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.