Skip Navigation


Print this page




Source Reduction for Retail

What is Source Reduction?
Eliminating waste before it is created. It involves the design, manufacture, and purchase of materials and production to reduce the amount or toxicity of what is thrown away. Best of all, practicing source reduction can save you money!
Source Reduction Tips to Save You Money!
  • Purchase items in bulk. Encourage customers to purchase in bulk
  • Encourage customers to bring their own containers to fill or refill 
  • Buy items that come in reusable containers 
  • Purchase only what you need 
  • Control inventory closely to prevent waste 
  • Purchase non-toxic items whenever possible. 
  • Install long-lasting appliances, fixtures, and displays 
  • Keep equipment in good working order - Establish preventive maintenance routines 
  • Buy high quality, long lasting tires for vehicles 
  • Use fluorescent lights rather than incandescent lights 
  • Lease or rent infrequently used equipment 
  • Give reusable mugs to employees, rather than buying disposable cups 
  • Reuse dishes, tableware, etc. in cafeteria 
  • Get your toner cartridges recharged 
  • Use rechargeable batteries where possible. 
  • Reuse products (for example, shipping pallets) 
  • Reuse emptied incoming boxes to package outgoing orders 
  • Return empty packages to supplier 
  • Have regional distribution centers ship products in reusable containers 
  • Reuse cloth or mesh shopping bags to cut bag consumption 
  • Use shredded waste paper for packing material 
  • Repair, rather than purchase, new items. 
  • Donate unwanted items (food, clothing, equipment, furniture, wood) to organizations that care for the needy - they can use or sell them 
  • Educate employees about source reduction 
  • Offer incentives for practicing source reduction 
  • Communicate your preferences to manufacturers, merchants, and community leaders. 
  • Influence companies to reduce unnecessary packaging and the use of hazardous components in products by writing to them - express your opinion!
Contact the Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works, Recycling Division for more information at (410) 222-7951.
  • National Office Paper Recycling Project, Office Paper Recycling Guide, (202) 223-3089
  • EPA, Waste Prevention Pays Off, (EPA/530-K-92-004), (800) 424-9346
  • EPA, Business Guide for Reducing Solid Waste, (EPA/530-K-92-004), (800) 424-9346
  • EPA, Reusable News, quarterly newsletter, (800) 424-9346



Social Networking Icons (Fb, Twitter, RSS, Pinterest, Email List)

Anne Arundel County, Maryland. 44 Calvert Street, Annapolis, Maryland 21401 | Tele: (410) 222-7000