While larger corporations and companies continue to be the biggest contributors to a variety of pollutive factors, including one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions, the truth is that businesses of all sizes can better contribute to environmental sustainability. For small businesses all around the world, finding more efficient sources for waste solutions can not only help benefit the planet, but studies show that improved sustainability programs in the workplace can do wonders for employee engagement.
According to the Harvard Business Review, workplace sustainability initiatives have been found to, ‘increase employee loyalty, efficiency, and productivity and improve HR statistics related to recruitment, retention, and morale.’ Needless to say, businesses and employees alike can both do better when it comes to practicing effective waste disposal protocols. Research has shown that the average American employee’s waste production consists of:
● Using 156 plastic bottles per year
● Wastes 2 pounds of mixed paper products every day
● Uses 10,000 sheets of paper on average, each year
● Generates nearly 4.5 pounds of total waste every day
Those figures may seem alarming at first glance, but when you stop to think about how often you throw away trash or dispose of recycled products, those numbers might not seem too far off. The bottom line is that everyone can do better when it comes to effective waste management practices, including small businesses. If your small company is interested in learning how to apply sustainable waste solutions in the workplace, let’s take a look at a few ways to incorporate sufficient waste management at your small business.
Reduce Paper Usage
As previously mentioned, the average employee uses 10,000 sheets of paper every year. That number can quickly add up depending on how many employees your small business has. Making a commitment to reducing paper usage at your workplace can benefit the environment in all of the following ways:
● Decrease Forest Devastation
● Reduce Landfill Volume
● Limit Overall Solid Municipal Waste
● Lessen Disposal of Environmentally Hazardous Inks & Dyes
In addition to the environmental impact limiting paper usage can bestow, spending less money on printer paper, ink, or toner will also inevitably reduce overall business expenses. Enforcing a printing policy is an easy way to get employees on the same page when it comes to decreasing paper usage.
If you work at a small restaurant, avoid printing dozens of menus and use a large chalkboard at the counter for people to order off of. Companies that often utilize computers and printers can use cloud sharing storage for distributing notes and files, rather than printing off copies for each individual employee. A general rule of thumb when it comes to wasting paper at work: think before you print.
It’s hard to really acknowledge how much waste you’re producing until you actually see the numbers right in front of you. That’s where conducting a waste report or audit can help you determine specific waste management areas that can be improved.
Working with a reputable waste management solutions company can help you conduct an in-store or office waste report, detailing how much garbage and recycling is being produced by your business, specifically breaking it down by material (cardboard, paper, plastic, etc.). These numbers not only help you realize how much waste your small business is producing, but can also point you in the direction of installing better sustainability practices in the workplace.
Accommodative Recycling Options
In many cases, people fail to efficiently recycle because either they’re confused on what can be recycled, or they don’t have immediate access to recycling receptacles. To prevent apathy from getting in the way of workplace recycling, make a commitment to provide more accessible recycling opportunities.
Place recycling containers or bins in areas where recycling is most needed, such as the printer, kitchen, or any food or beverage vending machines. Post up informative recycling flyers or posters within proximity of recycling containers, so people have an instant resource to determine whether their waste is reusable or not. Also be sure to implement food compost bins around the workplace, so food waste doesn’t wind up being dumped in landfills. The easier you can make it for everyone to recycle, the better everyone will become at recycling!
Invest in Professional Waste Management Services
At the end of the day, no matter how proactive you and your coworkers are at sustainability, you need to know where your waste is going after it’s been thrown out and picked up. That’s where investing in a reputable waste management solutions company will help your small business know for certain that your garbage and recycling is being properly disposed of, so it can be accurately reused for a variety of beneficial purposes.
Contact LJP for All Your Waste Disposal Needs
At LJP Waste Solutions, we pride ourselves on contributing to productive waste-to-energy efforts, as well as offering proactive waste management resolutions for companies of all sizes. If you’re interested in learning all the ways your small business can better commit to environmental sustainability, contact LJP Waste Solutions today to schedule a consultation, or give us a call at 507.625.1968 to speak directly with one of our waste management experts.