Picture taken by Kim Clark, 2009

Hazardous Waste & Toxics Reduction

Get Expert Assistance

Get Expert Assistance

Ecology is dedicated to helping Washington businesses reduce dangerous waste and find safer alternatives to hazardous chemicals. Our Toxics Reduction Specialists work with businesses to reduce waste, find safer alternatives, improve efficiency, and conserve resources.

Avoiding the use of toxic chemicals is the smartest, cheapest, and healthiest approach. In many cases, there are safer chemicals or alternative processes that can replace toxic chemicals.

We work with businesses to:

  • Find safer alternatives.
  • Prepare Pollution Prevention Plans.
  • Change production processes or equipment to reduce waste.
  • Increase production efficiency.
  • Conserve water and energy.
  • Redesign products to use safer source materials.
  • Reuse or recycle materials.
  • Manage inventory to reduce waste.

Ecology′s Toxics Reduction Specialists do not issue enforcement citations or penalties. They can work with you as a consultant.

Find P2 opportunities

If you′re interested in reducing toxics and waste at your business, but not sure where to start:

Learn more about our specific business assistance programs below.

Get free engineering help with TREE

The Technical Resources for Engineering Efficiency (TREE) team provides businesses with non-regulatory, confidential advice. They analyze each facility′s processes, looking for opportunities to conserve resources and reduce waste. TREE′s engineers have saved Washington businesses millions of dollars.

The criteria for TREE projects are:

  • Potential to reduce environmental effects.
  • Potential to improve process efficiency and reduce waste.
  • Willingness to work with the TREE team.
  • Willingness to implement system changes where economically feasible.
  • Minimal in-house engineering staff.
  • Minimal experience with pollution prevention.

Learn more about TREE.

Lean manufacturing and the environment

Since 2006, Lean and Green has saved Washington companies millions of dollars and helped them remain competitive. Manufacturers continually seek more efficient practices to be competitive in the global market. Top companies turn to Lean Manufacturing methods to increase efficiency and value. Those same Lean techniques are also proven to reduce waste, energy consumption, and the use or generation of hazardous materials. What’s good for the bottom line can also be good for the environment.

Impact Washington and Ecology worked with local, state, and federal government partners to develop the Lean and Green business assistance program. Lean and Green helps businesses improve both their sustainability and profitability through:

  • Improving operational processes.
  • Reducing wastes, especially those that could harm the environment.
  • Reducing energy use.
  • Increasing efficiency.
  • Supporting business excellence practices.

Aerospace manufacturers, cabinet-makers, hospitals, and shipbuilders are examples of businesses that use Lean to lower costs, improve quality, and reduce lead times. Learn more at Lean and Green.

Small business assistance

Even businesses that use or generate small amounts of toxic substances have significant impact on our health and environment. Ecology works with local governments throughout the state to help small businesses control, reduce, or eliminate toxic pollution sources.

Local Source Control

In the Puget Sound and Spokane watershed regions, the Local Source Control Partnership provides technical business assistance to prevent pollution at the source. Ecology partners with local cities and counties to send specialists to small businesses, providing them resources to prevent pollution.

More help for businesses