Enjoy this post from the SSC archives.
Zero waste is a lofty goal, but it generally pays off because most of the time less is actually more in sustainability planning. Here are a few helpful hints about waste and recycling to push your waste strategy to zero.
1. Choose “single stream.” By allowing employees to sort recyclable material into a single receptacle, you can expect to see an increase in recycling of up to 50%. Make it easy for employees, and they’re more likely to participate!
2. When crafting a zero-landfill strategy, don’t just focus on recycling. Be sure to include options like: closed loop solutions (reuse), composting, and supply chain management. Remaining materials that can’t be recycled or reused can be converted to energy through conversion technologies: waste to energy, plasma gasification, and anaerobic digestion.
3. Think about waste conveyance design during new construction. Make sure you consider the following:
- Internal areas for collection, storage, and separation of materials
- External space for multiple container sizes and service areas
- Design for ease of use
4. Cover all of the bases when reviewing recycling, sorting, composting or other waste stream management programs
- Bin size
- Bin type
- Tenant education, key component to gain buy-in maybe have a kick-off meeting and continuous reminders with metrics and goals
- Space constraints
- Service area
If your organization wants to get a better handle on its waste, a great first step is conducting a waste audit. We’ve developed a toolkit (webinar, guidance, and templates) all around How to Conduct a Waste Audit. If you find that your team doesn’t have the gumption to sort through all that trash, contact us to arrange a waste audit done by sustainability professionals!