Reduction Checklist

The following checklist offers tips to reduce hazardous waste in specific business activities.

See Hazardous Waste Resources and Pollution Prevention for ideas and additional resources to help identify pollution prevention strategies specific to your business. Visit the Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) web site for a wide range of industry specific fact sheets and resources, or call (612) 624-1300.

Plant Operations

  • Do you evaluate all product samples for environmental, health and safety concerns before the products are brought into your business?
  • Do you follow the "first in, first out" practice to maintain fresh product inventory and avoid costly disposal?
  • Do you repair machines that leak oil to reduce cleanup and disposal of oil contaminated wastes?
  • Are losses resulting from inadequate cleaning, unacceptable product or ruined baths routinely evaluated to reduce or eliminate these wastes?

Solvent Cleaning

  • Is solvent cleaning necessary or would water-based cleaning work just as well?
  • Do you have standardized parts cleaning procedures that ensure your solvent is completely spent before disposal?
  • Have you investigated filtration or distillation as a means to reuse solvent?
  • Do you keep solvent cleaning baths or tanks closed to minimize solvent losses when not in use?


  • Are oil contamination and metal chips routinely removed from your coolant?
  • Is a maintenance program in place to extend the useful life of your coolant?
  • Do you repair machine oil leaks to reduce oil contamination of your coolant?

Vehicle Maintenance and Repair

  • Are you using equipment designed to prevent spills? Consider adjustable roll-about oil drainers, large dedicated drain pans for antifreeze, flexible funnels, and adjustable brake cleaner sinks.
  • Do technicians routinely recover spills using tools such as squeegees and dust pans before resorting to rags or absorbents?
  • Is your inventory clearly labeled? Are bulk materials dispensed with dedicated fill containers to eliminate unnecessary cleanup and needless disposal of unused product?
  • Do you purchase liquids in bulk? Consider using refillable aerosol or pump spray containers that cost less, reduce pollution and avoid troublesome aerosol can disposal.

Auto Body Repair

  • Are painters trained to properly set up spray equipment according to product recommendations, and then make adjustments for paint, booth conditions and part configurations?
  • Is attention paid to fan pattern, lead and lag triggering to reduce overspray, spray distance and overlap while spraying?
  • Is paint first drained from lines or removed from cups and canisters in order to minimize the amount of solvent used for cleaning?
  • Is a gun washer used to minimize waste while cleaning spray guns?

Industrial Painting

  • Have you investigated the possibility of using water-based paint or powder coating?
  • Is a tracking system in place that allows you to size batches of paint to individual jobs, thus leaving little unused paint that may need disposal as a hazardous waste?
  • Are your paint spraying operations optimized to reduce overspray, taking into account such factors as pressure, use of the proper gun tip, distance from parts and gun angle?