As a business owner, you owe it to your community to create a viable waste management plan that places as much of your company's waste into the recycling stream as possible. Fortunately, more and more sanitation and disposal companies are offering programs to help you recycle easily, without any additional cost for your business and with only the minimum of employee training necessary to implement. The following tips can help you formulate your own personalized waste management plan.
Tip #1: Document Your Waste Production
Every business generates waste differently. For example, a retail establishment primarily generates cardboard, paper and packaging waste, while a restaurant has both food and packaging waste. An electronics repair center may generate lots of E-waste, compared to a hair salon, which may have chemical waste. Track the waste leaving your business over the course of a week or two and divide it into categories, such as paper, glass, food, et cetera. Your waste management company can better help you develop a plan if they know what kind and how much waste you are generating on average.
Tip #2: Find Out Your "Stream" Options
The type of waste streams available varies by area and by waste management company. Your goal is to find the simplest option that covers as much of your waste as possible, while still giving you the ability to recycle. Single stream recycling is usually the preferred option for waste like cardboard, paper, plastic, and glass, since it will all go in one dumpster and there is no need to separate. You will also want to find companies that offer streams for any specialty waste, such as compostable food materials, E-waste, or construction debris.
Tip #3: Make It Easy
You can simplify the whole process in-shop by making it easy on employees and customers to make the right choice. For customers, use divided bins to separate true garbage from recyclables and opt for clear signage so that customers can tell at a glance which is which. For the back of the shop, make sure every garbage station is set up with the multiple bins necessary – for example, a garbage, e-waste, and paper waste. This way employees won't be tempted to toss an item into the wrong bin to save time finding the right one. Once again, label everything clearly and perform quick visual inspections throughout the day. This way you catch any misplaced items quickly, before it becomes a problem.
Tip #4: Contract With a Pro
While you can handle much of your disposal needs on your own, it will be time-consuming. You will need to track down a company to take each of your key recyclables, and then arrange for separate pick-up, onsite collection containers, and separate billing. Instead, contact with a professional waste management company that offers multiple stream options. These companies handle all waste and recycling removal and then they divide it up and send it to the correct outside facilities. You often only have one or two outside bins on your property, which they provide and manage, so you don't have to schedule pickups or maintain their appearance. They may even have interior cans you can rent for your employees' or customers' use.
Contact a service like E.L. Harvey & Sons for more information.