Reduce, reuse, recycle—it’s fast becoming a mantra of the Anthropocene, a maxim highlighting our increasing impact on the global environment. Some estimates suggest that the world’s trash pile is set to grow by 70% by the year 2050, and every aspect of the way in which we manage our waste is coming under increased scrutiny. From our personal habits at home to the largest of multinational corporations, the advantages waste management are becoming ever more apparent.
Today, even the most localized businesses are discovering the far-reaching consequences of their day-to-day operations, and the most innocent of commercial practices are suddenly taking on a new and insidious significance. Plastic straws, cotton swabs, grocery bags—all have been singled out as particularly destructive despite their ubiquity and seemingly prosaic place in the world.
The rise of responsible waste management for businesses is, in part, thanks to our new found awareness of how we affect the world around us on a local, national, and global scale.
Previously, trends within the sector have focused on how consumers are driving the creation of increasing amounts of waste as part of a “throw-away” culture. However, only recently has this focus shifted to the obligations of businesses and how they might implement better systems and create more sustainable waste management practices at the source. Subsequently, responsible waste management is a growing concern, not only as part of a more ethical and eco-friendly approach to business, but also as a way to grow and enhance current operations.
In a changing landscape, new challenges are presented daily. However, these challenges are driving innovation and change. While “doing the right thing” is both admirable and encouraged, businesses are beginning to catch on to a whole host of other benefits that are part and parcel of effective waste management systems. More than simply the removal of waste, forward-thinking waste management solutions allow businesses to track, measure and improve processes, build healthier workplaces, and boost brand image.
Here then, we look at some of the benefits of waste management and why the reduce, reuse, and recycle tag is much more than just a catchy slogan.
Improve Operational Efficiency
For businesses of any size, improving operational efficiency is a core concern. An often overlooked yet crucial aspect of this concept is the way you deal with your trash. Streamlining waste management processes allows you to unlock a broad range of benefits that can help you improve the day-to-day running of your business and stay one step ahead of the competition.
Recycling makes good financial sense for most businesses.
Put simply, sorting waste correctly and recycling properly means less waste goes to landfill, which may help reduce the costs of removal. Reusing materials brings even greater benefits in this sense, allowing you to stretch your budget just that little bit further. Finally, by creating actionable plans to actively reduce the amount of waste you generate, your staff spend less time sorting, loading, and removing materials from the premises.
Subsequently, the areas where waste is stored are cleaner, safer and more hygienic. This is particularly important in the food and hospitality industries, or indeed, any customer facing enterprise. Correct waste management allows your business to avoid overflowing trash containers and the potential hazards they pose. This in turn reduces liability and helps you avoid any potential fines as covered in our next point.
As the world’s waste problem has grown, and awareness surrounding the issue has expanded, governments have been forced to respond. The location of your business will play a large part in how much our next point affects you, however, there’s no denying that regulation around business waste is becoming increasingly stringent. The recent rise in US states banning plastic straws is just one example of how legislation can affect business, and it highlights how quickly both attitudes and policy can change.
Today, your business must reach and remain compliant with local, national, and even global regulations and laws.
Failure to meet these standards may mean fines or even the removal of critical licenses required to operate. Additionally, these types of regulation look set to increase over the coming years, particularly as governments have a bigger say in how society manages its waste as a whole.
However, by implementing a robust and adaptive waste management plan, not only can you easily meet the targets required by law, but you can also take advantage of any available grants or incentives that may be available for businesses meeting best practice frameworks. The benefits of waste management here are clear, remain compliant or risk losing your business.
Source New Revenue Streams
For ingenious business owners, waste management provides yet another revenue stream to explore, and waste materials are proving to be a valuable resource within themselves. For example, with the explosion of innovative materials and textiles based on organic matter, companies are actively searching out reliable sources of waste for use as raw materials.
For manufacturers, raw materials can either be used to make new products or sold off to other businesses who might have a use for them. Either way, the correct collection, storage and distribution of these materials is key, and efficient sorting processes and reliable collections are crucial to success.
Improve Brand Image
Today, consumers are increasingly vigilant as to the waste practices of any business.
With this in mind, perhaps one of the less tangible benefits of waste management is the opportunity to please customers through improving brand image. Of course, this is much easier for multinationals such as Apple or Google that regularly command front page headlines, however, even the smallest businesses can make a difference.
Donating old technology to local organizations, gifting last season’s unsold clothing to charity, and even handing out free meals using food destined for landfill—all of these ideas will go some way to ingratiating you to clients and customers. Additionally, a simple commitment to eco-principles and sustainability can be equally as effective, essentially aligning your business with more ethical practice and offering greater transparency for your customer base.
Boost Employee Morale
It’s not only consumers who are concerned with the way your business manages waste, but your employees too. Increasing staff awareness and responsibility towards eco issues provides a welcome morale boost, ensuring everyone is not only working towards a greener future for the environment but also towards a cleaner and healthier workplace.
Sustainable business practice goes hand-in-hand with environmental sustainability, and proper staff training will ensure everyone is on the same page.
Put it this way, if your staff recognize a commitment to improving both the local and global environment, they too will take greater pride in their workplace and your business. Additionally, as the world moves towards greater sustainability, environmentally conscious employees will become the standard, and your business will be able to wear its eco-friendly status on its sleeve.
Discover More Waste Management Advantages with RTS
As businesses catch-on to the numerous benefits of waste management solutions, it is clear that practices will change, and environmental sustainability will subsequently grow. Companies will increasingly move towards the Zero Waste concept—a philosophy that aims ensure that no trash is sent to landfill. Achieving Zero Waste is only possible only when properly analyzing an organization’s purchasing of products and the packaging they arrive in.
The key is to ensure that both products and packaging are recyclable and environmentally responsible.
From this foundation, companies can then implement frequent training for employees and proper signage to further streamline the waste management process. However, a critical piece of the puzzle remains, and the total transparency, accountability, and validation of the removal trucks that collect and haul to the proper facilities ensures collaboration throughout the entire supply chain—from cradle to grave.
To enable companies and organizations to reach this ultimate diversion goal, RTS leverages innovative technology to connect reliable and accountable haulage operators across a broad range of sectors —giving your business a tailor-made solution designed to work seamlessly with your existing operations. We can also help you monitor your existing waste management practices and provide you with the data you need to build more sustainable processes. Whatever your requirements, we are on-hand to help you discover even more business advantages in the field of waste management.
Read our values here and begin your journey to a cleaner and greener future.
To read more about the Benefits of Waste Management for Businesses, read our interview with Co-Founder and COO Adam Pasquale.