Each year, the United States generates roughly 2.7 billion tons of industrial solid waste and over 290 million tons of municipal solid waste. Manufacturers, companies, schools, and governments across the country are looking to strengthen their competitiveness and sustainability by setting and realizing ambitious waste reduction goals. By reducing waste, these organizations also save energy. For example, waste reduction can improve the efficiency of manufacturing plants, thereby reducing embodied energy flows in materials. More efficient use of materials and higher recycling rates in homes and buildings also reduce the amount of energy needed to transport and treat waste.

BGS staff are helping the Department of Energy (DOE) Better Buildings, Better Plants program facilitate a Waste Reduction Pilot to help partners reduce waste and improve energy performance. DOE is working with partners to establish waste reduction goals, track progress, identify and overcome barriers to reducing waste, and document best practices. Partners have set an appropriate baseline year and waste reduction goal across a portfolio of facilities in coordination with their DOE contact. Going forward, partners share baseline waste data within one year of joining and data showing progress on an annual basis. Using this data, DOE works with partners to develop case studies highlighting their waste reduction accomplishments.

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