Published April 18, 2006
Volume 14, Number 4

It’s Easy Being Green with Expert Assistance from Alameda County’s StopWaste Program

Do you have questions on how to provide better management of your company’s resources? StopWaste.org has the answer.
StopWaste is a program run by the Alameda County Waste Management Authority and the Alameda County Source Reduction and Recycling Board. The combined agencies offer a variety of waste prevention and recycling services to businesses in Alameda County. Best of all, their help is available free of charge.

Whether you’re looking for a way to recycle materials generated by your business, expand your company’s purchasing programs to include more environmentally-friendly products, information on green building, or if you’d even like some hands-on assistance in setting up a recycling program at your office, StopWaste is there to help.

A great place for anyone to start is with StopWaste’s annual Recycling Guide. The 2005-06 guide, which can be ordered or downloaded as a PDF from the group’s web site at stopwaste.org, contains a number of informative articles as well as a list of organizations that accept a mind-boggling array of items for recycling. There are loads of options for recycling glass, aluminum, paper, and cardboard, as you would expect, but there are also companies that accept old appliances, carpet, carpet padding, computers and electronics, florescent lamps and ballasts, packaging materials, pallets, plastics of all kinds, and toner cartridges.

Businesses interested in a greener supply chain should check out StopWaste’s information on Environmentally Preferable Purchasing. The group provides a regularly-updated guide which provides information and sources for purchasing products that integrate recycled components into their manufacture. Product categories include paper and non-paper office supplies, office equipment, janitorial supplies, food service products, building maintenance items, office furnishings, construction materials, landscaping products, vehicle maintenance supplies, and more. The latest resource guide, last updated in March, is available on the StopWaste web site.

Companies with 50 or more employees can enroll in the StopWaste Partnership, which offers an opportunity to work with StopWaste’s technical experts to create a comprehensive waste-reduction solution. These experts provide free on-site consultations to help you determine how to proceed with recycling programs and more to improve the environment while also saving money. They provide analytic tools such as a cost/benefit analysis, supply chain management tools, and online databases for referrals and information. Education and training may also be provided to improve environmental performance in waste reduction and management, energy and water conservation, and wastewater emissions. Companies participating in the StopWaste Partnership are also entitled to apply for grants, loans, and financial assistance to implement these plans.

Finally, property owners, managers, and developers may be interested in StopWaste’s Bay-Friendly Landscaping and Green Building programs, which are designed to lessen the impacts of those activities by promoting a whole systems approach. The StopWaste web site offers information on Bay-Friendly Landscaping workshops, tours, and a special certification program, as well as downloadable PDFs outlining Bay-Friendly Landscaping concepts and practices. The web site also offers downloadable information on green building for home remodeling and construction, multi-tenant structures, and commercial facilities.

For additional information on StopWaste, telephone (510) 614-1699 or access their web site at www.stopwaste.org.


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