EPA's Sustainable Materials Management Program
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 SMM and what EPA is doing.
Make a Difference
- Take steps to reduce your environmental impact at each stage of the life cycle of your stuff.
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle what you use in your daily life
Businesses, Universities, Governments
- Know and reduce the life cycle impacts across your supply chain. Conduct a life cycle assessment.
- Use less toxic and more renewable materials.
- Increase Industrial Materials Recycling
- Join a SMM Challenge (see below)
Join the Challenge
Food Recovery Challenge - Grocers, colleges, and stadiums are committing to reduce the environmental impact of wasted food in landfills through smart purchasing and surplus food diversion.
Electronics Challenge - Equipment manufacturers and retailers are promoting responsible recycling of used electronics.
- Federal Green Challenge - Challenges EPA and other federal agencies throughout the country to lead example by reducing the Federal Government’s environmental impact.