Sustainability 101

Move Towards Zero Waste In 3 Steps

The cost of waste removal has been on the rise over the past decade, and the trend seems to be continuing upward. 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 paying to remove as trash is not trash at all but recyclables that have value. That is a valuable revenue stream that may be going to waste.

After all, managing waste is key because it has one of the most direct impacts on the your operations, the environment and the bottom line.  This is just one of the reasons that 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 cease generating waste immediately. This misconception and lack of clarity about what zero waste means is holding some businesses and buildings back from going zero waste.  (LINK)

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: Waste Audits: What Are They, Why They Are Important]

2. Implement, Improve

Use the results of what you learn in your waste audit to implement or improve on 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 it should, and make adjustments when necessary. And make sure you communicate that goal so that everyone knows how to do their part for success.

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