Published July 13, 1998
Volume 6, Number 7

Free StopWa$te Program Helps Companies Increase Revenues by Improving Management of Resources

The Alameda County Waste Management Authority & Source Reduction and Recycling Board has introduced StopWa$te, a new program offered to businesses interested in lowering costs by using resources more efficiently. 

StopWa$te, established in 1996, offers free professional help in identifying environmental performance improvements that positively affect a company's bottom line. The program provides non-regulatory assistance to businesses in Alameda County in the areas of waste prevention, development of recycled product markets, technical assistance, and public education. StopWa$te is funded from disposal surcharges at landfills in Alameda County. 


Many Services Offered
StopWa$te can offer the following services to Hacienda businesses:

  • On-site environmental assessments;
  • Identification and economic evaluation of environmental improvement projects; 
  • Grants and loans to help businesses implement recycling plans; 
  • Workshops and training seminars; 
  • Business waste reduction/recycling guides;
  • Identification of recycling service providers; 
  • Development of "buy recycled" procurement policies; and 
  • Support of recycled materials markets.

A Step-by-Step Example
Participation in the StopWa$te program begins with a meeting between the interested business and the StopWa$te team, which consists of technical consultants from Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), staff of the Alameda County Waste Management Authority & Source Reduction and Recycling Board, and often representatives from PG&E's energy efficiency programs. At this meeting, the StopWa$te team discusses the partnership program and describes possible environmental improvements that the team has made at similar businesses. 

From this discussion, the StopWa$te team and the business identify potential areas of improvement and outline the facility assessment, in which data is gathered to make all the recommendations for improvements. At this point, the interested business commits to becoming a partner in the StopWa$te Partnership Program. 

Next: Facility Assessment
The next step is the facility assessment. While the assessment begins with a waste stream audit, StopWa$te technicians perform more than just a simple input/output analysis. 

"An assessment usually involves a waste sort to identify types and volumes of materials sent to the landfill," says Thomas Savage, project manager at SAIC. 

In addition, team members walk through the facility to identify activities where environmental improvements can be made. 

"In other words, we move upstream to the point of waste generation to identify the activity that generates the waste," he adds. "This enables us to recommend alternatives to reduce waste generation or improve recycling." 

StopWa$te helps with implementation, too. They have developed a performance and cost tracking system to help quantify implementation performance and identify areas in need of improvement. 

Follow-up assistance may also include help in obtaining grants, loans, or rebates to implement recommendations. 

Workshops and training seminars are also offered to provide training to facilities managers on a variety of environmental improvement activities. 

Another example of the program's services is their expertise in identifying recycling service vendors. StopWa$te can help clients identify and evaluate recycling service vendors and contracts for traditional recyclables such as beverage containers and white paper as well as non-traditional recyclables like film plastics or even composite materials.

A Strong Track Record
StopWa$te is currently working with 20 businesses in Alameda County, and its group of experts has decades of experience. StopWa$te team members have completed projects with partners such as Hewlett-Packard, Bayer Corporation, Kaiser Permanente, PG&E, the University of California at Berkeley, and IBM.

Contact Information
For more information on the StopWa$te program, contact Rory Bakke of the Alameda County Waste Management Authority & Source Reduction and Recycling Board at (510) 614-1699. Ms. Bakke is also available via e-mail at rbakke@stopwaste.org. Information is also available at the StopWa$te web site.


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