D E C banner
D E C banner


The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has added a link to a translation service developed by Microsoft Inc., entitled Bing Translator, as a convenience to visitors to the DEC website who speak languages other than English.

Additional information can be found at DEC's Language Assistance Page.

Practical Source Reduction Tips for Business

Preventing wastes, maximizing resources and increasing efficiency can give your company a competitive edge. You can take positive action now by implementing source reduction.
Images of paper recycling
  • Source reduction is any activity that prevents the creation of solid waste at the point of generation.
  • Source reduction happens at the earliest possible stages of production, manufacturing and packaging processes.
  • Source reduction activities should be integrated with reuse and recycling programs.

For Management . . .

  • Develop a written source reduction policy and adopt a corporate ethic that encourages source reduction and other environmental practices.
  • Take a look at how your business produces waste each day and identify the types and amounts of waste produced.
  • Have brainstorming sessions to generate ideas on how to prevent waste. Reward good suggestions.

For Packaging . . .

  • Avoid overpackaging.
  • Ship your products on returnable or reusable pallets and containers.
  • Minimize packaging waste as much as possible.

Purchasing Practices . . .

  • Examine your production and purchasing procedures to see where wastes can be prevented.
  • Adopt procurement polices that promote source reduction.
  • Revise procurement specifications for supplies and materials to ensure that the products bought are produced and packaged with source reduction in mind.
  • Consider cooperative purchases with other businesses to reduce price and packaging wastes.
  • Buy supplies in bulk, larger sizes or in concentrated form.

In Your Office . . .

  • Institute double-sided (duplex) copying to reduce paper use and mailing costs.
  • Use alternatives to paper communication, such as voice mail and e-mail.
  • Use routing slips to circulate memos, documents, periodicals and reports.
  • Post nonurgent communications for general distribution on bulletin boards.
  • Cull mailing lists to remove uninterested recipients and eliminate unwanted mail by notifying the sender.
  • Proofread documents on the computer screen before printing.
  • Eliminate unnecessary forms, reports and publications.

In the Snack Rooms and Cafeterias . . .

  • Encourage employees to use china or reusable plates, cutlery, glasses and coffee mugs.
  • Install cloth towel rolls or air dries in restrooms.

For Customers . . .

  • Let people know about your source reduction programs.

More Questions. ..

Call or write the Bureau of Waste Reduction & Recycling at:
Bureau of Waste Reduction and Recycling
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-7253
(518) 402-8706

  • Important Links
  • PDF Help
  • For help with PDFs on this page, please call 518-402-8706.
  • Contact for this Page
    Division of Materials Management
    Bureau of Waste Reduction & Recycling
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-7253
    Send us an email
  • This Page Covers
  • Page applies to all NYS regions