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U.S. EPA awards Bay Area waste agency $35,000 to promote reusable packaging

Release Date: 07/06/2009
Contact Information: Francisco Arcaute, (213) 244-1815

For immediate release: July 6, 2009
Contact: Francisco Arcaute, (213) 244-1815,

U.S. EPA awards Bay Area waste agency $35,000 to promote reusable packaging
“Use Reusables” workshop offered Thursday, July 9

SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $35,000 to Oakland, Calif.-based StopWaste.Org to expand their ““Use Reusables” campaign, which teaches businesses how to reduce costs and improve their environmental performance by replacing limited-use pallets, boxes and other transport packaging materials with durable, reusable alternatives.

The EPA grant enables StopWaste.Org to partner with agencies around the Bay Area to bring the campaign’s core element—a free, 3-hour, hands-on training workshop—to their communities. The grant was awarded through the EPA’s competitive program for innovative solid waste reduction projects.

The first workshop open to all Bay Area businesses takes place on Thursday, July 9, 10a.m. - 1p.m. at the Greenv Sustainable Center, 1 Chestnut Ave. in South San Francisco. For this event, the “Use Reusables” campaign is partnering with co-sponsor and workshop host, San Mateo County RecycleWorks, a program of San Mateo County’s Public Works Department that provides resources to promote environmentally responsible practices.

“The EPA Region 9’s grant to the Use Reusables campaign facilitates packaging reuse through education and partnerships,” says Tom Huetteman, the Associate Director of EPA Region 9’s Waste Management Division. “Reuse offers a powerful opportunity to conserve greater resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We encourage businesses and local governments to attend this workshop to learn how to integrate reusable packaging into your operations.”

“The tools we’ve developed can benefit any company with significant materials handling, storage and transportation needs,” says StopWaste program manager Justin Lehrer. “We are pleased to extend the campaign throughout the region and help businesses realize the economic, environmental, and supply chain efficiencies of reusables.”

The Use Reusables campaign was launched in 2007, in partnership with the Reusable Packaging Association (RPA), a non-profit trade association representing manufacturers, distributors and others in the reusable transport packaging industry. The campaign provides free educational resources, training workshops and expert advice to help businesses transition to reusable transport packaging.

To date five workshops have been held, attended by over 100 individuals representing 70 Alameda County businesses and organizations. The campaign has helped several companies make the switch to reusables, saving millions of dollars in packaging expenses and disposal costs, as well as preventing thousands of tons of waste. Among these companies are Ghirardelli Chocolate Company in San Leandro, the Bay Area News Group’s Alameda County facilities and New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (NUMMI) in Fremont.

For more information about the “Use Reusables” campaign and the upcoming workshop, please visit or call Justin Lehrer at 510-891-6500 x129.
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