Finding ways to implement commercial recycling for your business can help reduce the number of natural resources that are being used while at the same time promoting finding more sustainable methods.

Recycling has become a usual way of life, but there may be questions about why or how it is done, so keep reading for common questions related to commercial recycling.

Is Recycling a Truly Helpful Practice for Businesses?

One of the first questions that can come up for commercial businesses is if waste recycling will be a beneficial practice. Current data from the EPA shows that recycling even one ton of paper used in the office is equivalent to 322 gallons of gas. They have also discovered that one ton of aluminum cans can conserve almost 21 barrels of oil.

In addition, recycling ten plastic bottles can keep a laptop powered for almost 25 hours. These three reasons alone make it a compelling reason to have a recycling plan for commercial businesses.

What Are the Best Commercial Recycling Systems?

Because businesses can produce much larger amounts of waste, it's even more critical to have a plan that works effectively for your business. The first step is determining what kind of waste you are generating and what is going to be able to be recycled. It's not uncommon to find paper, ink cartridges, batteries, packaging, and organic waste that can come from businesses, and these all have their places.

One option is to assign one individual – depending on the company's size – to be in charge of the program. You want individuals who understand that it's imperative to get the suitable material into the correct bins and distribute them through the company in high traffic areas.

Having the bins properly labeled so individuals know exactly what can go in there is helpful, and you want to make sure that materials that may not be frequently used also have an opportunity to be recycled. You can place items like electronics or rechargeable batteries into a separate bin and set a specific date to have these recycled and processed.

How Can a Company Know Their Waste Level?

Another consideration is to do an assessment based on your company's usage of recyclable materials. This can determine how much waste is being recycled and how much is being thrown out into a landfill.

A waste audit can be an eye-opening experience and will require collecting waste over a certain period, generally in the middle of the week when the usage is highest. You can then start determining what is recyclable and what is waste and weigh them out to understand the actual cost of not recycling.

Why Do Items Need to Be Placed In the Correct Bin?

Another question is why it is essential to have the right bin for the items. When the recycling gets to the facility, if the incorrect items are inside the wrong area, this can potentially damage the equipment.

On top of this, the items need to be sorted and sent to landfills, which will cost more money for the facility, so you want to check with any local providers if you have any questions.

What Items Are Not Okay to Place in a Recycling Bin?

In some cases, if an individual is unaware, it may be tempting to place an item in the recycling container with good intention, but it may not be appropriate for the bin. Several things should not go into recycling containers because this can cause problems at the facility and end up in the landfill.

Thinking of the recycling system as a way to reuse items and transform them into something new can help motivate some individuals, so here are just a few items that you do not want to place in a recycling bin.

Plastic Bags or Wrappers

These items might be recyclable but just not in the bin in some cases. Some communities offer an option to drop these items off at a store, which can be reused for shoppers later.

Items that can tangle

One of the issues that recycling centers face is potential damage to the equipment. Items with cords are particularly problematic, so if your business has electric cables, wires, or headphones, you want to avoid placing these in the recycling containers.

Toxic Materials

Depending on a business, you may have hazardous materials around the property, and even if the packaging is empty, they may still not be safe to recycle. Any items with ignitable, corrosive, or toxic materials like paint and motor oil need to be taken to the appropriate facility and not placed in a standard recycling bin.


Batteries are not recyclable with curbside bins because they will go straight into the landfill, creating larger issues for the environment. Due to their corrosive natures, they are also potentially able to cause fires, so you will need to take them to a designated drop-off location for recycling.


The last common items of concern are electronics, and whether it is a TV, computer, or vacuum cleaner, none of these can go in the bin. In most cases, it is recommended that you donate them if they are still working or look for designated locations to bring them to.

Get Professional and Sustainable Services With LJP Waste Solutions

These are just a few of the questions that can come up around recycling with a commercial business to help get you more informed. LJP Waste Solutions has been a leading provider since 1993 for sustainable waste solutions in Minnesota and works hard to offer innovative ideas for our customers.

We are one of the top recycling companies that emphasize creating a zero-landfill initiative for all our clients and streamlining a system that works for them.

Don't wait any longer to start a successful recycling program; contact us online or call us at 507-625-1968 today.