Integrated Solid Waste Management (ISWM)
The "integrated solid waste management" (ISWM) concept was established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the early 1990's 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.
How does ISWM impact the Army?
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.
How does the U.S. Army Environmental Command (USAEC) assist the Army with ISWM?
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 rulemakings;
- Preparing guidance documents, including "The Army's Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan Guidance" that has been distributed to installations;
- Developing tools to assist installations in complying with ISWM requirements;
- Working with the Office of the Director of Environmental Programs (ODEP) and the Installation Management Command (IMCOM) 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 abreast of current and future initiatives; and
- Representing the Army on DoD committees, along with ODEP.
Training for Qualified Recycling Program (QRP) Managers
The DOD Combined Services Solid Waste/Recycling Work Group (SW/R WG) sponsors the new and improved QRP Manager's Course at the US Air Force Civil Engineer & Services School at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. The 4-day resident course is open to all DOD personnel. Course description information, schedule, and online registration are available at the AFIT web site. There is no tuition charge, but students pay all TDY (travel & per diem) expenses. AFIT provides student lodging.
The course is expected to obtain official approval by the Interservice Environmental Education Review Board as it was developed with input from all the Services.
Army proponents include the USAEC and the ACSIM Facilities and Housing Directorate. Service POCs involved in developing the course may be contacted through the USAEC Environmental Training Team.