It’s pretty clear that our planet is being overwhelmed by the amount of waste we produce. Poor waste management has led to unprecedented levels of pollution and things only seem to get worse by the day. There are ongoing discussions on the subject and on what we can do to change our destructive ways, but little action is being taken to address the issue.
One thing is for sure: ignoring the signs is not possible anymore. Our future depends on finding solutions and developing strategies to stop unhealthy practices and protect the environment. It’s a matter of either going green or going nowhere at all.
It’s not surprising that businesses are some of the world’s biggest polluters. While each and every one of us has the power to change things for the better, businesses have the possibility to take greater measures in order to reduce the damage inflicted on the environment. Therefore, it’s unacceptable in this day and age for businesses to refuse to adopt an eco-friendly approach and diminish the negative impact on the environment.
However, some business owners are still under the impression that investing in making their company greener will only lead to wasting money. In reality, the completely opposite will happen. Choosing to implement green strategies in business operations will result in saving money and saving nature as well.
It’s important for businesses to understand that proper waste management is an important step in the process of becoming eco-friendlier. Sustainable waste management should start by following this 4-phase plan:
- Reduce: produce as little waste as possible
- Reuse: avoid disposable items and go for reusable ones instead
- Recycle: sort and recycle as much as you can
- Dispose: get rid of your waste in an efficient manner
The efforts required to develop a smart waste management strategy will not only benefit the environment, but also your business. There are various aspects that will be improved if you choose to implement good waste management methods:
- Less purchases – avoiding buying new stuff and reusing the items that you already own will have a positive effect on your budget. It’s a good idea to identify what you can still use and reduce the shopping list by leaving out unnecessary items.
- Less frequent pickups – if you reduce the amount of waste you produce, it won’t be necessary to arrange for trash pickups as often. Using a waste compactor is a good investment for all types of businesses, since they reduce the amount of waste up to 80%. These compactors for business waste will not only help reduce the space occupied by trash, but they can also help you save money, improve sanitation and lead to better time management.
- Save money by recycling – most times it’s cheaper to sort the waste and send it to recycling than to a landfill, since the recycling companies can make a profit out of reselling materials. Metals for example can be reused time and time again, and you can even sell this type of materials yourself and save some money in the process.
- Better space management – since you won’t have as much waste on your premises, you can use the space for other more important activities. Your business will look tidier and cleaner and you’ll have a smarter space management.
- Better reputation – people appreciate the efforts a company is making to become greener and this will translate into a better reputation for your business. The public is expecting to see more eco-friendly initiatives and businesses should strive to meet their clients’ expectations. Therefore, having a good waste management strategy in place will definitely influence the public’s perception on your company in a positive way.
Evaluate your current situation
The first step your business should take in order to develop a smarter waste management strategy is to conduct an in-depth assessment of the way you manage the waste. You can do this by yourself or you can hire an expert to do it for you. Regardless of your choice, this is what the assessment should include:
- Collecting the waste within a given time frame to understand how much waste you produce on average, what type of waste you produce and where it comes from.
- Sort trash on categories, identifying recyclable, non-recyclable and mixed waste.
- Analyze waste by evaluating how much it can be recycled, what areas of your business is producing the biggest amounts of waste, the costs of processing and disposing of it etc.
Come up with a plan
Based on this assessment you can start developing a waste management policy and get to action. Once you have a clear picture of what’s going on in your company and you’ve identified the areas that need improvement, you can take measures in order to address the issues. Depending on your business’ requirements, there are numerous changes you can make to become better at waste reduction, reusing and recycling:
- Identify items and materials that can be reused. Old equipment doesn’t necessarily need to be replaced as long as it’s still functional. If there’s anything wrong with it, you can try fixing before purchasing new devices.
- Reduce the amount of materials you use. For example, you can reduce paper usage by using online or cloud storage and other digital methods.
- Try to reduce the usage of disposable items wherever possible. For example, you can ditch plastic cutlery and flatware and opt for reusable silverware instead so you can reduce plastic waste.
- Set up bins and recycling points throughout your business premises and educate your staff on the importance of smart waste management.
- Invest in compactors and balers to reduce the amount of waste.
- Work with a professional waste management company to help you improve your whole process and dispose of the waste in a safe and effective way.
- Always try to find new solutions to old problems and invest as much as possible in the sustainability of your business.