The U.S.has 5% of the world’s population but consumes 30% of the world’s resources and creates 30% of the world’s waste (Miller 1998). Each person in the United States makes 4 1/2 pounds of garbage a day (U.S. EPA, 2007). As global resources become increasingly limited, we must seek solutions to reduce waste production and to divert materials from the waste stream. Below are programs, agencies, and organizations that are working on waste management on a broader national and international scale.

EPA WasteWise Program

WasteWise is a free, voluntary, EPA program through which organizations eliminate costly municipal solid waste and select industrial wastes, benefiting their bottom line and the environment. WasteWise is a flexible program that allows partners to design their own waste reduction programs tailored to their needs.

EPA Materials and Waste Exchanges
Materials and waste exchanges are markets for buying and selling reusable and recyclable commodities. This website provides a state-by-state listing of waste exchanges in your area.

U.S. International Waste Agreements (EPA website)

The United States is party to major international waste agreements with Canada, Mexico, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). More limited agreements are in place with Costa Rica, Malaysia, and the Philippines. In addition, the US is a signatory to the Basel Convention. These agreements between the US and other countries impact the handling of wastes shipped across national borders.

StEP Initiative

Welcome to StEP – an initiative of various UN organizations with the overall aim to solve the e-waste problem. Together with prominent members from industry, governments, international organizations, NGOs and the science sector actively participating in StEP, we initiate and facilitate approaches towards the sustainable handling of e-waste.

Air and Waste Management Association

The Air & Waste Management Association (A&WMA) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan professional organization that enhances knowledge and expertise by providing a neutral forum for information exchange, professional development, networking opportunities, public education, and outreach to more than 8000 environmental professionals in 65 countries. A&WMA also promotes global environmental responsibility and increases the effectiveness of organizations to make critical decisions that benefit society.

The International Solid Waste Association

ISWA is an international, independent and non-profit making association, working in the public interest to promote and develop sustainable waste management worldwide. ISWA has members around the world and is the only worldwide association promoting sustainable and professional waste management.

Zero Waste International Alliance

The Zero Waste International Alliance has been established to promote positive alternatives to landfill and incineration and to raise community awareness of the social and economic benefits to be gained when waste is regarded as a resource base upon which can be built both employment and business opportunity.