Waste

General Recommendation: 

Join the New Jersey Waste Wise Network.WasteWise is a voluntary program established by the United State Environmental Protection Agency to promote waste reduction, recycling and recyled product procurement.  There is no cost to join and members will learn cost cutting and waste reduction strategies.   

Waste Reduction

1. Conduct a waste audit

Assessing what materials come into and out of your facility will help set a baseline for measurement and identify waste reduction opportunities.

Tips:

Action: Provide results from your facility’s waste audit.  Describe actions you will implement to reduce waste.


2. Improve the efficiency of your procurement process

Tips:

  • Create a centralized inventory control system to prevent over ordering.
  • Purchase reusable items (e.g. kitchenware for office functions and meetings).
  • Offer employees alternatives to individual bottled water (e.g. filtered water).

Action: Describe action taken and include results (e.g. lbs. of materials or waste reduced) and cost savings where available.


3. Improve the efficiency of your operations

Tips:

Action: Describe action taken and include results (e.g. lbs. of materials or waste reduced) and cost savings where available.


4. Reduce packaging waste

Tips:

  • Ship products in returnable or reusable containers and pallets and request the same when receiving products.
  • Use inflatable plastic bags or crumpled newspaper to protect product instead of Styrofoam pellets and request the same when receiving products.
  • Reusable Industrial Packaging Association
  • Sustainable Packaging Coalition
  • Where feasible, buy products in bulk or in concentrated form to reduce packaging.
  • Use refillable spray bottles for brake cleaners and lubricants. This reduces aerosol can waste and allows you to purchase products in bulk.

Action: Describe action taken and include results (e.g. lbs. of materials or waste reduced) and cost savings where available.

Additional Resources to help you reduce and recycle your waste:

Waste Reduction Information from the NJ Department of Environmental Protection’s Solid and Hazardous Waste Management Program

Waste Reduction and Recycling Tips from the US Environmental Protection Agency

NJ Waste Wise Business Network

NJDEP Bureau of Recycling and Planning

US Zero Waste Business Council

 

Waste Reuse

1. ​Reuse, sell, or donate unwanted items and materials

Tips:

  • Set up a swap area for extra office supplies.
  • The Reuse Marketplace is a free regional network to find, sell, trade or give away reusable and surplus items that would otherwise become trash.  Businesses, institutions, governments, and organizations in the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont are eligible to create accounts and to post listings.  
  • Sell or donate unwanted items.

Action: List materials reused, sold or donated by your facility, provide quantities (e.g. lbs.) and cost savings where available.

Additional sites to sell or donate unwanted items:

  Freecycle
  Goodwill
  Craig’s List
  eBay
  Habitat for Humanity's ReStores
 Gazelle (for electronic items)
 


2. Use industrial materials exchange and equipment resale programs to dispose of and/or purchase raw materials and equipment

Tips:

Action: Describe action taken and include results (e.g. lbs. of materials or waste reduced) and cost savings where available.


Waste Recycling

1. Implement an office recycling program for all waste materials that cannot be reduced or reused

Tips:

  • Start an Office Recycling Program
  • Provide easily accessible and clearly labeled bins for recyclables (paper, cans, glass, electronic waste, batteries, ink and toner cartridges).
  • Check with your municipal and county recycling program for guidelines and special waste collection days.
  • Where business recycling is not provided by the local government
    • Contract with your waste hauler to accept recycled materials
    • Check out Recycle Nation to find a recycling location  

Action: List materials recycled by your facility and quantities (e.g. lbs.) and cost savings where available.


2. Recycle your computers, monitors, laptops, portable computers and televisions through an environmentally sound recycling program for FREE

Visit the NJ E-Cycle Web page.  Or contact a private E-waste hauler, but make sure that the hauler has a R2 or an E-steward certification.  

Action: List materials recycled by your facility and quantities (e.g. lbs.) and cost savings where available.


3. Expand your recycling program to include non-office related materials (e.g. fats/oils/grease, food waste, construction materials, etc.)

Tips:

Action: List materials recycled by your facility and quantities (e.g. lbs.) and cost savings where available.

Additional Resources to help you reduce and recycle your waste:

Waste Reduction Information from the NJ Department of Environmental Protection’s Solid and Hazardous Waste Management Program

Waste Reduction and Recycling Tips from the US Environmental Protection Agency

NJ Waste Wise Business Network

NJDEP Bureau of Recycling and Planning


Hazardous Waste/Toxic Use Reduction

(Note that for some facilities hazardous waste minimization efforts are a regulatory requirement.)


1. Reduce hazardous waste generation by substituting with less toxic materials and products

Tips:

  • Review the NJ Sustainable Business Registry and research best practices for your industry sector.
  • Review all hazardous materials on site to determine whether usage can be minimized or replaced with suitable less toxic alternatives.
  • Review Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) which are available from your vendor or online, and read all product labels for hazardous content.
  • Ask your vendor about less hazardous alternatives.
  • Consider use of less toxic chemicals in your manufacturing processes
  • Maintain a centralized procurement and inventory control process that reviews all new purchases of hazardous materials.
  • Implement a just-in-time purchasing policy and a first in/first out chemical usage policy to reduce the chance of expired inventory
  • Use aqueous cleaners and parts washers in place of petroleum-based or chlorinated solvents.
  • Standardize solvent usage within the facility and reclaim solvent by distillation.
  • Use low-emitting paints and coatings.
  • Use lead-free solder.
  • Replace mercury-containing devices (lamps, switches, thermostats) with alternatives.
  • Specify in pest control contracts that primary pest management methods include non-chemical pest prevention measures first.
  • Purchase or ask cleaning contractor to purchase less toxic cleaners and janitorial supplies. Check out EPA's Safer Choice website to find alternative products and to learn more about Safer Choice product certification

Action:  Describe and include results (e.g. lbs. of hazardous waste eliminated or lbs. of toxic material use reduced) and costs savings where available.


2. Reduce hazardous waste generation through equipment and process changes

Tips:

  • Reduce solvent usage by planning production schedules to reduce the frequency of cleaning required, cleaning parts and equipment immediately, and using squeegees or other means of removing material prior to solvent use.
  • Switch to aqueous-based parts washers.
  • Improve industrial paint spray technique to reduce air emissions and paint waste.

Action:  Describe and include results (e.g. lbs. of hazardous waste eliminated or lbs. of toxic material use reduced) and costs savings where available.


3. Establish spill prevention and response procedures

Tips:

  • Use funnels or pumps to transfer liquids and regularly inspect areas for potential spills or leaks.
  • Install overflow alarms for all tanks and vessels and secondary containment areas.
  • Have spill containment kits on site.

Action:  Describe spill prevention and response procedures.