Waste minimization/pollution prevention has become the strategic approach to waste management in the 90s and the hope for environmental management as we enter the third millenium. Nearly a decade ago, EPA's Office of Research and Development began a focused Waste Minimization Research Program to identify and demonstrate technology for reducing the generation of wastes and shifted the Agency's priority from end-of-pipe controls to the prevention of waste generation. The purpose of this presentation is to share a number of the results from several years of researching engineering solutions to multi-media problems, building a sound scientific foundation to support pollution prevention (P2) principles, and developing and demonstrating pollution prevention technologies, tools, and techniques. The “tools of the trade” for pollution prevention are the research reports that provide results of technology development, the case studies and demonstrations of P2 technologies, and the technical guides and manuals for conducting P2 activities.
Technology Development - Tools resulting from technology development include the numerous research reports and briefs from: 1) the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Program, 2) Pollution Prevention Measurement Projects, and 3) the Innovative Clean Technologies Program.
Technology Demonstration - Tools resulting from technology demonstration include the research reports and summaries from: 1) the Waste Reduction Innovative Technology Evaluation (WRITE) Program, 2) the Waste Reduction Evaluation At Federal Sites (WREAFS) Program, 3) the New Jersey/EPA Waste Minimization Assessment Project, and 4) Small Generator Waste Minimization Assessment Program.
Technical Guides and Manuals - These tools include: 1) Facility Pollution Prevention Guide. 2) 16 industry specific guides to pollution prevention, 3) Background Document on Clean Products Research and Implementation, and 4) Industrial Pollution Prevention Opportunities for the 1990s.
Much of the EPA's Pollution Prevention RD&D Program has focused on the development and demonstration of practical tools to encourage the development and adoption of processing technologies mid products that will lead to reducing the aggregate generation rates for pollutants entering various environmental media. The strategic direction for pollution prevention RD&D through the 1990s is: 1) to study high risk environmental problems where P2 offers a cost-effective solution for reducing the risks, 2) to conduct cross-cutting research such as measurement, modelling, and LCA that can be applied to multiple problems, and 3) to establish joint global P2 RD&D ventures where products and processes know no waste generating boundaries.