Ensure that your custodians are dumping mop water indoors. To make it easy, install a floor sink for them to discharge the mop water. This will ensure the dirty water gets treated instead of going straight to the Bay.
When evaluating or choosing new
cleaning products, some good resources include:
- Look for a 3rd party
product certification. Three that you can rely on include: Green
Seal, EcoLogo and Design for the Environment.
- City of San Francisco’s Department of the Environment has evaluated a wide range of products. Go to: http://www.sfapproved.org/
- For cleaning in the office kitchen, washing dishes, and hand sanitizers, here's an info source: www.goodguide.com.
- Some local vendors, such as Give Something Back, Radston's and Blaisdell's, can assist with 'green' choices.
- For the office kitchen, look for manufacturers such as Seventh Generation, Bio-Kleen and Ecover.
- Avoid hand soaps and dishwashing liquid labeled “antibacterial”.
- Some local vendors, such as Give Something Back, Radston's, greenoffice.com, and Blaisdell's can assist with 'green' choices.
Lighting is often the most-effective way to reduce energy demand, and the incentives make the changes an even better deal. In almost all tenant/landlord relationships, the tenant has a good degree of control over the lighting. Therefore, many energy requirements may be on the lighting side. The San Francisco Green Business Program is well ahead of the curve: we do not allow incandescent lighting for use in recognized green businesses, except when used for spot lighting in a retail environment. There is talk of outlawing incandescent lighting in the state, so now is a good time to get started.
How to document: Save and scan all receipts of compact florescent lamps, cold cathode lamps and other efficient lighting purchases. Also, have spare bulbs and lamps ready for auditors so they don’t have to inspect installed fixtures.
Contact your county's Household Hazardous Waste or Small Quantity Hazardous Waste Generator Program, or ask your Green Business Coordinator about proper disposal.
a. If your business generates no more than 27 gallons or 220 pounds or hazardous waste per month, then your business qualifies as a Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator (CESQG) and can recycle your hazardous waste at the City of Ventura’s monthly collection event on the third Saturday of each month. Call 805-652-4525 for more information.
b. If your business is a large quantity generator, you must have a licensed hazardous waste hauler remove and properly dispose of those items.
c. Ensure all employees are trained on which hazardous materials are used.
Printing on previously used paper can save your business money on paper costs and reduce your carbon footprint. Keep a stack of GOOS (Good On One Side) paper to print anything that requires less than a page.
How to Document: Take pictures of each one of your GOOS bins.
Set all company computers to print default double-sided. You will save resources and money by reducing the amount of paper used. You can also instruct staff to use size reduction features or print multiple pages per sheet to further reduce paper consumption.
Windows: Control Panel à Printers and Faxes - Right click on the desired printer - Select Printing Preferences…- In the Document Options area of the Finishing tab, check the box labeled “Print on Both Sides”
All San Francisco Green Businesses must use toilets with 1.6 gallons or less flush volume. ULFTs and HETs are approved for use.
ULFT's: In 1994 new water conserving toilets, called ultra-low-flush toilets (ULFT's) were required in all new construction. ULFT's use 1.6 gallons per flush and are much more water efficient than older toilets, which use up to 7 gallons per flush. Each installed ULFT can save a typical family 70 gallons a day in water use.
A number of commercial ULFTs are available in a range of rough-in sizes and shapes. Both wall-mount and floor-mount 1.6 gallon per flush toilets are readily available. The efficiency of a Flushometer and bowl combination toilet depends mainly upon the right combination and regular maintenance of the flushometer valve.
HET's: High-Efficiency toilets (HET) are fairly new to the American market but have long been used overseas. The HET flushes at least 20% below the standard model. Many HET's are dual-flush toilets, which have two separate flush volume options, a half flush (.8 gallons) and a full flush (1.6 gallons).
SFPUC currently offers a $125 rebate for replacing your pre-1994 water-guzzling toilet with an approved tank-style HET.
There are several industrial flushometer HET's on the market, and over a dozen have passed performance standards set by the CUWCC (California Urban Water Conservation Council). SFPUC offers financial incentives of up to $200 per fixture for installing qualifying flushometer valve/bowl combinations.
How to document: Take a picture of all toilets and each flow rate (this usually can be found on the base near the hinges of the seat – see picture below):
Computers are serious energy consumers, especially considering the amount of time they sit unused while you are at a meeting, lunch, or even home for the evening. Many people assume that the screen savers indicate that the computer is in low power mode, but in fact there is little savings. Still others believe that turning the computer off and on uses more energy. Neither is true. In order to ensure that your systems are powered down, take the following steps:
- Windows: Look under Start window, then Settings, then control panels, then power management. From here decide how long the computer would wait until turning off the monitor (mine is set at 10 minutes) and the CPU (mine is set at 30 minutes).
- Apple system: go to ‘System Preferences' à ‘Energy Saver' à ‘Sleep'. From here you can either set a threshold for the entire system (monitor and CPU) or for each component separately. For the green business program, monitors should sleep after 15 minutes, and CPUs after 30 minutes. If you are a very large business with an IT manager dedicated to installing software through the network, consider network power management. SF Environment can provide more information on these tools.
There are rebates available through SF Energy Watch for network-enabled computer power management.
Using a motion or occupancy sensor on vending machines allows the machine on enter standby mode and turn display lights off until a customer approaches the machine. Placing vending machines in the shade is more efficient in terms of the amount of cooling required over a location in direct sunlight.
How to document: Save and scan receipts from all motion sensor purchases. Also, take a picture of the installed sensor.
The SF Green Business program allows no T12 lamps or magnetic ballasts, and the City of San Francisco will soon outlaw them as well. The T12/magnetic ballast combination uses more energy, has higher levels of toxic materials, and puts out less light. Get rid of these systems before it's too late!
Replacing T-12 (1.5” diameter) fluorescent lighting with T-8 (1” diameter) or T-5 lamps (5/8” diameter) can save over 20 kWh per lamp per year and provide similar, if not better lighting. T-8 and T-8 lamps typically use more efficient electronic ballasts, which also provide considerable savings over traditional magnetic ballasts used with T-12 lamps.
How to document: Save and scan receipts from all T-8 and T-5 purchases, electronic ballast purchases and installation service records.
The San Francisco green business program requires that energy efficient exit signs be used in businesses seeking certification. It is sometimes difficult to tell which kind you have without opening the sign. Look for a strip of tiny red or green lights to indicate that you have an LED sign, one or two two-pin bulbs that indicate you have an incandescent sign, or two bulbs that look like compact fluorescents to indicate a CFL sign. The incandescent bulbs are usually 15-25 W each, and are labeled as such.
For spaces with variable occupancy, like restrooms, conference, rooms, storage rooms, hotel bathrooms, and lockers, consider using occupancy sensors. When doing a survey of your facility's energy use, look for places where lights are on and no one is home. If these are spaces that are empty for long periods and have short bursts of use, they could be a good fit for an occupancy sensor. There are many options for the sensors: most used in commercial settings have a sensor integrated into the switch. In guest bathrooms, you might use a sensor with an integrated LED nightlight, so that guests don't have to leave the light on in order to find their way to the restroom at night. For spaces with one owner (like a private office) it is simpler and cheaper to educate the users to turn off lights themselves.
How to document: Take pictures/video of installed occupancy sensors.
BPI (Biodegradable Products Institute) certified bags are compostable by scientifically based standards that ensure they will biodegrade in large composting facilities. Other products labeled “biodegradable” may not decompose as fast as organic material and will be left intact in otherwise useable compost.
How to document: Save and scan all receipts of BPI Certified Compostable Products purchases.
Use only durable dishes, both at your facility and
Demonstrate your environmental commitment to reduce energy and natural resource
consumption, and reduce ongoing financial costs of disposable food ware.
For restaurants with take-out containers and cutlery see the Environmentally Preferable Purchasing section below. Absolutely no polystyrene (Styrofoam) can be used in your business according to a City-wide ban.
If you are in a larger building, the maintenance contract must include maintenance of any economizers and specify two maintenance visits per year (we will need to see a copy of this contract). For smaller buildings, replace disposable filters (or clean permanent ones) every 6 months (do so every 3-4 months if there is significant amount of dirt). This must be done by either you or your landlord.
Purchasing post consumer waste (PCW) paper products can
significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions over new paper production.
Each ream of 100% PCW purchased paper
saves about 31 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions over 0% PCW paper.
How to Document: Upload pictures of packaging, or receipts and invoices showing PCW paper purchase.
#1 PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) – This plastic is used in soft drink bottles and other blow-molded containers,
strapping, molding compounds, and food and non food containers. (American Plastics Council, adapted from Modern Plastics Encyclopedia, 1995.) Fizzy drink bottles, oven-ready meal trays and water bottles
#2 HDPE (High-density polyethylene) – Examples include milk jugs, juice bottles, film (trash bags, agricultural film, T-shirts, bags), trash cans, and toys. (American Plastics Council, adapted fromModern Plastics Encyclopedia, 1995)
Milk bottles, detergent bottles, yogurt and margarine tubs, cereal box liners and grocery, trash and retail bags
#3 PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) – Vinyl products can be broadly divided into rigid and flexible materials. Rigid applications, accounting for 60 percent of total vinyl production, are concentrated in construction markets, which include pipe and fittings, siding, carpet backing, and windows. Bottles and packaging sheet are also major rigid markets. Flexible vinyl is used in wire and cable insulation, film and sheet, floor coverings, synthetic leather products, coatings, blood bags, medical tubing and many other applications. (American Plastics Council, adapted fromModern Plastics Encyclopedia, 1995).
#4 LDPE (Low-density polyethylene) – Dry cleaning bags, produce bags, trash can liners, bread bags, frozen food bags and squeezable bottles, such as mustard and honey
#5 PP (Polypropylene) – is found in everything from flexible and rigid packaging to fibers and large molded parts for automotive and consumer products. (Adapted from Modern Plastics Encyclopedia, 1995; Plastic Packaging Opportunities and Challenges, American Plastics Council, 1992.) Ketchup bottles, medicine bottles, aerosol caps and drinking straws
#6 PS (Polystyrene) – Typical applications include protective packaging, containers, lids, cups, bottles, trays and tumblers ("Plastic Packaging Opportunities and Challenges," American Plastics Council, 1992).
#7 Other - Three- and five-gallon reusable water bottles, certain kinds of food containers and Tupperware, everything else.
- Change the oil as recommended by manufacturer
and use the specified oil range. Because the oil is in contact with moving
parts of the engine, thicker oil will slow those parts down and decrease fuel
economy and thinner oil leads to faster wear and shorted vehicle life. As oil
gets dirty, it gets thicker and does not lubricate well, so your vehicle will
get poor mileage and more wear on the engine.
- Keep tires properly inflated. Under-inflated tires increase resistance and decrease fuel economy. Overinflated tires wear more and will need to be replaced sooner.
- Drive sensibly and obey the speed limit. Aggressive driving is not only unsafe, it wastes gas and takes a toll on your vehicle. Accelerate slowly and use the engine to slow your vehicle down instead of using your brakes. When your foot is not on the gas but the car is in gear, it is using the kinetic energy to move the car rather than the chemical energy of combustion. The longer you can keep your foot off the accelerator, the less gas you will use.
- Remove excess weight from your vehicle. The more your car weighs, the more energy is required to move it.
- Do not idle. Idling achieves you zero miles to the gallon.
- Planning your trips well can save a lot of time and money. Combining errands and driving outside of rush hours are a great way to drive less. Catalytic converters work best when they are warm, so many short trips when the car is cold produces very poor emissions.
Medical Waste Management Act, Health and Safety Code
· Section 118275 (g) Pharmaceutical Waste must be placed in a container labeled “INCINERATION ONLY”. Both sharps non-sharps approved pharmaceutical waste containers are available through your medical waste hauler.
· Containers with less than 3% of original total volume are considered as either holding trace amounts or empty. These containers can be placed in the regular trash (please note, this does not apply to RCRA hazardous wastes)
· Small amounts of liquid pharmaceutical wastes may be dumped on a special absorbent pad placed inside a pharmaceutical waste container -- the empty syringe may then be disposed of in sharps container or empty vial disposed of in the regular trash. If the needle is removed (must be placed in a sharps container) from the empty syringe the latter may be discarded in the trash.
Contact your Medical Waste Hauler to obtain absorbent pads.
· 118280(e) Dispose of full containers within 90 days, and remove at least once a year.
Hazardous Wastes (RCRA)
· Certain pharmaceuticals (i.e. expired crash cart meds and unused chemotherapy) meet guidelines for ignitability, corrosivity, toxicity, or flammability and are hazardous wastes under the Federal Resource Recovery and Conservation Act (RCRA). These wastes and empty containers MUST be segregated from pharmaceutical waste. Large quantity generators (100 kg or more per month) must obtain a Federal EPA ID number and have the waste picked up by a Federally approved Hazardous Waste hauler. Small quantity generators must obtain a Cal EPA ID from the California Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) and may drop their hazardous waste off at their local Household Hazardous Waste Collection Sites for a fee.
Useful web links:
County of Santa Cruz Household Hazardous Waste Drop-off center
California Department of Toxic Substance Control:
Appendix B – Medical
CA Health and Safety Code Section 117700 NOT Medical Waste:
(c) Urine, feces, saliva, sputum, nasal secretions, sweat, tears, or vomitus, unless it contains fluid blood, as provided in subdivision (d) of Section 117635.
(d) Waste which is not biohazardous, such as paper towels, paper products, articles containing non-fluid blood, and other medical solid waste products commonly found in the facilities of medical waste generators.
(d) Hazardous waste, radioactive waste, or household waste, including, but not limited to, home-generated sharps waste, as defined in Section 117671
Section 117635 Biohazardous Wastes Defined:
(d) Waste…containing recognizable fluid blood, fluid blood products, containers or equipment containing blood that is fluid, or blood from animals known to be infected with diseases which are highly communicable to humans
(e) Waste containing discarded materials contaminated with excretion, exudates, or secretions from humans or animals that are required to be isolated by the infection control staff, the attending physician, and surgeon…veterinarian, or the local health officer, to protect others from highly communicable diseases….
(f) (2)….chemotherapeutic agent means an agent that kills or prevents the reproduction of malignant cells.
(3)…a container, or inner liner, removed from a container, which previously contained a chemotherapeutic agent, is empty if the container or inner liner removed from the container has been emptied by the generator as much as possible, using methods commonly employed to remove waste or material from containers or liners, so that the following conditions are met:
(A) If the material which the container or inner liner held is pourable, no material can be poured or drained from the container or inner liner when held in any orientation, including, but not limited to, when tilted or inverted.
(B) If the material which the container or inner liner held is not pourable, no material or waste remains in the container or inner liner that can feasibly be removed by scraping.
(g) Waste that is hazardous only because it is comprised of pharmaceuticals, as defined in Section 11747. Notwithstanding subdivision (a) of Section 117690, medical waste includes biohazardous waste that meets the conditions of this subdivision. Biohazardous waste that meets the conditions of this subdivision is not subject to Chapter 6.5 (commencing with Section 25100) of Division 20
Section 117690 - Medical Waste:
(a) “Medical waste” means waste which meets both of the following requirements:
(1) The waste is composed of waste which is generated or produced as a result of any of the following actions:
(A) Diagnosis, treatment, or immunization of human beings or
(B) Research pertaining to (A) above.
(C) Production or testing of biologicals.
(D) The accumulation of properly contained home-generated sharps waste that is brought by a patient, a member of the patient’s family, or by a person authorized by the enforcement agency, to a point of consolidation approved by the enforcement agency pursuant to Section 117904 or authorized pursuant to Section 11847.
(2) The waste is either of the following:
(A) Biohazardous Waste.
(B) Sharps Waste.
Section 118275 (g) Pharmaceutical Waste must be placed in a container labeled “INCINERATION
ONLY”. Both sharps non-sharps approved pharmaceutical waste containers are available through your medical waste hauler.
The City of Watsonville would like its green businesses to have the highest salt efficiency commercially available for water softeners.
Typically that includes a demand initiated regeneration (usually controlled by a electrical conductivity sensor).
The softener should be certified by NSF or ANSI to have a salt efficiency of no less than 3,350 grains of hardness removed per pound of salt used if installed in 1/1/2000 or later, or no less than 4,000 grains of hardness removed per pound of salt used for regeneration if installed after 1/1/2002.
Businesses can use a portable exchange tank service instead of regenerating onsite, which would waive the requirement to switch to potassium chloride.
The Green Business Program requires that janitorial chemicals be listed on one of these three approved websites: GreenSeal.org, SFApproved.org, or EPA Design for the Environment.
See County’s Recycling Resources Guide or visit their website at www.LessIsMore.org for firms that accept these materials.
Use light switch reminders to remind customers and staff to turn off lights.
Be sure to discuss any planned measures that involve chemical, equipment, or process changes with your local regulators (wastewater districts, hazardous materials, fire, or wastewater or air districts). They may have regulations or concerns that need to be addresses. Involving them from the start as part of your project “team” can save you time and money by eliminating the need for “changes” at a later date-and they may have ideas on how to avoid the need for permits/conditions altogether.
Share the savings on these benefits! Employers may save as much as 7.65% on payroll taxes per participating employee. See www.rideshare.511.org/rideshare_rewards/ for information on this and all alternative transit programs.
An improperly tuned car produces 10-15 times more pollution than a tuned one. Each person driving alone to work creates more than two tons of auto exhaust each year. If every commuter car in the U.S. carried just one more passenger, we would save 6,000,000 gallons of gasoline and reduce air emissions by 12 million pounds of carbon dioxide every day!
The storm drain system is separate from the sanitary sewer system, and pollutants that enter these drains flow directly into creeks and the bay without treatment. Educate personnel about this difference and the importance of not letting contaminants enter storm drains.
All businesses are required to prevent anything except rainwater from entering storm drains from any of the following activities or sources:
- Loading docks
- Dumpster areas
- Outdoor working areas
- Storage areas
- Cleaning equipment/tools
- Pre-painting preparations
- Power-wash water
- Washing vehicles
- Cleaning parking lots
- Monitor subcontractors to ensure their activities are not polluting storm drains.
- Prevent erosion during all landscape, construction or other activities.
If you currently have toilets with 3.5 gallons per flush (gpf) or more and you replace it with an EPA WaterSense Labeled High Efficiency Toilet (HET), which uses 1.3 gallons per flush or less you can receive a rebate. The following link takes you directly to the HET rebate application: http://bawsca.org/docs/HET_Application_FY_12-13.pdf
If you replaced your toilet that was 3.5 gpf to 1.6 gpf in the last 5 years you will not be asked at this time to switch to the 1.28 gfp until your re-certification in 3 years. There are no rebates available for replacing 1.6 gpf with a 1.28 gpf.
If you have further questions, please contact your Green Business Program coordinator.
San Francisco’s goal is Zero Waste by 2020. You can recycle or compost just about anything in San Francisco and save your business money. Here are some actions you can take to work towards a Zero Waste Future:
1. Make recycling and compost bins readily available to employees and customers and remove black bins from your office.
2. Use the sign-maker at SFEnvironment.org/signmaker to make your custom zero waste signs.
3. Conduct regular trainings for your staff on materials that belong in each bin. Send electronic reminders to your staff on items that (you find) are often placed in the wrong bin (such as coffee cup sleeves, soiled napkins etc).
batteries, electronics, fluorescent lights, plastic bags, and/or scrap metal
for proper disposal with a small, well-marked bin near the waste stations.
How to document: Take pictures of your bins and signage.
Lavatory sink flow rates shall not exceed the federal code of 0.5 gallons per minute (EPAct 1992, EPAct 2005).
The following information was copied from this link: http://www.nctr.usf.edu/programs/clearinghouse/commutebenefits/
Qualified transportation fringe benefits (Section 132(f) of the Internal Revenue Code) or “Commuter Tax Benefits” are like money in the bank. Employers save on payroll related taxes. Employees save on federal income taxes.
In 2013, under the fiscal cliff deal, Congress changed the effective date of Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefits (Section 132(f)) and extended its end date through December 31, 2013. The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 now provides the option for most employers to provide transit and vanpool tax free benefits to their employees up to $245* per month. Previously, under the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, employers may provide workers with up to $240 per month in tax-free transit and commuter highway vehicle (e.g., vanpool) benefits. The Act made this change effective as of January 1, 2012.** Prior to this change, the maximum level for transit and vanpool benefits was $125 per month for 2012
The monthly limitation under Section 132(f)(2)(A) Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefits regarding the aggregate fringe benefit exclusion amount for vanpools (commuter highway vehicles) and transit passes is $245. The monthly limitation under Section 132(f)(2)(B) regarding the fringe benefit exclusion amount for qualified parking is $245. Commuters can receive both the transit and parking benefits (i.e., up to $490 per month). Employers can allow employees to use pretax dollars to pay for transit passes, vanpool fares and parking but not for bicycle benefits.
Employers that subsidize at least $30 per month for transit or vanpool fares may meet the National Standard of Excellence and qualify for designation under NCTR’s Best Workplaces for Commuters.
Use shop towels, sending to an industrial laundry service with rags or squeegees.
Medium and Large Spills:
· Clean larger oil spills with a hydrophobic mop, Pig, pad or squeegee/dust pan for spills containing oil. Wring out into a dedicated mop bucket labeled as “Waste Oil.” Hydrophobic mops will not pick up antifreeze
· Use a regular mop for spills containing antifreeze. Wring out into a dedicated mop bucket labeled as “Waste Antifreeze.”
· Do not reuse regular mop water over and over (use once).
· Use a shop towel to clean up any residuals on the floor
· Floors may be wet mopped only after using the above methods. Dispose of mop water to the sanitary sewer as long as it meets local discharge limits (pH is not too high).