Welcome to SWEEP—A 21st Century Standard for Sustainable Materials Management.
The US generates over 400 million tons of municipal solid waste each year. Currently, over 60 percent of this waste is disposed of in landfills, with the rest recycled or incinerated for energy. The embodied energy and resources of still-useful materials that are thrown away, plus the methane generated from rotting organic material is responsible for up to 10 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the US.
Using integrated Sustainable Materials Management practices it might be possible to reclaim and repurpose up to 95 percent of discarded materials, while also significantly reducing the amount of material disposed of.
We believe that communities and the solid waste management industry are the key to eliminating and mitigating this complex environmental challenge. SWEEP is being developed to provide a set of comprehensive performance standards to support the efforts of communities and the waste industry to promote continuous improvement towards a zero waste society.