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Dramatically Reduce Retail Waste in 5 Steps

June 19, 2014

Retail is an incredibly profit-driven industry – and while there are many methods that will help further your success, one of the most reliable involves eliminating unnecessary costs. For retailers, one of those costs is waste.

Reuse and recycling programs are excellent ways to deal with retail waste, but it’s essential that you start with reduction. Reduction, or waste minimization, allows retailers to reduce resource consumption – and the amount of waste produced – for environmental, economic, and social benefit.

Some of the most noticeable benefits for retailers include:

  • Enhanced corporate image;
  • Improved compliance;
  • Increased savings and profits; and
  • Reduced disposal costs.

To achieve these benefits within your business, follow these steps:

  1. Put a group together. The participants don’t have to have extensive knowledge of waste management or sustainability issues, though it’s always a plus. Either way, it’s important to choose people that seem genuinely invested in or passionate about the cause. A group leader is a must, so you can either a play a role or let them decide for themselves.
  2. Schedule an open-discussion meeting with your group to determine a vision and set objectives. Be sure to address questions and concerns that come up in the meeting – but also maintain an open discussion so that you can deal with them as they occur in the future.
  3. Conduct a comprehensive audit to determine problem areas and to establish priority actions.  For many businesses that generate retail waste, packaging and retail promotions (such as BOGOFs) are big areas for concern, but retailers can also consider things like improving relationships and ordering procedures with suppliers. Your audit should help you identify both your strengths and challenges.
  4.  Develop an action plan. While it’s important to come up something that will make an impact, it’s equally important to put something together everybody can live with. Include a time-frame, available resources, and a plan for monitoring progress.
  5. Keep things organized. You don’t want your well-developed plan to fall apart just as soon as it comes together. Your group should meet frequently to discuss progress and provide status reports. Your action plan might need to be fine-tuned or even completely reworked, but the only way you’ll ever know is if you stay on top of it.

Bear in mind that even with a perfect waste minimization program, waste will still be generated. The waste that can’t be avoided should then be considered for reuse and recycling, with landfill disposal being the last resort.

If you need help creating a personalized waste management plan or assistance with your retail waste disposal, call Hazardous Waste Experts today at 800-936-2311.

Photo Credit: via Compfight cc

Disposal of hazardous waste doesn’t have to be painful.