“Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” Resources for Businesses and Organizations
Wasted resources cost time, materials, energy, and money. Finding ways to reduce waste can not only decrease the environmental impact of a business or organization, but often saves your business money.
Tips to Make Less Waste
Simple ways to reduce waste include:
- Borrow or rent items such as tools and equipment instead of buying. Ask your vendors to provide you with leasing options before you buy.
- Use durable, reusable items instead of disposable, such as washable cups, plates, and cutlery.
- Buy upgradable computers. If you can upgrade with a single component, you may save money.
- Go paperless.
- Set printers to automatically print double-sided.
- Reduce or remove trash can liners where feasible.
Managing and Reducing Wastes: A Guide for Commercial Buildings – The U.S. EPA has created a detailed, step-by-step guide for reducing commercial building waste.
Reuse Building and Office Supplies
There are many resources to help your company donate to, or shop for, secondhand tools, equipment, and materials. Some examples are listed here; check in your area for similar types of businesses and organizations.
Alltech – (Portland and Bangor) donate or purchased used assistive medical equipment. Check the website to see what items are available to purchase or accepted for donation.
Furniture Friends (Portland) – This furniture bank in Portland distributes usable furniture that would have gone to the landfill to people in need.
Habitat for Humanity ReStore - ReStores sell new and lightly used building materials, fixtures, furniture, appliances, tools, and other surplus items donated by individuals, contractors, and businesses to help fund the construction of Habitat homes. The stores are in Bangor, Ellsworth, Kennebunk, Portland, Rockport and Topsham.
Maine State Surplus Property - Surplus materials from state departments made available to state, public, and non-profit organizations.
PC's for Maine – A non-profit program that accepts computer donations and provides computers and information to increase access to computers to individuals, families, schools and other non-profits.
Reduce Environmental Impacts
- Environmentally Preferable Purchasing – Maine’s guide to purchasing products without toxics, to be energy-efficient, and to be easily recycled.
- Maine’s voluntary Green Business Certification program can identify your grocery, lodging or restaurant business as an Environmental Leader in the state.
Recycle Waste Materials into Commodities
Maine law requires businesses employing 15 or more people at a site to recycle corrugated cardboard and office paper. You can also recycle additional materials such as plastics, glass, food scraps; separating materials by type (e.g. PET plastic, rigid plastics) creates better value for the materials as commodities. Contract for recycling services just like you contract for your trash disposal service.
- Maine Resource Recovery Association assists communities and businesses with marketing of recyclable and reusable materials, promotes recycling, and fosters professional practices in support of environmentally sound solid waste management in Maine.
Maine DEP is providing this information as a courtesy, and does not recommend or endorse any particular organization or product.
For more information, contact Carole Cifrino at 207-486-8160