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Reduce & Reuse

Memorial Day Notice

What is Source Reduction?  Eliminating waste before it is created!  Source Reduction involves the design, manufacture, purchase, or use of materials or products to reduce the amount of waste generated. It includes reuse, waste elimination, package reduction and substitution.

Why is Source Reduction important? Source Reduction is at the top of the solid waste management hierarchy because it is generally superior to both recycling and disposal from an environmental and economic perspective. Source reduction is a pro-active, practical way to preempt the need to collect, process, and/or dispose of trash and recyclables by preventing their generation up front.

 
Waste reduction means cutting down on the amount of material thrown away. Just like recycling, waste reduction can help protect the environment by saving natural resources, reducing pollution, saving energy, and preserving landfill space.

Waste reduction will require changing habits in the home, in the office, and in the way you shop. Some examples of waste reduction are:
  • Buy only what you need
  • Avoid over-packaged products
  • Avoid disposable goods such as lighters and cameras
  • Purchase in bulk
  • Reuse shopping bags
  • Avoid goods packaged in non-recyclable materials
  • Buy products made from recycled materials
  • Buy a live Christmas tree and transplant it outside after the holidays
  • Use lawn and garden tools that require human energy instead of fossil fuels
  • Try friendlier alternatives to harsh commercial products. Baking soda, water, and vinegar make a great all-purpose cleaner.

Source Reduction Tips:

  • Landscaping

    Grasscycle: Using mulching mowers or "leaving grass on the lawn" adds nutrients back to soil and does not create waste or incur disposal costs. 

    Placing leaves in wooded areas reduces soil erosion and does not create waste or incur disposal costs. 

    Composting grass and leaves creates soil enhancers that can be used as: 
    • Mulch to suppress weed growth and provide nutrients.
    • Top-dressing to add nutrients to the lawn. 
    • Side-dressing to replace nutrients and protect root systems. 
    • Soil amendments to improve drainage and prevent compaction. 
    • This eliminates waste and removal costs, and drastically reduces the need to purchase most fertilizers and planting supplements. 
    • Use reclaimed materials (pallets) to construct compost bins. 
    • Chipping branches and trees that have been removed will create mulch to be used around trees and in planting beds. This eliminates waste, reduces removal costs, and eliminates the need to purchase mulch in the spring. 
    • Perennialization of existing annual flower beds will eliminate the yearly costs in maintaining them. The cost of the perennial plants may be two or three times the cost of annuals, however, in 2 to 3 years the initial cost will be recovered and savings realized. 
    • Additionally, perennials do not create waste when they are removed at the end of the season and do not incur removal costs.
    • Reuse scrap tires in landscaping for things like tree planters, erosion controls, playground equipment, and pond landscaping.
    • Use alternatives in landscape design such as mulch islands, natural areas, and ground covers 
    • Water lawns less frequently.
    • Slow down the growth rate by reducing nutrient application (also saves cost of nutrients).
    Sources:
    • 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

  • Retail Store
    • 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!

    Sources:

    • 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
  • Restaurant & Hotel
    In the restaurant:
    • Return cartons and containers that could be reused each time to your supplier, e.g., bakery boxes or cartons 
    • Purchase in bulk - saves packaging to be disposed, and saves on cost of goods 
    • Reuse ice from ice machines at closing to ice down food for storage - saves wear and tear on machine, water and electricity, saves food and meets proper food storage standards 
    • Reuse plastic tubs - no need to purchase tubs, and prevents tubs from entering the waste stream 
    • Save plastic bags for re storage of unused breads etc. - eliminates the need for plastic wrap 
    • Order dry goods once per week vs. 3 or 4 times - reduces office paper work, and saves precious labor time on both restaurant and supplier 
    • Adapt the habit of dumping half-empty trash into another container when removing trash - this reduces cost of liners as only full cans will be emptied 
    • Sell used cooking fat (oils) back to a manufacturer for animal food or make-up products 
    • Reuse aluminum foil or plastic wrap for covering food in coolers and steam tables 
    • Store food in reusable containers 
    • Prepare smaller portions of precooked foods (pasta, potatoes, and vegetables) to reduce the amount later thrown out 
    • Use smaller containers to hold various foods at salad bars to reduce the amount of food later thrown out 
    • Request minimal packaging when ordering supplies, materials and food items 
    • Choose products packaged with less waste. Inform your supplier of your preference for creating less waste
    • Use cloth towel machines (or hot air dryers) in high use areas such as restrooms 
    • Replace paper towels, napkins, and placemats with linen napkins and on dining room tables, once these are worn, make them into cleaning rags 
    • Use cloth rags and sponges to wipe spills in dining room and kitchen 
    • Use reusable plastic scrubbing pads for scrubbing pots and pans instead of soaped steel wool scrubbing pads
    • Purchase cleaning supplies with concentrated refills 
    • Use permanent plates and flatware for eat-in service in fast food restaurants 
    • Eliminate single use items in employee cafeteria
    • Supply condiments in bulk 
    • Replace cocktail napkins with reusable coasters at dining room tables and bars 
    • Replace bottled beer and wine with kegs or "bag-in-box" containers of wine 
    • Install bulk soda dispensing equipment 
    • Ask your supplier to exchange chemical drums instead of purchasing products in new containers when possible

    In hotel guest rooms:
    • Purchase a dispensing system to replace amenities such as 1-oz. shampoo, soap or lotion bottles. If this is not possible, donate left over soaps, etc. to local shelter and other charities. 
    • Use old linens and worn towels as cleaning rags and other useful items 
    • Donate guest hangers no longer suitable for use to local dry cleaners 
    • Donate linens, towels, blankets, soap, shampoo, uniforms, used office and room furniture, etc. to a local shelter 
    • Whenever possible, have maintenance crews reuse available materials for repair and renovation 
    • Reuse old linens and towels to make baby bibs, crib bumper pads, and bar covers by salvaging usable sections of cloth
    Sources:
    • 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
  • Office
    Save money by saving paper:
    • Make two-sided copies
    • Test the copier before making long runs
    • Post a list of paper-saving tips at each copy machine
    • Circulate one copy of a memo rather than issue one to every member of the department
    • Update memo distribution lists periodically
    • Place announcements on bulletin boards, rather then sending individual memos
    • Use the back of old letterhead and memos for copies of drafts and internal documents
    • Use the backs of old envelopes for phone messages
    • Use the telephone instead of fax, where appropriate
    • Eliminate fax cover sheets by using stick-on notes instead of cover pages
    • Use E-mail and voice mail instead of memos.
    • Reduce the size of business forms
    • Send bills and invoices in reversible "two-use" envelopes
    • Only use targeted direct mailings
    • Do your document composing, editing, and proofing on-screen; then view before printing
    • Make reports and other documents available on-line
    • Use a central filing system
    What purchasing agents can do:
    • Buy only what you need
    • Request reduced packaging from your suppliers.  Include requirements in bid specifications and contracts
    • Give a price preference for those items that meet source-reduced guidelines
    • Implement an inventory management system to control waste
    • Purchase supplies in reusable containers
    Eliminate disposable items and reuse things where possible:
    • Consider replacing towel dispensers with hot air hand dryers in rest rooms
    • Consider using retread tires on fleet autos
    • Rent infrequently used tools and audio/visual equipment
    • Practice preventive maintenance on office equipment to prolong life
    • Use refillable toner cartridges
    • Buy refillable pens, mechanical pencils, and tape dispensers (and reusable calendars)
    • Buy sturdy office supplies and equipment (staplers, scissors, etc.)
    • Donate furniture and equipment that are no longer needed
    • Reupholster office furnishings instead of discarding
    • In the cafeteria, use reusable table settings glassware, ceramic mugs, table linen, napkins, etc.
    • Shred waste paper and use it for packing material
    • Use rechargeable batteries where possible
    Sources:
    • 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
  • Multi-Family Properties
    • Purchase items in bulk or economy sizes 
    • Purchase products which are available in concentrated form 
    • Purchase items in reusable containers 
    • Purchase only those items you need. 
    • Purchase products with the least amount of packaging. More of your dollar goes towards the product instead of packaging. 
    • Purchase high-quality, long-lasting products 
    • Repair older items rather than purchasing new ones 
    • Reuse plastic or paper grocery bags when shopping. Better yet, use cloth or mesh bags to hold your purchases. 
    • Use cloth towels, napkins and rags instead of disposable paper products which cannot be recycled 
    • Avoid using disposable cups, plates and cutlery 
    • Save bows, tissue paper, Styrofoam peanuts and gift boxes to wrap gifts in the future 
    • Use rechargeable batteries whenever possible 
    • Donate back issues of magazines to schools for use in school projects or offer them to a doctor's office for patients to read while waiting 
    • Purchase non-toxic items whenever possible 
    • Donate unwanted items (food, clothing, equipment, furniture, appliances) to charitable organizations which support your community 
    • Reupholster furniture instead of purchasing new pieces
    • Rent infrequently used tools or equipment 
    • Use the backs of old envelopes for store lists or phone messages 
    • Leave grass trimmings on your lawn to add nutrients back into the soil 
    • Plant perennials instead of annuals which will have to be disposed of at the end of the year 
    • Start a backyard compost pile, or use a compost bin to process organic wastes from your kitchen and yard. Finished compost can be used as a soil amendment to improve soil quality in gardens or flower beds, or as a top-dressing for lawn areas. Be sure to check with your property manager first to be sure that composting is allowed. 
    • Start an indoor redworm composter to process organic wastes from your kitchen. Finished compost can be used to pot or fertilize houseplants. 
    • Urge your property manager to add a recycling component to your trash collection if one does not already exist

     

    Sources:

    • 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
  • Household
    • Purchase items in bulk or economy sizes
    • Reuse large glass food jars to store items purchased in bulk
    • Purchase products which are available in concentrated form
    • Purchase items in reusable containers
    • Purchase only those items you need.
    • Purchase products with the least amount of packaging - More of your dollar goes towards the product instead of packaging
    • Purchase high-quality, long-lasting products
    • Repair older items rather than purchasing new ones
    • Reuse plastic or paper grocery bags when shopping. Better yet, use cloth or mesh bags to hold your purchases.
    • Use plastic grocery bags as a packing material.
    • Use paper grocery bags (made from a renewable resource) as trash bags and liners from cereal boxes to hold wet trash so it doesn't get the paper bag wet
    • When preparing food, rinse jars and cans out with small amount of water, then add the water to whatever you're cooking - The extra water will cook off, you don't waste any of the product purchased, and the jar or can is rinsed and ready to be placed in your yellow bin
    • Rinse out laundry detergent jugs and use the diluted detergent as a stain pre-treatment or use a lesser amount of detergent and add the solution to your wash
    • Avoid using disposable cups, plates and cutlery
    • Make your own sport drink bottle by putting a screw-on top from a syrup or other bottle on a soda bottle
    • Use cloth towels, napkins and rags instead of disposable paper products
    • Save bows, tissue paper, Styrofoam peanuts and gift boxes to wrap gifts in the future.
    • Use rechargeable batteries whenever possible
    • Return hangers to dry cleaners for reuse
    • Thoroughly wash and return glass flower vases to florists for reuse
    • Donate back issues of magazines to schools for use in school projects or offer them to a doctor's office for patients to read while waiting.
    • Purchase non-toxic items whenever possible
    • Donate unwanted items (food, clothing, equipment, furniture, appliances) to charitable organizations which support your community - Donations can then be deducted when preparing your taxes
    • Reupholster furniture instead of purchasing new pieces
    • Use the backs of old envelopes for store lists or phone messages
    • Grasscycle" by leaving grass trimmings on your lawn to add nutrients back into the soil
    • Plant perennials instead of annuals which will have to be disposed of at the end of the year
    • Start a backyard compost pile, or use a compost bin to process organic wastes from your kitchen and yard. Finished compost can be used as a soil amendment to improve soil quality in gardens or flower beds, or as a top-dressing for lawn areas.
    • Start an indoor redworm composter to process organic wastes from your kitchen. Finished compost can be used to pot or fertilize houseplants.
    • Refill travel sizes of toilet articles and reuse on future trips
    • If your mail comes secured in a rubber band, save them in a return envelope and place in your mailbox for pickup and reuse by the post office
     

    Sources:
    • 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
When you creatively reuse items you save money. Even more important, you conserve resources, reduce the need for garbage collection, and use less landfill space, all of which help protect the environment (and your budget).
  • Leave grass clippings on the lawn. Clippings return nutrients to the soil and avoid the work of bagging.
  • Composting grass and leaves eliminates yard waste and collection costs, and drastically reduces the need to purchase most fertilizers and planting supplements.
  • Use reclaimed materials (pallets) to construct compost bins.
  • Reuse plastic or paper grocery bags when shopping. Better yet, use cloth or mesh bags to hold your purchases.
  • Use cloth towels, napkins and rags instead of disposable paper products which cannot be recycled.
  • Make cleaning rags out of old clothing, sheets, and towels.
  • Purchase items in bulk or economy sizes to save on packaging. It also saves on the cost of goods since you pay for product, not packaging.
  • Avoid using disposable products such as cups, plates, cutlery, and napkins.
  • Reuse emptied boxes and containers. Use shredded paper or newspapers for packing material.
  • Reduce paper usage by making two-sided copies, using e-mail and voicemail instead of faxing, and routing memos through departments instead of sending separate memos to individuals.
  • Use refillable toner cartridges, ink jet cartridges, pens, mechanical pencils and tape dispensers.
  • Use rechargeable batteries whenever possible.
  • Charitable Organizations
    Consider donating useable goods to a charitable organization. There is a large market for useable clothing, furniture, toys, kitchen items, and tools. Tax deductions are also available. Please call to confirm addresses and information before delivering material to any of the following groups. These references were assembled by the Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works, Recycling Division. No recommendations or referrals are made as to the reliability or quality of the services provided by these vendors.

    In addition to the organizations below, visit www.mdrecycles.org for other organizations who accept items for reuse.
    Am-Vets Thrift Store
    3424 Eastern Ave. 
    Baltimore, MD. 21224
    (800) 292-2259
    Call for collection of items in good condition.
    Anne Arundel County Animal Control
    411 Maxwell Frye Road
    Millersville, MD. 21108
    www.aacounty.org/AnimalControl
    Click here to view a list of items most useful for caring for animals at Animal Control.

    Please contact the shelter at 410-222-8900 if you have questions or want to place a large donation.
    Anne Arundel County Food & Resource Bank
    www.aafoodbank.org
    bruce@aafoodbank.org
    410-923-4255
    Accepts donations of useable household items.
    Beds (mattress & boxspring), Table w/chairs, Dressers, Living room furniture, Space heaters, Air conditioners, Appliances (stove, fridge, washer, dryer, microwave), Electronics (TVs, VCRs, DVD players, stereos), Medical equipment (wheelchairs, scooters)
    Goodwill Industries
    1605 West Street
    Annapolis, MD. 21401
    (410) 269-1302
    Appliances, building materials, furniture, cabinets
    (Residential & Commercial Customers welcomed)
    Habitat for Humanity
    8101 Fort Smallwood Road
    Pasadena, MD. 21226
    (410) 437-7755
    Appliances, building materials, furniture, cabinets
    (Residential & Commercial Customers welcomed)
    HOPE (For All)
    122 Roesler Road
    Glen Burnie, MD. 21060
    (410) 766-0372
    Hopeforall72@gmail.com
    Accepts furniture (sofas, chairs, end tables, night stands, dressers, kitchen tables and chairs, lamps, bookcases and only like-new mattresses & box springs), household and clothing items in good, clean, usable condition (no rips, tears or stains). Large donations can be picked up. For current needs please visit www.hopeforall.us/current-needs.

    Lutheran Mission Society
    Location 1
       230 West Street
       Annapolis, MD 21401

    Location 2 
       601 Hammonds Lane
       Baltimore, MD 21225
    (410) 269-5016
    lms@lutheranmissionsociety.org
    www.lutheranmissionsociety.org

    Accepts donations of household items in good, clean, usable condition (no rips, tears, or stains). Only like-new mattress & boxsprings will be accepted.  Not accepted: large desks, pianos, sofabeds, waterbeds, hospital beds, console TVs.
    Purple Heart
    (410) 789-7692
    Mon-Fri (9am-9pm)
    Sat (9-3)
    Accepts clothing of all types and sizes and small household items in useable condition.  Donations need to be bagged or boxed.  Visitwww.purpleheartpickup.org for more information or contact md-donorservices@purpleheartpickup.org
    The Salvation Army
    8001 Jumpers Hole Road
    Pasadena, MD. 21122
    (410) 766-4841
    800-SA-TRUCK (800) 728-7825
    M-Sat (10-5:30pm)
    Accepts donations of useable household goods, furniture, clean clothing in good condition, automobiles, trucks, motorcycles and boats (on trailers), and other useful items. Large appliances, box springs, and mattresses are only accepted at the main location in Baltimore. Will pick up items.
    Call 410-525-0530 to schedule an appointment.
    SPCA of Anne Arundel County
    www.aacspca.org
    1815 Bay Ridge Ave., Annapolis, MD 21403
    info@aacspca.org
    (410) 268-4388 ext.120
    Accepts donations of towels, blankets, sheets, and more.  For a full list please visit www.aacspca.org/ways-to-give/wishlist
    St. Vincent de Paul Society of Baltimore
    (410) 368-1545
    Accepts donations of clothing. For a complete list of drop off locations, visit www.svdpusa.org/Donate.aspx.
  • Drop Boxes
    Some drop off boxes in Anne Arundel County are:

    Church of the Good Shepherd

    1451 Furnace Branch Avenue

    Glen Burnie, MD 21060

    St. Bernadette

    801 Stevenson Avenue

    Severn, MD 21144

    Holy Family Church

    826 West Central Avenue

    Davidsonville, MD 21035

  • Vehicle Donations
    Several non-profit organizations accept donations of used vehicles. Donate a car, truck, RV, boat, or trailer and you can receive a tax deduction. The following organizations accept donations of used vehicles:
    American Diabetes Association
    (800) 936-4361
    info@carprogram.com
    www.cardonations.com/
    The Providence Center
    930 Point Pleasant Road
    Glen Burnie, MD. 21060
    (410) 766-2212 ext. 110
    Fax: (877) 304-9977
    Boats not accepted. 
    The Baltimore Area Salvation Army
    2700 West Patapsco Avenue
    Baltimore, MD. 21230
    (800) 229-7156
    www.uss.salvationarmy.org/uss/www_uss_baltimore.nsf
    SPCA of Anne Arundel County
    www.aacspca.org
    1815 Bay Ridge Ave., Annapolis, MD 21403
    info@aacspca.org
    (410) 268-4388 ext.120
    Lutheran Mission Society
       Locations
    230 West St.; Annapolis, MD 21401
    601 Hammonds Ln.; Baltimore, MD 21225
    (410) 269-5016
    lms@lutheranmissionsociety.org
    www.lutheranmissionsociety.org

    Wheels for Wishes / Make-A-Wish Car Donation

    http://midatlantic.wheelsforwishes.org

    (855) 225-9474 

    Melwood
    5606 Dover House Road
    Upper Marlboro, MD. 20772
    1-877-MELWOOD (635-9663)
    Fax: (301) 599-8000
    www.melwood.org/vehicles/donate
     
    Disclaimer: These references were assembled by the Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works, Recycling Division. No recommendations or referrals are made as to the reliability or quality of the services provided by these vendors.
  • Consignment Stores
    Consignment stores agree to sell your items (clothing, furniture, etc.) for a percentage of the profit. There are several shops in Anne Arundel County; some specialize in one area, such as children's clothing. In general, the items in consignment stores are in very good condition. Check the yellow pages under "consignment shops", "furniture used", and "antiques".
Do you know of other non-profit organizations that accept donations? Please call us at (410) 222-7951 with the information and we will include it in future literature.