Waste Management for Business – What Can You Do to Increase the Efficiency of Your Initiatives?

When you consider any macro-level activity, every small step counts. The same is true for waste management too. You can reduce the amount of waste reaching the landfill if you can encourage the best practices for your establishment.

The increased amount of waste disposal, mishandling of the waste, or ill-treatment of the discarded waste lead to many complexities for us. The air we breathe in or the water available to drink gets contaminated because of such activities.

California is home to thriving startup culture. There are several offices from Silicon Valley to San Jose. Waste disposal and treatment becomes specifically crucial for such an area. Improper business waste management can not only affect the surface but contaminate the air too.

This article highlights the various ways you can increase the efficiency of your waste management initiatives to cut down such an impact on the environment.

ways you can increase the efficiency of your waste management initiatives

1. Quantifying the Generated Waste

The first step for any waste management activity is assessing the waste. A quick visual waste assessment can help you understand the amount of waste present in the bins before collection.

It is ideal to opt for the various sizes of the bins to address the different quantities of waste generated from your business premises. You can define the system’s efficiency by tracking how often the waste collection bins get full or the collection intervals.

You may have a standard 240 L bin to collect all the waste generated from your office. If you observe that the bins get 75% filled and the collection happens once every week, it translates to your premise generating around 180 L of waste every week.

Once such information is available, you can ideate how much waste your business will produce for a given period.

2. Reduction of Waste Going Out

When you consider the waste management of a particular area, you need to keep track of the local happenings that impact the environment. The latest wildfire in San Jose, California, led to an aggravation of the level of pollutants in the air of the local area.

Being a resident of such a place or having your business premises at such a location needs higher awareness. Checking the air quality in San Jose can be your first step to understanding the prevailing conditions.

You can get an idea of the air quality that you have an office in by checking online, but it is crucial to maintain and keep the pollutant levels low. It often happens that the waste effervesces gases in the atmosphere. You should ensure a reduction of the waste going out of your premises to landfills to curb the escaping gases that it can contribute to later.

For this, you can pursue:

  • Reduction – can you avoid or reduce the waste your business generates by its operation?
  • Reusing – can your waste serve as the input material for another local industry?
  • Recycling – what are the materials that you can keep in the list of recyclables?

3. Identifying a Well-Equipped Local Collector

Once you have a quantity of waste that your business generates in the datasheet and the options to reduce the generated waste, you can identify the ideal local waste collector for your establishment.

waste reduction in businesses

Identifying a suitable recycling and collection contact is crucial for your business. Although, the California startup culture warrants driving the business growth and not indulging in how the waste gets disposed of after collection. You need to identify a well-equipped California collector with a facility to properly ensure measures to treat the waste that you are asking him to collect from your premises.

4. Keeping Efficiency at the Core of Waste Management Contract

When drafting the recycling and waste collection contract with your local vendor, you should delve deeper and understand its key nuances. Do your research to understand what part of the waste that your establishment generates can be recycled.

If the collection happens once a fortnight, you should have proper bins to stop the waste from disturbing the surroundings. You can increase the efficiency of the waste management techniques by writing the effective ways of waste management in the proposal document.

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You can also define the key here is where your waste can get disposed of and how you want it to undergo treatment. You should always keep in mind that the recycling contract is legally bound. Therefore, the contract should have well-defined catchment areas putting forth the scope of work of the contractor.

You can review the offers of all the California contractors who meet your criteria. You should look at the condition of the facilities in which your waste will get processed. Although the above is not an exhaustive list, these can increase the waste management contract’s efficiency.

The Troubling Trend of Greenwashing

Greenwashing, also known as green sheen, is a troubling trend that deceives consumers into thinking what they’re purchasing is sustainable or eco-friendly when the opposite is true. With climate change gaining attention, most people are trying to be more conscious of their environmental impact.

Read on for information on how to measure sustainability, in what ways we can fall victim to greenwashing, and how to avoid it.

how to avoid greenwashing

Measuring Sustainability

Measuring how sustainable something or someone is can be challenging. It’s necessary to use quantitative methods to measure indicators of sustainability, including social, environmental, and economic factors. ESG (Environmental Social Governance) has created a framework in which sustainability’s defined and measured. It’s a holistic approach in which every aspect is taken into consideration. This is a great way of creating a standardized framework to deal with the complexities of measuring sustainability.

Falling Victim to Greenwashing

It’s easy to fall victim to greenwashing in all aspects of life. This can range from the car you drive, the clothes you buy, and even the way you drink.

The fast fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world, after the oil industry. The impact fast fashion has on the planet is destructive. However, brands such as Monki claim their clothes are environmentally friendly, when in fact, they are not.

Another greenwashing example is buying a brand new electric car instead of carrying on with your well-used car. With claims of having low emissions and being eco-friendly, it’s easy for consumers to buy into this trend. However, there’s little thought given to the pollution caused at the factory when these cars are made or even the air miles used in transporting a car across the world.

If you don’t yet feel like a victim of greenwashing, consider your kitchen cupboards. How many reusable water bottles do you own? The idea of using a reusable water bottle is that it’s only necessary to own one. However, most people own a handful of bottles.

Companies have realized and grown with the concept of people no longer wanting single-use plastics. In this way, they have developed a need for consumers to continue buying their brand in the name of being “eco-friendly.” For example, they need to have a variety of sizes and various materials from glass to stainless steel. This is to continue to stay relevant and have the customer come back to buy the brand again. This is a classic example of falling victim to greenwashing.

green entrepreneurship

How To Avoid Greenwashing

Greenwashing’s very difficult to avoid. As discussed, it’s easy to fall victim to something if you think you’re doing the right thing. Here are some ways to try and avoid it:

  • Only buy what you need: this is the easiest way to make sure you don’t consume more than you need to and the quickest and easiest way to avoid buying into greenwashing.
  • Remember, style is eternal: It’s easy to get caught up in the latest fashion fads. Remember that key pieces last forever and if it’s a trend – be sure to avoid it. If you’re in doubt, ask a friend to borrow their clothes or buy the item second-hand.
  • Be wary of buzzwords: if something is surrounded by nature and greenery, look for more details and be aware of the fact the company’s trying to highlight how eco-friendly it is.

Overall, remember to question where things are coming from and be more mindful of the choices you make. While it’s difficult to measure sustainability, it’s easy to try and live a more eco-conscious lifestyle.

Things to Consider While Hiring a Waste Management Company

Whether talking about recycling for a home or business, this type of service is extremely important for the environment. Waste has a negative impact on the environment and can cause pollution of many kinds. Most companies that offer both garbage and recycling services are very organized, and consumers are expected to be equally organized in sorting their waste and separating it from recyclable items.

Because the process of figuring out what can be recycled, many individuals and business owners find it is much easier to simply hire a waste management company.

Below are some questions to consider when looking for recycling services and reasons why hiring a waste management company can take the guesswork out of recycling.

What Kind of Recycling Service is Required?

This can mean anything from home to office to hazardous waste to syringe collection services.  Some companies offer all types of recycling and provide the different skip bins necessary to mitigate these needs. It is important to contact the company and find out as much information that is needed to make an informed decision on how recycling is handled.

However, most companies will only offer a general list of items that can be recycled, including plastics, cardboards, glass, etc. This list will not be exhaustive, leaving many consumers to wonder what to do with items such as plastic bottle caps, milk cartons and the like. A waste management company will know the specific regulations for what can and cannot be recycled, eliminating the hassle for you.

What Can Be Recycled?

Bricks, wood, paper, metals, cardboard, plastics, concrete, and green waste can all be recycled.

  • Bricks – These are broken down and crushed in order to be made into new bricks.
  • Wood – Wood can be used again as a building material or can be processed into pulp or mulch. Recycling wood can limit the number of trees that are being cut down.
  • Paper – The process for this material mixes old paper with chemicals and water to break it down. It is then chopped, heated and broken down further into strands of cellulose.  This substance is then called slurry or pulp and is further recycled into new paper.
  • Metals – Recycling metals will not alter its properties, the most common metals recycled are steel and aluminum.
  • Cardboard – This uses a process that reuses thick sheets of multilayered papers (cardboard) that have been discarded.
  • Plastics – The recycling process for plastics recovers waste or scraps of plastic and reprocesses them into useful products.
  • Concrete – This type of recycling is becoming more common and uses a process of reuse of the rubble for new construction endeavors.
  • Green Waste – This can be anything from leaves to grass trimmings to flower cuttings that can be decomposed and then recycled. This will in turn produce what is called green waste.

There are a number of items that can be recycled, but it is important to note that not all recycling pickup services will be able to process all the items mentioned above. Certain materials, such as concrete or wood, must be disposed of at specific facilities.

plastic-wastes

Recycling has unending benefits

For the average homeowner, this can mean having to locate the specific facility and transport the recyclable materials to them. A waste management company will have the contacts in the industry to know where to take any type of recyclable item and can take care of the transportation for you.

What Recycling Techniques Are Used, and Are They Legal and Ethical?

  • Concretes and Aggregates – This process would involve using a crushing machine and combining the concrete with bricks, asphalt, dirt and rocks. The smaller pieces will be used as gravel, crushed concrete can all be used as dry aggregate, which in turn can be used to make new concrete that will be free of contaminates.
  • Batteries – This type of recycling can be very difficult; all batteries must be sorted into groups of similar kinds and require. Older batteries contain cadmium and mercury, which are very harmful and must be handled very carefully.
  • Biodegradable Waste – This type of waste can be made into reusable material via the process of biological decomposition. The two mechanisms that help this to occur are composting or converting it into soil improver and biogas. The latter uses anaerobic digestion where organic wastes are broken down by microorganisms in a biogas plant.

Again, a waste management company will be able to guarantee that your recycling ends up in the right processing facilities and to ensure that it does get processed according to government regulations and ethical means. When the wrong items end up in recycling, this can lead to an entire batch being thrown out. A waste management company will make sure that the recyclable items are properly sorted, helping to ensure that your efforts to recycle do not go to waste.

What Are the Benefits of Recycling?

There are many benefits to using a recycling service. For instance, recycling conserves energy, reduces greenhouse gases, reduces water and air pollution, and conserves natural resources by reusing recycled materials. Protecting the environment is one of the most important things a home or business can do. When an individual or business chooses to recycle all different kinds of waste, it makes the world a better, less toxic place to live.

Not only does recycling help protect the world, it also reduces the need for extraction such as mining, logging and quarrying. It also reduces the need for processing and refining of raw materials. All these processes can contain harmful, substantial amounts of water and air pollution. Recycling will save this energy while reducing the amount of greenhouse gas, which in turn helps to attack climate change.