Sustainability 101

Rethink Your Waste: 77% Of Trash Is Not Trash At All!

Great Forest recently joined over 1,200 attendees and nearly 80 exhibitors at NYC’s first Food Waste Fair to help businesses find effective solutions to this growing and costly waste problem. New York City spends a reported $180 million annually to send food waste to the landfill.

Our key message: businesses have to rethink their waste.

Why? Because 77% of what is usually thrown out as trash is actually recyclable, with organics making up the bulk of recyclables at 34% (with paper at 23%, glass/metal/plastic at 19% , and E-waste at 1%)

Stephanie Barger of the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council put it best when she said this during a panel at the Food Waste Fair:

“…every time you throw away recyclables, you throw away jobs and resources.”

Great Forest at the recent NYC Food Waste Fair

A key takeaway:  waste audits are important

So how much trash is in your trash? How much value are you losing?

The only way to find out is to conduct a waste audit. Various businesses that shared their experiences during panels at the Food Waste Fair agreed about the importance of tracking and analyzing waste [read our new waste audit case study].

  • Etsy reported that they do waste audits on a daily basis
  • Dr. Nadereh Afsharmanesh of Earth Friendly Products told the audience that she personally looks in the company’s dumpster each week after discovering that 60% of what was in their trash were recyclables.
  • Sodexo is reportedly conducting waste trainings to teach select staff how to do waste audits.

What does this mean for you?   

The answer is simple. You can make a BIG impact. Just by effectively dealing with ALL your recyclables, including organics, you can:

  • Reduce trash by as much as 77% with improved organics and recycling separation
  • Be a leader in the global Zero Waste movement
  • Enhance your environmental profile to staff, clients and stakeholders
  • Achieve your sustainability goals
  • Save money by reducing trash removal costs, avoiding fines, and improving operational efficiency

Here are other key takeaways from the event from our friends at Waste 360.

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Learn more about organics:

Learn more about waste audits:

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