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Reducing Waste in the Workplace
Americans generate approximately 258 million tons of waste a year. And nearly two thirds of that ends up in landfills.1 At home, it’s easy to see how much trash you pull to the curb every week, but what about at work? Maybe it’s time to take a closer look at your company’s sustainability plan and consider what could be done to reduce waste and, in turn, reduce waste costs.
The first step is to analyze your current waste processes:
Then, consider what you could change. Here are a few examples:
Too often, businesses go overboard on packaging. There’s a box. Within another box and cardboard dividers inside. Rethinking processes to avoid over-packaging and using lighter-weight, recycled materials can make a huge difference in mass production. Make an effort to eliminate single-use containers and reuse packing items such as boxes, packing bubble wrap and wooden pallets. You can also request that your vendors ship products in returnable containers or minimal packaging.
Think before you print. Can you make a double-sided copy? Can you print fewer copies and circulate them around the office rather than printing a copy for everyone? Can you just send an email? Simple measures can significantly reduce paper waste in your office. Also, investing in high quality copiers, computers and other equipment and implementing a regular maintenance program can help reduce e-waste.
Choose cloth napkins over paper, silverware over plastic utensils and washable dishes over paper or Styrofoam. Though washing dishes takes more effort, the cost savings can be significant. Donate extra food, and if your company has significant food waste, consider a composting program. Approximately 95% of food that could be composted ends up in landfills and incinerators.1 Food waste is heavy and expensive to haul, so composting is an effective way to cut costs.
Ready to get started? A professional Waste Audit can help you identify landfill diversion options, logistical inefficiencies and equipment choices that may be right for your business. Contact us for details.