US EPA and its partners have developed several tools to help individuals and organizations determine the greenhouse (GHG) impact of their purchasing, manufacturing, and waste management actions. Several of these tools are based on EPA research on emission factors, as reported in Solid Waste Management and Greenhouse Gases: A Life-Cycle Assessment of Emissions and Sinks and associated reports.
If you're already familiar with the ReCon tool and WARM, you can skip the tool information pages and proceed directly to the tools by following the links below:
Recycled Content (ReCon) Tool. The ReCon Tool was developed to assist companies and individuals in estimating the life-cycle GHG and energy impacts of purchasing or manufacturing certain materials; it also calculates the GHG and energy benefits of increasing the recycled content of specific materials. The ReCon Tool was last updated August, 2006.
WAste Reduction Model (WARM). WARM was developed to assist solid waste managers in determining the GHG impacts of their waste management practices. WARM compares GHG and energy impacts of landfilling, recycling, incineration, composting, and source reduction. WARM was last updated November, 2009.
Durable Goods Calculator (DGC).The DGC was developed for individuals and companies who want to make informed decisions regarding the GHG and energy impact they will have by disposing of durable household goods; it also calculates the GHG and energy benefits of increasing the recycling rates of goods that are disposed. The Durable Goods Calculator was last updated August, 2006.
Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator. This calculator, developed by the U.S. Climate Technology Cooperation, expresses quantities of GHGs in terms of metrics such as number of cars, gallons of gasoline, acres of forest, etc. This calculator is useful for expressing GHG reductions or emissions in a way that is easier to comprehend.
NRC Environmental Benefits Calculator. The National Recycling Coalition's Environmental Benefits Calculator helps determine the GHG and energy benefits of current waste disposal practices. Users enter data on the amount of various waste materials they landfill, recycle, and incinerate, and the tool calculates how that waste disposal scenario compares with one in which all waste is landfilled. The tool reports the benefits in terms of GHGs and other air emissions, energy use, quantity of oil and gas consumed, waterborne wastes, and other metrics. Results are also displayed according to economic sector and life-cycle stage, and automatically-generated charts and graphs provide an illustrated view of the results. This versatile tool can be used by businesses, universities, and government agencies, and may be useful in demonstrating the benefits of recycling programs.
NERC Environmental Benefits Calculator. The Northeast Recycling Council's (NERC) Environmental Benefits Calculator is a free tool for states, counties, municipalities, schools, businesses, and institutions to measure the environmental benefits from their recycling efforts. NERCís Calculator measures these benefits in terms of savings in air emissions, energy use, quantity of oil and gas consumed, cars off the road, household energy use, waterborne pollutants and other metrics. In addition, NERCís Calculator measures the energy savings from reusing or recycling computers. NERC also provides Fact Sheets to use with the calculator results for marketing and outreach purposes.