recycling-symbolWe all know we’re “supposed” to recycle. For businesses especially, it is important to keep one’s carbon footprint and set the right example for the community. But just like individuals, businesses worry about the costs associated with recycling. Is it really cost effective or is it a waste of money? Much of the answer depends on your process.   Recycling programs do not look the same as they did several years ago. In the past, washing and sorting recyclables into all the right “piles” took time and money away from businesses leading many to wonder if industrial recycling was worth its benefits. But recycling is easier now than it once was.   Here are some ways to help keep your industrial recycling program cost effective for your business:   Get People to Participate One of the key money saving potentials of industrial recycling lies in its ability to reduce disposal costs, and that means participation. Some companies may offer incentives in order to encourage participation, or even make it part of their company policy. If your company publishes a newsletter, blurbs about the benefits of recycling to the environment can be included to encourage participation   Make it Easy One reason recycling has been a hard sell is because it was complicated. It seemed as if people had to play a giant game of match; connecting the right recycling symbol to the right bin. Many just skipped it, at home and at work. Today, more industries are making the effort to make recycling easy for employees. Placing single sort bins around the workplace where they are easily accessible and don’t require recyclables to be thoroughly washed. Tools such as Multi Screen Recycling Systems from General Kinematics reduce the necessity of manual sorting. Larger industries can reduce long term costs even further by keeping their recycling equipment on site.   Remember to Reduce and Reuse Reducing waste should be a goal of both individuals and business, which means using less packaging, fewer “disposable” products, and finding, was to reuse and repurpose materials. By using these strategies, many companies have not only recovered the cost of their recycling programs, but have profited from them. The auto industry in particular has fared well. Ford and GM both profit from the sale of scrap metal, and Ford has been able to use materials from plastic bottles and repurpose them in the manufacturing the electric model of the Ford Focus. Many companies save money by adopting practices or using both sides of a piece of paper and storing documents and files digitally. Not only does a digital file take up very little physical space, but it is easier to move between users who need access to the file, without printing things out.   One Man’s Trash…. Whether a company’s trash is being thrown in a landfill or processed in recycling equipment there is going to be a price. That’s why it helps to keep materials “alive” as long as possible. Old equipment may be outdated for your company’s purpose, but a smaller organization may have the resources to repair it enough to make use of it.   Companies can also do things such as organizing book, clothing, and toy drives that allow employees to get rid of things they don’t want while bringing those things to those who can still make use of them.
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  • Amy Donahue

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