Waste Reduction

Below are some suggestions on making your business more sustainable.

Important Changes

Conduct a waste assessment to identify ways to reduce waste, reuse where applicable, recycle when able, compost organic matter, and purchase products which reduce your company's impact on the environment.

Eliminate wasteful purchasing, shipping and other business practices.

Figure out ways in which your company can begin to reuse supplies to eliminate the need to purchase new supplies.

Provide recycling containers beside or near staff locations and couple trash and recycling containers in common or public areas.

Sell your products with limited packaging and ensure end of life solutions for your customers.

Recycle cardboard, glass, metals, mixed paper, office paper, plastic, and wood.

Set computer printing default settings to double-sided printing and require double-sided printing for all documents with multiple pages.

Properly dispose of hazardous waste.

Equipment Changes

Eliminate disposable dishware and utensils in the office and replace with reusable.

Use optical scanners for tracking inventory to allow for more precise ordering and less waste.

Make the trash containers smaller than the recycling containers.

Practice Changes

Purchasing Practices

Purchase products in returnable, reusable or recyclable containers.

Purchase office and cleaning supplies in concentrated or bulk forms.

Centralize purchasing within your company to eliminate unnecessary purchases and control what is being bought.

Participate in a cooperative buying program.

Eliminate purchase of disposable items.

Order supplies electronically rather than in paper form.

Purchase Forest Stewardship Council paper products.

Purchase office products made out of recycled materials.

Purchase recycled construction materials when building/remodeling.

Purchase recycled or remanufactured printer and copier toner cartridges and ensure that they are reusable.

Habitual Changes

Implement a composting service through your trash hauler and/or vermicompost.

Eliminate unnecessary forms or re-design forms and if not applicable encourage the use of electronic avenues.

Encourage employees to share company catalogs, manuals, and phonebooks.

Provide incentives to your customers to return bags/boxes or bring their own bags/boxes.

Encourage employees to use re-useable containers when bringing food from home.

Reuse packaging materials or find someone who can.

Store and rotate supplies to minimize loss through spoilage and damage.

Implement a program that allows for electronic payment stubs instead of hard copy payment stubs.

Use a bulletin board or email instead of hard copies of company announcements or memos.

Adopt and implement a Zero Waste policy (90% diversion).

Use direct mailing marketing materials that require no envelope.

Make scrap paper available for employees and customers for office use or donate to the scrap paper to another organization that uses it.

Collect landscape trimmings for composting.

Donate or recycle unwanted, usable, office computers, furniture, supplies, etc. to non-profit organizations, schools, or appropriate websites.

Reuse and recycle packing and shipping materials.

Stock and/or sell products with recycled content.

Provide on-going incentives or training opportunities to encourage management and employee participation in waste reduction.

Inform your customers about ways to reduce their own waste or recycle more.

Reduce incoming junk mail at your facility.