Pollution Prevention

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Pollution prevention is an effort to reduce the amount of wastes generated in our community and to conserve our natural resources. By incorporating these non-mandatory suggestions into your daily activities, you will help to conserve our natural resources and possibly save money.

Prevention Ideas for your Home/Workplace Prevention for various Commercial/Industrial Facilities
  - In your kitchen
  - In your laundry room
  - In your bathroom
  - In your yard
  - All around the house
  - At the grocery store
  - For your car
  - Paper Waste
  - Office Supplies
  - Durable Goods

   - General Information
   - Service Industries
   - Food Services
   - Printing Industries
   - Washing Industries
   - Medical Facilities


   - Summary



» Install a faucet aerator.

» Use cloth napkins and dishtowels instead of paper.

» Make sure your dishwasher is full before running it.

» Wash out and reuse freezer bags and aluminum foil.

» Store food items in reusable containers.

» Use washable cloth rags instead of paper towels. Use washable dishes instead of paper plates.

» Buy unbleached coffee filters. Or buy a reusable one.

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» Make your purchasing dollars count. When shopping for a washer and dryer, buy an
energy-efficient, low-water model.

» Clean your clothes dryer’s lint trap after every load.

» Give your dryer a vacation by hanging your clothes to dry.

» Use a phosphate-free detergent.

» Turn down your water heater to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, especially during the summer.

» If you have a baby, use cloth diapers instead of disposables.

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» Turn off lights and televisions when not in use.

» Use non-mercury containing thermometers.

» Turn down the heat or air conditioning at night. Turn off lights and appliances when not
in use; install sensors where appropriate.

» Turn your thermostat up when you are out during the day.

» Replace incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs.

» Don’t let energy go out the window (or door). Make sure your rooms are well insulated
and doors to the outside are not left standing open.

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» Take shorter showers.

» Install low-flow showerheads.

» Use less water when brushing your teeth. Turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth.

» Make your shower do double-duty. Hang clothes in the bathroom while showering to steam wrinkles out.

» Install a toilet dam to reduce the amount of water you flush away, or install a low-flush toilet.

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» Consolidate shopping outings; cut down on trips to pick up one forgotten item.

» Buy grocery items in bulk.

» Buy eggs in cardboard cartons instead of plastic foam cartons.

» When possible, buy organic.

» Buy items with less packaging.

» Purchase rechargeable batteries, reducing the amount of trash going into landfills.

» Tote your goods in style. Use canvas bags to carry your groceries instead of plastic bags.

» Look for less toxic alternatives to household cleaning products.

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» Water your lawn in the early morning or in the evening.

» Xeriscape and use water-saving native plants.

» Leave your grass clippings on the lawn.

» Compost fruit and vegetable scraps.

» Mulch your flowerbeds and shrubs.


» Drive smoothly and avoid jackrabbit starts that use up to 50% more gasoline than a smooth start.

» Combine errands into one trip.

» Don’t top off your gas tank when filling up.

» Maintain the correct tire pressure and alignment. Low tire pressure can waste up to 5% of a tank of gas.

» Buy a fuel-efficient car.

» If you change your oil at home, take it to a proper disposal facility. Dumping it on the ground is illegal.


» Copy two-sided, when possible, and set laser printers for duplexing.

» Use half-page memo forms, when possible, to reduce paper usage.

» Optimize print runs for literature and letterhead to avoid outdated material.

» Centralize files to reduce duplication.

» Use electronic mail or route slips for interoffice communication.

» Use erasable marker boards or bulletin boards in common areas for office communication.

» Share magazine subscriptions and newspapers. Pass used magazines/newspapers on to schools,
libraries, and retirement homes.

» Reuse scrap paper. Use both sides of paper for writing notes before recycling it, or donate it
to childcare centers for craft projects.

» Use recycled-content paper for your copier, letterhead, business cards, forms, etc.
Print the “chasing arrows” logo, signifying recycled-content, on the paper; your customers will
notice and appreciate it.

» Whenever possible, select white paper for legal pads, phone message pads, promotional
material, etc., instead of colored paper, which is not as recyclable. (Ask your supplier about the
availability of unbleached paper.)

» Recycle toner cartridges and printer materials.

» Recycle cups for coffee and other beverages.

» Recycle your office paper.

» Use reusable lunch containers instead of paper and plastic bags.


» Ask your suppliers to reduce their packaging.

» Purchase refillable cartridge pens and mechanical pencils instead of disposable ones.

» Use rechargeable batteries in beepers, flashlights, etc.

» Recover and reuse the window envelopes used for employee payroll checks.

» Reuse folders and binders, or donate them to schools.

» Recharge toner cartridges and reload printer ribbons.

» Recycle cardboard boxes from shipments, or arrange for your supplier to reuse them.

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» Use ceramic or plastic mugs for employees’ drinks, instead of disposables.

» Purchase high-quality, durable equipment with good service contracts.

» Acquire a copier with a duplex function that copies on both sides of the paper.

» Buy a plain paper fax machine instead of one that uses thermal fax paper, which is not as recyclable.

» Use recycled paper for the fax machine. Decrease the size of the cover sheets; use self-stick
cover sheets; or, use a rubber stamp with message lines.

» Instead of throwing away broken equipment, have it repaired. Or, you could sell or donate it
to someone who can repair it or use it for parts.

» Donate used furnishings, carpet, equipment, production overruns or irregulars, or discontinued
items to nonprofit organizations.




» Purchase chemicals in appropriate sizes if possible. Store chemicals away from drains and
with spill containment.

» Buy only materials you will use before expiration dates, monitor inventory and rotate stock.

» Use drip pans to minimize spills.

» Sweep floors rather than hosing down.

» Recycle wastes.

» Perform routine inspection and maintenance of all containers, vessels, and tanks.
Monitor for leaks or damage.

» Establish Spill Prevention Plans.

» Protect chemicals/wastes from spills, weather, pests, and tampering.

» Properly label and date new and used waste containers.

» Use recycled or recyclable products.


» Recycle oil, solvents, antifreeze, etc.

» Segregate wastes for recycling.

» Use less hazardous solvents.

» Turn off and cover vats when not in use.

» Use multipurpose solvents instead of multiple solvents.

» Use dry cleaning methods (wire brush, sandpaper, etc.)

» Fully drain equipment before disassembling for repairs.

» Reuse rinse water as makeup water by rinsing over vats.

» Reclaim used solvents for reuse with a solvent distiller.

» Store wastes and bulk chemicals away from drains.

» Heat shop with a waste oil-burning heater.

» Don’t hose dirty floors into sand traps. Use a broom first then mop. (Less water and trap goes longer between pumping)

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» Remove food and grease from dishes prior to washing.

» Recycle grease from cooking, fryers, etc.

» Clean grease trap regularly to eliminate build-up of grease and solids.

» Properly size grease trap for best performance.

» Properly dispose of food wastes.

» Routinely inspect grease trap for damage or defective parts and repair or replace as needed.

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» Recycle inks, solvents, and fountain solutions.

» Recycle paper.

» Reuse fixers, developers, and rinse water.

» Use a silver reclaimer.

» Reclaim used solvents with a solvent distiller.


» Use lower temperatures waters, if possible.

» Routinely monitor and clean pretreatment units.

» Use cleanable screens at discharge.

» Avoid cleaning agents with excessively high or low pH’s, if possible.

» Properly dispose of lint and all sludge.

» Routinely inspect pretreatment for damage.


» Use analytical testing instead of “Wet” tests.

» Reuse and recycle waste chemicals.

» Segregate wastes for disposal and recycling.

» As “Wet” photo processing equipment for developing X-Rays needs replacing, consider switching
to “dry” photo processing or even digital X-Rays.


This information is not inclusive of all pollution prevention methods. More information pertaining to your particular industry may be obtained by visiting the EPA’s website at http://www.epa.gov, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) at http://www.tceq.state.tx.us or by calling the City of Odessa Pretreatment Division at (432) 563-2107. Thank you for your interest in pollution prevention.

Tips provided by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

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