Attention! The Utica Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) collection facility is now CLOSED. We will reopen in April 2023.

Waste Reduction


There are many ways to reduce waste at the workplace, including but not limited to the following:

  • Get staff involved in waste reduction efforts. Keep them informed of the goals of the program and establish a waste reduction committee.
  • Encourage staff to bring “waste-free” lunches in reusable containers and bags.
  • Install water-saving devices in washrooms (i.e. air hand dryers, energy-efficient lights, timers and a computerized thermostat) to reduce energy costs.
  • Install energy-efficient light sensors in storage rooms.
  • Turn off lights and equipment when not in use.
  • Close the loop; support and encourage the purchase of materials, supplies, and packaging that contain recycled or refurbished content.
  • Buy products in bulk to minimize packaging. Bulk products are generally less expensive than smaller and individually packaged items.
  • Familiarize staff with the proper operation of office equipment to eliminate waste due to misuse and ensure that all office equipment is regularly serviced to prevent malfunctions.
  • Install a computerized thermostat to control the heating and air conditioning system.
  • Make it policy to purchase products with recycled content, which are durable, refillable, reusable, or recyclable.
  • Centrally post or circulate memos and other documents instead of providing each person with an individual copy. Use an electronic bulletin board for private memos.
  • Use green products
  • Avoid Styrofoam. It is not recyclable.
  • Use refurbished toner cartridges
  • Recycle used printer cartridges
  • Review documents on screen and print only the final version
  • Encourage paperless or electronic memos or reports
  • Circulate (rather than copy) memos, documents, periodicals, and reports.
  • Eliminate unnecessary reports.
  • Purchase second hand office furniture. Sell old office equipment to employees, or donate it to reuse centers or charitable organizations.
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient halogen or fluorescent bulbs.
  • Properly recycle fluorescent light bulbs.
  • Ensure staff are aware of and familiar with all company waste reduction programs, policies, and objectives.
  • Make two-sided copies. If a single-sided machine is being used, reverse the pages and feed them through a second time.
  • Use the reduction feature on the copier to fit more on one page.
  • Use outdated letterhead for in-house memos.
  • Use a fax stamp or reusable fax forms instead of a cover page to minimize paper waste.
  • Use old paper (i.e., one side has been used) in the fax machine.
  • Use single-sided sheets of paper as scrap paper for notes.
  • Use computer disks or electronic files to edit draft documents. Only print a hard copy of the final document.
  • Single space the text of documents.
  • Reuse scrap paper, envelopes, etc. for notes and drafts.
  • Use refillable pens, pencils, and tape dispensers.
  • Close the curtains or blinds in your office before you leave. This minimizes heat loss in the winter and keeps the office cool in the summer.
  • Save and reuse old file folders, hanging files, etc.
  • Reuse envelopes by placing a new address label over the original name. Plain labels with your office’s address can be use to cover the original address.