Frequent Questions

What is the difference between Waste Minimization and Pollution Prevention?

Waste Minimization is a term found in the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) that refers to source reduction and environmentally sound recycling of RCRA hazardous waste. Pollution Prevention is a term found in the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 that refers to source reduction of all toxic wastes, including those released to air, water and land resources. Source reduction includes any practice that reduces the quantity and/or toxicity of pollutants entering a waste stream prior to recycling, treatment, or disposal. Examples include equipment or technology modifications, reformulation or redesign of products, substitution of less toxic raw materials, improvements in work practices, maintenance, worker training, and better inventory control.
 
Environmentally sound recycling includes the use, reuse and/or reclamation of residuals that may be designated as a hazardous waste, or materials in a hazardous waste. A material is "used or reused" if it is used as an ingredient in an industrial process to make a product or, or if it is used as an effective substitute for a commercial product. A material is "reclaimed" if it is processed to recover a usable product, or if it is regenerated.

For more information, see http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/hazard/wastemin/index.htm.

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