Looking to green your business? It’s time to go beyond recycling. Sustainable waste management gives you an opportunity to improve your business’ eco-friendliness, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and even lower operation costs. Interested? Our guide will help you find the best solutions for green waste disposal.
To create the best solution for your operation, you’ll need to gather some data. A waste audit will show you what types and quantities of trash you produce each week to help you decide which sustainable waste management practices to implement. It will also show you where you may be spending too much on trash disposal or energy use.
Once you’ve completed your waste audit, you can set short- and long-term waste-reduction goals. Try the following sustainable waste disposal methods to reduce the amount of trash your business produces.
The biggest waste categories for many businesses are (not so shockingly) paper and ink. Cutting down the amount you use is a good place to start your reduction efforts.
Is there anything used regularly by your employees that can be replaced with a reusable option? The easiest way to do this is with food- and drink-related items.
Sustainable Solutions for Your Office Kitchen:
A great alternative to throwing excess items in the trash is to donate them. Not only will the donations benefit those who receive them, but you get a little something, too, like tax incentives and a positive public image.
Recycling saves energy, keeps materials out of landfills and incinerators and provides raw materials for creating new products. This conserves and extends the use of these resources for as long as possible. Bring in bins for recyclables like paper, plastic and glass to give employees an alternative to the trash can.
This is also a good chance to think outside the box. There are ways to recycle many of the products your business makes or uses every day, even if they can’t go in your regular bin.
Green Disposal Options for Business-Specific Waste:
Composting is a green waste disposal option for some food waste and paper products. A good place to compost within your business would be the break room or cafeteria. You can buy a tight-sealing compost bin to minimize odor and keep fruit flies away. Use compostable bags so the waste can easily be transferred to your own compost pile outside or to a drop-off site.
|What Can I Compost?||What Can't I Compost?|
|Food scraps: Fruits, coffee grounds, tea bags, vegetables, bread and grains, nutshells, pasta and rice, eggshells, coffee filters||Meat, chicken, fish, greasy food scraps, fat or oil, dairy products|
|Food-soiled paper: Paper bags, towels, napkins, uncoated food-soiled paper, greasy pizza boxes||Banana peels, peach peels and orange rinds may contain pesticide residues and should not be composted.|
*Check out our composting guide for a more complete list.
Use your compost pile in an office garden or take it to a community garden to nourish the soil. You can also take your scraps to a compost drop-off center or find a composting service that offers pickups.
Once you have a plan in place to help your business go green, you’ll need to get everyone on board.
Use this guide to find new ways for your business to go green. You may even discover that you’re saving on supplies or fewer trash pickups as you test options to sustainably manage your waste. Planning on taking your business to a greener level? Share your results with us below.
Check out our Sustainability section for more tips on how to go green.