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Pollution Prevention & Recycling Action Plan

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

 

Reduce - not consuming or using as many resources or using less toxic products (purchasing one pair of sneakers instead of many pairs; cleaning with soap and water rather than with a toxic solvent)

 

Reuse - using products over again in their original form (reusing gift wrap; using reusable plastic pallets instead of easily damaged wooden pallets)

 

Recycle - reprocessing a waste into a usable product (making bags out of used newspaper; using solvents that have been filtered and distilled from used solvent)


Closing the Loop

 

In order for there to be a market for wastes that can be recycled, there has to be a demand for the finished product made from recycled materials. If a bucket made out of recycled materials is chosen over one made out of virgin materials, for instance, demand for recyclable wastes will increase. As demand increases, production increases, and prices for recycled products should go down. That then should cause higher sales, and so on. Businesses and consumers are an important part of the loop.


Questions to Ask About Packaging

  1. Is the packaging really necessary?
  2. Can the amount of packaging be reduced?
  3. Can the packaging be reused?
  4. Is the packaging recyclable locally?

Multi-media Industrial Waste and Community Waste Reduction
Eco-Industrial Parks
Small Business

Multi-media Industrial Waste and Community Waste Reduction

Managing waste is an important link in the environmental protection chain. Hazardous wastes pose special problems. They can endanger public health and welfare, and the environment. Their cleanup is often difficult and very costly.

Because it is much easier and cheaper to prevent waste than to clean it up, there is a cultural change taking place that is being promoted by the US EPA and by state governments. That change is thinking pollution prevention / reduction first -- making changes in your lifestyle or in an industrial process or activity so that the waste is not created in the first place. A direct benefit is that waste management costs will go down.

As Benjamin Franklin once said, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!" That is certainly true when it comes to protecting human health and the environment. Pollution prevention is a powerful tool. And since pollution prevention is a multi-media holistic concept, the tools being presented here are being presented as a whole. In a few cases where the tools apply only to one media, like air, that has been noted.

Policy and Planning Tools

Regulatory Tools

Technical Tools

Financial Tools

For more information contact:
The Foundation Center
79 Fifth Ave.
New York, NY 100003-3076
212-620-4230

Other Tools

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Eco-Industrial Parks

Suzanne G. Spohn, a Senior Policy Analyst at EPA, has described Eco-Industrial Parks as a community "of manufacturing and service businesses that cooperate closely to improve their environmental and economic performance by reducing waste and increasing resource efficiency. Firms coordinate their activities to increase efficient use of raw materials, reduce outputs of waste, conserve energy and water resources, and reduce transportation requirements. This resource efficiency translates into economic gains for the businesses while the local community benefits from the resulting improvements in its environment and from the creation of new jobs."

Policy and Planning Tools

Technical Tools

Financial Tools

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Small Business

Policy and Planning Tools

Technical Tools

Regulatory Tools

Financial Tools

You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, available as a free download, to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more about PDF, and for a link to the free Acrobat Reader.

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