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District Solid Waste Management Plan Format 4.1

A solid waste management district prepares its solid waste management plan using a format issued by Ohio EPA. That format, called the District Solid Waste Management Plan Format (Format) prescribes the data and information that a solid waste management plan must provide, establishes how a plan is organized, and provides instructions for developing the plan.

You can access the District Solid Waste Management Plan Format, version 4.1, from the Format 4.1 tab below. The Division of Materials and Waste Management (DMWM) recently issued a new version of the Format. This new version, the District Solid Waste Management Plan Format, version 4.1 (Format 4.1) replaces all previous versions of the Format. All solid waste management districts that began amending their solid waste plans on an after December 1, 2020 will use Format 4.1. Format 4.1 retains many of the attributes of the previous version, such as an improved layout for presenting data and information in a solid waste management plan. Format 4.1 also leads solid waste management districts through a decision-making module. This module facilitates making choices about how the solid waste management district will operate and the programs it will provide.

Ohio EPA encourages a solid waste management district to contact its assigned Ohio EPA Planner prior to beginning to update its solid waste management plan to discuss using Format 4.1.


A SWMD’s plan will consist of six chapters and a series of technical appendices.  The six chapters will comprise the body of the plan.  The chapters will consist of easy-to-read text, summary tables, and figures that provide a snapshot of the technical information in the appendices.  This will provide anyone reading the solid waste management plan the basic information needed to understand the SWMD and how the SWMD will operate during the upcoming planning period.

The appendices will provide technical information, such as projections, calculations, and detailed analyses of the SWMD’s programs and services. The appendices will also show how the SWMD will achieve the goals of the 2020;State Plan, what solid waste facilities the SWMD intends to use to manage its waste, and a financial strategy for how much revenue the SWMD will earn and how it will spend that revenue. 

SWMDs will use a Microsoft Excel workbook to manage data for the solid waste management plan.  This workbook simplifies entering data, performing math, and creating tables.  The workbook also has supplemental worksheets for analyzing historical data and using the results of those analyses to develop projections for the planning period.

Format 4.1 leads SWMDs through a strategic process of evaluating reduction and recycling efforts.  To do this, a SWMD will evaluate its programs and services through a series of evaluations. Each evaluation is focused on a factor that needs to be considered when developing recycling and waste reduction programs.  Combined, the evaluations are intended to foster a holistic understanding of the SWMD.  The SWMD will use the results of these evaluations to make decisions about how it will operate during the planning period covered by the solid waste management plan. 

Format 4.1

Format 4.1 consists of four companion files that SWMDs will use while preparing their solid waste management plans:

  1. An Adobe Acrobat document that contains the instructions for preparing a solid waste management plan 

  1. A Microsoft Excel workbook the SWMD will use to manage data 

  1. An Adobe Acrobat document that contains the instructions for using the Excel workbook. 

  1. A Microsoft Word file that the SWMD will use to write the plan. 

When it submits its solid waste management plan to Ohio EPA, the SWMD will submit both a Word document and an Excel workbook. 

All files for Format 4.1 are available below. If you are unable to download the files, please contact Ernie Stall at (614) 728-5356. 


The Format 4.1 instructions do the following: 

  • Establish the structure of each chapter and appendix. 

  • Prompts for appropriate information to include. 

  • Provide examples of how to complete portions. 


The SWMD will use a working version of Format 4.1 to write its plan. The working version is a Microsoft Word file that provides the framework for the plan as established in Format 4.0.  All of the instructions, tables, and examples have been removed.  The SWMD will provide original text where specified and insert tables from the workbook where indicated.


The SWMD will use a Microsoft Excel workbook to manage data for the plan. The workbook has a dedicated worksheet for each table prescribed by Format 4.0.  Formulas embedded into the worksheets automatically perform many calculations. Further, to the extent possible, worksheets are linked.  These links automatically transfer data entered into an earlier worksheet to subsequent worksheets.  The workbook also provides supplemental tools to assist the SWMD with analyzing data and making projections.  After completing a worksheet, the SWMD will copy the table(s) from the worksheet and past them into the working version of the Word file.

The instructions for using the workbook are in a separate document. The instructions explain how to use each worksheet and provide a picture of each worksheet. 

Supplemental Information

Model Program Case Studies

Ohio EPA is developing a collection of what the Agency considers to be model programs for achieving the outreach and education goals established in the state solid waste management plan.  The focus of the outreach and education goals is to increase recovery of recyclable materials by motivating people to recycle.  Therefore, to be considered model, a program has to have successfully resulted in changing recycling behavior.  Further, by identifying a program as a model, Ohio EPA has determined that the program is suitable for achieving the outreach and education goals provided the program is implemented effectively.

Ohio EPA is compiling these model programs to help solid waste management districts identify programs that can satisfy local needs and meet the goals of the state solid waste management plan.  The idea is give solid waste management districts the ability to adapt a proven program to local circumstances instead of developing a program from scratch.  
Each model program will be described in a short case study.  You can access completed case studies below.  Ohio EPA will post new case studies to this webpage as they are completed.  If you have implemented or know of a successful program, please contact Ernie Stall to discuss developing a case study for the program.