Pollution prevention (P2)

The waste management hierarchy is an upside-down triangle that goes from the most preferable to least: pollution prevention, re-use, recycling, treatment, disposal release.
Pollution prevention (P2) is any practice that reduces or eliminates the use, generation, or release of hazardous materials or toxic chemicals into the environment. It’s considered more impactful and cheaper than the costs related to recycling, treatment, or disposal.

We provide suggested best practices that support pollution prevention for businesses. You can find specific pollution prevention practices for the following sectors on this webpage:

  • Electroplating and metal finishing.
  • Metal manufacturing and fabrication.
  • Fiberglass fabrication.
  • Autobody shops.

We also offer individualized pollution prevention services for any business in Washington including support for applying for P2 grants. These services are free of charge and non-enforcement.

Why should businesses practice P2?

When businesses implement P2 practices, they can realize cost savings and improve worker health and safety. However, these benefits also extend to communities at large. By using less toxic chemicals and reducing your environmental footprint, our community uses less resources and reduces the risk of releases to the environment.

P2 practices can result in:

  • Reduced dangerous waste generation and toxic chemical use.
  • Reduced fees, costs, and regulatory requirements.
  • Reduced water and energy use.
  • Reduced air emissions and pollution.
  • Improved process efficiency.
  • Improved employee health and safety.

Read our blog to learn how some Washington businesses have successfully applied P2 practices.

How can businesses apply P2 practices?

Many businesses generate dangerous waste, which requires that they manage this waste according to the Dangerous Waste Regulations (WAC 173-303). Businesses that generate large amounts of dangerous waste are required to prepare a P2 plan, which identifies P2 opportunities.

However, businesses can learn to follow well established P2 practices to reduce their waste and limit their environmental impact.

Recommended P2 practices for businesses

Below are recommended, practical P2 practices for the following business types:

How can businesses get P2 guidance or help?

If you are interested in adding P2 practices to your business processes or are required to prepare a P2 plan, here is how you can get help and guidance: