During America Recycles Week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) celebrated 25 years of the WasteWise program, which encourages corporations, businesses, educational institutions and governments to set sustainability goals and track progress in preventing and recycling waste, saving resources and money.
“The WasteWise program is a cornerstone of EPA’s commitment to sustainable materials management through reducing, reusing and recycling,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler in a statement. “Under the Trump administration, EPA is working diligently to identify market-based strategies and innovative ideas to create a more sustainable recycling system in America. Through the WasteWise program, EPA is carrying through on this commitment, and I congratulate all of our WasteWise participants over the last 25 years on their many accomplishments. I know there are many more innovative successes this program will produce.”
As one of EPA’s longest-standing partnership programs, WasteWise was launched in 1994 and has involved thousands of participants over its 25 years. During the duration of the program, participants have prevented and diverted 247 million tons of materials from going to landfills or incinerators. This has saved participating companies as much as an estimated $11.1 billion in avoided landfill tipping fees.
EPA launched WasteWise with 281 charter members representing a cross-section of American companies, ranging from communications firms, to restaurants, to large utilities. From its inception, the program emphasized waste prevention—using less material to do the same job—because this provides the most significant benefits to the environment and the bottom line. It also emphasizes the importance of setting waste diversion goals and tracking progress to quantify and measure results. EPA is highlighting some of the accomplishments from the 25 years of WasteWise on its website.
WasteWise is part of EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management program, which focuses on using and reusing materials more productively over their entire lifecycles.