The Mark Of Zero

The Official Blog of the Zero Waste Network

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Featured Resource - Material Exchange Network (RENEW)

This month the Zero Waste Network unveiled the first multi-state materials exchange system. This program is an expansion of Texas’ Resource Exchange Network for Eliminating Waste (RENEW) catalogue, which helps companies exchange, even profit from, materials that would otherwise be disposed of. This project was initiated by the TCEQ, EPA’s Resource Conservation Challenge, and the Zero Waste Network. Oklahoma’s DEQ and several other partners have already committed to using the tool to promote material exchanges. These partners will review the exchanges to ensure quality.

The new on-line system allows facilities to post excess materials available at their facility or search for materials available from other facilities. Several enhancements are being developed to allow people to get email notifications for desired materials or use mapping features to see materials available near their facility. Facilities who post materials can avoid disposal costs and possibly reduce their regulatory burden. Searching available materials helps you find raw materials for your facility at a reduced cost - often free.

Since its inception, the Texas RENEW program has:

- Transferred 916 million pounds of materials,
- Saved companies $15.9 million, and
- Given businesses earnings of $11.3 million.

Expanding the program to other states will encourage even greater results.

There is no charge to list wanted or available materials on the RENEW Web site.

Visit RENEW today at:

Promoting P2 in South Korea

The National Pollution Prevention Roundtable is working with the South Korean federal government to help promote pollution prevention in Asia. Thomas Vinson-Peng, the Program Manager for Zero Waste, partnered with Dianne Wilkins of the ODEQ and Paul Richards of the National P2 Roundtable to visit 19 industrial facilities in five days. Each visit was conducted by a joint US/Korean team that made a series of recommendations for these facilities to save money by reducing waste at its source. The facilities varied from metal finishing to extraction of salt from seawater.

This amazing effort by NPPR and people in our region demonstrates the universal appeal of Pollution Prevention and its value as a tool for environmental management. NPPR’s Jeff Burke is making plans for more international visits. If you wish more information contact the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable at (202)299-9701or

From the Region 6 Roundtable: Seventh Generation

This November the Region 6 P2 Roundtable will be meeting in New Mexico and discussing Tribal P2. The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) Pollution Prevention Program understands the diverse needs of the 21 pueblos and tribes in their state. The program has worked with several tribes and pueblos to reduce their environmental impacts. They have resources to assist pueblos and tribes with environmental community surveys. Using the 7 Generations approach, pueblos and tribes can prioritize and determine environmental needs specific to their communities.

7 Generations [PDF] - Brochure Addressing Environmental Issues for Future Generations of Native Americans in New Mexico.

Other resources for pueblos and tribes:

Other News

Gary Miller named NPPR Chair

Gary Miller, Assistant Director of the Illinois Waste Management and Research Center, has been selected as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable. The National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR) is the largest membership organization in the United States devoted solely to Pollution Prevention (P2). The Roundtable provides a national forum for promoting the development, implementation, and evaluation of efforts to avoid, eliminate, or reduce pollution at the source. NPPR's members are comprised of the country's preeminent P2 experts from regional resource centers, state and local government programs, small business assistance networks, non-profit groups, industry associations and federal agencies.

For more P2 news visit:

Notes from the Staff

An important function of the Zero Waste Network is to promote the next generation of environmental professionals. This month’s note from the staff is written by Tom Fort, an intern at Zero Waste.

“I found out about the Zero Waste Network through the Americorp program. I started out as a volunteer and now have moved up to a paid position. I have been working here for over a year now, and I think it is a great. This is my first real job, and all I can say is that I couldn’t have been luckier. From my time at Zero Waste I have gained very valuable experience while working for a good cause.

For the last few months I’ve been working on uploading and maintaining the online form for the Resource Exchange Network for Eliminating Waste (RENEW) project. Part of this project was the creation of metadata for each page. Metadata is what Google (and other search engines) see when they look at your site. After looking around for a bit I stumbled across a helpful tool to see the metadata, and other interesting information from your page.”

  The Zero Waste Network is a program of the University of Texas at Arlington, Center for Environmental Excellence and the Division for Enterprise Development.  

The Zero Waste Network is a member of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange P2Rx, a national network of regional information centers: NEWMOA (Northeast), WRRC (Southeast), GLRPPR (Great Lakes), ZeroWasteNet (Southwest), P2RIC (Plains), Peaks to Prairies (Mountain), WRPPN (Pacific Southwest), PPRC (Northwest).