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Pollution Prevention

  

This Pollution Prevention Program Area contains guidance, tools, examples, and analyses of products and processes which can be substituted for existing products/processes or added to existing processes to reduce/eliminate pollution.

Executive Order (EO) 13693, Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade, was signed by President Obama on 19 March 2015. Section 16 of this EO revokes the following:

  • Executive Order 13423 of January 24, 2007;
  • Executive Order 13514 of October 5, 2009;
  • Presidential Memorandum of December 2, 2011 (Implementation of Energy Savings Projects and Performance-Based Contracting for Energy Savings);
  • Section 1 of Presidential Memorandum of February 21, 2012 (Driving Innovation and Creating Jobs in Rural America through Biobased and Sustainable Product Procurement); and
  • Presidential Memorandum of December 5, 2013 (Federal Leadership on Energy Management); and
  • Presidential Memorandum of May 24, 2011 (Federal Fleet Performance).

The overarching goal of EO 13693 is to maintain Federal leadership in sustainability and greenhouse gas emission reductions. Attainment of these goals is supported by the use of the tools, examples, and information found in this program area.

Section 3, paragraph (j) of EO 13693 directs federal agencies to continue reporting in accordance with the requirements of sections 301 through 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of1986 (42 U.S.C. 11001 through 11023).

This section of the EO also supports the implementation of pollution prevention practices with the goals of diverting at least 50 percent of the following waste streams:

  • non-hazardous solid waste, including food and compostable material but not construction and demolition materials and debris, annually, and pursuing opportunities for net-zero waste or additional diversion opportunities;
  • non-hazardous construction and demolition materials and debris.

Agencies are also required to reduce or minimize the quantity of toxic and hazardous chemicals and materials acquired, used, or disposed of, particularly where such reduction will assist the agency in pursuing agency greenhouse gas emission reduction targets established in section 2 of the EO. See the Greenhouse Gases Program Area.

The following definitions from EO 13693 are applicable to this Program Area:

  • Agency - an executive agency as defined in section 105 of title 5, United States Code, excluding the Government Accountability Office (EO 13693, Section 19, para b).

  • Construction and Demolition Materials and Debris - waste materials and debris generated during construction, renovation, demolition, or dismantling of all structures and buildings and associated infrastructure (EO 13693, Section 19, para g).

  • Divert or Diverting - redirecting materials from disposal in landfills or incinerators to recycling or recovery, excluding diversion to waste-to-energy facilities (EO 13693, Section 19, para i).


  • Federal Facility - any building or collection of buildings, grounds, or structures, as well as any fixture or part thereof, which is owned by the United States or any Federal agency or that is held by the United States or any Federal agency under a lease-acquisition agreement under which the United States or a Federal agency will receive fee simple title under the terms of such agreement without further negotiation (EO 13693, Section 19, para l).


  • Net-zero Waste Building - a building that is operated to reduce, reuse, recycle, compost, or recover solid waste streams (with the exception of hazardous and medical waste) thereby resulting in zero waste disposal (EO 13693, Section 19, para q).

Please use the links below to quickly jump to the information area needed or scroll down to view all items.

For pollution prevention guidance pertaining to motor vehicles, please see the Transportation Program Area.

For pollution prevention guidance related to electronics, see the Electronics Stewardship Program Area.



Regulations, Guidance, and Policy
Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade
19 March 2015
The goal of EO 13693 is to maintain Federal leadership in sustainability and greenhouse gas emission reductions. Signed by President Obama on 19 March 2015. Section 16 of this EO revokes the following:
  • Executive Order 13423 of January 24, 2007;
  • Executive Order 13514 of October 5, 2009;
  • Presidential Memorandum of December 2, 2011 (Implementation of Energy Savings Projects and Performance-Based Contracting for Energy Savings);
  • Section 1 of Presidential Memorandum of February 21, 2012 (Driving Innovation and Creating Jobs in Rural America through Biobased and Sustainable Product Procurement); and
  • Presidential Memorandum of December 5, 2013 (Federal Leadership on Energy Management); and
  • Presidential Memorandum of May 24, 2011 (Federal Fleet Performance).
Need help understanding Executive Order (EO) 13693? Want to know more about how to take action and turn your building into a high-performance building? The Sustainable Facilities Tool can walk you through EO 13693. Click through the annotated text for definitions, strategies, and links.
This GSA-developed chart summarizes the major provisions of Executive Order (EO) 13693, Planning for Federal Sustainability for the Next Decade, and how they differ from prior authorities.
A voluntary product stewardship agreement achieved through multistakeholder dialogue. It has been signed by 7 states, the USEPA, and more than 95% of the industry. The focus of the MOU is a series of goals for reuse, recycling, and waste diversion of carpeting by 2012.
These instructions, dated 10 June 2015, provide Federal Executive departments and agencies with clarifying instructions for implementing EO 13693.
The 1990 Pollution Prevention Act focused industry, government, and public attention on reducing the amount of pollution through cost-effective changes in production, operation, and raw materials use. Opportunities for source reduction are often not realized because of existing regulations, and the industrial resources required for compliance, focus on treatment and disposal. Source reduction is fundamentally different and more desirable than waste management or pollution control.
In 2005, Federal agencies requested responses from the General Services Administration regarding recycling and the disposition of property under the personal property rules.
Supporting Information and Tools
 
Databases/Software Tools
The primary goal of AAMS is to simplify and improve internal screening of excess personal property for the federal activity. The P2 component of AAMS is the redistribution of excess personal property to authorized agency users instead of disposal.
The Construction Waste Management Database contains information on companies that haul, collect and process recyclable debris from construction projects. Created in 2002 by GSA's Environmental Strategies and Safety Division to promote responsible waste disposal, the Database is a free online service for those seeking companies that recycle construction debris in their area.
This tool quantifies the projected environmental benefits of purchasing and using "green" janitorial services and products. It is designed to forecast the environmental benefits of reducing chemical use by doing some or all pollution prevention measures typically involved in the routine interior cleaning of an office building. This tool also enables users to identify which green cleaning measures will have the greatest impact in reducing their use of hazardous chemicals and in preventing pollution. The Calculator's output applies only to standard office cleaning products and practices, and does not apply to other building maintenance issues, such as equipment maintenance, pest control, or landscaping activities.
EPA's Green Infrastructure Wizard offers you access to a repository of EPA-sourced Green Infrastructure tools and resources designed to support and promote sustainable water management and community planning decisions. The tools and resources available through GIWiz will help you analyze problems, understand management options, calculate design parameters, analyze costs and benefits, evaluate tradeoffs, engage stakeholders, and/or develop education and outreach campaigns. GIWiz is made possible through a cross-agency collaboration involving EPA's Office of Research and Development, Office of Policy, Office of Water, and Regional staff.
This is GSA's innovative green building learning simulation which is a part of GSA's SFTool. Green the Building places you in the role of a resource-constrained decision-maker, charged with greening buildings through strategic energy, waste, water and occupant satisfaction improvements. You must choose technologies, implement best-practices, support behavior changes and plan carefully to create buildings that conserve resources, reduce waste, save money and keep occupants happy and healthy. Need help? Don't worry! Embedded links connect you directly to the clear explanations you've come to expect from SFTool.
This is the customer interface to the Federal Disposal System (FEDS). GSAXcess® provides agencies a means of electronically reporting excess personal property to GSA. By using GSAXcess®, customers seeking property can avoid the cost of new procurements by acquiring the same or like items that have been reported as excess by another federal activity. Agencies may search GSA's worldwide inventory through a process known as screening and may request property for transfer by selecting specific items. The property system is available to three groups of users: Federal agencies; Authorized nonfederal recipients; and Surplus customers.
A GSA tool, MySales provides federal agencies with the ability to manage their personal property inventory. Federal agencies can report, modify, and maintain the status of their surplus and exchange/sale property reported to GSA for sale. MySales offers two user screens that allow custodians and property managers access to the status of their property that has transitioned into the GSA Sales Program.
This tool calculates the U.S. average energy and wood consumption and environmental releases summed across the full "life cycle" of each of five major grades of paper and paperboard. For a given grade, it allows the user to compare the environmental impacts of papers made with different levels of post-consumer recycled content, ranging from 0% (i.e., virgin paper) to 100%.
This Microsoft Access-based database software application contains sections for tracking program activities including: working one-on-one with clients (such as on-site visits and research); producing educational and outreach materials; sponsoring workshop/training events; responding to information requests; and managing sector-based initiatives. The database application also tracks the outcomes associated with many of these program activities, including environmental, behavioral, and economic outcomes. Because each state's pollution prevention and compliance assistance program is somewhat different in the scope of its activities and its structure, the software can be customized so the programs can use only those components and the level of detail that suit their needs. The Pollution Prevention and Assistance Tracker software is available for use by state, local, county, university-based, and tribal government entities. This software was developed with funding and support from U.S. EPA and oversight by the Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association (NEWMOA).
The intent of this software is to help companies/organizations find alternate chemical mixtures or solvents that still improve their processes but are not as harmful to our environment. The PARIS III database includes more than 4000 solvents commonly used by industry. In the search for replacements, it taps only those that have less environmental impact (greener), mixing them together in different proportions to find mixtures that perform as close as possible to the performance of those currently used by companies. The close replacement mixtures found can then be sorted to choose those mixtures that are least harmful to the environment. This solvent substitution software tool is provided by the EPA for free, and can be effective and efficiently used to help environmentally-conscious individuals find better and greener solvent mixtures for many different common industrial processes.
Developed by EPA, this tool helps companies and individuals estimate life-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy impacts from purchasing and/or manufacturing materials with varying degrees of post-consumer recycled content. Emission estimates provided by the ReCon Tool are intended to support voluntary GHG measurement and reporting initiatives, as well as such initiatives as EPA's Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines (CPG) Program. ReCon is available both as a web-based calculator and as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet (82 kb WinZip archive).
The Steel Recycling Institute (SRI) is an industry association that promotes and sustains the recycling of all steel products. Their site provides helpful information about the recycling of the steel in cans, appliances, cars, at construction sites. It also highlights how to buy items with recycled steel content and aids in the process of identifying a nearby steel recycler through the Steel Recycling Database, a searchable online database designed specifically to help you find a location where you can recycle your steel cans and appliances.
Directories/Catalogs/Newsletters
This site is devoted to current and prospective federal government users of biobased products. It includes the Biobased Products Best Practices Guide, product information, and profiles of federal agencies who are successfully using biobased products.
A monthly newsletter that covers a broad range of environmental topics with an emphasis on recycling.
A monthly newsletter from the US EPA with information about activities and events that everyone can use to make a difference in their homes, communities, and offices.
A resource directory for local governments to use in developing and implementing climate change initiatives. This guide includes information on, among many other items, how the U.S. EPA can help with:
  • greening transportation;
  • land-use decisions and building construction requirements;
  • improving recycling;
  • conserving water; and
  • using more efficient and renewable energy
This is an online newsletter published by the Water Environment Federation (WEF) that highlights the latest in stormwater industry news. The three sections of the newsletter -- news, features, and events -- cover advanced practices, local programs, and case studies as well as policy updates, grant opportunities, and financing options. The newsletter also spotlights cutting-edge research in addition to industry tools and reports. Articles are published throughout the month on The Stormwater Report website and are distributed by email as a monthly digest to about 30,000 stormwater professionals.
A pollution prevention newsletter produced by the Western Sustainability & Pollution Prevention Network (WSPPN). WSPPN is a strategic alliance involving local, state, federal and tribal pollution prevention (P2) programs throughout EPA Region 9. EPA Region 9 includes the states of California, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii, Tribal Lands and the Trust Territories of Guam and American Samoa.
Libraries/Repositories
This tool, funded by EPA, provides information on beneficial use options for industrial byproducts. Some of the byproducts addressed include: construction and demolition debris, chicken manure, scrap tires, drinking water treatment wastes, and coal ash. The portal also contains information on state beneficial use programs.
Helps users to identify available recycling services in their state and city for items such as: plastics (i.e., packing peanuts, bags, containers); paper (i.e., books, newspaper, drink boxes, chipboard, cartons); paint products; organic material (i.e., brush, grass clippings, tree trimmings, weeds, soil); metal (i.e., aerosol cans, vehicles, appliances, cans, foil, hangers, propane tanks); glass; batteries (i.e., vehicle, NiCad, rechargeable); construction and demolition materials (i.e., asphalt, flooring, ceiling tiles, carpet padding, concrete, windows, stone, linoleum, porcelain products, brick); and miscellaneous items such as mattresses, furniture, cooking oils/grease, fluorescent bulbs, and medical equipment.
An electronic information exchange that specializes in the trade of recyclables reclaimed in Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) streams, as well as the marketing of eco-friendly products.
An information service of the U.S. EPA dedicated to reducing and eliminating industrial pollutants through technology transfer, source reduction, education and public awareness.
A consortium of eight regional pollution prevention information centers, funded in part through grants from EPA. These centers all provide pollution prevention information, networking opportunities and other services to States, local governments and technical assistance providers in their region. The centers represent a broad constituency, including state and local pollution prevention programs, manufacturing extension partnerships, cooperative extension and nonprofit organizations.
The Zero Waste Connection is a professional social network of zero waste program managers and staff from federal, state, and local programs, as well as independent experts. The site also contains an information clearinghouse of resources to support programs and manage all of the information shared through the site. The Zero Waste Connection is brought to you by the Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association (NEWMOA). NEWMOA is a member of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx), a consortium of eight regional pollution prevention information centers dedicated to improving the dissemination of P2 and waste reduction information in the service provider community, and funded in part through grants from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Organizations
ARRA’s mission is to develop new programs, strategies and funding not only to improve the technological side of the industry but to increase the market share for recycled asphalt, as compared to other types of maintenance, preservation, and rehabilitation options. The membership list is searchable to help in identifying asphalt recyclers/reclaimers close to home.
The ALMR is an educational and informational resource to government agencies, municipal authorities, industries and other business entities, universal waste handlers, generators, environmental groups and industry trade organizations. Tools developed include CD-Rom training on recycling mercury-containing lamps
The Institute is a multi-stakeholder association of key individuals and groups from government, industry and academia, which promotes the use, and recycling of biodegradable polymeric materials (via composting). The BPI is open to any materials and products that demonstrate that they meet the requirements in ASTM D6499 or D6868, based on testing in a approved laboratory. The Compostable Logo can be awarded to any product which meet the requirements in ASTM D6400 or D6868, specifications based on more than 8 years of research by suppliers, composters and academia. Currently the logo has been awarded to a variety of compostable bags and films, food service items, and resins.
The Center helps Americans consume responsibly to protect the environment, enhance quality of life, and promote social justice. It is a coalition of educational organizations, environmental organizations, citizen groups, the National Resources Defense Council, Consumer Federation of America, the Public Utility Law Project, and the Environmental Protection Agency. It addresses issues such as institutional purchasing, development of more sustainable products, living sustainably, and buying wisely.
The Center for Clean Products and Clean Technologies (CCPCT) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has a mission to develop, evaluate, and promote cleaner products and cleaner technologies that minimize pollution at the source and contribute to long-term sustainable development.
CDRA promotes and defends the environmentally sound recycling of the more than 325 million tons of recoverable construction and demolition (C&D) materials that are generated in the United States annually. These materials include aggregates such as concrete, asphalt, asphalt shingles, gypsum wallboard, wood and metals.
Provides information on how to contact DLA supported activities and learn about DLA supported activities such as the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS), the Dod Ozone Depleting Substance Reserve, Fuel-related Environmental Services, Renewable Energy Certificates, Energy Saving Performance Contracts, DoD EMALL, Green Procurement, and the DoD Shelf Life Program
Members of ECCO are dedicated to improving the quality of the environment by working to increase awareness of the environmental aspects and benefits of concrete and concrete products.
This network is a grassroots movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. The Network provides individuals and non-profits an electronic forum to "recycle" unwanted items. Each local group is run by a local volunteer moderator. Membership is free. The website will enable you to identify your local group.
The mission of the Green Press Initiative is to work with book and newspaper industry stakeholders to conserve natural resources, preserve endangered forests, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and minimize impacts on indigenous communities. GPI is funded primarily through grant foundations.
Green Seal is an independent, non-profit organization that strives to achieve a healthier and cleaner environment by identifying and promoting products and services that cause less toxic pollution and waste, conserve resources and habitats, and minimize global warming and ozone depletion. Green Seal has no financial interest in the products that it certifies or recommends nor in any manufacturer or company. Green Seal's evaluations are based on state-of-the-art science and information using internationally recognized methods and procedures.
This site helps government customers meet buying green requirements when procuring products, services, and vehicles.
HERC provides pollution prevention and compliance assistance information for the healthcare sector. Areas of focus include hazardous materials, regulated medical waste, waste reduction, facilities and equipment, and regulations and standards.
An international coalition of hospitals and health care systems, medical professionals, community groups, health-affected constituencies, labor unions, environmental and environmental health organizations and religious groups. Their mission is to transform the health care sector worldwide, without compromising patient safety or care, so that it is ecologically sustainable and no longer a source of harm to public health and the environment.
A nonprofit organization committed to promoting and communicating the benefits and advantages of waterless printing to printers and their suppliers, but most importantly to the print-buying community at large.
The NCER is dedicated to the enhancement of the national infrastructure for recycling used electronics under the direction of an Industry Advisory Committee of manufacturers who are the leaders in the environmental field.
This center provides a testing ground for innovation and promotes it across EPA offices and programs.
The National Coalition for Pesticide-Free Lawns advocates safe, healthy, LIVING lawns and landscapes with the use of organic and least toxic practices and products that nurture healthy lawns and landscapes and protect the health of children, families, pets, wildlife and the environment from unnecessary exposure to toxic pesticides.
NSWMA is a trade association representing for-profit companies in North America that provide solid, hazardous and medical waste collection, recycling and disposal services, and companies that provide professional and consulting services to the waste services industry. NSWMA’s mission statement is to promote the management of waste in a manner that is environmentally responsible, efficient, profitable and ethical, while benefiting the public and protecting employees.
NERC's mission is to leverage the strengths and resources of its member states to advance an environmentally sustainable economy in the Northeast by promoting source reduction, recycling, and the purchasing of environmentally preferable products and services. Specifically, the site provides links to state recycling organizations in the northeast.
This EPA website lists organizations with available resources and services related to reducing, reducing, and recycling C&D Materials. Types of organizations include: trade associations, research and education organizations, and buyers/sellers of reusable and recyclable commodities.
The Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center provides free and well-researched answers to specific questions about pollution prevention through its Rapid Response site. They provide thorough and unbiased answers to help you make decisions. They offer a staff of seasoned problem solvers with diverse expertise in manufacturing processes, chemical engineering, energy efficiency, and many other fields. If they can't answer your question, they will point you to the contacts or resources that can.
PCRC is maintained by the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS). The PCRC is one of the Compliance Assistance Centers developed by industry-government partnerships, with support from EPA's Office of Compliance.
This organization specifically addresses pollution prevent opportunities for institutions in the healthcare community that have made a commitment to sustainable, eco-friendly practices. Members include hospitals, healthcare systems, businesses and other stakeholders engaged in the greening of healthcare to improve the health of patients, staff and the environment.
A non-profit public service organization dedicated to recycling used rechargeable batteries and old cell phones. RBRC collects the Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd), Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH), Lithium Ion (Li-ion), and Small Sealed Lead *(Pb) rechargeable batteries through their national program, Call2Recycle™, and with the help of retail and community partners. To find the collection site nearest you, use the online locator or call our toll free helpline 1-800-8-BATTERY or 1-877-2-RECYCLE.
This site is a showcase for recycle-content products. RecycleStore showcases innovative recycled-content products and puts you in touch directly with their manufacturers.
It is the mission of SERDC to unite industry, government and non-government organizations to promote sustainable recycling in the Southeast.
The mission of the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership is to encourage and promote participation in the worldwide movement to reduce environmental impact and increase social responsibility of the print and graphic communications industry through sustainable green printing practices. SGP Partnership recognizes the following sustainable business practices as guiding principles to ensure continued viability and growth: (1) Employ, wherever and whenever possible, materials derived from renewable resources or with low environmental impact, maximizing recycling and recovery efforts with efficient utilization of renewable energy; (2) Encourage the adoption of changes within the supply chain by strongly recommending the use of raw materials that do not threaten or harm future generations; and (3) Educate the customer and ultimate consumer regarding the benefits of a restorative economy. Printers can be listed as a certified SGP Printer by meeting a set of criteria to establish performance standards. Certified SGP printers can be identified through the SGP website.
The USCC (Council) is a non profit national organization that directs the Composting Council Research and Education Foundation (CCREF), which administers public and private research and education grant activities. The USCC is dedicated to the development, expansion and promotion of the composting industry based upon science, principles of sustainability, and economic viability.
FPL’s research scientists are looking at ways to promote clean water, better homes, improved recycling processes, and healthier forests. Research concentrates on pulp and paper products, housing and structural uses of wood, wood preservation, wood and fungi identification, and finishing and restoration of wood products. In addition to traditional lines of research, FPL is responding to environmental pressures on the forest resource by using cutting-edge techniques to study recycling, develop environmentally friendly technology, and understand ecosystem-based forest management.
This is a non-profit organization whose mission is to advance the beneficial and efficient use of water resources through education, sound science, and technology using reclamation, recycling, reuse and desalination for the benefit of our members, the public, and the environment.
The Zero Waste Connection is a professional social network of zero waste program managers and staff from federal, state, and local programs, as well as independent experts. The site also contains an information clearinghouse of resources to support programs and manage all of the information shared through the site. The Zero Waste Connection is brought to you by the Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association (NEWMOA). NEWMOA is a member of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx), a consortium of eight regional pollution prevention information centers dedicated to improving the dissemination of P2 and waste reduction information in the service provider community, and funded in part through grants from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
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Lessons Learned
 
Award Winners
The DOI Environmental Achievement Awards convey high-level recognition to DOI employees and partners for DOI projects in the following categories: Sustainability Hero; Green Innovation; Lean, Clean, and Green; Good Neighbor; Green Dream Team; Building the Future; and Environmental Remediation.
FGC awards are given in two categories - data driven and narrative. Data driven awards are in the wares of Waste, Electronics, and Purchasing, Water, and Transportation. Narrative Awards are given in the categories of Innovation, Education and Outreach, and Leadership.
The GreenGov Awards recognize exceptional efforts to promote sustainable operations at Federal agencies in the categories of Good Neighbor; Building the Future; Green Dream Team; Green Innovation; Lean, Clean and Green; and Sustainability Hero.
This award is given to recognize efforts to prevent or eliminate pollution at the source, including practices that increase efficiency in the use of raw materials, energy, water, or other resources. These are annual awards celebrating the previous years' accomplishments/innovations. Nominations are typically accepted until March and the awards given in June.
Each year, the Army recognizes and rewards excellence for the development, management and transferability of environmental programs that increase environmental quality, enhance the mission and help make the Army sustainable. The winners of the Secretary of the Army Environmental Awards Program go on to compete in the Secretary of Defense competition.
Case Studies
Published in 2009 by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, this study compares a wide range of environmental impacts (including greenhouse gas emissions) of drinking water from the tap, 5-gallon reusables, and single-use bottles. It compares the environmental impacts of tap water ("reduce") against the impacts of bottled water ("recycle" and "dispose"). The study confirms that while recycling bottles is environmentally preferable to disposing of them, buying bottled water and recycling the bottles is not the best environmental choice. Drinking water from the tap (waste prevention) typically has substantially lower impacts in most categories of environmental impact.
This Public Work Technical Bulletin (PWTB) 200-1-40, dated 31 July 2006, provides guidance based on experiences of recovering, reusing, and recycling building materials typically disposed of as demolition waste on Army installations. It will assist in implementing practices to reduce the amount of demolition debris generated by the removal of surplus buildings.
Multiple case studies on the recycling/reuse of construction and demolition debris.
This Public Work Technical Bulletin (PWTB) 200-1-45, dated 1 February 2007, provides case studies and lessons learned on the deconstruction of excess or surplus buildings at seven Army installations.
This report is the results of a pilot project for food waste separation.
This life-cycle assessment (LCA) evaluated the potential environmental impacts of selected lead-free solders as alternatives to tin-lead solder. This LCA assessed impacts related to material consumption, energy use, air resources, water resources, landfills, human toxicity, and ecological toxicity. The partnership also investigated leachability and recycling of solders at the end of their lives. The solders evaluated were: tin/lead, tin/copper, tin/silver/copper, bismuth/tin/silver, tin/silver/bismuth/copper.
An EPA technology fact sheet.
Grounds Maintenance Pollution Prevention
A series of EPA fact sheets describing various ways to control erosion caused by storm water at construction sites, including compost blankets and compost filter socks.
EPA Region 3’s guidance on designing and maintaining beautiful yards, gardens, and larger landscapes to: reduce harm to the environment; save time and $ with lower maintenance; have healthier places to work and play.
This brochure was developed for homeowners and is a joint effort of the EPA Office of Solid Waste, Office of Water and Office of Pesticide Programs. The brochure addresses how to plant right for the site, conserve water, reduce yard waste, and use pesticides wisely.
Landscaping with native plants improves the environment. Native plants are hardy because they have adapted to the local conditions. Once established, native plants do not need pesticides, fertilizers, or watering. Not only is this good for the environment, it saves time and money.
Discusses the benefits of and "how tos" of composting as well as grasscycling and vermiculture.
List of the current comprehensive procurement guidelines for hoses.
Household Pollution Prevention
This site offers information to help you choose a cleaner burning hearth appliance (e.g., gas or wood stove) and use it efficiently and safely. Roughly six percent of all fine particle pollution (PM 2.5) in the United States comes from wood smoke. In some areas where woodstove use is high, wood smoke can account for a greater share of PM 2.5. Replacing older wood stoves with EPA-certified stoves can reduce wood smoke -- by 70 percent on average.
This web site outlines many practical steps to reduce the amount and toxicity of garbage.
The Janitorial Products P2 Project ("JP4") is producing a series of fact sheets on environmental, health, and safety issues. The fact sheets are meant for individual janitorial workers, supervisors, and EH&S staff. Fact sheets address toilet cleaning, hard floor care, carpet care, restroom cleaning, glass cleaning, metal cleaning, and disinfectants.
Lamprecycle.org is a resource for any light bulb ("lamp") user seeking details on recycling spent mercury-containing lamps, but is particularly useful for facilities managers, MRO (maintenance, repair and operations) personnel, commercial or residential property managers, environmental programs managers, lamp distributors, and government/regulatory employees for commercial or office buildings, hospitals, warehouses, military bases, manufacturing plants and retail stores.
An EPA initiative to reduce the use of mercury-containing non-fever thermometers in industrial and commercial settings. Measurement and control devices, including glass non-fever thermometers, found in industrial and laboratory settings represent a major use category for mercury-containing products, but in many cases effective non-mercury alternative products exist. EPA is examining ways to transition to mercury-free alternatives both within EPA and outside of the Agency.
A voluntary program to promote environmentally responsible disposal of these household appliances, which will significantly reduce emissions as well as save consumers money. As part of the Program, EPA serves as a technical clearinghouse on responsible appliance disposal program development and implementation.
Provides ideas and suggestions month by month on waste alternatives, innovative technologies, and recycling opportunities.
Medical Facilities Pollution Prevention
This page includes best management practices for health care facilities, medical waste disposal, and dental offices.
HERC provides pollution prevention and compliance assistance information for the healthcare sector. Areas of focus include hazardous materials, regulated medical waste, waste reduction, facilities and equipment, and regulations and standards.
This EPA website includes best management practices for health care facilities, medical waste disposal, and dental offices.
Identifies where mercury is found in hospitals, how it be eliminated and cost savings. Explains why mercury should be eliminated.
Fact Sheet concerning the disposal/recycling of used oxygen breathing apparatus canisters.
An EPA initiative to reduce the use of mercury-containing non-fever thermometers in industrial and commercial settings. Measurement and control devices, including glass non-fever thermometers, found in industrial and laboratory settings represent a major use category for mercury-containing products, but in many cases effective non-mercury alternative products exist. EPA is examining ways to transition to mercury-free alternatives both within EPA and outside of the Agency.
Sponsored by the Healthcare Environmental Resource Center, the site addresses pollution prevention issues specific to medical facilities such as: mercury reduction, alternative sterilants and disinfectants, integrated pest management, alternative cleaning chemicals, laboratory chemical alternatives, mercury-free alternatives, water conservation, and energy conservation.
This study was funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and was aimed at developing an integrated pollution prevention and occupational safety and health intervention assessment strategy for hospitals. The article discusses possible changes, results of changes, and how long it took to successfully implement changes. For example, formaldehyde replacement required six months to complete, while conventional mopping replacement required six weeks. Other changes discussed included: replacement of xylene, mercury reduction, digital radiology imaging, as well as processes and procedures (Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Volume - v3, Issue 4 April 2006 , pages 182 – 193).
Enables the user to identify alternative products, review case studies and fact sheets prior to purchasing items such as sterilants, disinfectants, thermometers, plastic products, laboratory chemicals etc.
Office Pollution Prevention
Developed by EPA Region 3, this site provides an overview of pollution prevention opportunities for typical office environments. A self-test is available to aid in determining how big your environmental footprint really is.
Recycling/Reuse
Welcome to shinglerecycling.org, an online resource for those interested in recycling asphalt shingles.
This EPA website provides guidance on how builders, construction teams and design practitioners can divert C&D materials from disposal by buying used and recycled products, practice source reduction, preserve existing structures, and salvage and reuse existing materials.
CRTs are the video display components of televisions and computer monitors. The glass in CRTs typically contains enough lead to require managing it as hazardous waste under certain circumstances. EPA has provided conditional exclusions from the federal hazardous waste management standards for CRTs and CRT glass destined for recycling.
Helps users to identify available recycling services in their state and city for items such as: plastics (i.e., packing peanuts, bags, containers); paper (i.e., books, newspaper, drink boxes, chipboard, cartons); paint products; organic material (i.e., brush, grass clippings, tree trimmings, weeds, soil); metal (i.e., aerosol cans, vehicles, appliances, cans, foil, hangers, propane tanks); glass; batteries (i.e., vehicle, NiCad, rechargeable); construction and demolition materials (i.e., asphalt, flooring, ceiling tiles, carpet padding, concrete, windows, stone, linoleum, porcelain products, brick); and miscellaneous items such as mattresses, furniture, cooking oils/grease, fluorescent bulbs, and medical equipment.
On August 26, 2010 EPA hosted an initial workshop on C & D Material Diversion and Reuse and the EO 13514 requirements for C & D waste. This event provided an overview of C & D issues, available tools and resources, and lessons learned. It also kicked off an effort to establish a fed-wide "Community of Practice" for C & D issues.
The site contains information on the processing of gypsum drywall, recycling gypsum drywall at the construction site, permitting issues, and case studies on the effectiveness of recycling gypsum drywall.
In general, to determine the recycling rate, the amount recycled is divided by the total waste stream. The total waste stream is the sum of waste and recyclables generated for a given period of time. EPA has developed a voluntary, standard methodology for measuring recycling rates.
Lamprecycle.org is a resource for any light bulb ("lamp") user seeking details on recycling spent mercury-containing lamps, but is particularly useful for facilities managers, MRO (maintenance, repair and operations) personnel, commercial or residential property managers, environmental programs managers, lamp distributors, and government/regulatory employees for commercial or office buildings, hospitals, warehouses, military bases, manufacturing plants and retail stores.
Hosted by the American Chemistry Council, this site is designed to lend a better understanding concerning how plastics are made, the different types of plastic and their numerous properties and applications.
The Guidance Manual for Paint Reuse Programs, dated January 2007, was developed by the Paint Product Stewardship Initiative (PPSI). The purpose of this manual is to provide interested stakeholders with the resources necessary to establish a successful paint reuse program and to provide existing reuse programs with best practices for more effective operations. The manual outlines various program models along with benefits and perceived barriers to starting reuse programs; highlights successful programs already in place; describes the factors that must be considered when starting a reuse program; and links the user to more detailed resources for particular programs.
Plastic container recycling is currently being conducted for a wide range of plastic products, including polyethylene terephthalate (PET), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), low density polyethylene (LDPE), and polystyrene.
EPA is partnering with government agencies and businesses to introduce recycling programs in places where large numbers of people gather, such as parks, stadiums, transportation hubs (for example, airports, bus and train stations, and highway rest stops), special events, and shopping centers.
Lehigh’s Planet Approved™ seal certifies that a product meets Lehigh Technologies’ standard for the highest quality of recycled content. The seal of approval was established to help consumers easily identify products that are manufactured using recycled rubber refined through environmentally sound and earth-friendly processes.
EPA's Headquarters maintains a standardized recycling collection program for its 8,500 employees located in more than 10 buildings in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. EPA's manual covers all of the details involved in maintaining a consistent and comprehensive office recycling program, and can serve as a model for other agencies.
This document, dated October 2008, is a set of guidelines for accredited certification programs to assess electronics recyclers' environmental, worker health and safety, and security practices. The voluntary R2 practices include general principles and specific practices for recyclers disassembling or reclaiming used electronics equipment including those electronics that are exported for refurbishment and recycling.
Sponsored by the Steel Recycling Institute (SRI), this site addresses cans, cars, appliances, construction, and buying recycled steel. It includes a steel recycling locator.
This toolkit, developed by Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) with EPA funding, was originally developed for colleges, universities and other institutions around the country to minimize plastic waste and reduce the amount of marine debris polluting the planet's oceans and waterways. The concepts and ideas can be easily implemented in any institutional/organizational setting.
A nationwide recycling program that collects used Tyvek(r) envelopes - even printed Tyvek(r) envelopes - and recycles them into other useful materials that provide sound alternatives to the use of wood, including park benches, playground equipment, etc is operated by DuPont.
USPS BlueEarth is a group of federal recycling programs coordinated by the US Postal Service® to support sustainability initiatives that make it easy for federal agencies and their employees to properly dispose of items like empty ink cartridges and unwanted small electronics.
UNICOR operates a nationwide network of electronics recycling centers where they convert donated electronics into various recyclable materials for resale to registered vendors. Help reduce landfill congestion, make the environment cleaner, and provide valuable skills and experience to reduce inmate recidivism.
Electronics
The Federal Electronics Challenge offers information on reuse, donation, recycling, and disposal of electronic equipment.
A consumer electronics campaign working to increase the number of electronic devices collected and safely recycled in the United States. Launched in January 2003, Plug-In To eCycling is one component of EPA's Resource Conservation Challenge (RCC), a national effort to find flexible, yet more protective ways to conserve our valuable resources. Plug-In To eCycling focuses on three major areas:
  • Providing the public with information about electronics recycling and increasing opportunities to safely recycle old electronics.
  • Facilitating partnerships with communities, electronics manufacturers, and retailers to promote shared responsibility for safe electronics recycling.
  • Establishing pilot projects to test innovative approaches to safe electronics recycling.
Waste Reduction
Issued June 2014 by EPA, this guide is designed to help food service establishments and commercial kitchens save money by reducing wasted food and packaging with suggested strategies, templates and case studies.
A voluntary program to promote environmentally responsible disposal of these household appliances, which will significantly reduce emissions as well as save consumers money. As part of the Program, EPA serves as a technical clearinghouse on responsible appliance disposal program development and implementation.
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Training, Presentations, and Briefings
First presented in October 2011, this webinar is sponsored by the U.S. Composting Council. This webinar looks at three important aspects of incorporating food wastes: 1) acquisition, where will the food come from and how will it get there; 2) operations, what are the Best Management Practices for handling the food scraps and what changes to the facility site, equipment and operations will be needed, and 3) impact mitigation, how to prevent and address potential negative air and water impacts.
First presented in July 2011, this webinar is sponsored by the U.S. Composting Council. This webinar will explain what compostable plastics are (and are not), where they are being successfully used, and examine some of the key challenges, such as identification and labeling, certification and standards, infrastructure development and consumer education.
Computers for Learning (CFL) places computers in our classrooms and prepares our children to contribute and compete in the 21st century. Through CFL, government agencies and the private sector can donate surplus computers and related equipment to schools and nonprofit organizations with the greatest need. This presentation reviews the CFL program and how federal agencies can participate.
This day-long training provides the skills to develop, manage, monitor, document and promote a successful recycling program for construction and demolition debris. Participants receive three year Accreditation in Construction Waste Recycling and training to obtain LEED construction waste management points.
On August 26, 2010 EPA hosted an initial workshop on C & D Material Diversion and Reuse and the EO 13514 requirements for C & D waste. This event provided an overview of C & D issues, available tools and resources, and lessons learned. It also kicked off an effort to establish a fed-wide "Community of Practice" for C & D issues.
Attendees will learn the essentials of how to successfully maintain an existing Pavement Management System, or implement a new system from scratch within their agency. After completing the course, attendees will also be able to make informed decisions to distinguish the differences between the various in-place asphalt recycling choices available (HIR, CIR, FDR) and pavement preservation strategies while learning how to implement an effective cost saving recycling program that stretches their agency s annual budget further. There is also a hands-on field component of this course that will give participants experience using the latest tools and software. This course is offered by the Northwest Environmental Training Center and is course number RDW-301.
n addition to tracking energy and water consumption in Portfolio Manager, you can now track your building's waste & materials management. This 90 minute webinar will introduce the types of waste and disposal methods you can track, new metrics and reports, and how you can get started with the utility information you have on hand. About 30 minutes will be set aside for questions.
In addition to tracking energy and water consumption in Portfolio Manager, you can now track your building's waste & materials management. This 90 minute webinar will introduce the types of waste and disposal methods you can track, new metrics and reports, and how you can get started with the utility information you have on hand. About 30 minutes will be set aside for questions.
Specifically for purchase card holders, this training covers all of the Federal government-recognized green purchasing categories This course is offered by USDA.
Presented in April 2006, this presentation by Deb Hanlon of the EPA Office of Solid Waste, addresses recycling opportunities for Federal agencies.
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Last Updated: October 20, 2015