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Top 10 Ways Your Business Can Reduce Waste

Author: Elizabeth Hill Date: July 02, 2013

Guest Column by
Elizabeth Hill

Elizabeth Hill

Elizabeth Hill is Rubicon Global's Director of Corporate and Social Responsibility.

Rubicon Global is North America’s leading provider of sustainable waste and recycling solutions. Founded in 2008, Rubicon Global is a technology platform which uses Big Data analytics to help companies reduce operating expenses, improve efficiency and increase recycling. With a network of almost 5,000 vendors, Rubicon Global empowers small, independent business to compete in the marketplace and win national contracts. The competition fuels cost savings and waste reduction. Rubicon Global is helping small businesses divert over one million cubic yards of waste from landfills through its Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action in partnership with the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. For more information, please visit www.RubiconGlobal.com.

Have you looked at your waste bill lately? Waste creates unnecessary costs, increases your environmental footprint and can make your business vulnerable to risks, regulations and fines.

Americans create more waste per capita than any other country in the world after Canada (source). This is largely because the current logic of how to manage waste relies on hauling and storing in landfills.

Rubicon Global believes in a better way to manage waste: we reduce waste and environmental impacts while simultaneously reducing costs. Here are our top 10 tips for reducing waste at your business.

1. Conduct a waste audit to identify waste that could be prevented or diverted from landfill
 

2. Grab your waste bill and call the company that services your locations to ask them:

  • What recycling options are available for my business?
  • Can I reduce the number of times my location is serviced?
    If you divert more material, you will not need as much service and this should reduce your costs.
  • What is each line item fee?
    Ask for unjustified fees to be removed from your bill, such as a vague “environmental fee” or “fuel surcharge.”
     

3. Better manage your inventory

  • Avoid keeping too many items in stock that may expire or become useless and end up in the dumpster
     

4. Scrutinize the products you purchase for unnecessary packaging

  • Purchase products with less packaging and work with your vendors to take back and reuse the packaging
  • Avoid purchasing disposable products and tools
     

5. Track your waste online using EPA WasteWise
 

6. Donate extra food and gently used items instead of throwing them away

7. Work with neighboring business owners to implement recycling

  • Reduce costs through scale by sharing equipment and selling larger quantities of valuable recyclables
  • Host an electronic waste recycling event with nearby businesses. Protect your business by using Basel Action Network certified e-Steward recyclers.
     

Go Green!8. Standardize recycling equipment and signage

  • Recycle Across America offers affordable standardized recycling signage for all types of waste in several languages 
     

9. Engage your employees

  • Take time to share these efforts with your team through training, asking for suggestions and creating waste reduction incentives
  • Provide reusable mugs and water bottles
     

10. Engage your customers and your community

  • Share what you are doing with through signage and social media
  • Offer in store recycling and takeback programs

 

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