7 Tips for Reducing Your Business’ Impact on the Environment
Let’s speak plainly. Piles of trash on your lot or outside your building make your business look bad. Your neighbors may be looking on wondering why you’re determined to bring down their property values. Potential customers are going to be frightened away by your inability to manage your mess. In the worst-case scenario, your trash may be hazardous to others and improper disposal could open you to legal action and fines.
Once your business generates trash, you have a responsibility to dispose of it in a way that doesn’t cause harm to people or the environment. There are several ways you can do this.
1. Reduce the Amount of Trash you Generate
You can start by limiting the amount of trash you gather in the first place. You can:
- Reduce paper use.
- Reduce consumption of bottled water on the premises.
- Audit your business to see which areas produce the most waste.
- Make a conscious decision to use supplies that do not contain excess packaging.
- If your product uses packaging, reduce the amount.
2. Recycle as Much of Your Trash as you can
When you’ve implemented all the possible measures for reducing the amount of trash your business generates, look for ways you can recycle materials. If your business uses oil, it can be cleaned and reused.
Here’s a list of some other materials that can be recycled if they are used in your business:
- Electronic wastes (e.g computers, phones)
- Organic wastes (tree clippings etc)
3. Have Someone Collect your Trash
A specialist in trash disposal may be better for you if you find you are time limited. There are several that perform this service, like this junk removal service with the experience to help. Once you’ve considered and implemented protocols for reduction and recycling, you may find it convenient, cost-effective to have a service like this come and haul your trash away.
Some criteria you can use to select your junk disposal company include:
- Customer service
- What they do with the trash once they remove it from your premises
- Whether they have the appropriate licenses, insurance, and equipment for the job
4. Use More Efficient Machinery in your Production Process
It makes business sense to spend a little more money upfront and invest in machinery that has a longer life span. Cheaper machines may cost less in the beginning, but they will have to be replaced far more times, leading to a pile-up of electronic waste. Machines that last longer also reduce the amount of trash you generate in the long run.
5. Develop a Plan for your Business Waste
Once you’ve taken the initial steps to reduce, reuse and recycle your wastes, develop a plan to continue monitoring your accumulation of wastes as well as detail how you will manage your wastes in the future.
If you’re unclear on how to go about this, here are some steps you can take:
- Appoint some to be responsible for the overall reduction, reuse, or recycling of your company’s trash.
- Set your trash management goals.
- List the types of trash your business generates normally. Work out what can be reduced, reused, recycled and what needs to be thrown away.
- Contract companies to recycle and remove trash if necessary.
- Monitor and update the plan as needed.
6. Make it Easier for your Employees to Follow the Plan
All your disposal and recycling goals will come to naught if your employees aren’t on board. It will be easier for them to remember to recycle if bins were in highly visible locations and clearly labeled.
You can also offer reusable utensils in the office kitchen and encourage them to bring reusable food and water containers at work.
Have your marketing communications department come up with an internal program for promoting your recycling and disposal plan.
You can probably even turn it into a competition within the various departments to see who recycles the most every month.
7. Take Advantage of Wastes to Energy Incentives
Certain businesses may be able to take advantage of incentives offered by governments to convert their wastes to energy, a process that uses trash to create energy for use in other industries. Businesses that specialize in this may also purchase their trash to use it for this purpose or export it so that it can be used elsewhere.
As you can see, huge piles of trash outside your operation don’t have to be an inevitability. More importantly, the costs of doing something about it are far cheaper than the loss of reputation, income, and the possible fines and litigation that could result from non-removal.
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