The Economic and Ecological Implications
of a Solid Waste Reduction Program
Baxter Healthcare Corporation Cardiovascular Group (CVG),
has an extensive integrated pollution prevention program.
This study specifically profiles their successful solid waste
reduction program (SWRP) which clearly demonstrates how this
type of program is not only environmentally beneficial but
economically essential for business to improve its bottom
line. Baxter CVG is a six year WRAP winner.
The study includes a cost benefit analysis which clearly shows how the implementation
of this company’s SWRP saves them over $1.25 million per year.
Baxter’s waste characterization charts and data from 1989-1997 offer
proof that implementing a SWRP really works. The study shows how source reduction
activity, the first priority in the integrated waste management hierarchy,
starts out as an insignificant portion of the waste characterization profile--6
percent in 1989--and increases to 35 percent by 1997, becoming the biggest
The methodology used in the study is explained so that companies interested
in researching and implementing a program would not need to recreate the wheel.
Many facets of this company’s SWRP can be formatted to fit any company’s
Finally, the study examines the ecological impacts of a SWRP by looking at
two product life cycle analyses, paper and plastic.
The conclusion of the report brings us to broader questions such as "What
if US disposal and diversion rates were able to achieve levels similar to CVG’s?" and "What
about the money U.S. companies could be save in tipping fees?" This report
demonstrates that an environmental policy is good for the economy.