There are many things you can do to reduce and recycle waste at your work place. A robust recycling program benefits the local economy, protects our environment, conserves energy & natural resources and can help demonstrate your organization’s commitment to sustainability and the community. Furthermore, the Minnesota commercial recycling law requires most businesses who collect four or more cubic yards of waste per week to recycle at least three types of materials.
By implementing the following simple steps you’ll be well on your way to clean recycling streams and reduced waste management costs.
After helping thousands of businesses, we’ve identified the best practices below as the most simple and effective actions for any business to reduce waste and recycle better.
Standardize Trash, Recycling, and Organics (Food Waste) Bins
Our research shows that clear bin placement is the single, most effective action you can take.
Educate Staff, Customers and Residents
Recycling is simple and hard at the same time, mostly because what is or is not recyclable is hyper local to the area where you live or work. However, when people learn how to properly recycle, they are more likely to participate.
Conduct Waste Audits
A waste audit is a sophisticated dumpster dive to analyze what is being thrown away and if it has been separated into the proper waste stream. Waste audits are especially important for entities that generate a lot of waste. It can help you:
Update Your Hauler Contract
Did you sign it and forget about it? Does it auto renew without your knowledge? Many hauler contracts last multiple years and auto renew with a very limited window of opportunity to cancel them. If you want to save money after implementing your new waste reduction, recycling and food waste efforts, you will need to make changes to your hauler contract. These are things to consider.
Stick to One Type of Material for Food Service Products
When serving food, choose one material type for food service products – reusable, recyclable or BPI certified compostable products – and only offer that material type. Confusion between trash, recyclable and compostable food service products is the main source of contamination in dining areas. Make it easier for folks by only having one option.
Identify Opportunities for Reusable Materials
Look at the materials you throw away again and again. Is there a reusable option? What changes to purchasing, operations or equipment would make it feasible for your business to change to a reusable version? Some common opportunities include:
Identify Opportunities for Waste Reduction
While recycling, collecting food scraps, and reuse are important parts of proper waste management, reducing waste is the best step you can take to protect the environment and your pocketbook! Waste reduction means that you prevent it from being created in the first place. Some examples of waste reduction at businesses include:
Single-Sort or “Mixed” Recycling
This refers to a collection method in which many types of recyclable items are collected in one container for transportation to a recycling processing center. The following are some helpful tips for single stream recycling.
Whether there is a surplus of edible food or large quantities of food scraps in your trash, food waste is a concern for many businesses, schools and organizations. Recycling food waste can save money by diverting heavy, wet material from your trash collection. The following are a few actions you can take to play your part in preventing food waste.
Hazardous Waste/Problem Materials
Learn best practices in waste, recycling and organics management for your industry. For customized recommendations for your business and grant funding to implement best practices schedule a visit with a Recycling Expert.
Food + Beverage
Restaurants, cafes, bars, and other food service businesses have unique recycling and waste management needs, but they also have unique opportunities to drastically reduce waste (and trash expenses) by implementing an organics collection program. View best practices and learn how other local businesses have worked with BizRecycling to improve operations at their restaurants and breweries.
Food Donation Resources
Food Recycling Resources
Organics Recycling Resources
Ramsey/Washington Recycling & Energy