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Appendix B A Typical Waste Reduction Program A typical strategy for conducting a waste reduction program in an industrial facility is described in figure B.1. The strategy, based on the experience of committee members, outlines the generic, logical steps a firm could undertake in implementing a waste reduction program. A waste reduction program following this general strategy would have the following elements. First, information is gathered on each waste stream, including source of generation, physical/chemical characteristics, quantities, variations in rate of production, regulatory designation of hazardousness, means by which it is handled within the plant, and costs of managing the Identify All Wastes from Plant Prioritize All Wastes According to Costs of Management and . environmental Probl ems Develop Hazardous Waste Reduction/ El imination Plans for Each Waste Stream Assess Economic, Technical, and Regulatory Feasibility _ of Plans FIGURE B.1 Model waste reduction strategy. 64 Implement Those Plans that Meet Feasibility Goals
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65 TABLE B.1 Considerations in Assessing the Feasibility of Alternative Waste Reduction Plans Alternative Process Description--an overview of the technology (methodology) including theory and application Technology Flow Diagram Material Inputs--description of the influent material streams identified by physical/chemical properties Effluents and Residuals--description of the products and waste streams including residuals-handling requirements Implementation, Reliability--description of technical feasibility including proven nature of technology Process Application--description of current waste management applications of new process as well as future potential Economic Considerations--an overview of general capital and operating/maintenance costs, where available Energy Requirements--description of power demands and energy intensity of application Resource Recovery Potentials--an overview of materials' recovery potential Risk Factors--an overview of potential environmental and health threats posed by the product and process residuals Institutional Considerations--description of regulatory and possible permitting considerations waste. Next, priorities are established for all the wastes according to the environmental problems they pose, regulatory considerations, and their contribution to the annual waste management cost at the facility. Considera- tion is also given to how changes in production processes, such as the phasing out of a particular product, may alter the total waste stream. A plan is then developed for the reduction of each identified waste stream. The plan focuses on the physical or chemical properties of the waste that are of concern and need not focus on the total volume or weight of the stream. This focus is important because it aims at the items that create the primary environmental or health impacts and also facilitates the selection of waste reduction methodologies. Options should be examined in
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66 each of the four categories (abatement, minimization, reuse, and recycling). Upon completion of this stage of the management strategy for the higher priority wastes, a process to assess the economic and technical feasibility of the options can begin. Table B.1 outlines some of the considerations that may be encountered in this process. By using a unified approach in this step, comparative economic data can be derived to document the success of the program. To date, this information has not widely been collected in industry, even though it has been obtained in other areas such as wastewater and energy conservation programs. A company should continually reevaluate its options over time to adapt its waste prevention programs to changing economic, technological, or regulatory conditions.