Policy and Program Impact Estimator: A Materials Recovery Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Calculator for Communities

EPA developed a calculator that expands the Waste Reduction Model (WARM) framework to include a community’s existing waste stream and policy and program options. This Excel spreadsheet calculator is designed to help municipalities, counties, and tribes estimate reductions in life cycle GHGs from implementing new or expanded solid waste policies and programs in their communities.

Using EPA’s WARM version 14 emissions factors, the calculator generates projected results for annual and accumulative tons of waste diverted and GHGs reduced over a 10-year planning timeframe. The results can inform comparisons of the estimated GHG impact from implementing different policies and programs, consistent with user-entered assumptions.

Materials addressed by the calculator include metal, glass, plastic, paper, wood, food waste, yard trimmings, and various construction and demolition debris materials. The calculator may also serve to familiarize users with what type of local solid waste data is needed to estimate GHG reductions from recycling and composting programs.

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