University of Northern Iowa homepage

In honor of National Pollution Prevention Week, we've been sharing daily tips over on our social networks this week. We often focus on reducing waste which is critical, but an even better approach is to reduce the waste at the source if possible. Each day this week we focused on one industry or topic. 

Five Pollution Prevention Tips for P2 WeekMonday: Absorbents

Reuseable absorbents and laundry services providing towels are a much more sustainable alternative to paper towels, disposable shop towels and other conventional absorbents.

By switching to reusable materials, you eliminate the waste generated from disposable materials. There is no need to recycle to reduce waste, you're eliminating it from the start.

Tuesday: Painter Training

You should get your painters properly trained to reduce hazardous waste and decrease excess paint chemicals that pollute the air.

We place a lot of emphasis on painter training for its environmental benefits. Properly trained painters are more efficient which equates to generating less hazardous waste and reducing wasted materials. While those are great benefits for the environment, it also means reduced cost and materials for your business. 

Wednesday: Food Waste

Donate excess foodYou should consider donating excess food to pantries and food banks in your area to reduce food ending up in the landfill which creates harmful greenhouse gasses. But always remember to reduce at the source first, and buy only what you think you'll need.

It has been estimated that 40% of food in the U.S. is wasted. You may initially wonder how this equates to pollution that can be prevented, but when this food is sent to the landfill, it generates greenhouse gasses. Only buying what you need is a great start to reducing this waste, but you can also donate excess edible food to pantries and food banks. For inedible foods, look for compost, biodigester or feed product outlets. Head over to the Food Waste Outlets to find locations in Iowa that accept donations.

Thursday: Deconstruction

Donating salvage materials from renovation projects reduces waste and in some cases can result in a tax-deduction.

Deconstruction has a significant effect on reducing waste versus demolition. Much of our construction and demolition waste reduction project centered around this basis. By deconstructing buildings, materials are able to be reused and recycled, waste is not disposed at the landfill, and materials are conserved reducing the need for new building materials.

Friday: Compressed Air

You can indirectly prevent pollution with compressed air system maintenance and leak detection to ultimately save energy.Compressed Air

Through the Compressed Air Leak Management Pilot Project, the IWRC was able to determine that through compressed air leak detection and maintenance, businesses are not only able to save money, but also prevent pollution by reducing air emissions and decreasing energy usage.

That concludes our P2 Week tips. No worries, though; we celebrate preventing pollution and reducing waste year round at the IWRC. Happy National Pollution Prevention Week 2014! 

Share this post