Pollution prevention (P2) refers to reducing or eliminating waste at the source by modifying production processes, promoting the use of non-toxic or less-toxic substances, implementing conservation techniques, and/or re-using materials rather than putting them in the waste stream.
Improper management of hazardous materials and pesticides can lead to significant negative impacts to human health and the natural environment. Through general awareness, job-specific training, and environmentally preferable purchasing practices, IHS can reduce health risks associated with the use and storage of hazardous chemicals by:
- Complying with environmental and occupational safety regulations;
- Reducing hazardous materials when possible by replacing or substituting hazardous materials with environmentally friendly, less-toxic materials:
- Reducing use of mercury containing products,
- Replacing strong acids and bases with less corrosive products, and
- Replacing flammable chemicals with non-flammables;
- Planning for fuel and chemical spills to minimize the environmental impact, reduce clean-up costs, and ensure worker safety.
IHS waste management objectives:
- Recycle paper, batteries, plastic, aluminum cans, glass, cardboard, building materials, and other recyclable materials.
- Purchasing products that are reusable or that have less waste packaging.
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- Construction Waste Management Database
: Free online service for those seeking companies that recycle construction debris in their area, and is searchable by state, zip code, or material recycled.
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) WasteWise
: WasteWise is a free, voluntary EPA program through which organizations eliminate costly municipal solid waste and select industrial wastes, benefiting their bottom line and the environment.
Hazardous Chemicals and Waste
- IHS Guidance Document for Hazardous Materials Management [PDF]: Provides guidance on management of hazardous materials located in IHS buildings during routine operations, renovations, demolitions, and transfers.
- Guide to Hazardous Waste Management at Tribal Health Care Clinics [PDF]
- See the Sustainable Acquisitions page for information on purchasing environmental and worker friendly chemical products
Reducing Solid Waste
- EPA Business Guide for Reducing Solid Waste
: Provides an overview for developing and implementing a waste reduction program.
- EPA Strategies for Waste Reduction of Construction and Demolition Debris from Buildings
[PDF]: Fact sheet aimed at local governments that want to encourage more building-related construction and demolition debris recovery from building owners and developers interested in green building design.
- EPA Food Waste Reduction
: Provides information about environmentally beneficial food waste management through food waste reduction.
- Pollution Prevention in Healthcare Facilities
: Provides specific information for healthcare facilities on pollution prevention as it relates to purchasing, receiving, and inventory control; material substitution (using less toxic alternatives); raw material use and handling; and waste segregation.
- EPA Mercury Reduction in Medical Facilities
[PDF]: Provides Environmental Best Practices for health care facilities in eliminating mercury in hospitals.