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RE: Measurement of savings from haz waste prevention

Hi Ken.  Regarding rules of thumb for the savings from preventing hazardous waste, I do recall that when I worked for WDOE in the early 1990s many companies reported that disposal of a drum of haz waste such as paint waste cost around $500.  A drum weighs something like 500 lbs.  So a figure of $1 per pound might not be unrealistic, and that is just for disposal, not including the total costs including compliance etc.  Boeing once reported that it cost about 8 times as much to manage a drum of methylene chloride as it did to buy it. 
I am going to take the liberty to post this question to the P2Tech listserv in hopes that someone might respond to you with some other guidance about how much a company might save, on average, by preventing the generation of a pound or a thousand pounds (more realistic) of a "typical" hazardous waste.  Any input to PPRC, techsters?  This is a good subject to offer help since demonstrating the realistic savings from P2 programs is obviously crucial in the budget battles.
Burt Hamner
-----Mensaje original-----
De: Ken Grimm [mailto:kgrimm@pprc.org]
Enviado el: Martes, 25 de Marzo de 2003 01:16 p.m.
Para: bhamner@cleanerproduction.com
Asunto: Measurement

Good morning Sir,

Please excuse the two paragraphs of set-up, but I have a question to ask.  We at the Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center have developed an online tool designed to collect data from P2 efforts throughout EPA Region 10.  The idea is to provide both state and local P2 agencies with the means to demonstrate the success of their P2 efforts.  While this has always seemed like an effective way to demonstrate the viability (read: cost effectiveness) of P2 programs, it seems even more imperative today.  The states in EPA Region 10 (as well as many others) face serious budget shortfalls and are seeking to reduce or eliminate many programs.  The state of Alaska appears to have gutted its P2 program almost entirely.


As part of an upgrade to the tool, we are seeking to add additional calculators.  P2 programs have done a good job capturing reduction numbers, but the financial savings for businesses has not been consistently tracked.  As a result this has left our measurement tool with a serious weakness.  The tool is designed to capture only those numbers that we know, but when the aggregate totals are presented it can be viewed to imply false correlations.  For example, it shows a total reduction in hazardous waste of nearly 25 million pounds and a cost savings of $777,635.  We have received some inquiry regarding the fact that (at least as this seems to imply) the cost of hazardous waste is 3.1 cents per pound.


I have been told that, as someone with extensive P2 knowledge and connections, you might be able to provide me with a total cost assessment-type figure for the costs to a business for hazardous waste.  If you do, in fact, have those figures available or can refer me to someone who does it would be much appreciated.  If you have questions about the tool you can view it online at: http://www.pprc.org/measure/index.cfm.


Thank you for your time,




Ken Grimm


206-352-2050 phone

206-352-2049 fax