Businesses, governments, school districts, and nonprofit groups and organizations can now find out just how "green" they are for free.

Businesses, governments, school districts, and nonprofit groups and organizations can now find out just how "green" they are for free.

The Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio is introducing E-TRAC. The user-friendly online program collects, organizes, analyzes and reports information about environmental accomplishments. That information can also be helpful in controlling costs.

"As you track your information from month-to-month or year-to-year, the historical and seasonal data helps you make better business decisions about future trash hauling and recycling contracts," according to the SWACO announcement. Another benefit of E-TRAC, the announcement continued, is that participants will be able to chart how well they are doing when it comes to reducing global warming, based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency models.

"Over the years, we have encouraged businesses and organizations to tell their green story to the public," SWACO executive director Ron Mills said in a prepared statement. "We know those stories speak positive volumes to people and are a good marketing tool. We encourage businesses, governments, schools, and non-profits to get on board.

"E-TRAC is an easy process that can return many benefits."

No group can see another's information and each account is password-protected. Once a username and password are established, the survey and historical data can be revisited at any time.

Costs and activities can be monitored on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual basis.

When an organization enters information into the E-TRAC system, it is gathered by SWACO collectively. Those totals help SWACO report aggregate recycling and waste amounts for the district to the Ohio EPA.

To take advantage of SWACO's E-TRAC system, log on to www.swaco.org.