Director’s Column – From the Source – Fall 1996

Looking Back

On October 1, 1996, the Pollution Prevention Assistance Division (P2AD) celebrated its third birthday. During these first three years, the Division, in response to over seven hundred requests, has provided a wide variety of non-regulatory, technical assistance to Georgia’s industries, businesses, and citizens. Conversely, my associates and I have enjoyed the opportunity to work throughout the state with these companies and learn more about successful applications of pollution prevention programs. Several examples include:

  • two companies that have instituted internal pollution prevention awards and recognition programs. These programs encourage healthy competition among different branches or locations of the company to be the best in reducing waste and saving money;
  • another client/partner has used employee teams at several different locations to effect a reduction in solid waste being sent to the landfill of over 22% in just one year;
  • one client/partner has begun conversion of solvent parts washers to aqueous parts washers in their facility, and they estimate over $50,000 savings in the first year.

As these and many other efforts have proven, whole-hearted adoption of pollution prevention techniques can improve the economic bottom line of business, as well as having a positive affect on the environmental impact of the business. Remember, we here at P2AD are always happy to participate in, or hear of pollution prevention successes in Georgia. If you have a story to share, please feel free to contact Jancie Hatcher, our information manager, with more details.

As you may remember from reading the last issue of From the Source, P2AD has just kicked off the Pollution Prevention Partners (P3) recognition program. This program provides a more formalized way for you to share your pollution prevention stories with us.

Looking Forward

Earlier in 1996, the Department of Natural Resources completed a strategic planning process. As part of this process, P2AD looked both back on our past accomplishments and forward to achieving new goals and undertaking additional activities. While we will retain our core technical assistance programs, several new programs are on their way.

Perhaps the most broadly applicable of these is our increased attention to solid waste in Georgia. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between P2AD, the Environmental Protection Division, and the Department of Community Affairs has been developed. The Division has received additional responsibilities in the areas of commercial, institutional, and industrial non-hazardous solid waste.

We also have several programs under development which will provide assistance to local governments, who in turn are expected to use their enhanced expertise and new information to promote pollution prevention and best management practices to their corporate and private citizens. These programs include household hazardous waste prevention and management, used automotive fluids and filters recycling, and radon awareness.

We are proud of what the Division has been able to accomplish over the last three years. However, those accomplishments represent only the foundation and framework for addressing what we believe are significant issues and wonderful opportunities in the area of voluntary waste minimization.