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Managing and Transforming Waste Streams – A Tool for Communities

Filter Descriptions and Qualitative Rankings for Managing and Transforming Waste Streams Tool

  • Diversion Potential 1 - What is the measure's tonnage diversion potential from landfill and combustion?
           High/Medium/Low
  • Upstream Impacts 1 - How significantly does the measure reduce upstream climate impacts (greenhouse gas emissions generated by raw materials extraction and product manufacturing)?
           High/Medium/Low
  • Local Authority - How much control must the local government exert over the discard management system (e.g., service providers, infrastructure collection/transfer/disposal, and/or waste generators) in order to accomplish the measure?
           Low (Implied – indirectly through culture or practice)
           Medium (Influenced – by policy, permit, license or ordinance)
           High (Explicit - directly through contracts or operations)
  • Receptivity - What is the relative ease and level of effort to initiate and obtain local buy-in for the measure? For example, does it involve promotional activities, recognition, no requirements on waste generators, minor costs (generally easier), or does it involve setting mandatory requirements, restrictions, or higher costs (generally more difficult)?
           Easy/Medium/Difficult
  • Staff Knowledge - How much staff knowledge or specific expertise is needed to implement the measure? Can it be implemented by mid-level local agency staff without outside legal or contractor assistance?
           Low/Medium/High
  • Community Led Initiatives - How easy or hard is it for individuals or groups to initiate adoption or implementation of the measure without actions required by the jurisdiction? Can a local non-profit or group of interested residents carry out the activity (e.g., develop a “how-to guide”) or will it require initiation by local jurisdiction staff or elected bodies (e.g., adopt a local ordinance)?
           Easy/Medium/Difficult

    1 For measures that involve adopting a Goal and/or Plan, the rankings assume goal/plan implementation.

Disclaimer: the filter rankings are intended to be used as general guidelines and do not constitute EPA assessments or recommendations; the actual indicator or level of effort addressed by the filter may vary from community to community. The rankings reflect relative comparisons among the policy and program options featured in the tool. This tool is designed to inspire communities to embark on a process to evaluate various policy and program options on a path towards zero waste.