WASTE REDUCTION CHECKLIST
This checklist is not intended to be all inclusive. The suggestions here are designed to stimulate additional ideas as you ponder how they might apply in your specific situation. While the focus is primarily on municipal waste, some items refer to manufacturing/industrial wastes. By examining your waste producing processes, you may find more opportunities for source reduction and recycling. The amount of waste reduction these changes will accomplish will depend on how many you implement and the degree of attention given to each.
_______ Establish a company-wide commitment to making waste reduction a part of doing business.
_______ Identify the points at which waste is generated in production or work processes.
_______ For east of comprehension, determine quantities of each waste generated per specific time period; i.e., hour, day, month.
_______ Identify one or more alternative ways that wastes can be reduced at each point in the process.
_______ Evaluate the raw materials you use for ways to reduce their toxicity and volume of disposal. This might include using different raw materials that are easier to reuse or recycle.
_______ Reduce the materials in your waste that are likely to have a negative impact on the environment.
_______ Reduce those materials that appear in your waste in large quantities.
_______ Use supplies and equipment efficiently. Reduce inefficiencies by substituting raw materials which result in waste with those can be reused or recycled.
_______ Designate an office supply exchange area for unneeded supplies.
_______ Sell or donate scrap materials, used furniture and fixtures. Donate useful materials:
____ Magazines to libraries and hospital/clinic waiting areas.
____ Scrap materials to school art departments.
____ Overstocked merchandise to local nonprofit organizations.
_______ Invest in durable products and equipment that can be easily repaired and/or recycled. Extended equipment life is further guaranteed if you routinely practice preventive maintenance.
_______ Where practical, use reusable or washable rather than disposable items such as coffee mugs, towels, or screens and filters.
_______ When reusable items are not available, buy products made from recycled materials: paper, containers, packages, etc.
_______ Improve quality monitoring systems to improve production efficiency. This will result in fewer rejected products and less waste.
_______ Work with suppliers to reduce the amount of packaging they send you. Ask suppliers to haul back their containers and packing materials and not leave them with you. Ask about replacing corrugated containers with two-way reusable containers.
_______ Buy in bulk and ask vendors to eliminate unnecessary plastic wrapping or foam padding. If a package does need cushioning, ask vendors to consider using shredded paper or other materials that you can reuse or recycle. If your company has enough storage area to hold larger quantities of supplies, ordering in greater amounts will often save on packaging and shipping costs as well as reduce the cost of the supplies themselves (however, don't forget to consider shelf-life of the products you order-ordering products that will not be used within their shelf-life span may result in waste as well).
_______ Check waste exchanges for materials you may use as raw materials in your production processes.
_______ Develop waste reduction goals with measurable objectives.
_______ Develop decision criteria by which to determine the optimum waste reduction process for you (e.g. benefit/cost analysis).
_______ Develop a plan which specifies waste reduction objectives and sets targeted completion times for their accomplishment.
_______ Develop a waste reduction budget. Be sure that funds will be available for equipment, educational materials and other necessities.
_______ Establish a waste reduction task force to implement your plan. The task force should be coordinated by an enthusiastic person.
_______ Develop employee education programs on waste generation, reuse and recycling.
_______ Train employees in waste reduction techniques. Hold staff meetings and post
employee announcements on bulletin boards rather than distribute individual copies of
notices and memos.
_______ Improve worker training to reduce production of inferior products.