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Solid Waste Management Policy

Download the GRB Solid Waste Management Policy in PDF or DOCX format.

  1. Scope
    1. This Solid Waste Management Policy facilitates Waste Reduction.
    2. In 2009 LEED for Existing Buildings: O&M, a policy commits the organization to an overarching course of action, which empowers staff working at the operational level. A policy is a strategic view of a given sustainability goal that sets behavioral boundaries and may encompass a large number of buildings, or an entire organization, in a general way. A plan or program is the field-level, operational working document that lays out steps required to meet the sustainability goals of the building.
    3. The policy is intended to be consistent with the requirements of 2009 LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance credit MRp2.
    4. This policy applies to the building and associated site/grounds within the LEED project boundary of :
      • George R. Brown Convention Center
        1001 Avenida de las Americas
        Houston, TX 77010
    5. This policy applies only to waste under our direct control. This building is occupied by multiple tenants and some aspects of the tenants' waste stream are not under our control. For example, some tenants elect to shred sensitive data and have it disposed of outside our recycling or waste systems.
    6. Scope: Ongoing Consumables including paper, toner cartridges, glass, plastics, cardboard, corrugated cardboard, food waste, metals, and shall be reused, recycled, or composted when possible.
    7. Scope: Portable dry-cell batteries used in radios, phones, cameras, computers etc., shall be rechargeable and also have low levels of mercury and heavy metals
    8. Scope: Durable Goods – including office equipment, such as computers, monitors, copiers, fax machines, printers, and scanners, appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers, and water coolers; external power adapters, televisions, and other audiovisual equipment shall be reused or recycled, when possible. The City’s Property Disposal Management Office (PDMO) for disposition. Disposition is accomplished through public auction which is required by Sate law.
    9. Scope – Demolition Waste from facility alterations or additions. This refers to base building elements permanently or semi-permanently attached to the building itself that enter the waste stream during facility renovations, demolitions, refits, and new construction additions. Wall studs, insulation, doors, windows, panels, drywall, trim, ceiling panels, carpet, flooring material, adhesives, sealants, paints, and coatings are all considered part of this group. Mechanical, electrical, plumbing, furniture, fixtures, and specialty equipment such as elevators are excluded.
    10. Scope-Source Reduction- we will encourage the purchase of materials and equipment  that result in less packaging or unnecessary materials brought into a building.
    11. Time period:
    12. This policy is applicable starting April 2010 and continuing until rescinded.
    13. This policy shall be reviewed on an annual basis.
  1. Responsible Parties
    1. Our employee responsible for policy development and modifications (Policy Administrator) is: John Gonzalez
    2. Our employee responsible for policy implementation (Plan Manager) is: Miguel Macias
  1. Definitions
    1. Durable goods have a useful life of 2 years or more and are replaced infrequently or may require capital program outlays. Examples include furniture, office equipment, appliances, external power adapters, televisions, and audiovisual equipment.
    2. An incinerator is a furnace or container for burning waste materials.
    3. Landfills are waste disposal sites for solid waste from human activities.
    4. Ongoing consumables have a low cost per unit and are regularly used and replaced in the course of business. Examples include paper, toner cartridges, binders, batteries, and desk accessories.
    5. Recycling is the collection, reprocessing, marketing, and use of materials that were diverted or recovered from the solid waste stream.
    6. Source reduction reduces the amount of unnecessary material brought into a building. Examples include purchasing products with less packaging.
    7. Waste comprises all materials that flow from the building to final disposal. Examples include paper, grass trimmings, food scraps, and plastics. In LEED, waste refers to all materials that are capable of being diverted from the building's waste stream through waste reduction.
    8. Waste disposal eliminates waste by means of burial in a landfill, combustion in an incinerator, dumping at sea, or any other way that is not recycling or reuse.
    9. Waste diversion is a management activity that disposes of waste other than through incineration or the use of landfills. Examples include reuse and recycling.
    10. Waste reduction includes both source reduction and waste diversion through reuse or recycling.
  1. Goals & Performance Metrics
    1. Our goals for meeting the above criteria are :
      1. Ongoing Consumables: At least 50% (by weight or by volume) of the ongoing consumables waste stream will be diverted from landfills and incineration.
      2. Portable dry-cell batteries: At least 80% (by number of batteries) shall be rechargeable and  have low levels of mercury and heavy metals
      3. Durable Goods: At least 75% (by weight, volume or replacement value) of the ongoing consumables waste stream will be diverted from landfills and incineration.
  2. Performance Evaluation
    1. For the ongoing consumables & durable goods categories, we and/or our vendors will record and track waste reduction monthly (using hauler records) and document the % diverted.
    2. For the portable dry-cell batteries category, we and/or our vendors will estimate the monthly % diverted.
    3. An annual waste stream audit shall analyze the amounts and types of waste generated by the facility. This audit will assist understanding the waste production patterns and in developing strategies for waste reduction and diversion.
    4. Recycling bins shall be checked on regular basis to confirm they are being used properly. Improper materials shall be reported to the Plan Manager
    5. The Plan Manager will issue an annual report of the results of plan implementation.
  3. Resources and Implementation
    1. Operating procedures - PLAN MANAGER: The plan manager is responsible for :
      1. Adopting and enforcing this policy.
      2. Working with vendors to identify environmentally preferable products that meet the needs of the building.
    1. Operating procedures – DISPOSAL OF LIGHTING LAMPS that contain mercury
      1. It is our policy to minimize the purchase of lamps contain low mercury (see our Sustainable Purchasing Policy)
      2. We will keep staff aware of protocols for the safe handling and storage of spent lamps
      3. We will employ a lamp recycling vendor to provide collection bins, remove spent lamps from the site and dispose of lamps per applicable regulations
    1. Operating procedures – RECYCLING
      1. Recycling bins shall be located at appropriate locations, that:
        1. Provide protection from the elements and animals
        2. Provide security for high-value materials
        3. Discourage illegal disposal or use
      2. Recycling may include a centralized collection area, plus optional smaller wheeled recycling bins to transport recyclables from local collection areas to the centralized collection area.
      3. Recycling areas shall include signage to describe proper use and prevent contamination
    1. Operating procedures – TENANTS:
      1. We will communicate the intent and goals of this plan to all tenant reps
      2. We will seek tenant input on locations of recycling areas and bins
    1. Operating procedures – STAFFING TRAINING
      1. All purchasing and waste management personnel shall receive training on this policy and its implementation 
    1. Operating procedures – VENDORS
      1. Vendor contracts shall reference this policy and include it as a contract exhibit
      2. Vendors shall advise us of reduced packaging options.
      3. Service providers shall timely provide information required by the applicable LEED EB Credits.
  1. Program Budgets:
      1. We will budget for the services covered in this policy.
  2. Quality Assurance: successful policy implementation shall be verified as follows:
      1. Policy Administrator shall review and update this policy annually and prior to any contract changes or vendor changes.
      2. Policy Administrator shall confirm that required logs are kept
      3. Policy Administrator and Vendors shall meet annually to review the policy, its implementation and results.