What is the one activity that helps businesses improve the world and save money? Well, it’s a one-word answer – Recycling. If you are a small business owner, you understand the importance of maximizing profits and minimizing costs for scaling your business. When you focus on recycling, you not only minimize the amount of waste you generate and send to the landfills, but you can identify various areas where you can cut back on purchases and save more money.
10 Ways You Can Successfully Conduct Recycling in Small Business
- Make Recycling an Ongoing Process
Take the pledge to make recycling an ongoing and regular process in your business. Be a part of the ‘Recycling at Work’ pledge, which is a national voluntary initiative that promotes the actions of businesses, government agencies and institutions to increase recycling in their respective workplaces. When you become a partner with this initiative, you can access free tools and resources that will help you recycle more. Further, you can increase employee participation and earn recognition.
- Include All Departments
Every department in your organization plays a critical role in contributing to recycling. When you develop recycling strategies, include key departments such as IT, procurement, administration, operations and facilities maintenance as they are fundamental to the success of your recycling program. Assign a Recycling Team Leader who would be responsible for coordinating and implementing recycling initiatives in your workplace. Offer them clear goals, required tools and resources, and support from the management.
- Audit Regularly
Conduct a waste audit and assess how much waste and the types of recyclables your office is generating. Analyze how much of that waste is being recycled and how much is being discarded. By using this information, you can improve the current recycling program and identify various potential cost-savings and revenue opportunities.
- Plan, Plan, Plan
Spend time in developing a solid plan before you put the recycling initiatives to work. Start by identifying all the materials that should be recycled and which materials form the major portion of your waste stream. Set clear recycling goals and discuss various collection methods with all the teams. You must consider the location, size, type and number of recycling bins present in your facility and identify opportunities that would make recycling easier for your employees. Review the logistics of the recycling program and keep an eye out for helpful recycling tips that could be implemented efficiently.
- Make Recycling Easy
You can expect all the employees to recycle more if you make it easy for them. Ensure that the recycling bins are accessible to every employee. Simple steps like keeping a recycling bin next to every garbage can and marking the recycling bins clearly will go a long way. Put up recycling bins based on the materials that need to be collected and the location’s space constraints.
- Endorse the Recycling Programs
Bring in the top management to make all the employees aware of the new recycling programs. You can endorse them in various ways, either by sending out a memo, organizing a recycling drive, publicizing using promotional posters or writing an article for your Company newsletter or blog.
- Monitor Progress
If you do not monitor the progress of the existing recycling programs, you will never know if you are achieving the recycling goals or if you need to make any changes to the existing plans. Regular monitoring will help in identifying and correcting problems. Encourage your employees to help you with the same and take their useful suggestions into account.
- Publicize Success
Do not keep the recycling successes to yourself. If you have experienced any kind of success, regardless of its magnitude, share it with your employees, customers, media and all your stakeholders. Recognize individual efforts of your employees and send them a letter of appreciation from the top management of the Company. Look for opportunities to receive recognition and appreciation through local government programs and national programs like ‘Recycling at Work’, for your recycling efforts.
- Use Recycled Products
Use recycled products in your facility instead of just recycling waste. You can use recycled printer paper, note pads and other supplies. Notify your suppliers that your organization would prefer products made from consumer recycled products.
- Encourage Everyone to Recycle
Make sure every member of the organization contributes to recycling. Encourage them to recycle in any way they can and invite at least one other organization to be a part of the ‘Recycling at Work’ pledge.
Economical Benefits of Recycling
- Advantages for Businesses
It costs less to make products using recycled materials. For instance, it costs twice as much to produce fresh aluminum as compared to recycled aluminum. Moreover, if you want to manufacture aluminum from scratch, you would require 90% more energy to extract aluminum from the raw forms!
By recycling more, you ensure that less waste goes into the landfill or an incinerator. Communities can save on expensive waste disposal costs. By selling recycled materials, communities can offset the cost of their waste disposal and further reduce their expenditure. The saved landfill space can be used for other purposes.
- Advantages for Communities
Recycling creates numerous job opportunities in various areas like transport, processing, sorting and selling recovered materials. Every recycling unit provides job opportunities for thousands of people in the community. Throwing away 10,000 tons of trash will create jobs for six to seven people at maximum. However, if you choose to recycle the same amount of waste, you help in creating approximately thirty-five jobs!
Local communities can also avail a number of recycling benefits. Recycling helps local residents get paid for items that they no longer use, without having to discard them. It can make communities stronger through simple and efficient recycling programs. When people put in a collective effort in proper waste disposal, it helps in making their towns cleaner and happier.