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[ Home > Compliance ]

What is pollution prevention?

It is the reduction or elimination of pollutants or wastes at the source.  The idea behind pollution prevention is to avoid producing the waste in the first place.  If the waste is not produced, then you don?t have to worry about storage or disposal problems. Having less waste means a better environment for all of us.

What?s in it For you?

Printers deal with many hazardous chemicals.  Hey, it?s part of the business!  But, you can reduce the amount of waste your shop produces by following some simple pollution prevention tips.  Look at some of the benefits: 

  • Save money!
  • Protect workers, the public, and the environment!
  • Improve your company image!
  • Reduce the risk of liability!

What can you do?

Dade County D.E.R.M. (Department of Environmental Resources Management) is encouraging every business to reduce pollution by starting a waste reduction program.  Here are some things to consider when setting up your program.

  • Make a commitment to pollution prevention.  This commitment should start at the top, with the owner or manager of your shop. It should be made a part of your company?s policy.

  • Employee participation.  Every employee must be aware of the importance of waste reduction through pollution prevention practices.  Their participation and suggestions in your waste reduction program will help to make it a success.
  • Evaluate your shop?s waste.  Look around your shop to see how much and what kind of waste is being produced. This will make it easier for you to spot areas where pollution prevention tips can be applied.
  • Find some new ideas.  Talk to other employees, or vendors, even inspectors. Maybe they can help you.  Or look through trade journals or magazines.  There is always a better way to do things.
  • Make the change!  Don?t be afraid to experiment.

Many pollution prevention practices are low-cost and low-risk alternatives to help minimize waste and the resulting disposal costs.

Most of the approaches are based on common sense and do not require sophisticated technology.  This booklet contains some ideas to get you started.  Your shop may already be using pollution prevention practices without realizing it!


Poor housekeeping results in spills and overflows.  This may double your expense by making you pay to replace lost material and also for its treatment and disposal.  It can also lead to accidents and worker injury.  Good housekeeping is one of the easiest and least expensive way to reduce waste.  Here are some tips:

  • Keep your shop clean and your floors dry. Sweep floors and use dry or damp clean-up techniques.  For example, use absorbent material for spills and if necessary, use a very small volume of water for final cleanup. This material should then be disposed of properly.
  • Practice good inventory control.  Mark the purchase date on containers and adopt a ?first in, first out? policy, so that older materials are used up before new ones are bought.
  • Keep all containers closed and properly labeled.
  • Keep storage and work areas clean and well organized.
  • Do not mix hazardous chemicals with non-hazardous Chemicals. Otherwise all of the waste will have to be treated as a hazardous waste.  This can be very expensive.

Printers use many different chemicals, machines, and processes.  Often things are done a certain way simply because, ?It?s always been done that way.?  Remember, there is always room for improvement and, ?An ounce of (pollution) prevention is better than a pound of cure.?

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