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Manufacturing companies should ad positions for engineers to create packaging or manufacturing processes that reduce waste.

When Robin mentioned that our typical residential garbage only accounts for 3% of our waste it made me question why. I always see and hear about people pushing for people reducing waste in their homes when it sounds like the real problem is in manufacturing. I am surprised that companies do not make a big deal out of reducing waste from manufacturing because usually reduced waste can mean larger profits. I was for a while an engineering major in college and one of the majors was engineering for sustainability. Why is there not a surge in these positions at large manufacturing companies?

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  • Nov 21 2013: It is a cost analysis. Even if reducing waste saves 1 million dollars a year but the retro fitting of a plant costs 15 million, that means no gains for 15 years and if the life expectancy of the plant is 10. You have lost 5 million dollars. Make sense for new plants - need to do the analysis for old plants. (upgrading old plants is very expensive)