If your business deals with hazardous waste disposal issues, chances are you generate non-hazardous waste as well. Non-hazardous waste is relatively uncomplicated handling, but there’s always room for improvement – and for small businesses, “room for improvement” often translates to significant savings.
One of the simplest and most cost-efficient ways to achieve sustainability (and savings) within the small business setting is often tragically overlooked: recycling. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, about 75% of solid waste thrown away is recyclable.
To thrive with small business recycling, all you need to do is to implement an efficient collection and management plan. It’s not a demanding undertaking – all you need is a little organization and planning.
Check out this quick list of tips to boost your success.
1) Make a business-wide commitment. It’s much more likely that your business will succeed at recycling if every member is committed, and is especially important for top-level management. Top-level employees should do their best to set a strong example.
2) To start, take a simple visual inventory the materials your business throws away. Remember that steel, aluminum, glass, cardboard, paper, plastics, and colored plastic containers are all recyclable.
3) Perform a thorough waste paper audit. Knowing what is in your waste stream is essential in designing your collection and management program. An audit will help you accomplish this by allowing you to determine what part of your waste stream is eligible for recycling – including the type, value, and amount. Some items may even be required to be recycled under your state’s laws.
4) Choose the types of paper you want to collect. Once you’ve evaluated the types of paper present in your waste stream and found out what kinds are accepted by local recycling programs, determine the types of paper you want collect. It’s wise to focus your efforts on the higher value papers and those that make up the bulk of your waste paper stream.
5) Designate a recycling supervisor. A reliable and dedicated recycling supervisor can be crucial to success. Luckily, the time required to do the job well is minimal, and the brunt of it occurs in the beginning stages of the program. Once your program has been established and is operational, it should be mostly self-sustaining.
6) Provide employees with the necessary recycling containers. Be sure to place containers in areas where paper is generated, such as near copying machines and printers.
7) Educate your employees. Institute a thorough educational campaign to prepare employees for participation. Offer orientation sessions, distribute informational materials, and explain the goals and methods you aim to enact.
8) Provide incentives. Rewarding employees for their efforts and successes makes it more likely that they will continue the same behaviors.
9) Practice good maintenance. Monitor progress and be consistent. If you discover a problem or run into issues, deal with them in a timely manner. Preparing and providing the necessary follow-up informational materials is an excellent way to work things out with employees.
Hazardous Waste Experts is able to provide competent, knowledgeable assistance with handling your material and helping you manage your hazardous materials in a way that is safe, compliant, and low-cost. For information on recycling hazardous waste or hazardous waste removal, call now at 800-936-2311 to speak with an expert.