Pollution Prevention 101


the new hampshire pollution prevention program presents pollution prevention 101 the the definition of pollution prevention or p2 is eliminating or reducing waste at the source instead of managing and paying to dispose of the waste after it's generated. So you're wondering how do I make P2 work for me? Well, there's this strategy that p2 utilizes called the pollution prevention heirarchy that list the MOST to the LEAST preferred methods for product and waste management let's see how this hierarchy works. Say for instance you're a painter. Take a look at the products you use. Do they contain hazardous ingredients? Oil-based paints contain volatile organic compounds or VOCs such as mineral spirits, toluene and xylene VOCs are not only bad for the environment, They are harmful to humans and animals. Do your products clean up with mineral spirits? Ahhh…more VOCs! Then there's the issue of proper disposal when the product becomes a waste. Your business becomes a hazardous waste generator which can be costly and require you to fill out paperwork to show that you have managed the waste properly.

So let's go back to the upside down pyramid. Is it possible to avoid these costs and regulatory obligations? Yes! Switch to latex paint and avoid the use of toxic products! That's pollution prevention! Switching to a safer alternative avoids generating air pollution and hazardous waste. But let's not stop there. Why not switch to LOW or NO VOC latex paint Making that switch further reduces your exposure to toxic chemicals. Now let's see what we can do to reduce waste… Purchase only what you need for the job to reduce the amount of waste generated Save unused paint for the next job. Or if there's a color you're pretty sure you'll never use again, donate the paint to an organization that can use it. Also, be sure use recycled materials for rags and recycle the empty paint cans were possible.

Finally if you can't reduce reuse or recycle be sure to dispose of all waste properly This is just one example looking at your process and making changes to reduce the waste you generate. For more ideas on ways to save money with pollution prevention strategies contact the New Hampshire Pollution Prevention Program at nhppp@des.nh.gov or call 603 271-6460 .