What Is Pollution Prevention?
Simply put, pollution prevention is any practice that reduces the volume, or toxicity, of pollution at its source. This means reducing emissions prior to treatment, control, recycling or disposal.
What Are Some Common Pollution Prevention Methods?
- Process Efficiency Improvement: As businesses strive to be more competitive, they are continually looking for opportunities to improve the efficiency of their operations in order to reduce costs. Pollution prevention does provide cost savings. Reducing waste from operations reduces its cost.
- Raw Material Modification/Substitution: Using less toxic/hazardous raw materials can reduce the toxicity of waste materials and emissions.
- Preventative Maintenance: Maintaining equipment in proper operating condition can reduce waste and unnecessary downtime.
- Equipment Modification/Replacement: Modifying/replacing existing equipment can reduce inefficiencies and associated emissions.
- Waste Stream Segregation: Segregating waste streams can sometimes allow for reuse of waste materials back into the operation as raw materials (I.E. combustion sources).
- In-Process Recycling/Reuse: Reusing by-products/waste in the process can reduce the consumption and energy of raw materials (I.E. Filtration and reuse of materials).
- Energy Conservation: Energy conservation saves money and resources. Since much of our electricity is generated from burning fuels, conserving electricity can help reduce the air pollutants that are generated from power plants.
Why Implement Pollution Prevention?
A major benefit of implementing a pollution prevention project is COST SAVINGS! Additional benefits include improved quality of life for the local community by reducing waste volume and/or toxicity, improved safety for workers, reducing liability, ensuring compliance with regulations, and improving public relations.
Successful Pollution Prevention Projects/Opportunities
The following websites provide information about pollution prevention opportunities that have proven successful for various business sectors. To find opportunities for your business, visit these sites and click on the relevant business sector listed under the topic hubs.