution, name your metropolis council consultant to ask them to create rules that require the town to reveal stable supplies administration efficiency to residents.

Learn More

This article, contributed by SWEEP founder Rob Watson, is a part of a sequence that may summarize the usual and its potential functions in U.S. communities. Discover extra in regards to the SWEEP Standard: