Every business generates waste and how that waste is managed is critical. You must strive to keep your organization’s waste away from landfills and identify opportunities to manage waste better. Implementing proper waste reduction strategies will make it easier for you.
Here are 5 waste reduction strategies that may come in handy
Measure the Waste
Measure the amount of waste that is being collected from different sites. It is common to weigh the skips and convey the amount to an organization via bills from the waste management company, but smaller bins or collections of sacks aren’t weighed or recorded. Carry out a quick visual assessment by examining the bins that are presented for collection.
Check before the collection truck arrives and see how full they are. Even if they are differently sized bins, just note down their sizes and estimate how full they are, and how often the waste is collected. Once you have all the required information, you will know exactly how much waste material your business produces within a given time frame.
Curb the Amount of Waste Going to Landfill
Most of the generated waste finds itself in landfills at the end of its journey. Landfill waste has severe economic as well as environmental impact. Moreover, it has a slow decomposition rate taking thousands of years, which means that several acres of land, which could otherwise be used for setting up industries or residential areas, will be effectively deemed as useless.
As a business, you must try to identify opportunities in the following:
- Reducing waste: Figure out different ways to reduce the overall waste when you obtain goods and services or change the way you operate that can help in reducing waste
- Reuse materials: Would other local businesses have a use for the waste materials you produce?
- Recycle materials: Identify all the recyclable materials that can be targeted for recycling
Identify Local Collectors
Having an idea of how much material your business produces over a stipulated period of time and the different kinds of materials that can be diverted from the landfill will help you identify the most suitable waste and recycling collection contractors. Check the list of private as well as local government recycling services, which include collection, transport or drop-off points in your city. You can also search by type of material and location to easily find the recycling services that would be suitable for your business or search for your local trash vallet for more information.
Understand Waste and Recycling Collection Contracts
It is important that you choose the most appropriate collection arrangement for the recoverable materials you produce. Ask your current waste service provider, whether he is a private operator or part of the local council, what is the most suitable collection arrangement for your business. When you are investigating what materials can be recycled, consider the impact your waste or recycling contract arrangements will have on your ability to recycle. For instance, make sure that your recycling bin is large enough to hold the waste for a week if the recycling is picked up on a weekly basis. If not, you can change your contract to have your bin picked up more often.
Evaluate your current contract offers and how it affects your waste and recycling practices. Consult with independent legal advice if necessary.
Invest in Trash Compactors
Trash compactors are an essential waste management tool. They help in reducing the trash volume, protecting against pests and dumpster divers, reduce odors and fire damage. They are divided into two primary categories defined based on the type of waste they are constructed to handle—wet or dry. Choose the one that would best suit your requirements.
Here are some additional waste reduction strategies which help both big and small businesses to reduce waste:
Run In-house Recycling Program:
Do you know most recycling centers accept wood, plastic, e-waste, and paper for recycling? Make your staff aware of this fact. And inform them about the nearby recycling bins. Educate them to run a recycling program to reduce the landfill contribution of your company.
Take Zero Waste Initiative:
Ask your employees to be aware of the kind of waste they create and get invested in the idea of causing minimum harm to the environment. That would mean finding more sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives to the current practices.
Give for Composting:
One of the best strategies for effective waste management is to use your organic waste for composting. This idea proves to be more viable for companies having nearby composting facilities. But otherwise also, composting organic waste is way more economical and profitable than letting it take up space in landfills.
Use Reusable Packaging:
Effective waste management starts with reducing waste. It’s better to use reusable plastic instead of single-use corrugated cardboard containers. It is one example. You can develop better ways to reduce waste according to your company’s operations.
Promote E-waste Collection:
Electronic waste is one of the most hazardous wastes around us. Keep a separate bin for collecting e-waste. Encourage employees to throw e-waste either from home or work in that bin. Appoint an e-waste vendor to collect waste from that bin regularly.
Minimize the Use of Paper:
The simplest answer to reducing waste in the 21st century of technology is to go paperless! You have emails and cloud-based systems to store your documents. So why take a print and sacrifice trees to make paper! Encourage your team and vendors to work with soft copies as much as possible.
Remove Single-use Plastic Cutlery:
Buy essential kitchen items and cutlery for your office pantry. Make a rule that one who uses the cutlery will wash it. In this way, you will cut the use of plastic glasses, cups, and plates. This step saves you and the environment from heaps of plastic waste.
Refill Printer Cartridges:
Refilling the printer cartages instead of buying new ones helps reduce waste costs significantly. It’s expensive to get new cartage. Also, your waste disposal cost of old cartage increases with new cartages. In every way, refilling existing cartage is more economical.
Ditch the Plastic Water Bottles:
Install a good quality water filter in your office and encourage your staff to bring reusable metal or glass bottles. This initiative saves money you spend on buying a plastic water bottle. Plus, you do a favor for the environment as well. A lot of fuel goes into manufacturing plastic, and a lot of pollution is also generated in the process.
Start With Single-stream Recycling:
It can be confusing for your staff to decide which waste goes into which bin initially. So start with single-stream recycling in your office. Afterward, your waste provider can educate your employees about which material goes in which bin. You can label the bin accordingly.
Put Signage on Every Bin:
Put understandable and straightforward signage on every trash bin. These labels or signs should be simple enough for your employees, vendors, and customers to understand. You can circulate the soft copies of which waste material will go in which bin with pictures to educate your team.
Include Your Customers:
Let your customers know that one of your organization’s primary goals is to eliminate waste for sustainability. Be sure that the recycling bins you put in your front office are according to your business’s material. In this way, your customers can also contribute to your efforts.
Donate Unwanted or Surplus Items:
When you clear your warehouse once a year, it unnecessarily loads your dumpster. But your trash can be someone’s treasure. So donate those things which can be reused. You can call local charities to take your stuff.
Reuse & Recycle Cardboard:
Cardboard is an inevitable packaging material. It can be stored and reused later, eliminating a lot of packaging waste. But if they are too many to be stacked in your storage, you can consider recycling them. Your space gets free, and your business may qualify for OCC rebates.
Keep your waste to a minimum and follow good waste management practices to handle the generated waste in a proper way.
Compactor Management Company (former Northern California Compactors, Inc.) offers installation and support services for waste recycling equipment such as trash compactors, balers, shredders & conveyor systems. Established in 1981, it offers waste management solutions across the United States.