60 Things You Can Do To Encourage Pollution Prevention

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has collected 60 tips how to
tackle workplace environmental problems.


  1. Enlist support for pollution prevention from top management. Have them
    demonstrate that support by providing a written policy statement.
  2. Appoint an unsinkable champion and give that champion the power to
  3. Keep working hard with the non-believers -- be patient and persistent.
  4. Believe in yourself.
  5. Identify and publicize low-tech or retro technology options in place of
    high impact processes.
  6. Seek fundamental understanding of the sources of waste.
  7. Focus on optimizing the use of resources consumed in your process.
  8. Use pollution prevention as a competitive strategy in public relations and
    to attract a high caliber work-force.
  9. Devote adequate resources (people, money and energy) to pollution
  10. Set up a structure for recycling that also compliments source reduction.


  1. Establish a clear pollution prevention goal that everyone in
    the organization feels empowered to put into practice.
  2. Re-establish the culture of not wasting.
  3. Instill a philosophy of continuous improvement.
  4. Link zero discharge, total quality management and pollution prevention into
    a working program.
  5. Publicize pollution prevention accomplishments.
  6. Convince all personnel that they have a role to play in pollution
    prevention; no one is exempt from pollution prevention, no matter what the job.
  7. Share money saved through pollution prevention with the originator(s) of
    the idea.
  8. Incorporate pollution prevention into performance evaluations for middle
  9. Establish teams to promote pollution prevention, receive ideas, solicit
    suggestions, evaluate projects and champion implementation.
  10. Have top management personally hand out all pollution prevention awards.

Work Place Education

  1. Produce innovative and exciting training for teaching
    pollution prevention concepts.
  2. Educate each individual on what pollution prevention means.
  3. Have primary contractors (if used) train and assist sub-contractors to do
    pollution prevention.

Decision Making

  1. Use expert systems and process simulation modeling to develop
    effective pollution prevention strategies.
  2. Use and develop life cycle studies for processes and products.
  3. Develop and implement methods for measuring progress to support continued
    pollution prevention strategies.
  4. Develop performance-base specifications rather than prescriptive/design
  5. Set a goal: Think of a bubble around your facility--nothing comes out but
    finished product.
  6. Plan your waste reduction work and work your waste reduction plan.
  7. Use expert systems to assist the design of new processes that avoid
    pollution in the first place.
  8. Design products with zero ultimate waste potential, with cradle-to-grave
  9. Incorporate pollution prevention into the development of new products and
  10. Assign life cycle responsibility to production management, linked to cost
    and liability.
  11. Charge the true cost of the waste created to the operating unit and make
    the operating units responsible for liabilities, management, and costs of waste
  12. Develop analytical tools for accountants and financial managers to
    recognize full environmental costs of unwanted environmental programs.


  1. Develop an internal information system to exchange good ideas
    and technical knowledge within your business unit, division, or company.
  2. Shift from paper systems to paperless communication (e.g., email,
  3. Create effective, friendly, human information networks for effective
    pollution prevention.
  4. Encourage policies that allow plant engineers and managers to spend ample
    time on the factory floor.


  1. Avoid chlorinated organic solvents; cyanide compounds; and
    petroleum-based compounds when there are water-based substitutes.
  2. Never allow leaks to persist.
  3. Use aqueous cleaners when possible. If not possible, use an aqueous
    pre-clean to save solvent contamination.
  4. Have and use covers for all containers holding fluids that evaporate.
  5. Only use sprays when absolutely necessary, since they waste chemicals with
    overspray. Eliminate the use of aerosol cans when possible. If not possible,
    use reusable spray cans that be pressurized on-site.
  6. Decrease the frequency of equipment cleaning.
  7. Establish a chemical inventory/use program to reduce redundant purchases,
    track chemical use more efficiently, and avoid disposal of unused material..
    Put a received date on each container and use "first- in, first-out" policy to
    eliminate expired shelf life materials.
  8. Separate hazardous wastes in storage and satellite accumulation areas to
    prevent cross contamination and increase their resale value.
  9. Evaluate all spills thoroughly and make sure you understand the root cause
    of the problem and implement a complete solution.
  10. Use paint coating systems that minimize material overspray and resultant
    toxic chemical emissions (e.g., High volume low pressure or electrostatic spray
    guns, powder coating systems, low VOC or water based paint).
  11. Buy drain boards and drip pans to ensure drainage into process baths.
    Implement countercurrent rinse systems.
  12. Use green building techniques to save energy through reduced heating,
    cooling, and lighting.
  13. Minimize or eliminate volatile organic compound emissions from storage
    tanks, by reducing the tank vapor pressure, add inert gasses, keep the tank at
    a constant temperature (paint tank white or insulate), return vapors displace
    while filling to the tank truck.
  14. Use disposable wipes to reduce solvent use. Disposables are smaller and
    contain a prepared amount of solvent. Minimize rag use if possible. If not
    possible, wring out solvent cleaning rags and send to an industrial laundry for
  15. Xeroscape -- use low water consumption, drought resistant, native plants
    and low impact irrigation in corporate landscaping.
  16. Recycle paper, cardboard, plastic and metals.
  17. Conserve water and reduce waste by installing water saving devices, reusing
    water and using only what you need.

Further Information

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