Solid Waste Sustainability Manual

Solid Waste Reduction Manual

Craft brewers are an innovative segment of the greater brewing industry. Subsequently, it is no surprise that many craft brewers have found innovative solutions for waste management. These solutions reach beyond a simple reduction of waste to landfill and office recycling, and lead to operating cost reductions, new sources of revenue and new community and image building initiatives.

The traditional disposal option for solid waste (i.e., hauling ‘garbage’ to landfills) has become more expensive in recent years. Old landfills have filled and closed, and the few new landfills that are permitted to open are located further away from populated areas, thereby leading to an increase in transportation costs to the final disposal area.

Breweries, like many businesses, are finding that reducing the amount of waste generated can lead to significantly reduced operating costs. In addition, keeping recyclable materials out of the landfills can create a significant source of revenue.

The Manual

This solid waste sustainability manual is a consolidated resource for effective solid waste management solutions in the craft brewers segment. Solutions offered can apply to all breweries, regardless of location and operational size. Guidance is provided for brewers that are just beginning to explore solid waste reduction programs, as well as for brewers that are looking to improve a well-established program. The information is structured as a pathway to effective and sustainable solid waste management from start to finish, and is organized into five sections:

  1. Segment Profile: A discussion of solid waste generation and recycling trends, where to find information on regulatory drivers, examples of non-regulatory drivers, and risks and opportunities for cost savings.
  2. Data Management: A guide to identifying the components of brewery waste streams, establishing key performance indicators and goals, managing solid waste data, and benchmarking waste reduction progress toward goals.
  3. Best Practices: Guidance on best practices to reduce, reuse and recycle waste within the craft brewers segment with a focus on opportunities in the brewing process, packaging, warehousing, utilities and food service/events.
  4. Onsite Waste Treatment: An overview of drivers for on-site waste treatment and example projects.
  5. Case Studies: Examples of successful waste management and waste treatment programs used by craft brewers.

In addition, there are checklists, resource information and other visual tools throughout the manual and in Appendix A (also located in the Tool Box on the right side of this web page), to help breweries make educated solid waste management decisions.


Brewers Association (BA) staff and a core review team of BA member craft brewers worked in close concert with the sustainability management consulting team from Antea® Group to develop the manuals and tools found in this sustainability resource. Antea Group’s team has nearly a century of cumulative experience in the brewing and beverage industries, specializing in delivering sustainable results from strategy through implementation, with an emphasis on integrating sustainability into core business practices.

For more information on this toolbox or assistance in implementing these sustainable practices in your brewery, please contact BA Sustainability Mentor, John Stier.