If your company doesn't currently recycle, a waste audit is an important step towards implementing a new recycling program. To find out what percentage of your trash is made up of recyclable materials, it's time to "Look in the Bin".
Put on some protective gear - rubber gloves, boots, some older clothing - and climb into your dumpster. See what kind of recyclables are there, and calculate the percentage of trash that is recyclable. Check out the EPA's Business Guide for Reducing Solid Waste for a waste assessment checklist or visit the Rethink Recycling Resources page for links to local programs that provide technical assistance.
Next, try to determine where the recyclables are coming from by touring your building, including office areas, lunch rooms, restrooms, loading docks, or manufacturing areas, if you have them. Look at what is in trash receptacles and take note of the following:
--Are they full?
--What's in them? Are there recyclables in the trash? How much of your garbage is food waste?
--How often is your trash picked up?
Next, review your trash service statements or talk to your service provider to evaluate:
--How much waste is your business generating?
--How much do your collection and disposal services cost?
--Where is your waste going and how is it managed?
This helps set a baseline for how much your business can save by recycling. Did you know recycling is tax exempt in Minnesota?
Now it's time to commit - invest in recycling bins at each desk, key areas of shared workspace (for example, the copy room), and break rooms. Remember to always place clearly labeled recycling bins next to garbage bins.
Visit RethinkRecycling.com/business to learn more about how to get started! Then we encourage you to take the pledge to start or improve recycling at your workplace or business. Be a champion, take the pledge, and "Join the Recycling Revolution" today!