Business Waste Prevention 



Business Waste Prevention 
= GHG (Green House Gas) Reductions


   Click RE:think Business to learn more!
RE:think Business is a free program through Lane County funding support. Save money and resources! 

In January 2010, David Allaway, DEQ senior policy analyst, gave a presentation at the Eugene Library about the Environmental Impacts of Packaging and Products. Click here to view a PDF of his slides.

Businesses and organizations of all sizes can truly do well by doing the right thing.  View   Case Studies  with industry-specific fact sheets and hundreds of examples of how to use less and save money.

Click here for excellent waste prevention ideas and information for the following specific types of businesses: (source:  

 Agriculture Dry Cleaning  Grocery
 Health Care  Food Service  Packaging
 Construction  Landscaping  Institutions
Property Management / Realtors  Printing Industry

Try this self-guided eco-checklist for business and industry:
Resource Efficiency Tool Kit 
This comprehensive questionaire provides information and resources as you go!   









A fun and informative 6 minute video of Ingersoll Rand's office waste oudit
Ingersoll Rand's Davidson, North Carolina campus participated in a Dumpster Dive to see exactly what their offices are throwing away, what can still be recycled and exactly how this impacts the environment.

View this great resource for purchasing responsibly:

Purchasing Guide from Responsible Purchasing Network

Building management tips

  • Use reusable dishware in your company's cafeteria and kitchen instead of disposables.
  • Use cloth towel roll dispensers in your bathrooms and cloth napkins and towels in your kitchens.

  • Where available, separate your building's organic wastes from non-compostable trash and send it to a composting facility. This includes food wastes, waste from groundskeeping or gardening, and even soiled or unrecyclable paper products like paper towels and napkins.  Try this EPA Food Waste Calculator that develops and compares cost scenarios of various alternative disposal options for food waste and organics.
  • Work with janitorial service or staff to use less toxic and non-toxic cleaning products.

Reduce your use of office paper

  • Copy paper, like the kind used in photocopiers, computer printers and plain-paper fax machines, is the most common type of office waste paper.  Try this online Paper Calculator
  • The U.S. EPA estimates that paper and paperboard account for almost 40 percent of our garbage.
  • Office paper is highly recyclable, but a lot gets wasted. Waste reduction is more cost-effective than recycling because it reduces the amount of material that needs to be collected, transported and processed. Waste reduction can save money for businesses and institutions of any size.
  • Nearly 3.7 million tons of copy paper are used annually in the United States alone. That's over 700 trillion sheets.

Save on Storage and handling. Save Mailing costs. A single-sided 10-page letter costs $0.60 to mail; copied onto both sides of the paper, using only five sheets would require only $0.37 in postage. The price of postage is rising, and those extra ounces can really add up.

Tips for reducing paper use

Use both sides of a sheet of paper for printing, copying, writing and drawing.

Reuse paper that's already printed on one side by manually feeding it into copiers and printers. Use it for internal documents like drafts and short-lived items such as meeting agendas or temporary signs.

Use On-line file sharing resources to share documents and ideas instead of printing. Draft documents can be reviewed, edited and shared on-screen.

Only print the e-mails you need to have a hard copy of. This advice goes for Internet documents as well. Instead of printing a Web page, bookmark it or save the page on your hard drive and pull it up when needed.

Desktop fax, electronic references (CD-ROM databases), electronic data storage, electronic purchasing and direct deposit are all ways to use electronic media that reduce office paper waste.

Minimize misprints at the copy machine by posting a diagram on how to load special paper like letterhead so it will be printed correctly.

Practice efficient copying — use the size reduction feature offered on many copiers. Two pages of a book or periodical can often be copied onto one standard sheet.

More Resources

EPA created the WAste Reduction Model (WARM)to assist communities, organizations and industries understand direct connection between disposal options and climate issues. WARM calculates and totals GHG emissions of baseline and alternative waste management practices—source reduction, recycling, combustion, composting, and landfilling. The model calculates emissions in metric tons of carbon equivalent (MTCE), metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO 2E), and energy units (million BTU) across a wide range of material types commonly found in municipal solid waste (MSW).

The EPA created a Recycled Content (ReCon)Tool to help 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 local GHG measurement and reporting initiatives.