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Material Waste Recycling for Small Businesses

Your business may have thousands of employees or just a handful, but one thing will remain constant regardless of the numbers on the payroll – you will generate material waste that must either be hauled away to the landfill at your expense or be recycled, re-used, re-purposed or sold.

Depending on your business sector, the waste that is generated may be limited to copy paper, notices and catalogs you receive via the U.S. Postal Service, and water from restrooms, water fountains, and break-rooms; but for other businesses, you may find that you have hazardous or harmful chemical waste material that legally requires specific disposal and handling methods determined by the state you operate in. However, regardless of the type of waste your business produces and the amount you accumulate on a weekly, monthly or yearly basis, you will always need to factor waste removal costs into your operating budget. If you’re looking at ways to save your businesses money, and have been considering the environmental impact that you have on your community, taking steps to reduce the material waste you generate is a great place to begin.

Waste recycling is an essential component of reducing your waste and cutting costs as many materials can be re-used and re-purposed in the manufacturing of new products.

While some business owners already understand the economic and environmental value of recycling, both new waste recycling adopters as well as seasoned professionals need to be reminded that the waste management process requires careful handling, monitoring of energy and labor use, and continual evaluation.

The critical fact to remember is that every piece of material waste that isn’t a part of your business’ revenue stream is costing you money. Isn’t it a smarter decision to claim that lost revenue by making the waste generated by your employees and business a part of your product or service line?

When a business takes a comprehensive look at the money coming in and the money going out, arriving at the decision to think twice before dumping materials in the trash and making a conscious effort to consume less is an easier one.

In some cases, just seeing the potential for saving money is enough to begin the problem-solving thought process of how everyone can reduce the amount of waste that needs to be disposed of.

While making big changes in employee habits may seem difficult, the good news is that many other businesses are also making these same choices and best-practices and case studies are relatively easy to find.

Here are just a few ideas to get you started on the path of reducing your material waste generation:

   Purchase durable, long-lasting goods and materials

   Reduce or totally eliminate the purchasing of materials that are not essential to your product line or service.

   Reduce or avoid the use of hazardous materials the require special disposal

   Reduce your paper, energy, and water use

Some waste reduction practices, like using double-sided printing and saving e-mail on your computer instead of printing it out are simple to implement and yield immediate savings from your office supplies bill. With a positive attitude and willingness to embrace new practices any company, regardless of type or size, can see immediate returns.



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