Making Recycling and Waste Management Easier for Small Businesses
Sustainability is becoming a growing concern among the general public, and both individuals and companies have begun to take the necessary steps to reduce their carbon footprint and diminish their greenhouse gas emissions. It’s not as simple as it sounds, however, and there are many things you need to take into account. If you’re an entrepreneur, adopting a more eco-conscious policy means you’re going to have to change your entire brand policy and culture. After all, sustainability is not a fad or a trend, but a lifestyle, and you must make conscious choices that set you on the right path.
When you help your business go green you help the environment, your community and yourself. Customers are increasingly drawn towards companies that prove to have a strong sense of ethics and which show that they’re committed towards making eco-friendly choices in all areas. Whether it’s manufacturing, shipping or marketing, you must be able to show that you’re aware of the negative impact you can have, and you’re taking active steps towards reducing it. One of the best ways of doing that is becoming knowledgeable about the best recycling and waste management practices and using them in your business. Here’s where you can start.
The most important thing when it comes to lowering your carbon footprint is to reduce the amount of raw materials you’re purchasing and using. However, this can be more difficult to achieve for commercial entities than it is for individuals. Indeed, many business owners might be sceptical about taking the plunge and reducing the quantity of materials they use. Whether in the manufacturing process or for workplace use, they can be concerned that buying less also sends a message that you don’t want to progress and see change. Moreover, they might believe that it shows they don’t value their employees and their well-being, as well as the opinion and satisfaction of the clientele.
Nothing could be further from the truth. When you focus on getting only what you need or at least not exceeding requirements by a huge margin, you focus on sustainable growth. That is definitely going to be more appreciated by your customers, who’ll see you as devoted towards making your business eco-friendly. Equally as important is the quality of the products you buy. Choose materials that can be easily recycled and whose reuse process doesn’t pollute the environment.
When you limit the amount of materials you use, you also avoid the issue of deadstock and as such ensure that there’s higher demand for your products overall. Not only is it good for the environment, it also helps boots sales and engagement for your brand.
Choose the right solutions
When it comes to choosing ways to dispose of the waste produced at your company, you’ll have your work cut out for you. There are many options out there, and there are many businesses that claim to hold the solution you need. You need to choose the machines and containers that are perfectly fitted to your company’s requirements. With Miltek, there’s a range of balers and compactors to choose from, depending on the volume of waste you’re disposing of, as well as the type of business you’re running. If you own a restaurant or a motel, your waste management needs are going to be different compared to those of an entrepreneur running a homeware shop or garden centre.
The right solution helps make the trash disposal process more efficient and environmentally-conscious. The key here is minimising volume, as large amounts of garbage being thrown away without any regard and in improper conditions contributes to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions and can also pose a health hazard for your team. When you pick the right balers, you also take a step in the right direction towards separating the waste you generate, which brings us to our third point:
It can seem like a no-brainer but it’s truly one of the most important aspects of becoming more environmentally friendly. Sorting waste is relatively easy – although for some people it’s nothing short of a pain – and it’s the pinnacle of recycling. If you’ve already got this solution in place at your business, you should take a closer look and see how it can be improved.
There are three types of waste: organic (such as food and drinks), non-organic (for instance plastic, glass, wood, metal, paper), and toxic waste (batteries, pesticides, detergents and cleaning products among others). All these items are further divided into other categories when it comes to recycling. Paper shouldn’t be discarded in the same place as plastic or metal, and neither should be thrown away in the same place as organic waste due to the risk for contamination that makes non-organic waste unlikely to be reprocessed anymore.
There are certain products that are considered non-recyclable, at least for the foreseeable future. This is the category of mixed-material goods. Wet paper is one of the most common components of this category. When you use paper towels, you should know that once they’re exposed to water, their structural integrity decreases, meaning they’d make for a subpar recycled product. Milk and juice cartons are another category. While they are made of paper, their inside is also layered with aluminium for better insulation. The two are impossible to separate and as such the containers are not recyclable.
The best option is to try as much as possible to avoid products such as these and replace them with reusable ones, or those that can be recycled.
Recycling and proper waste management can sometimes be challenging even in a household. The difficulty level increases at work. Even in a small business, there’s still a more substantial number of people that need to understand all the rules of recycling. It can be hard to get everyone to be perfect from the get-go, and there’s definitely going to be some trial-and-error along the way. And while you should allow room for improvement, you should consider delegating someone as recycling leader.
This employee should be someone who’s got the hang of sustainable practices, so they can guide others towards correct recycling practices and ensure all recycling points are emptied in the suitable external bins.
When you take the right steps towards making your business more eco-friendly, you ensure both sustainable brand growth and you do your part toward helping the environment.
Salman Zafar is an ecopreneur, consultant, advisor, speaker and journalist with expertise in waste management, waste-to-energy, renewable energy, environment protection, conservation and sustainable development. His geographical areas of focus include Asia, Middle East, Africa and Europe. Salman is the Founder of EcoMENA, a popular voluntary organization based in Qatar. He is also the Founder and CEO of BioEnergy Consult, a reputed consulting firm active in biomass, waste-to-energy and waste management segments.
Salman is a professional environmental writer with more than 350 popular articles to his credit. He is proactively engaged in creating mass environmental awareness in different parts of the world.
Salman Zafar can be reached at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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