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Home > Garbage and Recycling > Recycling At Your Business  

Garbage And Recycling: Recycling At Your Business

recycling
We will never pretend to know your business better than you. Therefore, we won't waste your time telling you how to run it. Our mission: to help you come up with a plan that best fits your needs without hurting the bottom line.

 

The bottom line:
It's a simple formula.

Money in - Money out = The bottom line.

     The common perception is that a recycling program at a business will have a negative impact on the bottom line. Many companies are finding that with a few simple changes they can actually enhance that bottom line while diverting waste from the landfill.
     We ask you to consider taking a new integrated approach to your company's waste.

Asset or Liability?
For a long time, it has been easier (and cheaper) to pile up your company's waste, and pay to have someone pick it up and take it away. That makes your company waste a liability. Recycling programs in the past have added labor costs, space allocation costs and the cost to have someone take it away. Therefore, the program is a liability on top of a liability.
     There is another way to think about this. Everything that comes into your loading bay is your company's property. When that property has reached the end of it's current usefulness, it is your decision to consider it a liability or an asset.
     You don't have to recycle everything. The goal here, is to lessen your waste liability, nothing more. If you become a "zero landfill contributor" in the process, that's great.

Where can we start?
At the beginning, of course. What we mean is that your waste doesn't even start at your company, it starts at your vendors. Some materials will come on pallets, in boxes, wrapped in plastic or even protected in foam.
     We are not suggesting you change vendors or change anything about the quality of product you create. We merely suggest you ask a few questions.
  • Can the materials be delivered safely (without breakage) with less packaging?

  • Can your vendor take back some or all of the packaging on their next delivery?

  • Can we use some of the vendors packaging for our own shipping?

  • Is this packaging commonly recyclable? If so, can we make arrangements to drop off or pick up?
Special Note: Your customers might ask these questions of you as well.

Key locations:
Identify where the biggest waste events happen on your property. Here we mean the places at your company that create the largest amount of discarded materials. These materials could be solid, liquid or airborne. For many businesses this could be at the printer, the bathroom, the middle of an assembly line or even outside the building. 
     For many companies the "shipping/receiving" area is one of the biggest "waste event" areas. Discard decisions are made all the time in this area. Therefore, the shortest path to the dumpster is usually from "shipping/receiving".

Key location evaluation:
Now that you have identified the key locations of the larger waste events at your company, it is time to ask some basic questions.
  • What is the mix of discard (% paper, % plastic, etc)?

  • Can this key location be moved closer to the dumpster location?

  • Can this discard be easily* used/reused at this location?

  • Can this discard be easily* used/reused anywhere else on the property (or in the company)?

  • Does this discard have a potential to be used as/in a new product for our company?

  • Is this discard of value to any of our employees (and can they remove it themselves)?

  • Is this discard of value to neighboring businesses?

  • Is this discard of value to any other person/business?

  • Can any other person/business come pick this up?
* "easily" means "with little or no extra resource allocation".

     Notice we use the word "value" in several questions. A resource that has value becomes an asset of your company. If anything else, this can allow you to have smaller dumpsters or fewer pick-ups or both, saving your company money.

Relationships:
During the process of "key location evaluation" you may create relationships with local recyclers, vendors, collectors and entrepreneurs. Some of these relationships may change over time.
     Therefore, we encourage you to re-evaluate these relationships periodically. This will help your business see alternatives that may not have existed when you first implemented your plan. You may even find an alternative that provides more value to your company.

Space and the path out:
Space is limited. The goal would be to make this "key location" take up no more space than it does now (or less). However, if you need to have separate containers for the different discards, we encourage you to make them fit in the same location. This could mean stacking containers or containers with smaller footprints.
      Ideally, collection of retasked material and garbage should be done at the same time and be taken to the same area.
     Bear in mind, your company may be able to have fewer or smaller dumpsters after these changes. Therefore, space for retasked materials will be available.
     If you have contracted janitorial services, you will want to coordinate your efforts with them.

 

Items in our "Waste and Recycling" section.

  • Recycle Centers:
    Home Recycling ________________
  • Composters:
    Home Recycling ________________
  • Vermicomposters:
    Home Recycling ________________
  • Garbage Bags:
    Home Recycling ________________
  • Recycle Kits:
    Home Recycling ________________

 

 

 

  
Check out these pages for more details:
 
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