Sustainability 101

Going Zero Waste in 3 Steps: A Strategy For Businesses To Combat Rising Costs

Going zero waste is a very achievable goal for businesses, despite misconceptions. And with the cost of waste removal rising over the past decade, moving  towards zero waste is increasingly becoming the only long term strategy for effective waste management.  One study predicts waste disposal services to increase at an “annualized rate of 2%.” 

Not only are waste costs increasing, but many businesses are paying more than they need to.  Why? Because over 77% of what they are throwing out as trash is not trash at all but recyclables that have value. That is a valuable revenue stream that may be going to waste.

Managing waste is key because it has one of the most direct impacts on your business operations, the environment, and your bottom line.  This is just one of the reasons why some of the world’s world’s largest corporations, such as GE and Walmart, are taking the lead and going zero waste. You can too.

Remember, going zero waste does NOT mean that you have to stop generating waste immediately. This misconception about what zero waste means could be holding some businesses and buildings back from reaping the benefits of going zero waste. 

In reality, zero waste is within reach of many businesses, small and large. You just have to start moving TOWARDS zero waste. Here’s how in 3 steps:

1. Start with a waste audit

We cannot emphasize the importance of waste audits.  A waste audit gives you a clear picture of what you are throwing away, what you are diverting, and how effectively (or not) your waste and recycling programs are working. Without an audit, you are just guessing and not knowing.  [Learn more: What Is A Waste Audit? Why Are Waste Audits Important.]

2. Implement, Improve

Use the results of what you learn in your waste audit to implement or improve your current waste and recycling strategies. Take a look at all aspects, from purchasing to disposal.

3. Set a goal

…. and start working towards it. Monitor your programs to ensure everything is working as they should, and make adjustments when necessary. And make sure you communicate those goals so that everyone knows how to do their part for success.

Have questions, ask the TRUE Zero Waste certified experts at Great Forest. Contact us at

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