Diversion Rate

Calculating Your Diversion Rate

Formula

Diversion rates measure (usually by weight) the portion of waste not sent to the landfill. Tracking your diversion rate over time is a great way to measure of the effectiveness of reuse, recycling, and organic composting programs.

The formula for calculating your diversion rate is:

Formula for Calculating your Diversion Rate

To find your diversion rate:

  • Divide the Weight of Diverted Waste Only by the Weight of All Waste.
  • Multiply the quotient by 100.
  • The result is your Diversion Rate.

Example

As an example, let us examine the hypothetical office building with both recycling and composting programs. 

Table 1 shows the monthly weight for each waste stream.

Table 1: Monthly Weights by Waste Stream
Recyclables 1,200
Organics (compostable) 690
Garbage 450
Total Weight (lbs) 2,340

For this scenario, the diversion rate equation looks like this:

Diversion Rate Generic Equation

To find the diversion rate:

  • Add the weight of Recyclables and the weight of Organics.
    This will be your dividend.
  • Add the weight of Recyclables, Organics, and Garbage.
    This will be your divisor.
  • Divide the sum of Recyclables and Organics by the sum of Recyclables, Organics, and Garbage.
  • Multiply the quotient by 100.
  • The result is your Diversion Rate.

Now, we plug in the numbers from the table:

Diversion Rate Example Equation

To find the diversion rate in this case:

  • Add the weight of Recyclables (1,200) and the weight of Organics (690). This will be your dividend.
  • Add the weight of Recyclables (1,200), Organics (690), and Garbage (450). This will be your divisor.
  • Divide the sum of Recyclables and Organics (1,890) by the sum of Recyclables, Organics, and Garbage (2,340).
  • Multiply the quotient by 100.
  • The Diversion Rate is 80.8%

In the above scenario, about eighty-one percent of all waste produced is diverted from a landfill because this office implemented recycling and organics waste diversion programs. 

Questions?

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