and waste reduction program
by Emily Hess and Tim Bishopbric
that began in one small state
* has served as a model
in four other states.
What be@n as a modest business energy con-
servatioaprogram funded by govemment in
one of thd nation’s least populous states has
grown tio a program tailored by the busi-
ness community to the recycling and waste
reducticm needs of businesses in four states
and one metropolitan area.
WasteCap, which was started in Vermont
by a pamtership between the state Agency of
Natural Resources and the Associated Indus-
tries of Vermont as a service for any Vermont
company, was pattemed after a state energy
conservation initiative for businesses. The
WasteCap concept has since been adopted in
Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and
Lincoln, Nebraska, and most recently in Wis-
Although start-up funding for WasteCaps
have come from a variety of sources - City,
state and federal agencies, chambers of com-
merce and businesses - most mature Waste-
CaPs receive the lion’s share of their ongo-
ing funding from the very groups that they
serve - businesses.
Why are businesses so enthusiastic about
supporting WasteCaps? In short, because the
Programs offer a nonregulatory, nongovem-
mental approach to waste reduction and recy-
cling advice for businesses.
What is WasteCap?
WasteCap is a businesses-helping-businesses
initiative that provides information on solid
waste reduction to the private sector. “Busi-
nesses helping businesses” -
it sounds good,
but can it apply to the real world? Well, ef-
forts in severa1 communities around the coun-
try have demonstrated that it not only applies,
but it thrives.
Through expanded WasteCap efforts, com-
panies are sharing recycling information and
leaming from each other’s successes and fail-
ures.‘ “Before 1 started working with Waste-
Cap, my company had an effective waste re-
duction program. And now e