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STAR Objective Spotlight: CE-7: Waste Minimization

This month STAR is directing attention to objective CE-7: Waste Minimization. The goal of this objective is for communities to track how they reduce and reuse material waste produced in the community.

In 2015, 258 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) were generated in the United States. This is equivalent to 0.8 tons per person or 4.41 pounds generated per person per day. Of the 20 communities submitting their 2017 Leading STAR Community Indicators report, 15 tracked solid waste generation between 2011 and 2016.

According to the EPA, over 89 million tons of MSW (34.6%) were recycled or composted in 2015.

Based on data from 62 STAR Certified communities, the most common actions related to CE-7 Waste Minimization include providing services to enable recycling and operating programs for critical waste streams, such as hazardous waste, e-waste, and organic waste. The least common action was adoption of specific product bans, such as plastic bags or disposable food containers.

Under Version 2.0 of the STAR Community Rating System, a new outcome measure was introduced for tracking communitywide recycling rates.

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