Solid Waste Reduction and Reuse
1. Conduct a waste audit.
Assessing what materials come into and out of your facility will help set a
baseline for measurement and identify waste reduction opportunities.
2. Improve the efficiency of your procurement process.
- Create a centralized inventory control system to prevent
- Purchase reusable items (e.g. kitchenware for office
functions and meetings).
- Offer employees alternatives to individual bottled water
(e.g. filtered water).
3. Improve the efficiency of your operations
- Improve quality control in order to reduce the production of
off-spec product that must be discarded.
- Reduce food waste
- Implement office paper reduction policies.
4. Reduce packaging waste
- Ship products in returnable or reusable containers and
pallets and request the same when receiving products.
- Use crumpled paper or inflatable plastic bags to protect
product instead of Styrofoam pellets and request the same when
Reusable Industrial Packaging Association
Sustainable Packaging Coalition
- Where feasible, buy products in bulk or in concentrated form
to reduce packaging.
refillable spray bottles for brake cleaners and lubricants.
This reduces aerosol can waste and allows you to purchase
products in bulk.
5. Reuse, sell, or donate unwanted items and materials.
- Set up a swap area for extra office supplies.
- Sell or donate unwanted items including food waste.
6. Use industrial materials exchange and equipment resale programs to
dispose of and/or purchase raw materials and equipment.
For your member profile: Describe actions and include
results (e.g. lbs. of material or waste reduced or reused) and cost savings
1. Implement an office recycling program for all waste materials that
cannot be reduced or reused.
- Provide easily accessible and clearly labeled bins for
recyclables (paper, cans, glass, electronic waste, ink and toner
- Check with your
County recycling program for guidelines and special waste
- Where business recycling is not provided by the local
government, contract with your waste hauler to accept recycled
- Recycle electronic office equipment with an
R2 Certified electronics recycler
2. Expand your recycling program to include non-office related
materials (e.g. fats/oils/grease, construction materials, etc.).
- For a directory of recycling companies serving Maryland,
- Deconstruct items in order to recycle parts and materials
For your member profile: List materials recycled by your
facility and quantities (e.g. lbs.) and cost savings where available.
1. Contract with a waste haulers to collect food scraps and other
organics to be taken to an off-site composting facility.
2. Compost materials onsite with small in-vessel composting systems
(bins, tubs, and tumblers):
For you member profile: List organic materials composted by
your facility (e.g. food waste or yard waste) and quantities (e.g. lbs. and cost
savings where available.)
Hazardous Waste/Toxic Use Reduction
(Note that for some facilities hazardous waste minimization efforts are a
1. Reduce hazardous waste generation by substituting with less toxic
materials and products
- Review all hazardous materials on site to determine whether
usage can be minimized or replaced with suitable less toxic
- Review Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs), which are
available from your vendor or online, and read all product
labels for hazardous content.
- Ask your vendor about less hazardous alternatives.
- Consider use of
less toxic chemicals in your manufacturing process
- Maintain a centralized procurement and inventory control
process that reviews all new purchases of hazardous materials.
- Implement a just-in-time purchasing policy and a first
in/first out chemical usage policy to reduce the chance of
- Use aqueous cleaners and parts washers in place of
petroleum-based or chlorinated solvents.
- Standardize solvent usage within the facility and reclaim
solvent by distillation.
- Use low-emitting paints and coatings.
- Use lead-free solder.
- Replace mercury-containing devices (lamps, switches,
thermostats) with alternatives.
- Specify in pest control contracts that primary pest
management methods include non-chemical pest prevention measures
- Purchase or ask cleaning contractor to purchase less toxic
cleaners and janitorial supplies certified by
Green Seal and
EPA's Safer Choice.
2. Reduce hazardous waste generation through equipment and process
- Reduce solvent usage by planning production schedules to
reduce the frequency of cleaning required, cleaning parts and
equipment immediately, and using squeegees or other means of
removing material prior to solvent use.
- Switch to aqueous-based parts washers.
- Improve industrial paint spray technique to reduce air
emissions and paint waste.
3. Establish spill prevention and response procedures.
- Use funnels or pumps to transfer liquids and regularly
inspect areas for potential spills or leaks.
- Install overflow alarms for all tanks and vessels and
secondary containment areas.
- Have spill
containment kits on site
For your member profile: Describe actions and include results (e.g. lbs. of
hazardous waste eliminated or lbs. of toxic material use reduced) and costs
savings where available.