Integrated Solid Waste Management

  • What is it?

    The Integrated Solid Waste Management (ISWM) concept was established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the early 1990s to expand existing solid waste management initiatives. Instead of focusing only on the disposal of solid waste, ISWM includes preventing waste, minimizing the initial generation of materials through source reduction, reusing and recycling, and composting to reduce the volume of materials being sent to landfills or incineration.

  • What has the Army done?

    The Facilities Policy Division of the Army Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management (ACSIM) has primary responsibility for Army solid waste management. The USAEC assists them in managing environmental issues.

    USAEC's role in promoting environmental compliance for the Army in the area of integrated solid waste management includes:

    • Identifying source reduction opportunities that may be used to reduce the waste stream;
    • Defining waste stream components and identifying reuse or recycle opportunities;
    • Documenting correct procedures for all aspects of solid waste management including storage, collection, segregation, transportation, treatment, recycling and disposal;
    • Presenting factors which could potentially affect solid waste management;
    • Preparing Army impact analyses and comments on potential rule makings;
    • Army installations: Preparing guidance documents, including "The Army's Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan Guidance" that has been distributed to installations;
    • Army installations: Developing tools to assist installations in complying with ISWM requirements;
    • Working with the Army Environmental Division of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management Installation Services Directorate (ISE) and the Environmental Division of the Installation Management Command (IMCOM) G4-Logistics and Public Works, to develop compliance strategies;
    • Tracking the Army's progress on meeting DoD and Army environmental goals;
    • Supporting installations when requested;
    • Maintaining contact with the EPA to stay informed of current and future initiatives; and
    • Representing the Army on DoD committees, along with Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management representatives.

  • What does the Army have planned?

    In addition to continued regulatory compliance guidance for solid waste, USAEC assists installations participating in the Net Zero sustainability initiative. The goal is for installations to reduce, reuse, and recover waste streams so that there is minimal landfill disposal. The Net Zero program also addresses sustainable management of energy and water. There will be five pilot Net Zero installations in each category and one in all three by 2020, and the goal is to have 25 Net Zero installations by 2030.

  • Why is this important?

    The Army supports ISWM and sets regulations and goals for installations to reduce the generation of solid waste. Installation requirements include:

    • Developing and implementing an integrated solid waste management plan (ISWMP), which requires a thorough evaluation of all aspects of solid waste management;
    • Abiding by ISWM procedures, techniques and practices that are documented in the installation ISWMP;
    • Adhering to legally applicable federal, state, and local environmental regulations regarding management and disposal of solid waste;
    • Obtaining solid waste services from municipal utility systems, regional and cooperative systems, private utility companies and the private sector, where feasible;
    • Analyzing new solid waste projects, assessing their environmental risk and compliance cost; and
    • Reducing, reusing, and recycling solid waste to the greatest extent possible.

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