ollution Prevention Handbook
- No. 20 in a Series of Fact Sheets.
Pollution prevention is the use of materials. pro-
cesses. or practices that reduce or eliminate the
quantity and/or toxicity of wastes at the Sowre of
generation. Pollution prevention is a iiiulririiedia
approach that minimizes or eliminates waste re-
leased to land. air, and/or water without simply
shifting pollutants from one media to another. The
Department of the Interior (DOI) considers source
reduction to be the most preferred en\ ironmental
management technique for dealing n
ith a u’acte
generation problem. In addition, pollution pre\ en-
tion is often the most cost-effective means to reduce
environmental and health nsks associated \\ ith v, aste.
Pollution prevention is often cost effectii e because
it may reduce raw material losses; reduce reliance
on expensive “end-of-pipe“ treatment technologies
and disposal practices; consen’e energy, water, and
raw materials; and reduce the potential liability as-
sociated with waste generation.
For wastes that cannot be reduced at the source,
DO1 recommends that generators consider recy-
cling as the next best option. Wastes that cannot be
reduced at the source or recycled should be stored.
treated. andor disposed in accordance with all ap-
plicable waste management regulations. Wastes that
must be disposed should be disposed safely to mini-
nlize adverse impacts on the environment.
On November 5. 1990, President Bush signed into
law the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990, ahich
makes pollution prevention a national policy for
BENEFITS OF POLLUTION
Establishing a pollution prevention program at your
facility has many potential benefits for you, your
facility, and the environment. Some of these ben-
efits are direct (e.g., safer work environment for
employees), v,,hile others are indirect (e.g., avoided
asbestos abatement costs).
PURPOSE OF THIS FACT SHEET
This fact sheet introduces source reduction and op-