Climate and Energy Resources for State, Local and Tribal Governments

Integrating ME3 and BPS at Landfills

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Columbus, Ohio (Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Knox, Licking, Madison, Marion, Morrow, Pickaway, Ross, and Union Counties, Ohio)

Federal Funding: $498,824
Project Timeline: February 2011 – December 2014

Project Summary

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) integrated two previously-independent initiatives, the national Economy, Energy, and Environment (ME3) program, with the Ohio By-Product Synergy (BPS) Network. Linking these two initiatives is reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and landfill waste, while also saving energy.

ME3 is a coordinated federal and local initiative designed to help communities work with their manufacturing base to improve sustainability. ME3 provides manufacturers with customized hands-on assessments of internal production processes in order to identify opportunities for improvements. The Ohio BPS Network matches undervalued byproduct streams with potential users and creates new revenues and savings for the organizations involved, while simultaneously addressing social and environmental impacts. This generates revenue while reducing both virgin material and energy consumption, thereby reducing GHG emissions.

Internal operations (ME3) and external material flows (BPS) are usually investigated separately, meaning environmentally beneficial opportunities are often overlooked. Coordination and joint operation of an ME3 and BPS program reveal these opportunities and attract more participants by offering “one-stop shopping” for sustainability evaluation and assistance.

During the Climate Showcase Communities grant funding period, MORPC recruited eight companies to participate in both the national ME3 program and the Ohio BPS Network. The ME3 reviews are combined with the BPS synergy assessment, and participating companies become members of the BPS Network. Participants receive an assessment of their operations, feedstock needs, and waste streams, as well as guidance on actions to achieve cost-effective reductions in energy usage, material consumption, and waste disposal. Wherever feasible, participants are urged to acquire recycled feedstock materials from other members of the BPS Network. Participants are also providing or selling waste streams as feedstock to other members of the Network. Seven of the eight participating companies have completed energy assessments, and three are undergoing lean and green assessment services, which include a three-day site visit. One lean and green assessment has been completed. The seven facilities have implemented a total of 41 recommendations from ME3 technical services.

By adopting new projects that increase energy efficiency and/or substitute wastes for virgin feedstock, businesses reduce GHG emissions; reduce operational costs for energy, material acquisition, and waste disposal; reduce energy consumption; reduce demand for virgin production materials; divert waste from landfills; reduce manufacturing costs; create jobs; and promote local economic development. For instance, through coordination of the BPS Network and E3 service providers, a grant application opportunity was identified. Staff prepared a grant application for new equipment for a ME3 member company that would enable the company to recycle 100% of its landfill-bound byproducts by changing the particle size.

Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) continues to work with Duke Energy and is coordinating ME3 (Economy, Energy, and Environment) program participation agreements, scheduling of services, and communications with Duke’s customers. Duke is providing incentives and assistance for qualified customers receiving on-site energy assessments. Additionally, companies have been lining up to support the ME3 program.

MORPC also continues to reach out to companies throughout the region to identify potential candidates for ME3. E3 contractors continue to track outcomes from participating companies, and also actively encourages companies to implement recommendations.

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Community Characteristics 

Population:                                 1,986,829

Area:                                         6,010 square miles

Government Type:                       Regional

Community Type:                        Rural, Urban, Suburban

Median household income:            $40,249 to $85,054

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Final Results

Projected Cumulative Results  

Annual GHG Reductions

2,443.6 mt CO2e

60,000 mt CO2e

Businesses Involved in Program



Landfill Material Diverted, Annually

579 mt

(60,000 mt) 5,000 mt per business

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Lessons Learned

  • One challenge has been that company decision-makers are not always invested or interested in being involved with the project. Over time, companies may rearrange their priorities, and there may be a loss of focus on the project. The program has learned to reengage participants and help them figure out how to manage costs and eliminate waste.

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  • The recently developed Sustainable Business Resource Guide will help businesses access tools and brainstorm strategies for waste reduction even after the grant period has ended.

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