Greener Guidance: Cost-Saving Conservation Programs

Note: Greener Guidance is NACCHO’s environmental health advice column. See past columns here. Submit a question here.

September 2019

Dear Greener Guidance,

Have any public health departments developed programs to assist regulated facilities (such as restaurants, retail food establishments, food manufacturers, schools, childcare centers, swimming pools, etc.) save on operating costs through efficient energy and water use, reduced waste and overages?

– Concerned About Conservation

Dear Concerned,

Here are two examples of programs either run by or in coordination with health departments:


Ramsey/Washington Recycling & Energy, formed over 30 years ago by Ramsey and Washington Counties (MN), runs BizRecycling, a program to help local businesses start, expand, improve, and manage business recycling, including organic waste collection, such as food waste. 

BizRecycling connects businesses with recycling experts who can help identify recycling and waste reduction opportunities. They also offer:

  • free on-site consultations, technical assistance, expert advice and guidance;
  • free container labels for trash and recycling bins; and
  • business recycling grants of up to $10k per business to start or improve business recycling.

One example of a restaurant BizRecycling supported is Leo’s Grill and Malt Shop. According to owner Cory Buettner, “by composting the majority of our waste, we’re expecting to save at least $200 a month during the busy summer months and $100 a month during the winter.”

See more examples of BizRecycling in action here.

Partners for a Clean Environment

Boulder County Public Health (CO) runs Partners for a Clean Environment (PACE), a one-stop-shop for business sustainability in Boulder County. PACE provides free expert advisor services, incentives, and a certification program to help businesses measure and gain recognition for their successful progress in energy, waste, water, and transportation.

The PACE business sustainability advisors provide free personalized technical assistance, identifying opportunities that allow business to reduce costs, improve resource conservation, and strengthen their contribution to the local community and economy.

PACE has worked with more than 2,000 businesses across Boulder County to access rebates, incentives, and financing that help them realize their sustainability goals and make smart investments in their business operations.

Learn more about PACE here.

One thought on “Greener Guidance: Cost-Saving Conservation Programs

  1. Romeo Astronomo
    October 9, 2019 at 11:21 am

    Partnering with a recycling company and spearheading Partners for a Clean Environment are great examples of what local area health departments can do to make our environment cleaner and more efficient.

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