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Source Reduction Practices


  • Use computers to reduce paper use

  • Use bulletin boards and routing slips, share infrequently-used products, maintain central filing systems and libraries to discourage duplicate files and publications.

  • Do without when it makes sense: Eliminate fax cover sheets or use fax labels

  • Update mailing and distribution lists and eliminate outdated information.


  • Think "minimum impact" when ordering equipment or designing processes:
    • Rechargeable batteries
    • Fluorescent or sodium lights
    • Copiers that can easily duplex
    • Plain paper faxes
    • Reusable bank deposit bags
    • Inter-office envelopes for vendors
    • Bulk containers
    • Permanent plantings for landscaping
    • Mulching-type lawn mowers


  • Use labels to extend product life, e.g. on binders, file boxes, inter-office envelopes

  • Return excess or reusable supplies to a central supply cabinet for use by others

  • Focus on equipment maintenance and repair

  • Use salvage operations. Shop warehouses first before ordering new items and send your own usable discards to reuse centers

  • Sell what you can (e.g. steel drums) to reconditioners

  • Use waste exchanges, particularly if you have excess or unusual products

  • Donate what you cannot sell

  • Consolidate and use products completely
    • Use paper wisely
    • Use trash can liners until dirty rather than disposing every time trash cans are emptied.
    • Combine leftover small amounts of oil and lubricants rather than disposing; use a dispenser with a spigot if an opened product needs to be protected.
    • Save blank labels from pre-printed sets for other uses. Print directly onto envelopes instead of using labels.
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