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PS waste reduction

One of the problems in developing new solid waste management laws and regulations is difficulty in obtaining critical data quantifying the impact of source-reduction practices on various materials.

The Environmental Protection Agency is always interested in learning how other government agencies, industry and non-profit groups quantify trends in source reduction, said Eugene Lee of EPA's Municipal & Industrial Solid Waste Division. In a letter to the Polystyrene Packaging Council, Lee expressed interest in the methodology used in a study of waste management and reduction trends in the polystyrene industry by Franklin Associates, Ltd. He asked to be kept informed of any refinements to the approach used to estimate source-reduction trends. The study found the polystyrene industry has diverted 10.4% from the waste stream over a 20-year period. Source reduction can have a positive impact on solid waste management, said Marge Franklin, president of Franklin Associates. A recovery rate of 24% would be necessary for polystyrene packaging and disposables recycling efforts to save as much energy as source reduction.

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