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How to Use the GHG Calculator

by Tricia Tiedt

What are we wasting for? See how much greenhouse gas (GHG) equivalents you could be saving with our newest interactive online tool. By inputting your community’s households, collection data, and participation rate, the GHG Calculator estimates the tonnage of recyclables and related water and GHG savings possible. Learn how many tons of trash, how many metric tons of CO2 avoided, and how many gallons of water your community is saving per year – just by recycling!

Based on the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Waste Reduction Model (WARM), but adjusted for recyclables traditionally accepted in mainstream residential programs, our GHG calculator was created specifically for recycling program coordinators to see the impact of materials recycled by their community. Focusing on just bottles, cans, paper and containers, the GHG calculator allows community recycling programs to boost morale around recycling the basics.

So, how can you use this information to your advantage? Tell your residents how well they’re already doing! Input your data into the interactive calculator, then publish those numbers on your website and social media channels. Studies show that individuals are drawn to the social norm – if everyone else is doing it, they should be too. (See: all those hotel signs that tell you “75 percent of guests who stay in this room choose to reuse their towels.”)

Seeing that their recyclables are already saving thousands of gallons of water each year will incentivize your residents to continue recycling, leading to a stronger impact. Utilize the power of positive messaging and “pack-like” mentality to channel more, better recycling into your stream.

Ready for the next step? Track your data with our new Municipal Measurement Program (MMP). A collaboration between Re-Trac Connect and The Recycling Partnership, MMP is now available to all municipal program managers in the United States and Canada to harness the power of their recycling data through the new online system. For more information on this free tool, check out our joint MMP press release (link here) and apply here.

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