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Why isn’t Waste-to-Energy counted towards overall waste diversion? Follow

EPA considers waste and materials that are donated/reused, recycled, and composted as diverted.

The EPA National Measurement Workgroup defined diversion as:

“activities surrounding the handling of recovered resources such that they are not disposed of in landfills, waste piles, surface impoundments, land application units on a permanent or long-term temporary basis; and are not incinerated or converted to fuel energy, or base chemicals through combustion, pyrolysis, gasification, or other conversion technologies. Diversion can be attributed to several processes where materials are systematically redirected from disposal: Recycling, Reuse, Beneficial Use, and Composting.

This is consistent with how other organizations define diversion as well, including the State of California and the US Green Building Council.

Diversion from being buried in a landfill or burned in an incinerator extends a material’s useful life. Recycling transforms waste materials into new products, thereby conserving natural resources. Composting returns nutrients from organic wastes to the land as a valuable soil amendment.

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