Is Recycling Worth It: Calculating the Energy Output of Recycling
“Is recycling worth it?” This question is repeatedly asked at the conference table, during budget meetings and by staff members who view recycling as more of a hassle than it’s worth. While most everyone will agree on the environmental benefits of recycling, there are often disputes regarding its cost-effectiveness. It’s one thing if you’re running a small business with a few small recycling bins out back. But large businesses that recycle on an industrial level must deal with more factors when determining whether or not their recycling program is truly worth it. Weighing the pros and cons, and the costs and gains of recycling can help you find the right answer.
Is Recycling Worth It? Advantages and Disadvantages of Your Business Recycling Program
Capitalize on the Advantages
- Save Money on Waste. Aside from benefiting the environment, you stand to save a large amount of money on waste services each year by recycling as many materials as possible.
- A Whole-Team Effort Makes It Easier For All. Large-scale recycling can seem overwhelming for one or two people. But when you get the entire team, from the office staff to the warehouse employees, on-board, recycling is a much easier process.
- Recycling is Easier than Ever Before. Only two decades ago, recycling requirements — such as washing out plastic containers — made doing a good thing a time-consuming inconvenience. Now, less restrictive rules and helpful equipment make recycling waste easier.
- The Right Equipment Streamlines the Process. When you process waste materials with recycling equipment that’s suited to your particular needs or industry, everything becomes streamlined. There are single- and multi-stream recycling systems, as well as those that are industry-specific to help make your recycling program more convenient and cost-effective.
Overcome the Disadvantages
- Employees Forget to Recycle. Get everyone on-board by including information in company newsletters and employee meetings. Provide people with simple incentives and pats on the back to get everyone to participate in your recycling program.
- Recycling Has Become Cumbersome. The right equipment and company-wide participation will make your recycling program run smoothly.
- You Feel Ill-Equipped to Recycle. If you feel ill-equipped to handle your recycling needs, you might be. Work with a professional company that can outfit your needs.
Tips for Better Recycling
So, is recycling worth it?
But you should still take steps to maximize the effectiveness of your company’s recycling efforts.
Take a step back and assess your company’s recycling needs. Consider the different waste materials you’ll be recycling. Can some of them be repurposed, or would another company find your recycling materials to be just what they need for their product?
Determining the answers to these questions will make you fully aware of your company’s recycling program needs. You’ll also need to know what the government requirements or restrictions are, particularly if you’re dealing with construction waste and debris, or electronic waste recycling.
Finally, plan ahead for your recycling program costs, including any special facilities or equipment, as well as manpower. The key to setting up a cost-effective recycling program is to plan wisely, request help from those in the industry and ensure you’re properly equipped so recycling will be as beneficial to your business as it is to the environment.