New ISTC fact sheet: Zero Waste Program Case Study: Spraying Systems Co.

Download the document.

Spraying Systems Co. manufactures industrial and agricultural spray products, including spray nozzles and accessories. The company wanted to reduce its waste generation and increase diversion. ISTC’s Zero Waste program helped them achieve their goals by providing the company with an accurate baseline measurement of waste generation at its Wheaton, Illinois headquarters. In addition, ISTC staff collaborated with Spray System’s operations, manufacturing, and sustainability teams to devise a plan for improving waste diversion. Finally, ISTC staff conducted a post-implementation waste stream characterization to measure success and identify opportunities for improvement.

Understand pollution, environmental impacts from food in 6 charts

In the latest P2 Impact column, Jeff Kohn and Kelsey Kruger from U.S. EPA illustrate the environmental impact of the food manufacturing industry.

To read previous P2 Impact features, visit

$1.6 million saved by Iowa companies through Pollution Prevention Intern Program

Iowa companies have saved more than $1.6 million dollars in the last year thanks to waste-reducing projects completed by 16 interns from the DNR’s Pollution Prevention (P2) Intern Program. Six of these 16 projects represent the final results of 24-week projects completed at the end of 2015.

Interns recommend and implement projects that will help Iowa businesses improve how they use resources. These projects divert waste from landfills, reduce hazardous waste, conserve water and energy, and reduce greenhouse gases and emissions.  Annual environmental reductions generated in 2016 include:

  • 1.16 billion gallons of water
  • 1,215 tons of solid and special waste
  • 1,215 tons of hazardous waste
  • 1.2 million kilowatt hours (kWh)
  • 4,220 MTCO2e (metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent – used to measure emissions)

The P2 Intern Program matches top engineering students with Iowa businesses interested in cost-effective ways to cut or eliminate waste from their operations that improve environmental performance and save money. Since 2001, companies have saved more than $81.9 million through P2 Intern Program projects.

“The real value of the intern program has been to obtain a talented engineering student to compile data and provide in-depth technical analysis, with actionable recommendations. The results from our P2 projects have helped us to make informed decisions that improve our efficiency and reduce our operating costs,” said Todd Fails, Site Services Team Leader at Zoetis Global Supply in Charles City.

After a week of orientation and training with program advisors, upper-level engineering students from Iowa’s state universities work at selected host facilities to analyze current systems, research alternative processes or technologies and recommend cost effective strategies to improve the way they manufacture, consume, reuse, and recycle materials and resources.

Companies interested in participating in the 2017 Pollution Prevention Intern Program can submit a project request for either a 12- or 24-week project by Dec. 1. Project request forms and full case summaries of the intern projects are available at

Restoring Pollution Prevention and the Concept of Positive Freedom

Read the full post at RegBlog.

In 1990 Congress mandated investment by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in pollution prevention. In response, EPA developed a hierarchy of strategies with a central focus on reducing pollution at the source, rather than trying to clean up messes after pollution had already occurred. Unfortunately for the chemical industry, the “source” means the decision by manufacturers whether or not to use toxic chemicals in the products they sell.

Recent reforms to federal legislation governing toxic chemicals impede the pollution prevention efforts, however, by counterproductively preempting important state-level efforts to restrict toxics. It is in the states where the toxics use reduction form of pollution prevention has predominated. It is far more than the business justification that makes them essential. Pollution prevention laws are necessary because they most effectively.

Developing 3D Printing Standards? There’s an ISO-ASTM Framework for That

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

Additive manufacturing or 3D printing is taking off with organizations ranging from NASA to medical device makers and automakers using this technology to reduce waste and streamline supply chain efficiencies. In the automotive industry alone additive manufacturing will be worth $1.1 billion by 2019, according to a market research study.

As more large companies turn to 3D printed parts, there’s an increasing need for technical standards. To this end, ISO and ASTM International have jointly developed the Additive Manufacturing Standards Development Structure.

The two organizations say the framework will help guide industry experts and standards development organizations. It will also identify standards-related gaps and needs in the additive manufacturing industry, and prevent duplicate efforts in developing additive manufacturing standards.

Trying to Solve the L.E.D. Quandary

Read the full story in the New Yorker.

Is there a workable business model for products that are built to last, rather than to fall apart? This is an idea that I explored here in July, in a story about the L.E.D. quandary. That quandary, in short: companies are making a good thing—light-emitting-diode bulbs that conserve energy and last for years—but they can’t make money in the long run from products that rarely need replacing. As global light sockets fill with L.E.D.s, century-old corporate titans are getting out of the bulb business even before “socket saturation” tips sales into a decline. The question remains whether any company has an incentive to make a product that is not designed to fall apart or become obsolete.

After that story ran, several newer, smaller firms reached out to me claiming to have solutions to the conundrum. Two seemed worth a deeper look: Cree, an L.E.D. specialist in the U.S.; and UrbanVolt, based in Dublin, Ireland. Both say that they no longer sell light bulbs but “light.” They exemplify two very different approaches to doing so.

Tools for alternatives assessment

This post originally appeared on the GLRPPR Blog.

One way that manufacturers can reduce their environmental impact is by replacing a toxic or hazardous process chemical with a less hazardous or non-hazardous one. The following resources are useful when trying to identify less toxic alternatives.

SUBSPORT: Substitution Support Portal

SUBSPORT is a free-of-charge, multilingual platform for information exchange on alternative substances and technologies, as well as tools and guidance for substance evaluation and substitution management. It includes:

Program for Assisting the Replacement of Industrial Solvents (PARIS III)

PARIS III, developed by U.S. EPA, is a desktop/laptop application that allows users to find mixtures of solvents with specific physical and chemical properties that also have relatively low environmental impacts. The software helps users find replacements for solvent mixtures that are currently being used in industrial processes but have dangerous environmental side effects. The software can also be used to find solvents with lower environmental impact when designing new industrial processes, as well as more benign solvents that can be added to harmful solvents favored by industry to help reduce the harmful environmental impact of their processes.

CleanerSolutions Database

The CleanerSolutions Database, developed by the Toxics Use Reduction Institute, helps users select an alternative cleaner that meets their needs. The information is based on lab testing done by TURI. Use the tool to find a cleaner for a particular contaminant; replace a solvent; identify products based on safety and environmental criteria; and search by vendor information.

P2OASys Tool to Compare Materials

Sometimes changing chemicals or processes can have unintended environmental and health impacts. TURI’s P2OASys is an Excel based tool that allows companies to assess the potential environmental, worker, and public health impacts of alternative technologies aimed at reducing toxics use. The goal is more comprehensive and systematic thinking about the potential hazards posed by current and alternative processes identified during the TUR planning process. The tool can help companies:

  •  Systematically examine the potential environmental and worker impacts of options, examining the total impacts of process changes, rather than simply those of chemical changes
  •  Compare options with current processes based on quantitative and qualitative factors.

Chemical Hazard Assessment Database

The Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse (IC2) Chemical Hazard Assessment Database enables users to search for GreenScreen® and Quick Chemical Assessment Tool (QCAT) assessments. The purpose of this tool is to promote awareness of assessments conducted on chemicals of high concern, facilitate transparency and discussion, and reduce duplication of effort. IC2 also has alternatives assessment resources, including a guide and links to other assessment materials.

Safer Chemical Ingredients List

The Safer Chemical Ingredients List (SCIL)is a list of chemical ingredients, arranged by functional-use class, that U.S. EPA’s Safer Choice Program has evaluated and determined to be safer than traditional chemical ingredients. This list is designed to help manufacturers find safer chemical alternatives that meet the criteria of the Safer Choice Program. Safer Choice also has other resources available for manufacturers.

Environmental, Health and Safety Data Resources

Although chemical manufacturers provide material safety data sheets with their chemicals, sometimes this information isn’t enough. TURI’s librarian created this guide to assist in researching environmental, health and safety information for chemicals.