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California State University, Long BeachCalifornia State University, Long Beach

Watch Your Waste

Though this site has concentrated mostly on presenting the recycling opportunities available at CSULB, we don't want to leave out waste reduction, one of the most important aspects of any effective waste management program. Waste reduction (also known as waste prevention) is the practice of minimizing or reducing waste generated from the start, in an effort to have less to discard or recycle at the end.

The key to any successful waste reduction practice is thinking ahead and determining the necessity of what you are generating. Listed below are a number of paper reduction tips to consider for the work place:

  • When preparing for a meeting where you need to provide printed information, determine in advance how many people are expected to attend and make copies based on that information.
  • Remember that a sheet of paper has two sides. Most photocopiers today have convenient double sided copying features that are easy to activate. Consistent use of this practice can cut your paper usage in half.
  • When creating handout slides for a PowerPoint presentation, put more than one slide on each page and double side the copies.
  • If you use an ink jet printer, consider using the blank side of previously used papers for printing when the document is for internal purposes or drafts. We don't recommend this technique for laser printers, as it can cause the toner cartridge to burn out faster.
  • Consider whether you need to produce hardcopies of information or whether you can simply distribute by email. And if you're on the receiving end of digital information, ask yourself whether you need to print the document or if it can be stored on your hard drive.
  • Think carefully about those on your distribution list and consider who truly needs the information you're disseminating. A quick phone call or email may reveal that the person you've been sending hardcopies to is no longer on campus. And while you're at it, find out whether the information you are providing is necessary to the people who are receiving it.