Frequent Questions

Does EPA consider burning for energy recovery to be waste minimization?

Waste minimization, the term employed in the RCRA statute, is defined to include both source reduction and certain types of environmentally sound recycling. Our highest priority is to achieve reductions through source reduction. However, if this is not achievable, then environmentally sound recycling is also an Agency priority. 

Recycling activities closely resembling conventional waste treatment activities (such as burning for energy recovery) do not constitute waste minimization. Also, treatment for the purposes of destruction or disposal is not part of waste minimization, but is, rather, an activity that occurs after the opportunities for waste minimization have been pursued.

For more information, see http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/hazard/tsd/td/combustion.htm and 
http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/hazard/wastemin/.

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