November 1993
United States
Environmental Protection

Solid Waste and Emergency Response (5306)
Waste Prevention
Pays Off
Companies Cut Waste
in the Workplace
                          Printed with vegetable-based ink
                          on paper containing at least 50% recycled fiber.


                            Pays  Off
 Companies Cut Waste
 in  the Workplace
any businesses across the country
are implementing waste
prevention strategies with great
success. Waste prevention, also
known as source reduction, is the
design, manufacture, purchase, or
use of materials or products to
reduce the amount or toxicity of
what is thrown out. Unlike
recycling, which is used to
manage materials that would
otherwise become waste, waste
prevention methods help create
less waste in the first place. Waste
prevention also generally avoids
the additional energy and
resources needed to process
materials for recycling.

Producing less waste makes good
business sense. Some companies
actually have saved millions of
dollars a year by implementing a
few simple waste prevention
measures. By cutting down on
the amount and/or toxicity of the
waste your business generates,
you often can save money,
increase productivity, attract
customers, and help protect the

While your program will be
tailored to your company's
unique needs and
characteristics, a great deal can
be learned from the experiences
of other businesses. This
booklet describes the successful
waste prevention efforts of a
large computer firm, a defense
contractor, an ice cream
company, and a variety of other
businesses. Their efforts are

organized according to eight basic
waste prevention strategies:
II Using or manufacturing minimal
  or reusable packaging.
B Using and maintaining durable
  equipment and supplies.
• Reusing products and supplies.
D Reducing the use of hazardous
                                 Using supplies and materials
                                 more efficiently.
                                 Composting yard trimmings on
                                I Exchanging, selling, or giving
                                 away unneeded goods or
                                I Eliminating unnecessary items.
  Benefits of  Waste Prevention for Businesses
  There are many environmental benefits from waste pre-
| vention. Avoiding waste slows the depletion of natural re-
t sources, conserves valuable landfill space, and cuts down
I on the pollution associated with  the manufacture  of cer-
i tain products.   In addition, waste prevention offers busi-
\ nesses further advantages, including:
I • Economic advantages. Potential economic advantages of waste
1   prevention include reduced waste disposal fees, savings in material
1   and supply costs, revenues from marketing reusable materials, and
I   savings from more efficient work practices.
f • Enhanced corporate image. Your enhanced corporate image as
!   an environmentally conscious company might attract customers.
I   Surveys show that more and more consumers consider a firm's
[   environmental record when making purchasing decisions.
• Improved employee morale. Your employees may appreciate
  your company's efforts to prevent waste. This heightened morale
  could increase employee enthusiasm and productivity.

• Compliance with local or state solid waste regulations.
  Some states and localities in the United States require businesses
  to take steps to reduce or recycle their solid waste. Some
  communities also restrict the amount or types of waste accepted
  at solid waste  management facilities.  By implementing an
  aggressive waste prevention program, your business can help
  ensure compliance with these requirements.

By demonstrating some of the
many ways in which waste can be
prevented, examples in this booklet
can provide a springboard for your
own program.  In addition, the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) has developed a
comprehensive handbook called
Business Guide for Reducing Solid
Waste, offering step-by-step
suggestions for designing and
implementing a waste prevention
program. Ordering information is
included at the back of this booklet.
                                    EPA's Business Guide for Reducing Solid Waste

     M/aste  Prevention
Using  or
manufacturing minimal
or reusable packaging.
   In 1990, containers and packaging accounted for
   about one-third — over 64 million tons — of the
   total amount of municipal solid waste generated
   in the United States (by weight). Because
   packaging can make up a substantial portion of
   the waste a company generates, it is a llogical
   starting place to target waste prevention
   efforts. Businesses can take a variety of
   approaches to reducing or preventing packaging
   waste. One idea is to start at the source by
   encouraging suppliers to offer products with
   reduced or minimal packaging.  Choosing
   products that come in reusable packaging or that
   are offered in bulk quantities also are options.
   Companies can examine packaging used for their
   own products, as well, to determine whether it is
   possible to ship merchandise in returnable or
   reusable containers or to use fewer layers of
   packaging materials.

 In 1989, Digital Equipment
 Corporation of Maynard,
 Massachusetts, a worldwide
 supplier of networked computer
 systems, software, and services,
 initiated a waste management
 program for the packaging used
 by its manufacturing facilities.
 Digital's highest priority for this
 ongoing program is prevention
 of the'waste associated with
 packaging materials from all
 aspects of its business.  For
 example, Digital redesigned the
 protective packaging used to
 ship computer enclosures (the
 metal cabinets which hold large
 computers), reducing its volume by
 nearly on&third and saving an
 estimated $300,000 in material,
 labor,-and shipping costs in one
 year.  The company also began
 using reusable rolling bakery racks
 in place of disposable packaging
 materials to transport fabricated
 sheet metal parts from outside
 suppliers to Digital
 manufacturing plants.  In one
 facility alone, this action  has
 reduced packaging waste by an
 estimated 100  tons per year
 and saved approximately
 $200,000 annually in
 packaging materials costs.
 State Farm Mutual Automotive
 Insurance Company, a large
 national insurance company
 based in Bloomington, Illinois, also
 has taken steps to reduce the
 amount of packaging used during
 the.transport of its products and
 materials. The company used to
 send out more than 150,000
 individually shrink-wrapped
 packets of a particular set of forms
•to its regional offices. The firm now
 assembles packets containing five
 sets of forms, avoiding the use of
 120,000 wraps and saving the
 company $15,600 in purchase
 costs annually. In addition, the
 company has eliminated the use of
 50,000 shrink-wraps when shipping
 handbooks to its offices. This
 packaging change maintains
 sufficient protection of the books
 and saves the  company an
 additional $7,500 per year. The
 company also  has achieved
 significant cost savings by
 implementing a policy of
 double-sided copying and reuse
of three-ring binders, packing
 materials, and shipping pallets. In
just one year, the company saved
over $22,000 in reduced
purchasing costs through the
reuse of pallets at its corporate
                    State Farm also posts flyers to remind employees to reduce and reuse.

Stewart's Ice Cream
Company, with more than 200
shops in New York and Vermont,
has been using refillable glass
soda bottles and plastic milk
bottles for nearly 30 years. The
milk bottles are reused an average
of 50 times before they must be
replaced; the soda bottles can be
reused approximately 20 times.
The company saves 14 cents
every time it reuses a soda bottle
and 5 cents when it reuses a
half-gallon milk bottle.  With sales
of more than 12 million bottles of
soda and milk annually, this
program has generated significant
savings for the company. In
another effort to cut back on
waste, Stewart's has initiated a
program with a local school in
which refillable plastic milk
containers are being used in place
of wax-coated paper cartons.
These bottles can be reused
approximately 100 times before
 At Stewart's, returned bottles are cleaned and sterilized.
being replaced. This allows the
school to avoid the cost of
disposing of the 700,000 cartons
a year it generated before the
switch to refillables. The school
also has reduced its purchasing
costs, since it no longer needs to
buy the plastic straws that were
needed for the paper cartons.
                             . before being refilled and resold.

Using and  maintaining
durable equipment
and supplies.
   Because purchasing equipment and supplies is
   a major capiital expense, most businesses
   carefully consider price when making these
   purchasing decisions. Another significant
   consideration is the quality and durability of a
   particular item. Superior-performance
   products are often a worthwhile investment
   because they can help employees do the job
   better, with fewer breakdowns and delays. In
   addition, because these items stay out of the
   waste stream longer, the higher initial costs
   might be offset further by lower maintenance,
   disposal, and replacement costs. Regular
   maintenance schedules for machines also will
   help extend their useful lives, cutting back on
   the amount of waste produced and the need to
   replace expensive equipment. Moreover, when
   equipment wears out, companies should
   consider the alternatives before automatically
   discarding it. It might be possible to repair
   the equipment, sell or donate it to another
   organization, or recycle  its spare parts.

 Waste  Prevention Yields! Comfortable Savings for
      ;      Michigan Furniture  Manufacturer  '
 :.	Facing an economic recession and tough international competition     ]
 ilHerman'Miller, Inc., a Michigan furniture mariufacture7;turfiedlo waste   "|
 ,i i preventionas a way to save "rribneyi" With a'corporate etfitclfiat
 i-  encourages environmental protect
   management, Herman Miller, inc.'s waste prevehtibh measures'were
  ;;: Mtich of Herman Miller, Inc.'s program focused o^njtspacR
  applying two of the eight basic waste prevention 'principles: reduce and
                                                              ._ „_ l
  	rgU!gg;	yj^g	-'-"—y,'^'^                             ^.^^g .^g^ .  . ..^
i  to use fewer packaging materials while still adequately protecting the      I
BM*     if         i     mi*   n   9     j,i  ih * j m it ^ AtM^M^sUili.^sM, V [lA*"^1'4!* •***+•" L i *"   •" 4   "" ="
~,,  fqrnjture. Certain large, sturdy furniture products now are shipped
I  "cartonless,"  covered in a recyclable plastic film wrappedjwer molded    .
I" cardboard edges.  For one product,  using cartonTess packaging saves     "
   the company $250,000 per year and cuts waste byTO pefceht. For
   anotherproduct, one of tVie company's"61gges1"se!Te'tB7tTie"cpmpany
   sa\/es an estimated $1.1 million annually.  f    pi r    >   «„ r
     A'second way the company cut packaging to a minimum involved
„ Improving the design of a product that tended to damage easily during
 i' shipping. The new, redesigned piece hot only'fe*quires less "padding
 ^ during transportation," But also costs Iess't6*rna*k"er*'   J_ J*^**r* * ^" "
 ^   Herman Miller, Inc.'s commitment to...reducingjMcRagJn^e')dends
 * beyond its own" shipping'department to Its vendors. The c6mpany*Ras    j
1^ negotiated waste prevention agreements with some of its vendors,        |
|ii Including a deal with a. vendor that sells molded plastic chair seats to      |
E replace It's single-use'disposable1"shipping Fo'xes^wTtrrreusaBfe"'1' -*•*'•" -*—"v
i=  containers. Made of recyclable materials, the container's cardboard       :
'" sleevre and plastic top and bottom can be disassembled, stacked, and
P reused 80 to 100 times.  This change saves an~esfimated $*200,006 "
i  each year in labor and packaging costs.
£	 Ifl.a.cpprdinafed effort jo re^s^maferTaJSjJjej^n^Millej^Jnc.
   tcosponsors an annual waste exchange fair wfth otheT^companies.  At
  . the fair,  busjnesses trade, sell^ or^give away fheirjjnneedeB materials
s= In f991, the first fair drew more than 3*66 participants"'
f successful that attendance  tripled in 1992.
   FT  The success of HermanT Miller, Inc.'s waste _
 t  the Lmportance of working together, not only within the company but with
 f othej-s as well. Their tremendous savings and innovative approaches

*  prove what an organization committed to waste prevention can achieve.
E                                                ~ ~  !?~~r^~

 Recognizing that the durability
 and superior parts of high-quality
 goods can stretch the value of a
 dollar, one county government
 has changed its purchasing
 practices. For example, rather
 than buying different types of
 chain saws, Itasca County,
 Minnesota, now purchases only
 one brand of a high-quality saw.
 The purchases were approved .
 after the county factored in the
 potential savings from the new
 saws' greater repairability and
 longer life, thereby demonstrating
 that the switch would meet state
 and local lowest-cost procurement
 regulations.  In addition, instead of
 automatically discarding saws that
 are no longer in working order, the
 county salvages parts that are still
 in good condition. These parts
then are reused as replacement
 parts for other saws. This strategy
saves money by limiting the
 number of new saws and
 replacement parts the county
 must purchase.
Simple repairs often can help
extend the lives of durable
equipment and supplies.
Repairing and reusing shipping
pallets is a strategy that Wilton
Industries, a cake-decorating
supplies distributor in Woodridge,
Illinois, is using to reduce waste
and save money.  Until recently,
Wilton, like many other
companies, disposed of incoming
pallets and purchased new ones
to ship its own products. The
company paid more than
$100,000—about $7 apiece—for
approximately 14,000 new pallets
each year.  In 1992, Wilton
embarked on a program to repair
and reuse as many pallets as
possible. To avoid disposing of
the remainder, the company now
sells badly damaged pallets and
pallets that cannot be reused
because of their size to a pallet
repair firm for $1.  It then pays $3
to $4 each for repaired pallets of
the correct size. The company
now spends just $38,000 annually
for its pallets, a savings of over
$62,000. In addition, Wilton
estimates it is avoiding another
$2,400 in expenses each year, the
amount it used to pay to dispose
of its waste pallets.
Another company that found a
way to reuse shippers' pallets is
Arcata Graphics of Baltimore,
Maryland. Arcata, a book printing
company, asked its suppliers to
use pallets of a specific size and
construction for shipments so that
the company could reuse them for
book deliveries. Arcata estimates
that this initiative saves $200,000
annually—money that would
otherwise be required to  purchase
new pallets.

Reusing products
and  supplies.
   In the field, office, and factory, many common
   items—from cafeteria trays to laser printer
   toner cartridges— are designed to be used
   more than once.  Reuse can help extend the
   lives of products and supplies, thereby
   reducing both purchasing and disposal costs.
   In addition, reuse is often one of the simplest
   and most inexpensive waste prevention
   strategies a company can implement. For
   many businesses, it is worthwhile to perform a
   company-wide inventory of products and
   supplies that potentially can be reused.
   Employees often will have good suggestions.
   By identifying these materials, businesses can
   take advantage of a host of waste prevention
   opportunities within their companies.


 One company that has reaped
 tremendous savings through reuse
 is Bell Communications
 Research (Bellcore), a major
 communications firm based in
 Livingston, New Jersey.  Bellcore,
 which has six office locations and
 employs 7200 people, saves over
 $300,000 each year by
 implementing numerous waste
 prevention measures.  The
 company has instituted several
 successful reuse methods, such
 as reusing:

 Lunchroom trays.  In the firm's
 cafeteria, durable, reusable trays
 have been substituted for
 single-use trays, saving over
 $40,000 each year in purchasing
 costs.  Costs to wash the trays are
 estimated to be minimal (about
 $1,000 to $2,000), since the
 company already washes other
 cafeteria dishware and did not
 need to invest in dish washing
 equipment. Labor costs have
 changed little, if at all, since the
 company no longer needs to
 unpack a large quantity of
 disposable trays each day.

 Three-ring binders. In the
 company stockrooms, a policy for
 reusing three-ring vinyl binders has
 been established.  The
stockrooms give away old binders
at no cost to departments, but
charge for new binders. This
reuse incentive saves $9,000
yearly in purchasing costs.
 Interoffice envelopes.  Each
 year interoffice envelopes are
 reused as many as 39 times,
 saving the company $1,000

 Laser printer toner
 cartridges.  Approximately 5,200
 toner cartridges are reused each
 year, as well. Remanufactured
 cartridges cost about $50 less than
 new ones, saving about $260,000
 in purchasing costs and nearly
 $1,200 in disposal costs annually.

 Reusable mugs. To reduce the
 use of disposable cups, Bellcore
 now offers reusable mugs to
 employees at cost and employees
 receive a 5-cent discount on
 coffee or tea at the company
 cafeteria each  time that they use
 them.  This saves the firm
 approximately  $30,000 in
 purchasing costs annually.
Bellcore's reusable mug, featuring the company's
waste prevention mascot.

      In Minnesota, employees of the
      Itasca County Road  and
      Bridge Department replaced
      disposable forced-air filters with
      fully reusable filters in the
      Department's garages. The switch
      to reusable filters reduces the
      amount of waste going to the
      landfill and saves over $4,700 in
      purchasing costs each year. The
      county estimates that this change
      requires no additional labor-while
      more labor is required to clean the
      reusable filters, less labor is
      required for stocking and disposal.
      Other Itasca County government
      offices also have saved money, by
      switching to either fully reusable
      filters or to filters with reusable
      frames and disposable screens.
Reusable filter frames and fully reusable filters are helping
      Itasca County save thousands of dollars annually.
Even small changes can create
big savings, as proved by
Asbury Park Press, a
multimedia print and broadcast
communications corporation
headquartered in Neptune, New
Jersey. Previously, the company
used thousands of disposable rags
each week to clean its printing
presses.  Each year, the firm paid a
total of $69,600 for 120,000
disposable rags.  Recently, the
company decided to try cleaning its
printing presses with reusable cloth
rags.  It hired a laundry service,
which cleans and delivers 3,000
rags each week.  The replacement
rags have proved  equally effective,
and Asbury Press pays just $31,200
each year for this service, resulting
in a savings of $38,400.
 In addition to implementing
 internal waste prevention efforts,
 some businesses are helping their
 customers reduce waste.
 Hannaford Bros, of
 Scarborough, Maine, which operates
 a chain of approximately 90 grocery
 stores across New England, offers a
 3-cent discount for each plastic or
 paper grocery bag returned by
 customers.  The program has been
 quite successful, allowing
 Hannaford customer to avoid
 disposing of over 133,000 bags
 each week. While the company
 breaks even on the bags, since new
 bags typically cost between 2 and
 4 cents each, the recognition and
 good will generated among
 customers and in the community
 by such efforts is invaluable.

Reducing the use of
   In addition to reducing the amount of solid
   waste generated, companies also can reduce
   waste toxicity by substituting products with
   nonhazardous or less hazardous components
   for certain items. For example, many products
   used by graphics and maintenance
   departments (such as cleaning solvents, inks,
   paints, glues, and other materials) are
   available with fewer or no hazardous
   components. Suppliers can help direct
   companies to these products.

Often, nonhazardous substitutes
are not only available, they also
might perform better and save
money over the long term.  At
the Hollywood Memorial
Hospital in Hollywood, Florida,
a biomedical engineer
recognized that the hospital's
specialized portable cardiac
monitoring and recording
equipment generated a large
number of waste batteries
containing mercury each year.
After enlisting the aid of county
environmental officials, the
engineer located an effective
substitute, a zinc-air battery,
through the equipment
manufacturer. While the
purchase price per battery is 15
cents higher, they last
significantly longer than the
mercury-containing batteries. In
1991, the last year the old
batteries were used, the hospital
disposed of over  12,000 waste
batteries, while just over 8,000
were used and disposed of in
1992. As a result, annual
hospital battery procurement
costs declined from $33,000 to
$24,000, a savings of more than
25 percent. Furthermore, the
county environmental officials
calculate that the program is
reducing the amount of mercury
in the waste stream by 342
 pounds annually.
In some cases, groups of
companies and even entire
industries have adopted safer
substitutes for the products and
materials they use. Like most
other wine producers throughout
the world, wineries in
California have predominantly
used a metal foil wrap or capsule
containing lead on the tops of
their wine bottles. Concerns
over the presence of lead in the
foil,  however, combined with a
growing number of state
legislative efforts to reduce the
amount of heavy metals in the
waste stream, led most of the
state's wineries to switch to new
foils. While improved substitutes
are being developed constantly,
most of the wineries have begun
using an aluminum polylaminate
foil,  which has a layer of
aluminum and plastic. The
replacement foil simulates the
traditional appearance of the
lead foil and each shipment of
 1,000 foils costs
approximately $25 less.
 New foil wraps are helping California's wineries save
 money on every bottle shipped.

Using supplies  and
materials more
   In addition to offering savings in purchasing and
   disposal costs, some waste prevention
   strategies also can help companies streamline
   their operations. By focusing more employee
   time on the business at hand and less time on
   generating waste, these changes not only
   reduce waste and conserve materials, but could
   increase productivity significantly.

At Seagate Technology, Inc.,
an international computer
disk-drive manufacturing
company based in Scotts Valley,
California, a major effort to
increase efficiency in the
company's  Scotts Valley and
Watsonville, California plants
focused on reducing the
company's  seemingly endless
stream of photocopies that is
typical of such large firms. By
implementing a few time-saving
and waste-reducing measures,
Seagate cut its paper use by one
third. For example, rather than
photocopying dozens of memos
to individual employees, a single
memo is routed through each
office with  a check-off list of
names attached. In addition,
Seagate invested in a
high-quality photocopier that
makes double-sided copies
automatically.  The company
now purchases over 4 million
sheets fewer of paper each
year, saving $45,300 in
 purchasing costs.
                                 Another company that tightened
                                 its operations through waste
                                 prevention is the Washington
                                 Suburban Sanitary
                                 Commission, a large public
                                 water and sewer utility in Maryland.
                                 Instead of enclosing an envelope
                                 for payment with each customer's
                                 bill, the Commission now
                                 purchases "send-'n'-return"
                                 envelopes, used both for billing and
                                 receiving payment. In addition to
                                 simplifying the envelope-stuffing
                                 procedure, roughly 1,660 cubic
                                 feet of warehouse space was
                                 opened up since far fewer
                                 envelopes must now be stored
                                 there. With over 1.5 million  bills to
                                 send annually, the Commission
                                 now saves over $55,000 in
                                 envelope purchasing costs each
                 Preventing Paper Waste
I Paper is one of the largest components of most businesses'
* solid waste stream.   There are  many  ways  businesses
  might be able to use paper more efficiently, depending on
  their needs. Some ideas include:
  •Sending messages via electronic mail instead of on "paper           ;
  " "         ' ..   ~;:    v  :  "  '.' ' ••..••":.  '...'.V. :•'" •""'""'.•'.'..^"".".i "..':'...'.: 1
  • Printing fewer copies of reports
  • Posting memos in a central location
 ; •Storing computer documents on disk rather than making harcfcbpy files \

   fUsing smaller fonts to' save space

 ?• Making notepads from scrap paper


Composting yard
trimmings at your
   In 199O, yard trimmings (such as cut grass,
   leaves, tree limbs, and brush) accounted for
   more than 118 percent of the total solid waste
   in the United States. One approach that most
   companies can follow to reduce this waste is
   "grasscyclinig"— leaving cut grass on the lawn
   instead of bagging it and shipping it to the
   landfill. Companies that generate a significant
   amount of yard trimmings and other organic
   materials also can consider on-site composting
   to reduce the amount of materials requiring
   disposal.  Composting is a natural process by
   Which organic materials such as yard
   trimmings are allowed to decompose under
   controlled conditions. The result of this
   process is compost, a soil-like product that
   can be used as a mulch or soil amendment on
   company grounds or donated to local farmers
   or community organizations. Since it does not
   require an extensive collection infrastructure
   and typically requires fewer resources than
   off-site or municipal composting, grasscycling
   and on-site composting are generally
   considered Ito be waste prevention efforts.

Wilton Industries, of
Woodridge, Illinois, saves money
and time by grasscycling and
finding other creative uses for
grass clippings.  Cut grass
typically is left on the lawn. But
when the grass has grown
especially high due to abundant
                             rainfall, the company's yard
                             workers spread the grass clippings
                             around the edge of buildings and
                             under hedges to control weed
                             growth.  The company saves on
                             hauling fees in both cases, and
                             leaving cut grass on the lawn
                             reduces labor time.
    Waste Prevention Makes the Headlines at
                 Minnesota Newspaper      j     i
     Through waste prevention and recycling, the Herald Review,
   which publishes a biweekly newspaper in Grand Rapids,
   Minnesota, has reduced its waste by over 29,000 pounds
   annually.  By cutting back on waste-everything from paper
   towels to reporters' notebooks— the Herald Review now saves
   more than $1 8,000 a year.
      The firm made a commitment to waste prevention
   throughout its operations, getting department heads and
   employees to work together to identify and implement a variety
   of innovative waste prevention strategies.
     Reporters on the beat have switched from wide-ruled to
   narrow-ruled notebooks, reducing purchasing costs for new
   notebooks by 50 percent. In the office, unused blank labels left
   over from printing the newspaper's mailing list are used as file
   labels.  Toner cartridges from computer printers and
   photocopiers are rebuilt and reused.  In rest  rooms, cloth towels
   have replaced paper towels, saving $1 20 per year in avoided
   disposal fees and cutting purchasing costs by one-third.
      In the  printing process, overruns have been decreased,
   saving paper, ink, and time.  Paper that is left over from
   printing is sold to a local ceramics packaging firm.  This
   exchange benefits both companies— the  Herald Review is paid
   for material that otherwise would be discarded, and the
   'ceramics ....... packaging "fiFm ......... receives ........ anTnexperisIve~pacT
goods or
   Many companies are participating in
   successful exchange programs involving the
   trading, selling, or giving away of goods or
   materials that otherwise would be thrown
   away. Joining an exchange program is not
   only a great way to find new uses for
   unneeded materials, but it also can be
   cost-effective—even profitable. In addition,
   companies can team up with other businesses
   in their community to establish their own
   exchanges, pooling both their supply of
   materials and their demand for offered goods.
   In addition to exchange programs, companies
   can consider donating excess food, used
   furniture, and other materials to local
   organizations,  such as homeless shelters,
   charities, or schools.

               Bellcore and local farmers alike benefit from the company's donation program.
Bell Communications
Research (Bellcore) donates
its cafeteria food waste to pig
,and cattle farmers for use as
animal feed.  The kitchen staff
places food scraps into bins,
which are sealed and emptied
once a week by farmers.
Although the farmers are paid to
collect the food scraps, the
company still saves up to 50
percent on its regular disposal
fees for food scraps;  Bellcore
also dpnates its unused,   '
wrapped food left over from
banquets and conferences to a
local food  bank.

  Starting Your Business's Waste Prevention Program
  A waste prevention program is most successful when
  everyone is aware and involved.  When setting up your
 gwaste prevention program, remember to include:
 EMTop-down support. The company management can take the
    first step by setting up a waste prevention team to design and
    implement an effective program.  After the program is running,
    managers should continue their support by endorsing program
    goals and encouraging employee commitment and participation.
  I Strong leadership. A knowledgeable and motivated leader
   should be appointed to oversee the waste prevention team.
   This person will act as a liaison between management,
   employees, and the waste prevention team.  Consider
   appointing the waste disposal or operations manager or an
   employee who already has championed internal waste
   prevention or recycling efforts.              	
  I Goal-setting.  Perform a waste assessment to collect data on
   the company's current waste collection and disposal
   procedures and on the types and amounts of waste produced.
   From this baseline information, realistic, measurable goals can
   be set for waste prevention. These goals might include
   collecting revenues  from the exchange of materials, enhancing
   the company's corporate image, or reducing inefficiencies in
  (Employee involvement.  Keep employees apprised of the
   program and actively encourage their participation. To
   .emphasize the program's high priority, begin with an
   announcement from the company's owner or chief executive
   officer. After explaining the benefits  and goals of the program,
   ask for volunteers to help with implementation.  Employees also
   might have valuable suggestions. By circulating memos and
   reminders periodically, employee support and participation can
   be maintained. Consider offering incentive awards to
   employees most committed to waste  prevention.

One company that has achieved
notable success with an exchange
program is Bath  Iron Works in
Bath, Maine.  The company, which
manufactures ships for the U.S.
Navy, has conducted several
auctions to locate other
businesses that can  reuse ,
materials it no longer needs,
including equipment, nuts and
bolts, shelving, and even materials
recovered from old buildings. The
company conducts two types of
auctions: sealed bid auctions,
which are held quarterly and
involve sending a list of items for
sale to parties on a special mailing
list; and traditional auctions, which
are held annually and conducted
by an auctioneer.  The price paid
for the items auctioned varies
depending  upon their condition.
For example, a floor sweeper that
the company no longer needed
sold for $4,000, and a used
squaring sheer recently sold for
$20,000. In its most recent
traditional auction, Bath Iron
Works sold goods worth
approximately $98,000
—more than double its 1991
auction earnings and almost six
times the earnings from the
1990 auction.
        The Bath Iron Works annual auction helps the company sell off unneeded items, from
     nuts and bolts (above) to welding masks, shovels, stepladders, and many other materials.

unnecessary  items.
   Finally, don't overlook the obvious! There may
   be a wide range of opportunities in your
   company to reduce waste by eliminating the
   use of unnecessary materials and supplies.
   Typically, these are items whose use has
   become routine, though they contribute little
   or nothing to your product service. While
   eliminating the use of individual items might
   not result in tremendous savings, taken
   together, these measures can be an important
   part of your waste reduction program.

At the Chateau Airport in
Calgary, Alberta, hotel staff went
looking for ways to cut back on
waste. Part of the Canadian
Pacific Hotels and Resorts
Company, the hotel was
responding to the company's
request to initiate waste reduction
measures whenever possible.
Almost immediately, examples of
unnecessary items began to turn
up. For example, the hotel had
routinely provided guests with a
guide to the local television
programs even after extensive
listings and descriptions became
available on one of the TV
channels.  By simply informing
guests how to find the new
listings, the hotel was able to
eliminate the use of the weekly
guides in each of its 300 rooms.
In addition, the hotel noticed that
the lighting in its storage and
maintenance rooms, staff
hallways, and other areas was
excessive.  By removing every
other light, the hotel was able to
save on electricty costs and cut
its use of fluorescent bulbs in
half. So far, the hotel has found
dozens of ways to eliminate the
use of unnecessary materials,
and it's looking for more!
 For More  Information
     If you would like to learn more about how to implement
     waste prevention in your business, order the Business Guide for
     Reducing Solid Waste. This booklet provides detailed "how-to"
     suggestions for businesses that are ready to embark on a waste
     prevention program.

     For further information on waste prevention, or to order
     this guide free of charge, call:

     The RCRA/Superfund Hotline at 800-424-9346 or TDD 800-
     553-7672 for the hearing impaired.
     For Washington, DC, and outside the United States, call
     703-412-9810 or TDD 703-412-3323.
     Hotline hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 7:30 p.m. EST.

     You also can write to:

     RCRA Information Center
     U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
     Office of Solid Waste (OS-305)
     401 M Street, SW.
     Washington, DC 20460