Pollution Prevention for Businesses
Pollution prevention, or P2, is any practice that eliminates or reduces waste or hazardous substances at the source prior to reuse, recycling, treatment and disposal.
Companies can save money, increase profits, operate more efficiently and improve the environment through P2 practices. Iowa's businesses and industries will find numerous resources on this Web page to reap the benefits of pollution prevention.
The DNR's Pollution Prevention Services offers confidential and non-regulatory assistance at no cost.
Pollution Prevention Benefits and Strategies
The following hierarchy of waste management shows the relative levels of desirability among waste management strategies.
|SOURCE REDUCTION (Pollution Prevention) - First eliminate or reduce the generation of wastes at the source, including solid waste, air emissions, and releases to water. Eliminate or reduce the acquisition and use of materials that will contribute to waste generation and toxicity. Substitute less toxic and less hazardous materials wherever possible. This is the most preferable of all waste management strategies.
|MATERIAL REUSE - Reuse material to reduce and eliminate the net generation of waste. An example is to reuse incoming packaging for outgoing packaging.
|RECYCLING - Recycle, or reclaim waste material to minimize the net waste generated. Onsite recycling is given precedence over offsite recycling.
|TREATMENT - Minimize the amount, toxicity and hazardous qualities of waste materials by on-site or off-site treatment.
|DISPOSAL - The remaining waste should be disposed of properly.
Potential Pollution Prevention Benefits - Pollution prevention can save you money and boost a company's prestige. The potential benefits include:
- Reduced cost of treating, managing, and disposing of wastes
- Reduced raw material use/costs
- Improved ability to sustain compliance
- Reduced risk of future environmental and worker health liability
- Better communication/working relationships with regulatory agencies
- Improved corporate image
Pollution Prevention Activities - Pollution prevention activities change the way materials are produced to reduce or eliminate waste through approaches including:
- Product redesign
- Use of less toxic materials in production
- Modification of production processes
- Improved housekeeping
Pollution prevention also avoids the transfer of wastes from one environmental resource (e.g., air, water or land) to another.
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Pollution Prevention Technical Assistance
To better serve you, DNR Pollution Prevention Services offers technical assistance information. This information includes technical pollution prevention information respective to different resources (e.g., air, hazardous waste, solid waste, water, etc.) and by industrial sectors.
Pollution Prevention Resource Technical Assistance
- Energy Efficiency
- Hazardous Waste
- Solid Waste
Pollution Prevention Industrial Sector Technical Assistance
- Metal Finishing
- Food Processing
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Resources and Information
- Best Management Practices - Waste Reduction for Construction and Demolition Debris: A guide for Building, Construction and Environmental Professionals
- Environmental Business Assistance Portal - A joint project of the DNR's Pollution Prevention Services, the Iowa Department of Economic Development and the Iowa Waste Reduction Center