How to Use the Waste Minimization Savings Calculator

Discussion in 'The Waste Minimization Savings Calculator - Beta' started by Andy, Dec 19, 2013.

  1. Andy

    Andy Administrator Waste Min Publisher 2013 Industrial Waste Survey Participant

    Note: If you would like a 12 min video walking you through the Calculator, it is available here:

    Step 1: Download the latest version of the Calculator, if you haven't already:

    One note for using the Calculator, overall: Columns with yellow highlighting under their names are fields you enter, and gray highlighting on a column means the fields are autofilled by the Calculator.

    Step 2: Enter your current Disposal Methods and Costs in the first tab. A disposal method can be anything, from a dumpster to a solvent disposal contract. The purpose here is to capture Disposal Cost, Pull/Handling Cost and Rental Cost. If it is a dumpster, the last column asks for the size of dumpster... this is actually very important because size determines the number of fills which determines accurate rental fees.

    You'll only have to enter each method once, and this is the kind of information you'll see on billing statements. You don't need to do any conversions, just enter the data as you have it.

    If you have multiple dumpsters or containers (ie (3) 20 yard dumpsters), and they have the same costs, you only need to enter the costs for ONE of those dumpsters or containers. Don't worry about adding them up.


    Step 3: Enter Recycling Methods and Costs in the second tab. This is structured exactly like Disposal Costs and Methods, except Disposal Cost (-) becomes Scrap Value (+). This is where you'll enter the scrap values from your recycler or waste management company.

    Like any other field in the calculator, you can always drop in rough numbers to estimate savings and then refine later.


    Step 4: Enter your major wastes into Waste Inventory (third tab). This is where you're listing your major wastes, the activity that produces that waste, and how much waste is generated. No need to worry about multiplying out or converting out, just enter the amount and the time period, and it does the rest for you.

    The Waste Category and Waste Subtypes are actually very important. When you select those from the available selections (column B and C are dropdowns), the Inventory is able to use EPA-standard waste densities to provide accurate data on weights and volumes so that the Calculator can create accurate costs. Factoring in density can be a huge factor on cost... for example, there is a 300% difference in the cost to dispose baled cardboard instead of stacked cardboard.

    Step 5: Select disposal method and recycling method for each waste.
    If you scroll right in the Waste Inventory, you will select the disposal and recycling method you would like to apply to each waste (these are dropdowns of the selections you entered in the Disposal and Recycling tabs earlier). When you select these, you will see data populate, and the Calculator will drop in costs.

    If you stated the waste in weight AND your disposal in volume AND you didn't select a Waste Subtype in Column C, the Calculator will highlight a cell in yellow and provide the conversion it needs. So, for example, if you stated waste in lbs, and your disposal is in cubic yards (and you didn't select a waste subtype), it will highlight the cell yellow and ask you for [enter] "lbs per cubic yard." This will allow it to do the conversions and needed calculations for cost and savings.

    If you see "WT" or "VOL" next to your disposal totals (Column CL), that is telling you the basis by which the calculation was automatically made. The calculator looks at the density of the waste, the size of the dumpster, and calculates if it will hit max weight or max volume first.

    So, for example, disposing 10,000 lbs of packing peanuts may cost the same as 10,000 lbs of concrete based on tonnage, but peanuts will take far more volume, require more dumpsters... and higher rental fees.


    Step 6: That's it! It has calculated your savings by waste, and if you enter the cost of new equipment in column EH, it will then calculate payback period. You can also take a look at the Savings per Unit tab, which tells you what waste reduction is worth for each waste (what each lb of cardboard reduced is worth to your company, for example)... and the Financial Summary tab which offers a summarized black and white view of the financials for management.


    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014