In a previous article, we looked at some of the tips you can use to seamlessly integrate a recycling plan or scheme into your business. In that article, we mentioned that informing your staff and team of recycling’s benefits can help increase their participation. In light of that, let’s take a look at the biggest environmental and business advantages brought by recycling (plus a few tips). Who knows, these may just be what you need to convince your employees to join the Green movement!
Environmental Benefits Of Recycling At The Workplace
- As you may already know, materials that are collected for recycling are used for manufacturing new products…and this is HUGE. You see, the cocktail of waste contained in a landfill can generate harmful greenhouse gasses in alarming amounts. Take a look at methane as an example. As far as potency as a greenhouse gas goes, its 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide. When you reduce the waste that goes to the landfills through recycling, you also minimize the production of harmful greenhouse gasses.
- Manufacturing new products from recycled ‘mats’ is a lot more energy efficient compared to manufacturing new products using virgin materials and resources. Just take aluminum as an example. Compared to extracting and processing bauxite ore to aluminum, recycling aluminum to generate new aluminum cans require 95% less energy. As we are all aware of, energy production requires financial support. By reducing the energy we consume for production or manufacturing, we also save in the process!
- Recycling also minimizes the amount of carbon dioxide dumped into the atmosphere. Going back to our example earlier, recycling about a ton aluminum reduces the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere by 7 tons. To give you an idea of what damage a ton of CO2 can do to the environment, let’s just say its equivalent to 4506 kilometers of continuous driving!
A Look At The Business Benefits
Recycling helps you comply with waste management rules and regulations placed by the local council. Today, businesses have added legal obligations and responsibilities concerning waste.
Some industries even have a legal responsibility for removing or disposing their waste like packaging materials; electronic gadgets; vehicles, etc. By using a solid and reliable recycling scheme, its easier for companies to take on better waste management practices and stay in line with the regulations in place. Moreover, this prepares businesses for possible changes in the rules and regulations.
Failing to manage the environmental risks and wastes produced by your organization can be detrimental not only to the environment but to your business as well. Aside from being prosecuted and fined for the mistake, your business’ reputation could be tarnished. Also, since you need to adjust to comply with the local council’s rules, it’s very likely that you’ll also experience disruption to your business.
That’s just the preventive benefit of recycling if you will. To add to that, it also helps you save money and increase your business’ income. Through better waste management techniques, you can minimize your expenses for waste management and handling. It also reduces the amount of money you spend on getting virgin materials and goods. And last but not the least, reducing the waste you dump into landfills also reduces the amount of tax your business has to pay.
What’s nice about these savings and financial benefits is that they don’t require capital investment. If they do, the amount of money and adjustment required is very little and very worth it. Not to mention the savings brought by recycling aren’t ‘one-hit wonders’ – they’ll continue to save you money every single year. According to statistics, businesses and industries in the UK can reduce their expenses by as much as 4% by simply using waste minimization techniques like recycling.
And like icing on top of a cake, adopting a good recycling scheme improves your reputation. More and more investors, customers, employees, etc. are becoming aware of a business’ environmental responsibilities. By taking up a good recycling plan, you show that, like them, you are aware of your obligations as a business and that you do care about the environment. It does great things for your reputation and can help you win new customers and contracts.
Solid Recycling Tips And Best Practices For Business
There’s no doubt about it” Recycling is one of the most effective waste management option for businesses. Like reducing and reusing waste, it benefits your business and the environment greatly as you get to reduces the waste you send to landfills and minimizes the need to extract virgin materials. Having said that, here’s something baffling: Only 7.5% of all office and commercial waste is recycled. And when you realize that about 70% of commercial waste can be recycled, we just have to ask: “What are we doing with the other 63%? How can we increase the amount of waste we recycle?” Here are a few tips and best practices to keep in mind:
- As much as possible, buy office products that can be recycled. Not all materials or products are recyclable. But if you do have the option to use a recyclable product, go for it!
- Efficient waste segregation can increase the amount of waste you recycle. Start by properly labeling your trash bins or containers. Make it clear to your staff or employees where to throw recyclable materials and where to dispose regular waste.
- Take a look at the costs of recycling. Even if you already send your waste for disposal (not really helpful to the environment) or for energy recovery, it’s very likely that you’ll find recycling to be a lot more cost-effective. By having concrete figures and benefits at hand, it’s a lot easier to get others including the upper management involved in the recycling movement.
- So you have high-quality, recyclable materials? Sell them! Construction materials, for one, are some of the most widely used recyclable materials you can find. Compost, wood, textiles, metal, paper, etc. also fall under this category. It could deliver a significant income boost to your business depending on how much waste you produce.