BEHIND THE SCENES

SSG manages an open-air shopping destination that has been operating for over fifty years in the Carolinas. This popular property has grown from modest beginnings to a 100+ store retail juggernaut. Along with retail sales, the center’s waste and recycling program expanded until, one day, the management team took stock, and realized the program was out of balance with the property’s current footprint. That’s when they asked its business partner, SSG, for solutions.

The SSG (Sustainable Solutions Group) team camped out at the Center and studied the back-of-house operations and flow of materials. From there, SSG developed recommendations and worked with property team to execute a game plan, which was successfully implemented.]

Over the last twelve months, SSG reduced container coverage by 30%, improved service efficiency and the overall appearance of the property, and increased recycling levels across the board. This has resulted in less wear-and-tear on the service areas and improved the flow of deliveries to retailers.
And while the public may not notice the change, it’s just a small example of the attention to detail that SSG brings to its behind-the-scene efforts that allows SSG Clients and their retailers to focus on what they do best –provide a first-class shopping experience for their guests.

Waste Prevention around the Office

Preventing and reducing waste around the office can help to decrease your organization’s impact on the environment. As the world is becoming more eco-conscious, these factors can separate businesses apart from the competition, and they can attract environmentally savvy employees. Additionally, implementing a business waste management plan can ultimately help your business to save money, as you will be able to recycle and reuse materials. Some important tips for preventing waste in your workplace are outlined below.

Reduce

In order to reduce your organizational waste, try to eliminate paper files and move toward an electronic system. Set your printers and photocopiers to automatically print double-sided copies, and take steps needed to fight off the amount of junk mail that your organization receives.

Reducing your packaging can also be helpful, and try selecting products from manufacturers and suppliers that utilize minimal packaging. If possible, reuse any packing materials that you are sent so that you can utilize them when you need to mail something out.

Recycle

In order to minimize your organizational waste, recycle aluminum cans, paper, plastic, and glass. Start a recycling program where you can recycle papers that do not contain sensitive information. Also, you cannot consider yourself to be recycling if you send your products off to be recycled but you don’t purchase any recycled content products, so you should know where you can purchase certain products that your business needs that are made from recycled materials.

Reuse

There are a variety of things that you can reuse within your business. Reuse envelopes whenever possible, and if you are part of a large business, try routing around intra-agency envelopes rather than sending out additional mail. Buy recycled paper and toner cartridges, and invest in battery chargers and rechargeable batteries for certain electronic devices.

Why is Waste Reduction Important?

Every business is responsible for generating a certain amount of waste. Some businesses may only generate dirty water or waste paper, while others may create toxic or hazardous wastes that need to undergo special disposal and handing. Whatever volume or type of waste your business creates, it is all costing your business money. Additionally, you will be paying for the waste twice, as it has costs associated with it both when you purchase and when you throw it away. Therefore, waste reduction is important because it will ultimately save you and your business money.

Waste prevention and reduction can be found in a variety of forms, the most popular of which include:

  • Reducing packaging amounts.
  • Implementing a recycling process.
  • Conserving energy and water.
  • Using materials that are free of toxins.
  • Purchasing materials that are strong, long lasting, and durable.
  • Eliminating the use of raw materials that do not make it into your final service or product.

By preventing waste, your company, regardless of its size, will benefit. In addition to the money you will save, you will also reduce liability, enhance your community image, and improve employee safety. Many efforts in waste reduction are simple to implement, and they may include activities as simple as using email messages instead of printing copies or utilizing two-sided printing. Additionally, your business may also avoid government approvals and permits if the eliminated waste is regulated under the law.

Business waste management is also important for your community as a whole, and overall, it is just the right thing for your company to do. Preventing excess waste will make your community and neighborhood safer by preventing pollution. Your company will also establish itself as being concerned with making your community into a healthy place to live, and by establishing yourself as a good citizen you will reap lasting and immeasurable rewards for your business.

How Businesses Can Reduce Their Waste

Waste reduction is one of the first steps in an effective commercial waste disposal and management plan. It focuses on preventing the generation of solid waste by changing packaging, purchasing, and products. Commercial businesses that focus on waste reduction will need to design, produce, use, or purchase materials that will lower the toxicity volume of their waste before it enters the waste stream. By reducing waste, businesses in the commercial sector can save money on disposal costs and can also make changes to processes that will, ultimately, help their bottom line. Some tips for how businesses can work to reduce waste are discussed below.

Packaging

  • Use mailbags and boxes that are reusable when shipping items to branch offices and warehouses.
  • Ship items to customers in boxes received from suppliers.
  • Reuse packaging materials and encourage your customers to reuse the materials.
  • Create a system for cardboard box returns so distributors can reuse them.

Purchasing

  • Develop guidelines for purchasing that encourage waste management.
  • In order to optimize ordering, track the usage of materials.
  • Order supplies by email or voice mail when available.
  • Avoid the purchase of deep toned or bright paper.
  • To eliminate unneeded purchases, centralize your purchasing procedures.

Equipment

  • Put retreaded tires on vehicles used for company use and rotate them regularly.
  • Purchase remanufactured or pre-owned office equipment.
  • Try renting instead of purchasing equipment that may only be used once in a while.
  • Put in energy efficient instead of incandescent lighting.

Communications

  • Remove your name from unwanted mailing lists.
  • Use recycled materials for inter- and intra-office communications, such as pens, pencils, paper, and cork boards.
  • Invest in programs that allow you to fax items directly from a computer. Also send items via email rather than printing and faxing a copy.
  • Use reusable or two-way envelopes whenever appropriate.

Recyclable Items You May Not Know About

Many people choose to recycle in their homes, and they commonly recycle items like aluminum cans, plastic, and paper. However, there are a variety of items that can also be recycled, and home and business owners may not know about them. Here is a guide for some of the most important items that can be recycled but often become forgotten. All of these suggestions can easily be applied to commercial recycling as well.

Batteries

Batteries are recyclable, but in many cases people may choose not to recycle them because they either forget or because it is simply inconvenient. Many curbside recycling programs don’t yet accept batteries, but they can be taken to local retailers, especially electronic stores. If you are unsure of where to take your batteries for recycling, you can check out to get information on area battery recycling programs.

Computers and Other Electronics

Computer parts and the unit in its entirety can be recycled. This includes monitors, old disk drives, and hard drives. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency outlines where these items can be donated. Other electronics like CD players, MP3 players, and cell phones can also be donated, and the EPA also lists where and how to recycle these types of items.

Wine Corks

Wine corks are easy to recycle, but they are often forgotten. Most non-profit organizations and companies reuse or recycle these corks for a variety of different things, including flooring, new corks, and kid’s crafts. To find a recycling program that accepts corks you can check out sites like reCORK.

Styrofoam

Styrofoam is often used as a packaging material, and it takes a long time to break down naturally. While many curbside recycling programs don’t accept Styrofoam, there are some things you can do to environmentally recycle it on your own. You can save it for reuse when you need to ship items, or you can list it as a free item on Craigslist for others that might need it.

Welcome!

Sustainable Solutions Group Inc. has recently revamped their website in order to better serve businesses across the nation. If you have any questions or would like more information about our waste management services, please give us a call at 1-877-296-7898 today!